Should You Get a Master's in Engineering?

A master's degree in engineering can be useful as it prepares students for a variety of careers, including in industrial or materials engineering. Read below for more information about career paths that are available with this degree.

Careers that Use a Master's in Engineering

Job Title Median Salary (2016)* Job Growth (2016-2026)*
Health and Safety Engineer $86,720 9%
Industrial Engineer $84,310 10%
Materials Engineer $93,310 2%
Nuclear Engineer $102,220 4%
Petroleum Engineer $128,230 15%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Master's in Engineering Career Paths

Health and Safety Engineer

Health and safety engineers make it their goal to ensure that the design of a variety of products, from furniture to machinery, is safe for humans to interact with. In order to accomplish this, they inspect and evaluate the function and effectiveness of different materials. They sometimes install devices that ensure machine safety. A master's degree is useful in this field because it can help engineers begin working at a higher level in the industry.

Industrial Engineer

Industrial engineers work in a variety of capacities to make sure that production operations produce as little waste as possible. To accomplish this, they may perform tasks like checking specifications, putting quality control procedures into place, and so on. A master's in this field helps engineers become eligible for some research and development positions, and might allow them to work as college or university professors.

Materials Engineer

Materials engineers help create products for use in the marketplace by studying the properties of materials like plastics and ceramics. This type of engineer performs a lot of different tasks in the workplace, such as supervising technicians and other engineers, monitoring materials, and evaluating specifications. A master's would be useful in this field for the purpose of allowing engineers to work in research and development or postsecondary education.

Nuclear Engineer

Nuclear engineers perform research and development in order to effectively utilize nuclear energy and radiation. Some nuclear engineers focus on using nuclear power in the medical field, while others investigate how it can be used to power ships or spacecraft. A master's in this field can be used to obtain some entry-level positions as engineers as well as positions in research and development or at a college or university.

Petroleum Engineer

Petroleum engineers work hard to find ways of drawing oil from the earth at both new and old oil wells. They design equipment and produce plans for extracting the oil as well as ensure proper maintenance and efficiency of such wells. A master's degree would be useful to a petroleum engineer because some positions require them, and they also allow these engineers admittance to positions as instructors at some universities or in research and development.

Overall, a master's in engineering can be quite useful not only for advancement in some fields of engineering, but for some entry-level positions. In many cases, a master's in engineering is also useful for work in postsecondary education or in a research and development capacity.

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