Those that enjoy working with engines, machines, or robots and are mechanically inclined should look into the field of mechanical engineering technology. Those that earn bachelor’s degrees in mechanical engineering technology will be prepared for graduate studies or production and design jobs in the field.
Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degree Programs in Mechanical Engineering Technology
Students enrolled in Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree programs in Mechanical Engineering Technology are taught how to design, produce, and manufacture machines and are educated about ways of integrating engineering principles with technology in order to create products. Apart from gaining a firm grasp of designing machines, students learn about production, product analysis, and mechanical enhancement.
Students seeking admission to these programs are typically required to hold an associate’s degree in mechanical engineering technology or design technology, among other related fields. While those without associate’s degrees may also gain admission, they may be required to complete prerequisite coursework in subject areas such as computer-aided drafting, chemistry, and physics.
Hands-on experience, rather than theory, is the primary focus of mechanical engineering technology programs; in this respect, they differ from mechanical engineering programs. Coursework is augmented by extensive lab experiences.
Completion of projects may be expected of students either as part of a team or by themselves. Such projects — senior capstone projects — must begin with research and design and taken through to completion. Coursework may include the following topic areas:
There are many choices available in the broad field of mechanical engineering technology in production, consulting, technical sales, research, and manufacturing. Graduates may choose from career titles such as:
•Mechanical engineering technician
Job and Wage Outlook
A low job growth rate of 5% has been predicted for mechanical engineering technicians over the 2012 – 2022 decade (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In May 2012, these professionals brought home an average annual wage of $80,580 (BLS).
Continuing Education Choices
Those that successfully complete the program may seek employment and gain experience in order to move to supervisory roles. They may also seek professional certification, which would enable them to showcase their skills and knowledge to potential employers. Many levels of certification are offered by the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET) for the benefit of engineering technicians.
Some bachelor’s degree graduates may pursue master’s degrees in mechanical engineering despite not having a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. If accepted into a master’s degree program, mechanical engineering technology students that wish to join a master’s degree program in mechanical engineering can gain admission by completing various prerequisite courses.