If you’re interested in the engineering field, or better yet, already working in it, getting an online masters in engineering management is a great way to set yourself apart from the pack.
If you have a bachelors in engineering, you probably know that the high demand for workers in the field is good news, but it also means that many qualified candidates are competing with you for those jobs. That’s why we think getting your masters degree can make a real difference.
Best Online Master’s in Engineering Management Programs
With a masters in engineering management you can steer your career path into leadership roles that give you unique opportunities for new challenges as well as better pay. And, if getting an advanced degree always seemed out of reach, think again.
If you already have a bachelor’s degree and perhaps some on-the-job training, then you should find graduate coursework in engineering simply involves building on what you already know and getting exposure to highly useful leadership and management skills.
But what can make getting your masters in engineering management online really rewarding is…that’s right, learning about management.
After all, engineering involves teamwork and specialized knowledge, and someone has to manage the people, the timelines, the costs, and those head-scratching problem solving challenges.
An online engineering management degree will give someone like you the training needed to step into those roles.
In fact, with your masters in engineering management online degree, you’ll not only be ready to step into management positions, you’ll be specifically trained in up-to-date tools and methods for exceling at the job.
Finally, if you decide to study online, you should find flexible programs focused on practical skills. In other words, most of these online masters in engineering management programs are designed to get you on your way to new opportunities in the shortest time possible.
Engineering Management Careers & Salaries
As with any other online degree in engineering, an online engineering management masters provides you an opportunity to increase your technical skills and specialized engineering knowledge while equipping you with know-how for advanced management roles and some really well-paying jobs.
In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary in engineering management occupations, such as Architectural and Engineering Managers, is likely to be significantly higher than many non-management jobs in the field, reaching an average of $145,000 a year, with jobs growing at a rate of 3% between now and 2029.
As you probably know, there are many engineering pathways, all in high-demand fields. So if you received a traditional or online degree in industrial engineering, electrical engineering, environmental engineering, aerospace, advanced architectural engineering, or any other type of engineering field, then a master’s in engineering management would be a great advancement for your education.
Be sure to select an online masters program that allows you to pursue the area of specialization that particularly interests you. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median salary for engineering managers is $144,830 per year.
Here’s a sample from the BLS of some specific industries and salaries where architectural and engineering managers are employed:
|Careers||Average Annual Salary|
|Scientific Research and Development||$167,290|
|Management of Companies||$152,640|
|Architectural and Engineering Services||$143,160|
As you can see, there are plenty of areas to explore, and as you move into and gain experience in more senior management and supervisory roles, you will command higher pay and even more exciting career choices.
Choosing an Online Master’s in Engineering Management
When choosing an online masters in engineering management program, be sure to think about bridging you present experience with your future career interests. You may also want to think about the mix of management vs. technical specialization you find in different programs to find what’s right for you.
In addition to these individual preferences, you may want to consider the variable length of time different programs require for completing the masters and the fact that tuition costs vary from school to school.
Here’s a helpful checklist to keep in mind as you compare schools:
- Type of management and administration courses offered
- Technical concentrations offered
- Time required for completing the program
- Scheduling flexibility (especially if you plan to work full time and study)
- Admissions requirements and enrollment timelines
- Capstone requirements may vary and can include extensive final exams, collaborative projects, a written thesis, or field-study requirements
Remember, some programs are better suited to those who love theoretical learning and others will want to hunt down programs with a highly vocational slant. Finally, we recommend you choose from among schools and programs that are fully accredited.
Masters in Engineering Management Curriculum & Courses
When you look into getting your master’s in engineering management, or as some people refer to it, your Master of ENGg Management (MEM), you’ll notice that a similar feature of virtually all programs is exposure to management and leadership concepts and methods.
In addition, most programs also require some more advanced coursework in technical engineering skills as well.
Courses vary by school and program, but here’s a list of the kinds of management-oriented subjects you are likely to encounter in a Masters of ENGg Management or “MEM” program:
- Accounting and Finance for Engineers: Learn about cost estimating, cost tracking, budget forecasting and other financially-related project management skills.
- Management Strategy and Statistical Analysis: Learn how to use data to define management strategy and goals and to measure strategic success.
- Technology or Product Development and Commercialization: In addition to technical expertise for product development, your management role will require knowledge of how to gauge and plan for longer term commercial success with regard to engineering innovations.
- Operations and Supply Chain Management: You’ll study the knowledge and methods for designing, improving, and expanding complex logistical production and distribution challenges.
