Mechanical engineering degree grads can go on to work in various careers from manufacturing to aerospace, in an office or in the field.
It’s virtually impossible to go through a day without utilizing something that a mechanical engineer designed. Who designed the engine in your car? Who is the brains behind the stovetop that heats your food? Who keeps us from melting in the heat of a sweltering summer day?
Here’s a hint: that’s all the work of mechanical engineers!
If you’re someone who loves to put together machines or always excelled at math and physics, chances are you’ll do well in a mechanical engineering program. This field is all about putting your logical brain to the test.
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What kind of Online Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering should you get?
These days, more and more people are going online for education. Many online programs are designed exactly like in-person degrees, but cater to students who need to work at their own pace, whether that’s because of your work schedule or your financial situation.
Good news! You’ll find the perfect union of flexibility and specificity in this list of the 5 Best Online Bachelor degrees in Mechanical Engineering.
Each of these five programs takes a slightly different approach to the field. For example, at the University of North Dakota (#4) you can focus your degree in four different areas. Indiana State University (#3) stands out for its affordability. UNC Charlotte (#5) gives you the choice to get a dual degree in Physics and Mechanical Engineering.
Since your options are narrowed down already to five programs, you’ll be able to sift out the pros and cons pretty easily. If you’re interested in online education, be sure to check out College Choice’s Best Online Colleges and Universities.
How much money do people make with a Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering?
Beyond the regular perks of a rewarding career, mechanical engineers enjoy a lucrative annual salary. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, mechanical engineers professionals make an average of $84,190 each year. The highest earners tend to work in scientific research ($96,360), while the lowest earners work in machinery manufacturing ($75,480)
Since the field of mechanical engineering is so relevant, the demand for them is steadily increasing. Employment rates are projected to increase by a 9 percent between now and 2026. That means by the time you’re done with your degree, you’ll be able to find a job no problem.
What can you do with an Online Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering?
A career in mechanical engineering can take many different forms. Every industry needs innovative and analytical professionals. That’s the beauty of this profession—you’re needed everywhere!
One of the coolest things about mechanical engineering is your access to some of the newest industrial ideas. You’ll be working at the heart of industry, creating and exploring new possibilities. What interests you? Alternative energy? Nanotechnology? Aerospace? This should in no way limit you, but some of the most popular areas for mechanical engineering graduates fall in the following sectors:
- Computer and electronic product manufacturing
- Transportation equipment manufacturing
- Machinery manufacturing
- Architectural engineering manufacturing
What are the requirements for an Online Bachelors in Human Services?
The emergence of distance learning makes education accessible and affordable. Since mechanical engineering is so math- and science-focused, this makes it a compatible subject for the online format.
You will, of course need to work on a college application and be admitted into a program. Think about how you can promote your skills in the following areas: creativity, problem-solving, math, innovation. Don’t be afraid to talk up these aspects of your strengths.
Once you’ve been accepted, the programs vary in their requirements. Most programs contain a standard 120 credit hour curriculum. However, UNC Charlotte’s program requires 134-137 credit hours since it is a dual degree program. Some, like Alabama State University (#1) include a couple of in-person classes. Others include a Senior Capstone project. Your best bet is to choose the program that fits you the best, and go from there!
What are the best Online Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering Degrees?
Though there are not many to choose from, these five programs on our list are all fantastic options. Whether you’re a high school student looking to complete a degree from home, or a adult professional looking for a career change, you’ve come to the right place.
Here at College Choice, we’ve determined the best online Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering programs. We started first with the overall reputation of each program in the nation and then factored in affordability, graduation rates, retention rates, and the early salaries of graduates.
Our final list offers the 5 Best Online Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering programs in the nation. Our figures and information come from the university and colleges’ websites, PayScale, and nationally recognized U.S. News & World Report and The National Center for Education Statistics.
See our rankings methodology page.
The University of Alabama
The oldest public university in the state, The University of Alabama is a research institution with a history that reaches back to 1831. It enrolls around 38,500 students annually. Last year, it ranked #46 among the top public schools in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report.
