Mechanical Engineering Technology Degrees: Bachelor, Associate & Online Info

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An associate's and bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering technology can lead to careers as technicians, drafters and engineers. Get the truth about the requirements, courses and career options, and find out what you can do with your degree in mechanical engineering technology.
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Study Mechanical Engineering Technology: Undergraduate Degrees at a Glance

Students in mechanical engineering technology degree programs learn about the design and development of various products. The program will teach students about design standards, sketching methods and problem-solving techniques. Opportunities are also available to obtain background knowledge in areas such as electricity and electronics, product measurements, industrial processes and tool design.

Earning an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering technology may qualify students for careers in a variety of areas such as manufacturing, design, measurement, installation, operation, preservation, sales, and record and data analysis. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that careers for mechanical engineering technicians are going to increase four percent from 2010-2020, while employment for mechanical engineers may grow nine percent.

Associate's Bachelor's
Who is this degree for? Individuals with strong mathematical skills who desire to apply their knowledge to assist mechanical engineers in the design of structures, machines, systems and other processes Individuals with strong analytical and design skills who prefer to work in the manufacturing industry
Common Career Paths (with approximate mean annual salary) - Mechanical engineering technician ($50,000)*
- Drafter ($48,000)*
-Mechanical engineer (84,000)*
- Quality Assurance Engineer ($57,000)**
Time to Completion 2 years full-time 4 years full-time
Common Graduation Requirements - Approximately 60 units of course work
- Hands-on experience and projects
-Approximately 120 units of course work
- Laboratory work
- Senior project design
Prerequisites High school diploma -High school diploma
Online Availability Yes Yes

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (March 2011 figures), ** (June 2012).

Associate's in Mechanical Engineering Technology

Schools that offer associate's degrees in mechanical engineering technology equip students with the information, analytical abilities and hands-on skills necessary to work in the field. Graduates from mechanical engineering technology programs may be qualified and prepared to devise mechanical systems and perform product testing.

These programs also prepare students for other duties in the field such as creating sketches and drafts, documenting and analyzing data, making calculations and estimating and reporting findings. In order to advance in the field and become an engineer, you will need to continue your education at the bachelor's degree level.

Pros and Cons


  • Opportunity to be creative and help bring designs to fruition
  • Ready to work after graduation
  • Graduates have a wide array of job opportunities to choose from in many different fields


  • May be exposed to toxic chemicals and hazardous materials*
  • Employment of mechanical engineering technicians depends on the overall state of manufacturing, which is expected to decline*
  • In order to improve the chances of employment, prospective mechanical engineering technicians will need to master new technology and software*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Common Coursework and Requirements

In order to earn an associate's degree in mechanical engineering technology, programs will require that students complete both general education and mechanical engineering technology courses. Students will learn to apply mathematical principles to the design and development of products. The program will also teach students to utilize specific computer software and help them acquire skills in the logical design of mechanical parts. Students will take required courses in the areas of computer design, electricity, electronics, documentation and product quality.

Online Degree Options

Online associate's degree programs in mechanical engineering technology are rare, but they do offer students the opportunity to earn their degree at their own pace. It's important to make sure any school offering this program is accredited and that the courses will prepare you for a career in mechanical engineering.

Getting Ahead with this Degree

Job opportunities should be better for mechanical engineering technicians who can master software and technology, as well as traditional manual skills. Thus, in order to get ahead with your degree, you should consider staying abreast of the latest technological developments by taking continuing education courses, joining professional or student organizations or reading technology-related journals.

Bachelor's in Mechanical Engineering Technology

Students enrolled in a bachelor's degree program in mechanical engineering technology will be prepared for careers as technical designers, quality engineers, mechanical engineers and project managers. In addition to technical and mechanical skills, the program will help students improve their creativity and communication. While enrolled in the program, students will learn how mechanical engineering plans and designs are brought to life through making precise measurements and keeping accurate documentation. Growth in this field will be dependent on the industry you choose to work, and jobs may be tied to new, developing technology.

Pros and Cons


  • Graduates who hold a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering technology may enjoy competitive starting salaries*
  • From planning to modifying a product, you can experience manufacturing from many perspectives
  • Increases in transportation and manufacturing industry will improve job growth


  • Though injuries are rare when proper procedures are followed, some mechanical engineers may be exposed to hazards from equipment, substances or lethal materials*
  • Some engineers work over 60 hours per week
  • Job prospects are affected by fast-changing, new technology*

Source: *

Common Coursework and Requirements

Bachelor's degree programs in mechanical engineering technology include general education requirements as well as courses specific to mechanical engineering technology (MET). The general education classes help students become proficient with their writing and oral communication skills, as well as give them a broad knowledge base outside of the engineering field.

Required courses within the MET major include math, physics and essential engineering sciences. In addition, the MET major includes courses in related areas significant to prospective engineers, such as materials and processes, computer-aided design and other computer applications.

Online Degree Options

Some mechanical engineering technology degree programs provide students with the option of earning their bachelor's degrees through distance learning formats that require high-speed Internet access. These may be degree-completion programs that require students to earn an associate's degree before enrolling. Other programs may be hybrid, which allow students to complete some courses online and others on-campus.

Stand Out with this Degree

In order to stand out with your degree in mechanical engineering technology, you may consider pursuing a special area of concentration, such as product design, to supplement your bachelor's degree.

Remanufacturing is an expanding career field within mechanical engineering. Thus, you should consider collaborating with colleagues, reading articles, interning, and finding other ways to seek education and training in the remanufacturing discipline.

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