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Education

Mechanical Engineer Education Requirements

Nearly all entry-level mechanical engineering jobs require a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering. Mechanical engineering degree programs usually include courses in mathematics and life and physical sciences, as well as engineering and design courses. The programs typically last four years, but many students take between four and five years to earn their degree. A mechanical engineering degree program may emphasize internships and co-ops to prepare students for work in the industry.

Theory is often another main focus in order to prepare students for graduate-level work. A few engineering schools allow students to spend three years in a liberal arts college studying pre-engineering subjects and two years in an engineering school studying core subjects to receive a bachelor's degree from each school. Some colleges and universities offer five-year programs that allow students to obtain both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree. Some five, or even six year cooperative plans, combine classroom study with practical work, enabling students to gain valuable experience and earn money to finance part of their education.

Graduate training is essential for engineering faculty positions in higher education, as well as for some research-and-development programs. Many experienced mechanical engineers get graduate degrees in engineering or business administration to learn new technology and broaden their education. Many become administrators or managers after obtaining a graduate degree.

Most jurisdictions require licensure for engineers who offer their services directly to the public. Licensed mechanical engineers are designated as professional engineers (PEs). The PE license generally requires a degree from an accredited engineering program, four years of relevant work experience, and passing a standardized exam.

Education History of Mechanical Engineers

The most common degree held by mechanical engineers is Mechanical Engineering. 22 percent of mechanical engineers had a degree in mechanical engineering before becoming mechanical engineers. That is over 25 times the average across all careers.

Mechanical Engineer Education History

This table shows which degrees people earn before becoming a Mechanical Engineer, compared to how often those degrees are obtained by people who earn at least one post secondary degree.

Degree % of mechanical engineers % of population Multiple
Mechanical Engineering 22.2%
0.9%
24.9×

Mechanical Engineer Education Levels

52% of mechanical engineers have a bachelor's degree. 23% of mechanical engineers have a master's degree.

No education 0%
High school diploma 4%
Associate's degree 15%
Bachelor's degree 52%
Master's degree 23%
Doctorate degree 6%

How to Become a Mechanical Engineer

Interested in becoming a mechanical engineer? Here are your next steps.

  1. Take the Sokanu Career Test

    Would you make a good mechanical engineer? Sokanu's free assessment reveals how compatible you are with a career across 5 dimensions!

    Take the free career test
  2. Get the Education

    A bachelors degree is required to be a Mechanical Engineer. A mechanical engineering degree is preferred. Schools offering education in this field include:

    • Columbia College | Columbia, SC
      Offers: Associates
    • Asnuntuck Community College | Enfield, CT
      Offers: Certificate, Associates
    • University of Bridgeport | Bridgeport, CT
      Offers: Bachelors
    • Central Connecticut State University | New Britain, CT
      Offers: Bachelors
    • Charter Oak State College | New Britain, CT
      Offers: Certificate
  3. Get Hired

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    Would you like to post jobs on this career? Find the best candidates using Sokanu's new psychometric job platform. Visit employers.sokanu.com today.

Further Reading

Find your perfect career

Would you make a good mechanical engineer? Sokanu's free assessment reveals how compatible you are with a career across 5 dimensions!

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Recommended Books

  • System Dynamics for Mechanical Engineers www.amazon.com

    This textbook is ideal for mechanical engineering students preparing to enter the workforce during a time of rapidly accelerating technology, where they will be challenged to join interdisciplinary teams. It explains system dynamics using analogies familiar to the mechanical engineer while introducing new content in an intuitive fashion. The fundamentals provided in this book prepare the mechanical engineer to adapt to continuous technological advances with topics outside traditional mechanical engineering curricula by preparing them to apply basic principles and established approaches to new problems.

  • Mechanical Engineer's Handbook www.amazon.com

    The Mechanical Engineer's Handbook was developed and written specifically to fill a need for mechanical engineers and mechanical engineering students throughout the world. With over 1000 pages, 550 illustrations, and 26 tables the Mechanical Engineer's Handbook is very comprehensive, yet affordable, compact, and durable. The Handbook covers all major areas of mechanical engineering with succinct coverage of the definitions, formulas, examples, theory, proofs, and explanations of all principle subject areas.

  • Machinery's Handbook 25 : A Reference Book for the Mechanical Engineer, Designer, Manufacturing Engineer, Draftsman, Toolmaker, and Machinist www.amazon.com

    All the useful and practical information on contemporary manufacturing processes and all the material on basic mathematics, mechanics, materials, measuring, tooling, machining, fasteners, threads, bearings, machine elements, and engineering standards have been reviewed and updated where necessary.

  • Marks' Standard Handbook for Mechanical Engineers 11th Edition www.amazon.com

    Solve any mechanical engineering problem quickly and easily with the world's leading engineering handbook. Nearly 1800 pages of mechanical engineering facts, figures, standards, and practices, 2000 illustrations, and 900 tables clarifying important mathematical and engineering principle, and the collective wisdom of 160 experts help you answer any analytical, design, and application question you will ever have.

  • Shigley's Mechanical Engineering Design www.amazon.com

    Shigley’s Mechanical Engineering Design is intended for students beginning the study of mechanical engineering design. Students will find that the text inherently directs them into familiarity with both the basics of design decisions and the standards of industrial components. It combines the straightforward focus on fundamentals that instructors have come to expect, with a modern emphasis on design and new applications.

  • Mechanical Engineering Principles www.amazon.com

    Mechanical Engineering Principles offers a student-friendly introduction to core engineering topics. This book introduces mechanical principles and technology through examples and applications rather than theory.

How to Become a Mechanical Engineer

Interested in becoming a mechanical engineer? Here are your next steps.

  1. Take the Sokanu Career Test

    Would you make a good mechanical engineer? Sokanu's free assessment reveals how compatible you are with a career across 5 dimensions!

    Take the free career test
  2. Get the Education

    A bachelors degree is required to be a Mechanical Engineer. A mechanical engineering degree is preferred. Schools offering education in this field include:

    • Columbia College | Columbia, SC
      Offers: Associates
    • Asnuntuck Community College | Enfield, CT
      Offers: Certificate, Associates
    • University of Bridgeport | Bridgeport, CT
      Offers: Bachelors
    • Central Connecticut State University | New Britain, CT
      Offers: Bachelors
    • Charter Oak State College | New Britain, CT
      Offers: Certificate
  3. Get Hired

      Loading jobs...

    View all jobs →

    Would you like to post jobs on this career? Find the best candidates using Sokanu's new psychometric job platform. Visit employers.sokanu.com today.