This career field mainly focuses on finding solutions to issues pertaining to the operation of tools, machines, and systems. Those interested in a mechanical engineer job can look into an Associate of Arts (A.A.) degree program in mechanical engineering.
A.A. Programs in Mechanical Engineering
Students enrolled in an associate’s degree program in mechanical engineering can usually plan to transfer credits toward earning a four-year bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. Coursework is devised to develop students’ problem-solving and analytical skills. These programs also include projects aimed at encouraging the application of science and math principles toward improving the operation and efficiency of product development processes, manufacturing and mechanical systems, and related concepts. In a majority of programs, coursework emphasizes a foundational curriculum in calculus, math, chemistry and physics, aimed at preparing students seeking to earn a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering for upper-level classes they would need to complete in the last two years of such program. Admission criteria in associate’s degree programs typically require applicants to hold a GED certificate or high school diploma.
The program may require students to complete Courses in communication, writing, behavioral science and social sciences, to augment the core mechanical engineering coursework that includes courses such as:
•Programming for engineers
•Mechanics of materials
Job and Wage Outlook
Job growth of nine percent has been predicted for mechanical engineers during the period from 2010 to 2020 (source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In May 2010, mechanical engineers earned an average annual wage of $78,160 (BLS).
Continuing Education Choices
Graduates who wish to pursue continued education by earning a bachelor’s degree can seek enrollment in a mechanical engineering program; in some fields or industries candidates will need graduate degrees for career advancement.