Master’s in Engineering Technology
Whether you’re interested in renewable energy or biomedical applications, earning a master’s degree in engineering technology can be a crucial step toward a rewarding career. Once you earn your degree, you can focus on the area of specialization you’re most interested in, often with the opportunity to travel.
This guide covers everything you need to know about getting your education and building a successful career as an engineering technologist.
Engineering Technology Degree Program Overview
At first glance, engineering and engineering technology degrees appear to be one and the same. However, there are distinct differences. While engineering degrees focus more on theoretical concepts and higher-level math, engineering technology programs focus more on applying theories and implementing hands-on learning.
Think of engineering as theory and conceptual design. In contrast, engineering technology is more based on applying and implementing related concepts.
At its core, earning a master’s in engineering technology will help you design innovative solutions to human challenges. You can branch out into one of many niche specialties, from sustainable urban and transportation planning to innovative building systems. As a graduate student, you will start developing practical workplace skills to further your career.
What Is an Engineering Technology Degree?
An engineering technology degree program teaches students to understand the systems, tools, processes, and techniques required to operate, construct, and modify engineering designs. Based on this education, you can then bridge the gap between the fundamentals of engineering and the skilled trades involved in the projects you work on.
Engineering is an applied science. Therefore, you’ll need to understand the foundational principles to apply them in a relevant and impactful way. When you earn your Master’s in Engineering Technology, you will develop the skills and insight required to enter an exciting career. You’ll also be surrounded by those who you connect with on a personal and professional level. Having this level of support can help you supercharge your educational experience.
The school where you earn your degree may influence the opportunities you can access in your career. For example, somewhere like Stanford is known for being at the forefront of groundbreaking research, education, and innovation. Its graduates are tackling some of the most pressing challenges of the 21st century. However, regardless of the school, as long as you have the skills and drive to pursue a meaningful career, you’ll find opportunities for success — especially with a master’s degree under your belt.
Benefits of Earning a Master’s Degree in Engineering Technology
There are many benefits of earning a Master’s in Engineering Technology, including the skills learned, the industries you can work in, and the employers you’ll gain access to. Once you earn your degree, you can kickstart a rewarding career that makes a difference. Many human challenges require innovative minds, from climate change to infrastructure instability and food insecurity. You could spearhead projects that make a genuine impact on society.
Your personal interests and goals will dictate the perks of earning your degree. However, some of the common benefits include the following:
- The ability to command a higher salary upon hire. Once you earn your master’s degree, you’ll stand out compared to those holding a bachelor’s degree. According to Payscale, an engineer’s base salary can differ by around $7,000 per year based on whether they have a four-year degree or a graduate degree.
- More career advancement opportunities. When you earn a graduate degree, you can more easily work toward upper-level leadership positions or managerial roles. These positions often come with top salaries.
- Excellent network connections. Since graduate programs are usually smaller than undergraduate ones, you can often build close, lasting relationships that may later act as a resource within your career. As reported on LinkedIn, up to 85 percent of vacancies are filled by direct referrals from one’s network.
- Greater job security. Those with graduate degrees often secure positions that are more stable during times of economic stability.
- Developing specialized skills. Since engineering technicians and technologists seek hands-on education, you’ll build invaluable skills. Completing a Master’s in Engineering Technology will equip you with the sought-after skills employers seek.
Bottom line: Some employers prefer hiring candidates with master’s degrees, especially when seeking those in specialized engineering technology fields. Earning your Master’s in Engineering Technology degree means you’re already one step ahead of others based solely on your education. When your degree is paired with the right interpersonal, analytical, and problem-solving skills, you will likely find opportunities for future advancement. The goal is to secure a fulfilling position so your career can evolve.
What Can You Do With an Engineering Technology Degree?
Graduates with a Master’s in Engineering Technology can quickly pursue entry-level positions, becoming technologists and technicians. This career path is ideal for you if you are interested in engineering concepts. However, instead of focusing on broader design challenges, you’ll work within a more hands-on work environment. You will spend your time solving more specific issues.
Your Master’s in Engineering Technology degree will allow you to enter any of the four main engineering branches: civil, chemical, mechanical, or electrical. For example, you may pursue a career as a field engineer, electronics technician, or project engineer. There are dozens of possibilities across biomedical, agricultural, aerospace, computer, and environmental sectors.
For example, once you earn your Master’s in Engineering Technology, you can work in various industries, including the following:
- Sustainable power
- Machine learning
- Renewable energy
- Medical technology and healthcare systems
Engineering Technology Salary and Job Outlook
The future for engineering technicians and technologists looks bright upon seeking the proper education. However, your Master’s in Engineering Technology-based salary and job outlook will differ depending on which area of expertise you pursue.
