Apply your passions and knowledge to your career with an applied engineering degree. An online master’s in applied engineering equips you with skills and experiences that you can use to propel your career forward. Explore applied engineering salary expectations, degree costs, common courses, and other aspects of these programs to see if enrolling in an online master’s degree program is the right step for you.

What Is Applied Engineering?

While all engineers apply their knowledge to particular tasks, applied engineering is focused on applying engineering to specific business situations. These business situations can be as diverse as material selection, programming, electrical wiring, and logistics.

Despite the differences in specific tasks, the basic goals of all applied engineers are similar. Most professionals in this field seek to improve efficiency in a system. Engineers with this type of degree typically work in commercial settings, sometimes actively inspecting a work environment and other times working in an office.

Is Engineering Applied Science?

Engineering, particularly applied engineering, is considered an applied science. The goal of applied science is to use scientific findings to make decisions and solve complicated problems in the real world. While every engineer works toward these goals, enrolling in an applied engineering degree program can help you find specific answers to complex, immediate business concerns.

Why Get a Master’s in Applied Engineering Degree?

Engineering can be a highly rewarding career pathway. When you earn an applied engineering degree online, you can not only enjoy competitive compensation and a competitive career track but also study in a flexible way that may be more convenient than a traditional on-campus experience. Dive into each of these benefits in more detail below.

Specialized Training

While some engineering careers only require a bachelor’s degree in applied engineering or a related field, a master’s degree in engineering can give you the specialized training you need to take on more complex tasks. A master’s degree in applied engineering can include courses in advanced manufacturing areas, management concepts, and high-level quality control training to prepare for career advancement.

In-Demand Career Opportunities

While some engineering careers are expected to grow as fast as the national average job growth, other positions are expected to grow faster than average, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). A master’s degree in applied engineering can offer the training and experience you need to become qualified for one of these in-demand careers.

Competitive Compensation

Careers in engineering can lead to competitive compensation. If you’re already working as an engineer, then an applied engineering master’s degree may make you a more competitive candidate for a promotion, raise, or position in a new firm.

Flexible Study Schedule

Study online to earn an advanced degree in your own time. Consider looking for an online engineering master’s degree program that allows you to choose your classes or study at your own pace. This may allow you to complete your degree in less time or continue to work while you’re enrolled in your chosen master’s in applied engineering program.

How Much Does a Master’s Degree in Applied Engineering Cost?

Before enrolling in an applied engineering degree online program, it’s important to compare costs. According to the Education Data Initiative, the average cost of a master’s degree ranges between $30,000 and $120,000. For Master of Science degrees, the average is about $62,300.

Look for scholarships and grants for a more affordable master’s degree experience. Applied engineering is a competitive field to pursue, but you may qualify for financial aid based on merit, need, or other factors.

Benefits of an Online Degree Program

There are several reasons to consider an online degree rather than an on-campus alternative for your applied engineering degree. Beyond the flexibility you can enjoy as an online student, you may earn your degree at a lower cost.

Some online degrees have lower tuition rates than on-campus options. It’s important to compare costs carefully, as some programs have higher tuition rates for online courses. You can also save money by avoiding moving to a university campus. Consider your current housing situation, and compare it with the campus room and board fees of your chosen university.

Master’s in Applied Engineering Salary and Job Outlook

An applied engineering degree can prepare you for a wide range of careers. Because of this, the average applied engineering salary can vary. Explore the following popular engineering positions you may qualify for after graduation.

Materials Engineer

Develop new materials that have immediate impacts on the world around you. As a materials engineer, you may be working on environmentally sustainable construction materials or the future of shatterproof glass. According to the BLS, materials engineers earned a median salary of $98,300 in 2021. Top-earning industries include computer and electronic product manufacturing, where the median pay for engineers was $112,330 in 2021, according to the BLS.

The expected job growth between 2020 and 2030 for these engineers is 8%, which is about as fast as the average career. You can expect as many as 2,100 jobs to be created before 2030.

Mechanical Engineer

Popular in the automotive and manufacturing industries, mechanical engineers work to improve, test or build critical mechanical devices. As a mechanical engineer, you’ll likely work in an office, though you may also need to visit a worksite or plant floor to inspect machinery.

The median pay for mechanical engineers in 2021 was $95,300, according to the BLS. This career is expected to grow by 7% between 2020 and 2030, which is about as fast as average.

Industrial Engineer

As an engineering position related to both mechanical and materials engineers, an industrial engineer works to improve complex systems and reach holistic solutions to difficult problems. These problems could be caused by inefficient machines, unsuitable materials, programming issues, or unsustainable energy use. As an industrial engineer, you’ll need to solve problems on factory floors and in your office.

The BLS data shows that the median pay for industrial engineers was $95,300 in 2021. This means these highly trained engineers earned approximately $45.82 per hour. A bachelor’s degree in engineering is all that’s generally required for an entry-level industrial engineer, but a master’s degree can be a competitive decision if you’re looking to grow in your industry.

According to the BLS, you can expect around 40,000 additional industrial engineer jobs between 2020 and 2030. This puts it at a 14% job outlook increase, which is faster than the average job growth.

Engineering Manager

With a master’s degree in applied engineering, you may be a competitive applicant for an engineering management position. Managers in engineering and architectural firms earned a median pay of $152,350 in 2021. These positions oversee operations, plan new activities, and ensure teams of engineers are moving forward to find solutions to advanced problems.

The number of engineering managers is only expected to increase by 4% between 2020 and 2030, according to the BLS, which could make these positions highly competitive. The average entry-level requirements for these positions are a bachelor’s degree and at least five years of work experience, so a master’s in applied engineering may help your resume stand out.

Common Courses in Master’s Degree Applied Engineering Programs

Enroll in a highly rated applied engineering degree program to learn advanced skills and expand your knowledge base. While some programs focus on a particular aspect of applied engineering, such as manufacturing, others offer a range of engineering course topics. Here are some common courses you can expect to take as part of your online studies:

  • Materials processing
  • Automation
  • Facilities design
  • Personnel safety
  • Environmental law
  • Lead manufacturing
  • Nanomanufacturing
  • Manufacturing design

Because of the broad range of career options available to engineering students, some colleges and universities offer concentrations or specializations to focus your master’s degree. Consider a concentration in construction management, advanced manufacturing, cyber systems, or technology management to prepare more specifically for your chosen career path.

Other FAQs About Applied Engineering Degrees and Programs

What are some jobs that require an applied engineering master’s degree?

Many engineering positions only require a bachelor’s degree as a minimum entry requirement. There are, however, many benefits to pursuing a master’s degree in applied engineering. Consider this degree option if you wish to advance in your career, improve your abilities in your current role, or transition to a new engineering specialization.

How long does it take to get a master’s degree in applied engineering?

Most master’s degree students studying applied engineering can earn a degree in about two years. It can take between one and three or more years, depending on your previous coursework and pace of study.

What is the job outlook for applied engineering graduates?

As an applied engineering graduate, you can pursue a position in mechanical, industrial, materials, or related engineering specializations. These positions can expect between 4% and 14% job growth, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

What are the benefits of enrolling in an online master’s in applied engineering degree program?

Consider an applied engineering degree online program to enjoy flexible study and access to leading professors from across the nation. You won’t have to commute or relocate to attend lectures with distinguished professionals in your chosen engineering field.


Education Data Initiative, Average Cost of a Master’s Degree

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Materials Engineer

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Mechanical Engineer

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Industrial Engineer

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Engineering Manager

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