The field of molecular engineering is highly complex and requires extensive training. For those aspiring to a challenging and growing field, engineering on the molecular level could represent an attractive career opportunity. 

What Is Molecular Engineering?

As the name implies, molecular engineering involves working with systems and structures on the molecular level. It consists of using highly complex and technologically advanced instruments, theories, and study. 

The possibilities and potential benefits of molecular engineering are virtually endless. A skilled molecular engineer can work in a wide variety of industries, including medicine, science, defense, water, and sanitation. The applications for molecular engineering are extensive; molecular engineering projects address such varied goals as helping the body heal itself, creating brand-new biological compounds, and even altering forms of energy and energy processing. 

A very specialized and cutting-edge field that has only been around since the 1950s,  molecular biology has extensive research and development opportunities. 

Why Get an Online Master’s in Molecular Engineering?

A master’s degree allows a person to develop the knowledge base necessary to grasp the essential knowledge in this field firmly. Individuals can learn many of the concepts of molecular engineering online. The field requires extensive study in various areas, including math, chemistry, and physics. Online programs allow students to continue working while earning a degree. 

Most molecular engineering programs have hands-on requirements that cannot be fulfilled over the internet. However, online programs will usually have online options that allow an individual to do as much work as possible over the internet, then finalize their degree in person. 

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

The cost of master’s degree programs is constantly changing. However, tuition for some schools can run as high as $60,000 over the entire time of the program. Some programs are much less expensive, with some of the least expensive costing $19,260. Keep in mind that this is just the cost of tuition and says nothing about accommodations, books, or other fees. More prestigious programs will be more expensive. This may be worth it in terms of the quality of the program and a school’s ability to help you find a job after graduation. Ultimately, like any other decision, you’ll have to evaluate if a more expensive school is worth it. 

One way to reduce the cost of tuition is to consider attending an online school. 

A master’s degree in molecular engineering isn’t inexpensive, but earning an online master’s in molecular engineering may provide cost-savings opportunities related to travel, meals, room and board, and more. Finally — and perhaps most importantly — the flexibility offered by an online master’s program is essential for some students. Many classes are done at night, over the weekend, or on demand. This flexible schedule means you can create a class schedule that fits your needs, allowing you to continue working while getting your degree. 

Molecular Engineering Salary and Job Outlook

Pay within this field differs based on the specialty you select. For example, as noted by Payscale, Molecular Biology has an average salary of $74,000 a year. Like most professions, your salary can vary based on where you are in your career: A starting research associate may earn as little as $38,000, but a Senior Research Scientist may earn as much as $170,000.

It’s important to note that many specialties within the molecular engineering field may have different salaries. As such, it can be tough to say definitively what a molecular engineering salary would be. For example, biomedical engineers — a typical specialty of molecular engineers — earn a median salary of $97,410. On the other hand, chemical engineers earn a salary of $105,550. Thus, like for most professions, the wage you earn by entering this field will differ based on the specific industry in which you work. 

Because of the breadth of possible jobs you can hold with a Master’s in Molecular Engineering, developing a comprehensive look at the job outlook for individuals with this degree can be challenging. However, many jobs are in demand. However, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 1.6 million engineering jobs are expected to be added to the United States through 2026. The heaviest job growth is expected in the manufacturing, engineering, and governmental sectors. Given the specialties and applicability of a molecular engineering degree, it is safe to say that significant job growth is likely to occur in these areas. 

Other specialties within the engineering field would seem to support this conclusion. For example, as noted by the BLS, biomedical engineers are expected to grow 6% through 2030, while chemical engineers are expected to grow 9% through 2030. As such, earning a Masters in Molecular Engineering is an in-demand job that can allow you to find employment in various fields. 

What Are Common Courses in Molecular Engineering Master’s Programs?

A bachelor’s degree in engineering or a related field is a  prerequisite for a master’s degree in molecular engineering. Relevant undergraduate studies prepare students for the advanced coursework included in a master’s degree program. 

Common courses in graduate-level molecular engineering degree programs include:

  • Introductory molecular engineering
  • Advanced studies in math, chemistry, and physics
  • Engineering design
  • Biotechnology
  • Molecular thermodynamics

Programs also typically include lab classes, and many programs require that students select a track or specialty such as bioengineering, chemical Engineering, or quantum engineering.

FAQs About Master’s in Molecular Engineering Degrees and Programs?

As you can see, earning an online Master’s in Molecular Engineering can help you to find an excellent job in a growing field. However, the odds are good that you still have many questions about what earning this degree can do for you. Here are some of the most commonly asked questions. 

What is the job outlook for those who earn a Master’s in Molecular Engineering degree?

The job outlook for a Master’s in Molecular Engineering, like a molecular engineering salary, is very positive. As noted above, the field has vast potential and offers a variety of opportunities within numerous sectors. As such, working in molecular engineering can help you get various positions. Furthermore, at a minimum and according to the BLS, earning a Master’s in Molecular Engineering will expose you to fields that are growing at or above the rate of job growth throughout the United States.

In other words, the job outlook for a Master’s in Molecular Engineering is highly positive. It is also very diverse.

What are some jobs that require a Master’s in Molecular Engineering degree?

A look at various job openings reveals a variety of jobs that will require a Master’s in Molecular Engineering. This includes:

  • Certain types of research scientists.
  • Laboratory engineer.
  • Drug researcher.
  • Microbiologist.
  • Product management in numerous industries.
  • Computational biologist.
  • Immunology researcher.

As you can see, this is a wide range of possible jobs. Fortunately, a molecular engineering salary is relatively high and certainly higher than any equivalent undergraduate degree.

Are there specializations associated with a Master’s in Molecular Engineering degree?

No “formal” specializations are universally recognized within the molecular engineering field. However, students who earn a master’s degree in molecular engineering will often specialize in certain areas. The areas that a student specializes in are determined by a variety of factors, including job openings and career paths. Possible specializations include:

  • Biological engineering
  • Immunoengineering
  • Computational materials modeling
  • Science and engineering
  • Chemistry
  • Molecular modeling

How long does it take to get a Master’s in Molecular Engineering? 

Like all degrees, this ultimately depends on you.

Let’s say you went to school full-time to earn your master’s. In most cases, it will take 1-2 years. However, to get your degree in just a year, you’ll have to take a relatively intensive course load — four classes in the two main fall and spring semesters and two courses over the summer. For many students, this isn’t possible, so they decide to get their master’s over two years, taking a few classes in the Fall and Spring Semesters.

Furthermore, many individuals getting a Master’s in Molecular Engineering are still working full-time, making going to school full-time impossible. In these cases, you have other options. Many students decide to take classes part-time, allowing them to take one course a semester. This schedule allows a student to continue working while earning a higher degree. Earning an online Master’s in Molecular Engineering becomes a real benefit, as doing so can enable a student to continue attending school. In these instances, making a Master’s in Molecular Engineering in 3-4 years is more likely. 

As you can see, earning a Master’s in Molecular Engineering can be a great degree. Of course, it isn’t a reasonable degree, but it can allow you to make an excellent salary and work in a highly challenging, evolving, and in-demand field. In addition, earning a degree online can save you money and allow you to continue working a full-time job. 

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