New Jersey can be a great place to start your mechanical engineer career, because there are 11 schools that offer this program. Five schools have Associate's-level programs and seven schools have Bachelor's degree programs. Seven schools have Master's degree options and six schools have PhD programs.
First, you have to decide whether you want to earn an Associate's degree or Bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering. An Associate's degree takes about two years, while a Bachelor's degree typically requires four years. This is because an Associate's degree requires 60 credits and a Bachelor's degree requires 120 credits.
Courses you may have to take include Heat Transfer Laboratory, Thermodynamics, and Component Design. Your time should be split between the classroom and the lab, in order to give you a comprehensive mechanical engineering education.
Master's degrees and PhD programs are the next step up from a Bachelor's degree. You need to dedicate about two years to earning a Master's degree or five to seven years to earning a PhD. This is because a PhD requires the completion and defense of the thesis. Graduate-level coursework include Microprocesses in Electromechanical Systems and Nonlinear Engineering Systems.
While the cost of tuition can vary significantly between schools, the average cost of tuition in New Jersey is $16,600. You may pay less if you are a resident. In addition, you may be able to save money on your tuition by applying for financial aid through your college, applying for federal financial aid, and looking for local scholarships.
The New Jersey Water Environment Association awards scholarships to selected engineering students on an annual basis. In addition, the American Council of Engineering Companies gives scholarships to New Jersey engineering students every year.
Before you can begin your career as a mechanical engineer, you have to earn your license from the State Board of Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors. This involves passing the Fundamentals of Engineering exam and submitting a complete application to the board. You must also pay a $75 application fee. Licenses must be renewed by the end of every even-numbered year. In order to renew your license, you have to complete 15 hours of continuing education during each renewal period.