Getting a start in the field of mechanical engineering starts with a degree from one of Maryland's five schools with mechanical engineering programs. Three schools offer Associate's degrees, and four schools have Bachelor's degree programs. There are three schools with Master's degree programs and three schools with doctoral programs.
In order to start working as a mechanical engineer, you need to complete a Bachelor's degree at an accredited school. A Bachelor's degree may take you between four and five years to complete. You must complete at least 120 credits to graduate, the majority of which are in engineering courses. Some courses you may have to take include Fluid Mechanics, Introduction to Materials Science, and Introduction to Mechanical Engineering.
While a Bachelor's degree prepares you for a job as a mechanical engineer, Master's and doctoral degrees prepare you for teaching or research work in the field. Some of the courses you have to take an order to complete these degrees include Mechanics and Vibration, Laser Processing, and Heat Transfer. You may need two to four years to earn a Master's degree, and at least five to seven years to earn a PhD.
While tuition costs vary widely between schools and programs, the average cost of tuition in Maryland is about $16,300 per semester. You may end up paying less if you get scholarships, grants, and other types of financial aid.
There are many different engineering scholarship opportunities in Maryland. Northrop Grumman offers scholarships to Maryland students every year. Selected students receive $2500 per year for four years. Another option is the Roger H. Willard Scholarship, awarded by the County Engineers Association of Maryland. In total, they award over $8000 per year.
After you have successfully graduated from your engineering program, you have to take the NCEES Fundamentals of Engineering exam. This exam is offered twice per year, so make sure you apply to take it as soon as possible. If you pass the exam, you can then apply for your license from the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulations. This includes paying the required $126.50 license and examination fees.