Pursuing an online master’s in mechatronic engineering can open the door to exciting and rewarding career options. Online programs offer opportunities to attend out-of-state schools without uprooting your life, and many students find them convenient for balancing professional and personal responsibilities while attending school.
If you are unsure if mechatronic engineering is the right field for you, keep reading to learn more about the field, as well as salary and job outlook information.
What Is Mechatronic Engineering?
Mechatronic engineering is a multidisciplinary field involving various kinds of engineering, including mechanical, electrical, robotics, and software. The combination of these sectors improves existing systems and programs, making them more reliable and economical. A mechatronic engineer will have the opportunity to work across industries depending on their interests and expertise.
Due to the variety of skills involved, you’ll find that you’ll be able to pursue various engineering jobs with a master’s in mechatronics. Michigan Technological University compiled a list of potential engineering fields you can enter:
- Automotive Engineering
- Control System Engineering
- Data Logging Engineering
- Instrumentation Engineering
- Project Engineering
- Software Engineering
- Systems Engineering
- Service Engineering
With this degree, you will not be cornered into one specific field. Mechatronic engineers have a depth of knowledge that includes multiple facets of different sectors and skill sets.
Why Get an Online Master’s in Mechatronic Engineering?
If you have a passion for multiple kinds of engineering and would ultimately enjoy working with advanced technology, mechatronic engineering may be the best fit for you. In addition, completing an online master’s in this degree program would be a great opportunity if you are looking for a more flexible schedule since many of these programs are part-time (11 credit hours per week or less.)
Due to the varied nature of mechatronics, degree programs may not specifically have mechatronics in the title. For example, East Coast Polytechnic Institute (ECPI) offers an Online Master’s in Systems Engineering with a mechatronic concentration that you can pursue. Similar to ECPI, many programs offer mechatronics as a concentration or a focus of study.
Please note that when you’re searching for schools to attend, not all of them will offer a distance learning or online program. Many mechatronic master’s programs are only offered in person, so make sure the school offers what you are looking for before applying.
How Much Does an Online Master’s in Mechatronic Engineering Degree Cost?
The cost of education can differ between schools, and sometimes you’ll see that there is also a price difference between online and in-person schooling. At times, online tuition is less than in-person tuition. This is because you will not be using any campus resources that tuition factors into the cost. Although this is not always the case, some degree programs offer the same costs regardless of whether they are in person.
The range for an online master’s in mechatronic engineering is approximately $6,500 and $15,000 per semester. Here are schools that offer this program and their costs:
- $6,120 for 36 credit program or $9,180 for 54 credit program
- $170 per credit hour (fees included)
- East Coast Polytechnic Institute – Systems Engineering with a concentration in Mechatronics
- $6,480 per semester (about 12 credits)
- Total 24 credit program is about $12,960
- North Carolina State University at Raleigh – Integrated Manufacturing Systems Engineering with a concentration in Mechatronics
- Residents of North Carolina
- $5,547 per semester (fees included)
- About 339 for 33 credit program
- Nonresidents of North Carolina
- $15,150 per semester (fees included)
- About $55,150 for 33 credit program
- Even though this program is online, you can see a financial benefit to attending in-state.
It is always in your best interest to reach out to each institution’s Student Financial Services Office so that they can give you a more specific estimate of program costs.
Mechatronic Engineering Salary and Job Outlook?
The United States Bureau for Labor Statistics (BLS) does not have data for those who currently work as mechatronic engineers. They do have data that outlines the salary of a mechatronic technologist; however, that is not the career path you would pursue after receiving a master’s in this degree program. This occupation only requires an associate’s degree. Therefore, it is better to report the data of mechanical and electrical and electronic engineers for a more accurate depiction of salary and job outlook. Those with a master’s in mechatronics pursue these kinds of careers and generally have the same skillset.
According to the BLS, as of May 2021, the median salary for a mechanical engineer is $95,300, and in the next 10 years (2020 to 2030,) this job is expected to grow by 7%. This is the average growth for a career and is due to current workers retiring or leaving their jobs. Likewise, the median salary for an electrical or electronic engineer is $100,420 per year as of May 2021, and their career outlook suggests it will also grow by 7% in the next decade.
Although data can differ, you can expect a mechatronics engineering salary to be similar to either a mechanical or electrical engineer’s. You only need a bachelor’s degree for both of these careers, so if you have a master’s in mechatronics engineering, you can also expect to earn more. As mentioned, mechatronic engineering involves multiple disciplines, including mechanical and electrical engineering, so you will have a broader depth of knowledge and more practical skills when pursuing careers.
A master’s in mechatronics could also lead to a managerial role, although this differs from job to job and may require a few years of experience. Overall, a higher degree can lead to a higher position with more pay.
Common Courses in Online Mechatronic Engineering Degree Programs
When earning this degree, there are generally core requirements outlined for you. There are also concentrations to choose from, along with electives of your choice. The combination of these classes should bring you to the total required credit amount to earn the degree.
Common courses within a master’s for mechatronic engineering include:
- Electromechanical Systems
- Mechanical Design
- Mechatronics Design
- Systems Engineering
Other FAQs About Online Mechatronic Engineering Degrees and Programs
You may find that you still have unanswered questions about this degree program. Here are some frequently asked questions that may satisfy some of your inquiries. Overall, all universities are different, so it’s essential to do your own research. In addition, you should reach out to universities to receive detailed and personalized information to reach an informed decision about your educational endeavors so that you can succeed!
How long does it take to complete an online master’s in mechatronic engineering?
On average, these kinds of programs take about 13 months to complete. Many programs are around 25 to 60 credits spanning 1 to 2 years. It also depends on whether you will complete your program part-time or full-time. Part-time is from 3 to 11 credits, while full-time is 12 or more credits. Different programs require different credit amounts per semester, which will alter how long it will take to complete in full.
Can I receive financial aid for an online master’s in this field?
This also depends on which university you attend. Most students are eligible to receive federal aid by completing a FAFSA. Some schools may even offer their own or outside scholarships as well as financial aid. This is usually determined by income and previous records of academic achievement. It is best to contact the university’s financial aid office for the most up-to-date and accurate information on how to fund your education.
What admission requirements do I need to meet for an online mechatronic engineering master’s?
You will need at least a bachelor’s degree from a 4-year accredited college or university. Your degree should be in some field of engineering. Typically, most programs are looking for a degree in mechanical or electrical engineering. You will also see that if you don’t have these specific qualifications, you can speak with someone who works with the program to determine if you are a good fit. Other master’s programs also require a Graduate Record Examination (GRE), and letters of recommendation that can vouch for your success.
What kind of careers can I expect to pursue after completing this master’s in mechatronic engineering degree online?
Mechatronic engineering training can be applied in multiple industries and prepares students for varying roles. For example, the University of North Carolina notes several potential career outcomes associated with its Integrated Manufacturing Systems Engineering (Mechatronic concentration) program:
- Additive Manufacturing Engineer
- Advanced Manufacturing Engineer
- Manufacturing Engineer
- Manufacturing Process Engineer
Do online engineering educational programs have the same outcomes as in-person engineering programs?
Yes! Completing your degree online does not mean that it will be easier or less work. The requirements will be the same whether you are on campus or completing your degree from a distance. You will have the same professors with the appropriate credentials that will ensure you are receiving the highest quality of education. You will ultimately receive the same degree as someone who did schooling in person.