The University of Alabama’s online B.A. in Mechanical Engineering tops our list for its strong reputation and academic integrity. You’ll jump right into the ins and outs of designing machinery, product manufacturing, and more. Some highlight online classes that you’ll take include:
- Fluid Mechanics
- Static Machine Components
- Applied Differential Equations
This program is almost exclusively delivered online at your convenience. However, students are required to complete three courses out of the 128 credits on the Tuscaloosa campus: Engineering Analysis, Dynamic Systems, and Applied Differential Equations. This gives you a taste for both online learning and in-person engagement.
Old Dominion University is a large research institute located in Norfolk, Virginia. It is known for its strong contributions to the fields of engineering, climate change, and coastal energy. ODU Online is one of the more established distance-learning programs in the country, having been established in 1994.
ODU Online offers a unique B.S. in Engineering Technology. You’ll have the option of specializing in one of two areas: Manufacturing Systems and Mechanical System Design. The first involves robotics and the second integrates design and installation of power systems. You’ll take a wide range of engaging coursework, including classes like:
- Automation & Controls
- Electrical Laboratory
- Thermal Applications
- Computer-Aided Drafting
Not only will you find a hands-on, quality education with this program, you’ll be able to earn your degree on a budget! Old Dominion University was ranked the #4 Most Affordable Online Colleges for Mechanical Engineering Degrees in 2016 by OnlineU.org.
A public university in Terre Haute, Indiana State University is a highly regarded educational institution in the Midwest region. It has been listed in Princeton Review’s “Best in the Midwest” ranking for the last decade. Indiana State University organizes itself between six academic colleges, as well as hosting numerous online programs.
The online B.S. in Mechanical Engineering Technology at Indiana State University is the most affordable program on our list. The curriculum hones in on two main areas: mechanical design and management. You’ll test your hand at computer-aided design (CAD), technical sales, installation, and more. Some highlight courses include:
- Strength of Materials
- Introduction to Robotics and Automation
- Cooperative Industrial Practice
- CAD Fundamentals
The Mechanical Engineering Technology curriculum at Indiana State University is designed to address a holistic approach to education. For that reason, your classes will all fit into five categories: technology, communication, global responsibility, management/teamwork, and lifelong learning.
University of North Dakota
The University of North Dakota was founded in 1883 is widely regarded as a scientific research hub in the area. Located in Grand Forks, North Dakota, the university delivers degrees at the undergraduate and graduate level. It is also offers online degrees through its Division of Continuing Education.
The online B.S. in Mechanical Engineering program at the University of North Dakota is ahead of its league in a number of ways. For one, you can specialize in four different areas: mechanical design, thermal sciences, manufacturing & materials, and aerospace. Even more, you can do it online! Some highlight classes include:
- Engineering Economy
- Machine Component Design
- Engineering Disasters and Ethics
- Multiphysics Modeling
The University of North Dakota’s online program is treated almost exactly the same as its in-person counterpart. You’ll have the same professors, you’ll start and end the semesters at the same time, and you’ll even take exactly the same classes. If you’re willing to take classes at a slower pace, you’ll be able to finish your degree while still working full-time.
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
The University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNC Charlotte) is a public research institution that enrolls around 29,000 students each year. UNC Charlotte has a small, but strong distance education program. It offers fifteen different degree programs either partially or fully online.
One of UNC Charlotte’s online programs is a dual B.S. in Physics and Mechanical Engineering. This degree requires a total of 135 credit hours and divides its curriculum between physics core, engineering core, and electives. A sampling of classes from that mix includes:
- Applied Vehicle Aerodynamics
- Advanced CAD/CAM
- Probability and Statistics for Engineers
- Computational Methods for Engineers
If you choose to attend The University of North Carolina at Charlotte, you’ll have access to a huge variety of upper-level “Restricted Electives” through this degree program. Depending on your interest area, you can take electives in science, math, technical mechanics, or physics.