Mechanical Engineering Bachelor's Degree

Learn about the admission requirements and common topics in a bachelor's degree program in mechanical engineering. Find out career information for mechanical engineers, including specializations, typical duties and average salary. Schools offering Engineering & Technology Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Can I Expect from a Bachelor's Degree Program?

Bachelor's degree programs in mechanical engineering are 4-year courses of study that generally require in-person participation and aren't offered online. Coursework combines training in mathematics and physics as well as industry-standard engineering practices. You might also learn about business, communication and professional development. The program often culminates in a capstone project, and some schools might facilitate internships during your senior year. The following are examples of classes you might take:

  • Thermodynamics
  • Creative design strategies
  • Instrumentation and electronics
  • Circuits
  • Machine design
  • Energy usage
  • Manufacturing and processing

Common Courses Machine design, energy usage, creative design strategies, circuits, thermodynamics
Prerequisites High school diploma, or equivalent; applicants may also need letters of recommendation, standardized test scores, and completion of a specific courses
Specializations Biomedical engineering, waster management, robotics
Median Salary (2018)$87,370* (for mechanical engineer)
Job Outlook (2016-26)9% growth* (for all mechanical engineers)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Are the Admission Requirements?

You need at least a high school diploma or its equivalent to be considered for admission into bachelor's degree programs in mechanical engineering. You might also need to provide high school transcripts, letters of recommendation and standardized test scores. Some schools enforce educational prerequisites; for example, you might need to have taken a certain number of math classes. Classes like calculus, trigonometry, chemistry and physics could be beneficial preparation for this program.

What Would My Job Be as a Mechanical Engineer?

As a mechanical engineer, you'd design, develop, test and produce parts for machines. You might also build or repair mechanical devices, such as internal combustion engines, power generators or turbines. You could work on industrial machines, computer parts, heating and cooling systems, elevators or power tools. Potential areas of specialization include robotics, biomedical engineering or waste management. Since engineering fields often overlap, you could create tools used by other engineers.

Your daily job duties might include investigating equipment failures and estimating costs for certain jobs. You might coordinate machine production or facilitate machine installation. From a business aspect, you could solicit new business, manage a team of engineering technologists or maintain cost and production records.

What Is the Job Outlook and Pay?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), mechanical engineers are expected to experience a job growth of nine percent between 2016 and 2026, which is average with many other disciplines ( Mechanical engineering education could apply to other engineering professions, and technological advancements were anticipated to contribute to employment increases. However, the BLS stated that reliance on engineering from other countries might inhibit employment in the U.S. The median annual salary was about $87,370 for mechanical engineers as of May 2018.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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