- Law for Engineers and Scientists: Whether its liability, patents, compliance with regulatory statues, trade sanctions, or environmental law, this type of course will help make sure you can anticipate the kinds of legal issues that may impact any aspect of engineering development, commercialization, and distribution efforts.
- Quality Control Engineering: Learn concepts and methods for quality assurance and control in the context of large production processes and complex sourcing challenges.
- Logistics Planning: An introduction to empirical frameworks and methods for planning and executing cost-effective and efficient supply chains and logistics networks.
- Organizational Psychology and Behavior: Gain an understanding of group dynamics in work settings and learn techniques for facilitating positive organizational norms, attitudes, and structures in your role as supervisor, manager, and team leader.
- Technical Management Skills: Learn about specific management skills and challenges for facilitating and overseeing teams and projects in specific kinds of engineering concentrations.
- Advanced Data Analysis: Future senior managers learn how to use reliable and thorough data collection and data-modeling methods to guide high-level oversight, planning, and decision making.
Remember, we have focused here a bit more on the management side of the degree program, but you will see that most programs also include advanced study in specific engineering specialties or industries.
You should find admissions criteria are similar across most schools. The most common requirements you will need to prepare for are:
- Transcripts for all undergraduate coursework and degrees
- Prior science and engineering coursework and degrees
- A satisfactory GPA, usually 3.0 or above for graduate degree programs
- A GRE/GMAT score, if required
You may come across some programs requiring work experience in the engineering field in addition to your bachelor’s degree.
Finally, be sure to check if the schools that interest you require applicants to have a bachelor’s degree in engineering or accept a less specialized bachelors of science degree.
We recommend sticking with schools and programs that are fully accredited. Accreditation means an independent agency has certified important academic quality standards, and it also means your coursework, transcripts, and degree should be fully honored by other colleges and by prospective employers.
CHEA (the Council for Higher Education Accreditation) also points out that attending a school that is not accredited may impact your eligibility for government loans and other tuition assistance programs.
CHEA also offers resources to help you verify if a school and degree program are properly accredited. ABET offers similar resources with a focus on programs in the engineering and engineering technology fields.
Financial Aid and Scholarships
If you are a professional working in an engineering job already, you may want to keep your job while you earn your online masters degree. Some institutions structure their programs in order to accommodate working students. Keep this in mind as you compare schools and programs.
Also, if you’re currently employed, your employer may be interested in offering you some form of tuition assistance as an investment in your professional development. If you’re not working, remember that graduate degrees in growing fields are generally great investments despite the short-term debt you take on.
Also, master’s programs in technical fields may have a total cost comparable to or less than a four-year degree, since they can often be completed within one to two years. If you do decide to apply for federal aid or subsidized student loans, filling out a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is always a good place to start.
Keep in mind that assistance programs for graduate programs may be more limited than those typically available for those seeking their first undergraduate degree.
What Can I Do With a Masters in Engineering Management?
While getting your engineering management masters will take some time and money, it will open doors to new levels of opportunity by adding valuable managerial, business administration, and organizational leadership skills to your technology tool belt.
Talented candidates with senior-level “soft skills” and advanced project analysis and management insights combined with technical engineering expertise, are not easy to come by.
You should find great opportunities to land well-paid positions that employers are struggling to fill.
Indeed, you should find yourself qualified to apply for lucrative jobs with an average annual earnings potential of about $145,000 for occupations in architectural and engineering management (Bureau of Labor Statistics).
How Much Does an Online Masters in Engineering Management Cost?
Although costs vary, tuition for an online engineering masters degree program should add up to about $8,000 to $28,000, with tuition costs spread over one to three years. Most schools calculate your tuition based on credit hours.
Anticipate that your master’s degree program online will require about 28 to 36 credit hours, with costs in an average range from $350 to $1,000 per credit hour. Be aware that graduate program credit hours typically cost more than credit hours for undergraduate programs.
State schools may offer options for competitive tuition rates, with in-state tuition offering you a great discount overall in terms of the academic quality you get in return, in many cases. If you’re applying to a state-run college or university, be sure to check residency requirements to confirm if you do in fact qualify for in-state tuition rates.
How Long Does it Take to Get an Online Master’s in Engineering Management?
If you’re studying full-time, you can probably complete the online engineering management degree in about two years, though you may find some schools offering one-year programs that follow an 8-week semester and allow for continuous year-round enrollment.
