student working at the applied physics lab

This is a question that a lot of working professionals ask themselves over the course of their careers. With a few or more working years under their belts, many ambitious engineers start assessing next-level career steps, weighing the pros, cons, and overall benefits of a master’s degree in mechanical engineering.

Benefits of a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering

It’s easy to highlight the advantages of getting deep into such a cutting-edge field. There are the tangible and intangible “got-to-haves.” Salary, job options, and relevancy all play into the decision-making.


The first question many people want to know is “why a master’s in mechanical engineering?” What many people are often really asking is, will there be a marked increase in my salary? You can check out any of these leading salary websites to get a sense of expected salary ranges for those who hold a master’s in mechanical engineering.

You can then see the salaries that are linked to jobs requiring a master’s. Compare these against your current or aspiring position. If an increase in salary is a main concern of yours, note that according to a Forbes article from a few years back, a master’s degree adds another 20% to your salary, so you’ll likely be able to see an improvement with your new mechanical engineering degree. 

Job Options

There are plenty of job options available to people with an added master’s degree (in comparison to those with just a bachelor’s degree). Some example roles or titles open to master’s holders include:

  • Manufacturing Engineer 
  • Mechanical Design Engineer
  • Structural Analysis Engineer
  • Senior Mechanical Prototyping Engineer
  • Mechanical Engineers for Biotech
  • Director of Data and Connectivity Innovation
  • Lead Mechanical Principal Engineer

Whether you’re looking for a more senior position or work that more aligns to your interest, holding a master’s in mechanical engineering opens the doors to more opportunities. Some jobs are only possible with a master’s while others are easier to attain with one, so when it comes to options, there’s really no downside. 

Stay Current 

A master’s in mechanical engineering is one of those degrees that require a deep dive. This advanced program was designed with the ambitious professional in mind, providing the information they need to not only build their resume, but also refresh what they know about their field and learn about new updates or technologies. 

It can often be helpful to concentrate in certain areas to get an even more specialized education. Some options include: 

  • Automotive
  • Biomedical
  • Automation
  • Fluid mechanics
  • Aerospace

However, most master’s programs in mechanical engineering are not ideal for recent college grads. They are geared towards professionals that have some work experience as coursework requires working knowledge. Having a solid understanding of the field and a few years of experience make the master’s experience much more valuable. 

Prep for a PhD

If you are  considering a master’s degree, you may also be thinking about a PhD. It’s important to note that a master’s degree may or may not be necessary if you are pursuing a PhD. Every program is unique. Be sure to check out the prerequisites for your specific program.

At Johns Hopkins, our Doctor of Engineering program is specifically designed for working professionals and caters to the knowledge needed to excel in industry. For those interested in research or academia, our PhD in Mechanical Engineering program requires five years of full-time study beyond the baccalaureate degree to earn. A master’s degree can go a long way toward filling that requirement. 

A Note on Drawbacks

It’s not hard to guess the downsides of becoming a student again—the time and money factors being the top two. 

Regarding time, the Johns Hopkins Engineering for Professionals Mechanical Engineering program offers students the option to earn their degree online and part-time, letting them balance work, life, and studying. 

As for the cost, one of the pluses of working with professionals is their potential for financing. Meaning, professionals often have access to educational perks at their places of work. 

Take advantage of the resources that are accessible to you and get educated on how to find out whether your company will pay for your master’s degree. With just a little research, you may get an advanced education at a fraction of the standard cost. Nearly 78% of the students in our program receive tuition support from their employer.

Get Your Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering Online

Is it worth getting a master of science in mechanical engineering? Considering the relevancy, job options, industry future, the answer is a resounding yes.

Now is a perfect time. A master’s in mechanical engineering is indeed a wonderful commitment. We invite you to explore the program details for the Johns Hopkins Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering program. If you have any questions, the team at Johns Hopkins are ready to help you in any way they can.