2-year mechanical engineering technology programs are career-focused, but some may offer transfer into a 4-year program, as well. Graduates should be able to design prototypes using CAD software packages and assess the qualities of commonly used engineering materials. In addition to coursework and laboratory experiences, opportunities for cooperative education may be available.
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Associate of Mechanical Engineering Technology Overview
Applicants must have high school diplomas or GEDs for admission. A strong high school background in math and science courses may help prepare students for this program, as well as a background in working with CAD software. Associate's programs in mechanical engineering technology include supporting science and math courses, in addition to general education requirements. Typical coursework may include but is not limited to:
- CAD (computer-aided design)
- Fluid mechanics
- Mechanics of materials
- Mechanical design
- Technical drawing
Popular Career Options
Graduates may assist engineers during projects and carry out routine tasks, such as maintenance and diagnostic tests. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the work of mechanical engineering technicians may also include estimating labor costs and plant space (www.bls.gov). They may also perform research and produce technical drawings or writings. Additional career options include:
- CAD operator
- Laboratory technician
- Technical sales representative
- Product designer
Employment Outlook and Salary
Employment of mechanical engineering technicians is expected to grow by 2% between 2014 and 2024, according to the BLS. The BLS also reported that the mean annual salary for this group was $56,390 as of May 2015.
Continuing Education Information
The BLS indicates that engineering technicians typically see promotions and advancements after they've obtained work experience and on-the-job training, with some going on to become supervisors. Mechanical engineering technicians may pursue bachelor's degree programs in mechanical engineering technology for better employment options. They may also enroll in a 4-year university, where they may transfer their courses toward the completion of an engineering bachelor's program.
An Associate of Mechanical Engineering Technology degree teaches students the basics of mechanical engineering techniques with both classroom study and hands-on training. Several jobs are available for graduates, who can choose to go on to a bachelor's program while transferring credits they've already earned.