For example, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), electronic engineering technologists and technicians will see little growth from 2021 to 2031. And the median pay in 2021 was $63,640. In contrast, mechanical engineering technologists and technicians will see 2 percent growth over the next decade, although it is slower than the average for all occupations. Median pay was slightly lower at $60,460 per year — except those in scientific research and development services, who made an average of $74,180 per year. The highest 10 percent earned more than $95,300.
One of the more promising areas is aerospace engineering. In 2021, the median pay was $73,580 per year, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $103,260. The job outlook is good; employment is anticipated to grow 6 percent by 2031.
Regardless of the field or industry, you’ll make a high salary if you secure a top position. For example, while the median pay is $60,220 for an industrial engineering technologist or technician, you can make more if you work within the chemical manufacturing industry or get a job in professional, technical, and scientific services.
How Much Does an Engineering Technology Degree Program Cost?
The cost of a Master’s in Engineering Technology will vary depending on several variables, including the location, school, and program.
For example, tuition is assessed each semester based on the academic program and credit hours at Wayne State University. Graduate students pay per credit hour. The rate for in-state students is $736.74 per credit hour, compared to $1595.79 for out-of-state students. The master’s degree program requires students to complete 30 semester credits at the graduate level.
Other schools, such as Dartmouth, offer pricing options per semester. Currently, the estimated expenses for one term is $26,921, including $19,651 for tuition. Room and board, books, personal expenses, and fees are also included in that total. The tuition cost remains the same regardless of whether you take two, three, or four courses. Upon graduation, a Master of Engineering Management (MEM) degree-holder, on average, has a starting salary 36% higher than a holder of a BS degree in engineering.
Engineering Technology Scholarship Information
Many schools offer scholarships, grants, and other related aids if you need financial support. For example, over 65% of the school’s graduate students receive financial assistance at Thomas Jefferson University. Available programs include federal assistance, state grants, private scholarships and grants, summer-term financial aid, etc.
Each school will offer unique programs and opportunities. For example, at Florida Polytechnic University, students can access merit- and need-based scholarships. There is a wide range of scholarships and grants, including out-of-state funding and the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship. Your best bet is to reach out to your school’s financial aid office to discuss what options are available based on your background, grades, etc.
Engineering Technology Requirements
The requirements for your specific Master’s in Engineering Technology program will depend on where you go and the program you enroll in. For example, most schools will require you to hold a bachelor’s level degree from an accredited undergraduate institution before you apply for admission to a master’s degree program.
For example, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), those who wish to apply to any of the engineering master’s programs must submit a completed online application, a statement of objectives, three letters of recommendation, transcripts, and GRE scores. Most schools will require an undergraduate cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale. Some schools will require coursework or knowledge of trigonometry, calculus, and statistics.
Once you’re accepted into the program, the requirements will vary from one student to the next. Even those within the same program at the same school may have different requirements based on their plan of study and field of expertise. For example, at the Purdue School of Engineering & Technology, students in the Master’s in Engineering Technology program must complete 33 credit hours. These credit hours include nine core MS tech courses, nine ENT MS tech courses, and 15 MS tech electives. The courses you choose will depend on your interests and goals.
Common Courses in Engineering Technology Programs
Many courses are available depending on the school you attend and your area of interest. Some core classes are required to get a degree. Others are classified as electives based on your desired specialization.
Here is a sample of required courses and advanced elective courses:
- Applied Calculus and Differential Equations
- Engineering Economic Analysis
- Advanced Programmable Controllers and Industrial Applications
- Engineering Project Management
- Industrial Robots Dynamics and Control
- Reliability and Engineering Statistics
- Applied Differential and Integral Calculus
- Treatment of Experimental Data
- Engineering Economy
- Planning and Construction Management
How Long Does It Take to Complete an Engineering Technology Degree Program?
There are several factors to consider when estimating how much time it takes to earn a degree. For example, to earn your Master’s in Engineering Technology, you’ll need to earn your bachelor’s degree first. The vast majority of these programs take four years to complete. However, there are accelerated options. You can then pursue a more specialized master’s degree. These programs are typically two years. Some will require a thesis; others will not.
For example, at Central Washington University, you can earn a Master’s in Engineering Technology and Management in two years. The same applies to students at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU). However, MTSU’s master’s program focuses on occupational health & safety.
Some schools offer an option to earn your degree online. For example, you can earn your Master’s in Energy Engineering at the University of Toledo. This program is designed for working professionals who want to advance in their careers. While earning a degree on-campus, whether a Master’s in Industrial Engineering or a Master’s in Bioengineering, you will have various options to complete your program, including a thesis option, project option, or coursework-only option. Regardless, each option requires the completion of 30 credit hours.