Associate's degree programs take two years to complete and offer foundational knowledge in electrical and mechanical engineering. In these programs, students explore electricity, pneumatics and hydraulics and participate in hands-on projects. A 4-year bachelor's degree program often focuses on team-based projects involving mechanics and computers. Students usually must complete a thesis or research project. Both degree programs also require that students complete liberal arts courses in addition to their major curriculum. A high school diploma is required for admission into either program.
Every state requires licensing for engineers who offer services directly to the public. Initial licensing requires graduating from an accredited bachelor's degree program in engineering and passing an exam. After working in the field for four years, engineers can take a second exam and complete the licensing process.
Associate's Degree in Electromechanical Engineering Technology
An associate's degree program in electromechanical engineering technology integrates concepts from both mechanical engineering and electrical engineering. Students study the fundamentals of electricity, hydraulics and pneumatics. They may also build their own robotic devices, motion controls and computers. Courses in composition, economics, philosophy and the arts are among the possible general education courses available to students in an associate's degree program. Electromechanical engineering programs may include supporting courses in college algebra, calculus and technical writing. Possible course topics may include:
- Computing for engineers
- Graphics for engineers
- AC and DC circuit analysis
- Programmable controls
- Electromechanical devices and systems
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Bachelor's Degree in Electromechanical Engineering Technology
A bachelor's degree program in electromechanical engineering technology offers an overview of engineering disciplines and technical concepts. Programs may place greater emphasis on mechanical devices or on electronics and computer programming. Students also participate in more team-based projects and assist with faculty research. Some programs require senior thesis projects. Liberal arts courses such as American history, comparative cultures, composition and literature are often part of the curriculum in a bachelor's degree program. Electromechanical engineering courses might include the following:
- Engineering statistics
- Mechanical design concepts
- Circuit design concepts
- CAD for engineers
- Hydraulics and fluid dynamics
Popular Career Options
Earning an associate's degree prepares for graduates to fill technology-related service positions in a variety of commercial and industrial settings. Possible job titles include:
- Computer repair technician
- Lab technician
- Robotics service technician
- Medical equipment service technician
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
Earning a bachelor's degree in electromechanical engineering prepares graduates for entry-level positions in the fields of electrical engineering, electronics engineering and mechanical engineering. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected that employment of electrical and electronics engineers will experience little or no change for the years 2014 through 2024 (www.bls.gov). In the same time frame, mechanical engineers will have a predicted 5% job growth.
In May 2015, the BLS reported that electronics and electrical engineers earned median annual salaries of $98,270 and $93,010, respectively (www.bls.gov). In the same year, mechanical engineers made $83,590 as a yearly median wage.
Continuing Education Information
Improved career prospects are open to associate's degree holders who continue their education and earn a bachelor's degree. Credits earned in an associate's degree program may be transferable to bachelor's degree programs in engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering and electromechanical engineering. Engineers who have earned bachelor's degrees in electromechanical engineering have multiple options if they want to advance their careers in a particular specialty. Graduates may pursue master's degree programs in electrical engineering, electronics engineering, computer engineering and mechanical engineering.
The fields of electrical and mechanical engineering are predicted to have a poor job growth prediction over the next decade, with mechanical engineers having a slight advantage. Earning an associate's or a bachelor's degree can improve employment prospects (though the field will still be competitive) and students must pass a licensing exam to work.