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Mechanical Engineering Major

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Mechanical Engineering

2,784 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
157 Master's Degrees Annually
#113 in Popularity
$58,240 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Mechanical Engineering Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many mechanical engineering technology graduations there were in 2017-2018 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Bachelor’s Degree 2,784
Associate’s Degree 2,150
Basic Certificate 1,786
Undergraduate Certificate 740
Master’s Degree 157
Graduate Certificate 9
Doctor’s Degree 2

What Mechanical Engineering Majors Need to Know

In an O*NET survey, ME tech majors were asked to rate what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important in their occupations. These answers were weighted on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the most important.

Knowledge Areas for ME Tech Majors

ME Tech majors often go into careers in which the following knowledge areas are important:

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  • Mechanical - Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
  • Engineering and Technology - Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

Skills for ME Tech Majors

ME tech majors are found most commonly in careers in which the following skills are important:

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  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Operation Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Quality Control Analysis - Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Abilities for ME Tech Majors

As a ME tech major, you will find yourself needing the following abilities:

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  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.

What Can You Do With a Mechanical Engineering Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with ME tech:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Aerospace Engineering and Operations Technicians 6.6% $67,010
Automotive Engineering Technicians 5.0% $56,250
Automotive Master Mechanics 6.1% $40,710
Mechanical Engineering Technicians 5.0% $56,250

Who Is Getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering?

2,784 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
8% Percent Women
22% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities
This is a less frequently chosen undergraduate major. Only 2,784 students graduated with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering technology in 2018, making it rank #113 in popularity. This major tends to be male dominated. About 92% of recent graduates are men.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of ME tech majors is as follows:

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of ME Tech Students with Bachelor's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 135
Black or African American 132
Hispanic or Latino 244
White 1,804
International Students 309
Other Races/Ethnicities 160

Geographic Diversity

Students from other countries are interested in ME Tech, too. About 11.1% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:

  • Saudi Arabia
  • India
  • China
  • South Korea
  • Kuwait

How Much Do Mechanical Engineering Majors Make?

Bachelor’s Degree Starting Salary

The median starting salary of students who graduated in 2015-2017 with a bachelor’s degree in ME tech was $55,600 per year. These stats come from the U.S. Department of Education. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $53,000 (25th percentile) and $59,850 (75th percentile).

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Note that some of these people may have jobs that are not directly related to a ME tech degree.

Salaries According to BLS

ME Tech majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $43,730 to $68,970 (25th to 75th percentile). This range includes all degree levels, so you may expect those with a more advanced degree to make more while those with less advanced degrees will typically make less.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for a Mechanical Engineering Major  ( 43730 to 68970 )
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250K
Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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250K
Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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250K
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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250K

Some degrees associated with ME tech may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. Whatever the case may be, pursuing more education usually means that more career options will be available to you.

Find out what the typical degree level is for ME tech careers below.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED) 18.0%
Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production) 32.6%
Some College Courses 3.9%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 21.6%
Bachelor’s Degree 21.6%
Master’s Degree 3.5%

Online Mechanical Engineering Programs

In 2017-2018, 324 schools offered a ME tech program of some type. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 93 2
Certificate (1-2 years) 79 0
Certificate (2-4 Years) 6 0
Associate’s Degree 255 4
Bachelor’s Degree 6 4
Post-Baccalaureate 93 2
Master’s Degree 4 2
Post-Master’s 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 1 0
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in Mechanical Engineering Worth It?

The median salary for a ME tech grad is $58,240 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 46% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $366,800 after 20 years!

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to ME tech.

Major Number of Grads
Industrial Production Technology 14,418
Drafting & Design Engineering Technology 10,842
Electromechanical Engineering Technology 10,032
Electronics Engineering Technology 9,880
Environmental Control Technology 9,388
Engineering-Related Fields 6,673
Quality Control Technology 4,467
Computer Engineering Technology 4,406
General Engineering Technology 4,049
Construction Engineering Technology 3,497
Engineering Technology (Other) 1,906
Civil Engineering Technology 1,526
Architectural Engineering Technology 1,236
Mining & Petroleum Technology 976
Engineering-Related Technologies 859
Nuclear Engineering Technology 318
Nanotechnology 152

References

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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