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As a mechanical engineer, you’ve already taken steps to safeguard your future. You’ve joined a field where your expertise is in high demand. You’ve likely earned a bachelor’s degree from a respected institution, and your current level of experience is no doubt impressive. However, if these challenging times are any indication, you can never be too proactive when it comes to securing your place in the engineering field.  

The University of Texas at Austin offers an Executive Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering with a concentration in Mechanical Engineering and a Mechanical Engineering Controls Graduate Certificate. These 100% online programs can help align your skills with today’s industry demands. Let’s take a look at the job outlook for mechanical engineers and see why experienced professionals can benefit from continuing their education.  

By the Numbers  

To get a clear look at the job outlook for mechanical engineers, we’ll have to go all the way to the source: the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). According to the BLS, employment of mechanical engineers is expected to grow by 4% from 2019 to 2029. By 2024, there will be an estimated 328,700 professionals employed in the field of mechanical engineering. Some of the top companies hiring mechanical engineers include: 

  • Apple 
  • Boeing 
  • Boston Scientific 
  • Ford Motor Company 
  • GE Aviation 
  • Google 
  • Illumina 
  • John Deere 
  • Johnson & Johnson 
  • Lockheed Martin 
  • Microsoft 
  • SpaceX 

Rising salaries are accompanying these rising employment opportunities. Mechanical engineers made a median annual wage of $88,430 in 2019, with top earners making nearly $140,000 a year. Mechanical engineers are expected to continue earning well-paying salaries and remain in high demand for years to come, but what exactly is the driving force behind the demand for these out-of-the-box thinkers?  

Every Day Brings New Innovations 

Mechanical engineering is a rapidly expanding field, and our professional MS in Mechanical Engineering program keeps pace by undergoing regular updates in response to industry trends. In recent years alone, the industry has seen advances in electric vehicles, automation and 3D printing. These innovations are already having a profound impact on the engineering field. Professionals who rest on their laurels may find themselves left behind, no matter how positive the job outlook may be.  

Green Energy  

Growth in distributed energy systems is the catalyst behind the current shift in the engineering landscape. Renewable energy generation, electric vehicles, E-mobility, smart grids and the Internet of Things (IoT), while related to electrical engineering, are also strongly connected to mechanical engineering.  

Mechanical engineers in the energy industry may want to consider our Mechanical Engineering Controls Graduate Certificate, which teaches students how to ensure that industrial systems run safely and reliably. Our executive master’s degree program also covers energy science principles, with courses on Applied Thermodynamics; Modeling, Simulation, and Control of Physical Systems; and Engineering Economics. 

Big Data 

Manufacturing is another industry advancing by leaps and bounds. Data-driven technologies have resulted in a push for just-in-time manufacturing, a management strategy that increases efficiency by decreasing inventory. By effectively analyzing and designing production systems, mechanical engineers can reduce costs, decrease defects and shorten delivery times. Mechanical engineers lacking experience in this area will find two courses in our master’s degree program, Introduction to Manufacturing Systems and Statistical Methods for Process Control and Manufacturing, particularly helpful.  

Additive Manufacturing  

The move from analog to digital processes has also caused a shift in robotics, especially as this discipline converges with other technologies. Additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing, is resulting in the rapid prototyping and manufacturing of new components. The technological advantages of additive manufacturing are resulting in its adoption across the entire industry. Mechanical engineers who can bring products to life with minimal prototyping will find themselves in high demand, which is why so many of our online courses relate to elements of this growing field.   

Align Your Mechanical Engineering Skills at UT Austin 

The engineering field is teeming with opportunity and discovery. However, as Moore’s law reminds us, technological advancements yield further advancements. Engineers trained in emerging technologies, such as distributed energy systems, automation and robotics, will outpace peers with limited training and experience. Forbes said it best when they referred to a professional’s ability to innovate as “Social Darwinism,” stating “it’s all about keeping ahead of the curve, learning to adapt and exploit shifting, and even unstable conditions. This is what really matters today.” Mechanical engineers are, by their nature, innovative, but they need a way to advance at the same pace as their industry.  

Engineering is a dynamic field that’s increasingly relying on the most qualified professionals. At UT Austin, we’ve tailored our 100% online programs to prepare UT Engineers to excel in this evolving landscape. Graduate students learn how to utilize emerging technology to solve engineering problems and design, analyze and produce products and design processes. Engineers seeking a comprehensive overview can enroll in our Executive MS in Mechanical Engineering program, while professionals in the energy industry will get the most out of our Mechanical Engineering Controls Graduate Certificate. Both programs are taught by our esteemed faculty members, are entirely online and asynchronous and are composed of rigorous, industry-relevant course content.  

Flexible enough to accommodate your schedule yet challenging enough to align your skillset to leadership roles, our programs can help you adapt in this ever-changing industry. Apply now to join one of our 100% online programs and secure your future in the engineering field.  


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