Keep in mind that working while studying may indeed be possible given the flexibility that many online programs offer. If you do decide to work while enrolled, it will probably take you a little longer to get your online engineering management masters.
These are trade-offs worth thinking about based on your individual circumstances and career goals.
What’s the Difference Between a Masters in Engineering Management vs. MBA?
When pursuing your Master of ENGg Management or (MEM), you’ll encounter many concepts and methods that are taught in MBA programs as well.
That said, there are many engineering management programs to choose from that are tailored to prepare you for the unique challenges and demands of occupations in the engineering field.
If you are already working in an engineering and technology role and want to stay in the engineering field, you should find that the background, real-world savvy, and technical orientation of both your professors and your classmates will make an engineering-oriented program more interesting and rewarding, as compared to a typical MBA program.
Lastly, you will see that most masters in engineering degree programs provide you opportunities to build additional advanced expertise in selected technology pathways.
This combination of business training and technology specialization means you enter the job market with both management training and some additional engineering expertise to apply on the job, something an MBA program doesn’t offer.
Since you will be eligible to work in senior-level supervisory, planning, and problem-solving roles in an engineering setting, it should be helpful to be in a masters program where you get advanced engineering insights alongside business administration training.
Is a Masters in Engineering Management Worth it?
Yes, a masters degree will bring you new opportunities and higher pay.
With an average salary of $145,000 and 3% job growth (Bureau of Labor Statistics), a degree in engineering management can help you combine your technical expertise with the kinds of business skills needed for a range of higher-level management roles in larger corporations and government agencies.
Remember to calculate your future earnings based on the years you anticipate being active in the workforce, and including future promotions and pay increases. You should easily earn enough over this time frame to offset the investment in online learning needed for obtaining your graduate degree.
In today’s increasingly technology-driven economy, the more you know and learn, the more you are likely to earn. Also, don’t underestimate the breadth of opportunities offered by so many engineering subfields.
Engineering knowledge spans a range of industry-related concentrations:
- industrial processes
- robotics and automation
- green energy technology
- public works infrastructure planning, design, and construction
- mechanical and electrical product testing and development
- new materials innovations
- the integration of computer, information, transportation, and communications networks
As technology innovations in these diverse fields go to scale, the demand for talented individuals who understand the engineering field and are equipped to take on large-scale project management roles is likely to grow for decades.
Universities Offering Online Masters in Engineering Management Degree Programs
Each of the universities included below are regionally accredited and offer engineering management master’s degree online.
Arizona State University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.
Auburn University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Colorado State is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, a Commission of the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges.
Drexel University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Duke University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Florida International University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
George Washington University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Iowa State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Johns Hopkins University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Kansas State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Kennesaw State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Lawrence Technological University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Lehigh University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Louisiana Tech University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Missouri S&T is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
New Jersey Institute of Technology is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
North Carolina State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Oakland University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Ohio State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Ohio University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Oklahoma State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Old Dominion University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Oregon State University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
Penn State World Campus is regionally accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.
Purdue University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.
Rowan University is accredited by the Commission on Higher Education, a unit of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.
The South Dakota School of Mines & Technology is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Stevens Institute of Technology is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Temple University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Texas Tech University is accredited with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
The University of Arizona is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
The U of A is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
UCLA is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.
The University of Colorado Boulder is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
UCCS is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
The University of Louisville is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
The University of Massachusetts Amherst is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
The University of Massachusetts Lowell is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
The University of Michigan-Dearborn is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
UNC Charlotte is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
The University of South Florida is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools’ Commission on Colleges.
USC is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.
The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
The University of Texas at Austin is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
The University of Wisconsin – Madison is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
UW-Platteville is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
WSU is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
Western New England University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
Youngstown State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Getting Your Masters in Engineering Management Degree Online
If you think you are ready for the challenge, ready to step out of a mostly technical role and get the training you need to lead organizational planning, expansion, and innovation in an engineering setting, we strongly encourage you to pursue an online masters degree in engineering management (MEM).
Getting an advanced degree means you’ll learn about cutting-edge trends and industry developments—a great way to expand your dreams and goals—while getting the training you need to move forward with more confidence and more success.
We think you’ll find making a move into graduate-level study highly stimulating and rewarding in itself. It’s also likely to prove a very sound investment in light of a life-time career trajectory with opportunities for more responsibility, seniority, and financial rewards. What do you think?