The Top Online Master’s in Engineering Management Programs
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Engineers design and build many of society's systems and structures, and engineering managers plan and oversee that work. In a two-year master's in engineering management program, engineers learn to direct and organize large technical projects. The program can prepare graduates for senior-level engineering roles and management positions in engineering and business.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 4% growth for architectural and engineering managers from 2020-2030, which is slower than the projected growth rate for all occupations. The median annual salary for these professionals was over $150,000 in May 2021, more than $100,000 higher than the median annual wages for all occupations.
To help guide prospective engineering management students in making a decision about graduate school, we put together program, admissions, and career outlook information in this guide. We also list the best online master's in engineering management programs offered by top online schools.
What Can I Expect From an Online Master's in Engineering Management Program?
Prospective students can expect to complete between 30-45 credits for a master's in engineering management. The degree usually takes about two years to earn. The training can differ from school to school, but most programs cover production planning, operations and project management, and quality control.
Candidates preparing for graduate school should compare all possible degree types, as degree types can impact the training and career paths available to them. Most schools award a master of science (MS) or a master in engineering management (MEM).
The theory-based MS programs tend to provide more continuing education and lead to interdisciplinary career opportunities, while the course-based MEM programs provide more practical training. MS and MEM programs are considered alternatives to an MBA for engineers.
The degree types can also impact the program structure, with MS curriculums including more thesis requirements and MEM programs often featuring practicums. While both programs provide extensive business training, MS programs may take a more analytical approach. MEM programs focus on career-specific applications.
Depending on the school, prospective students may also get a choice of concentration. Some potential options may include data analytics, operations management, product management, and process management. Specializations allow learners to take control of the direction of their training and their eventual career paths.
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Popular Online Master's in Engineering Management Programs
Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.
Best Accredited Online Master's in Engineering Management Programs
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What Courses Will I Take in an Online Engineering Management Master's Program?
Engineering Productions and Operations
This course teaches students the processes and techniques used for organizing and managing engineering production and operations. Learners look at methods and tools for inventory analysis, supply chain management, production scheduling, costing, and process balancing.
Product and Process Design
Students in this course learn how to develop product and process design strategies using engineering principles and management frameworks. They look at methods for identifying design solutions for problems, finding product opportunities, and concept selection.
In this course, learners look at the leading management methods for monitoring and improving product and process quality. The training topics may include using control charts and simulation models, statistical process controls, experiment designs, and capability analysis.
Occupational Health and Safety
This course teaches students the health and safety standards for engineering occupations and workplaces. The training explores initiatives and practices for meeting appropriate noise levels as well as industrial safety requirements, handling radiation, and managing waste.
Engineering Project Management
Students in this course learn how to manage engineering projects, including design, development, and implementation. They examine methods for planning, budgeting, and scoping a project. They also develop leadership skills for managing multidisciplinary teams, hone their communication abilities, and learn to evaluate team performance and progress.
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What Are the Admission Requirements for an Online Master's in Engineering Management Program?
The graduate admission requirements vary for every school, but applicants for a master's in engineering management usually need a bachelor's degree in engineering at a minimum. Some schools may accept prospective students with a combination of a degree from another discipline and relevant experience.
Depending on the competitiveness and difficulty of the program, applicants may also need a minimum GPA and mathematics prerequisites for entry. Online learners usually need to meet minimum technological requirements for the program as well.
At the graduate level, prospective students typically apply directly to their desired school and program rather than using a college application system. Graduate schools usually have their own online systems that allow applicants to upload and track the various application components.
Graduate school applicants may need to submit standardized test scores, such as their GRE or GMAT results. Prospective students with strong scores may even submit their results for consideration to schools that do not require them. To boost their scores and admission chances, candidates may want to explore GRE prep courses prior to taking a test.
Letters of Recommendation
Most graduate program applications require prospective students to submit 2-3 letters of recommendation. These letters usually come from a candidate's former teachers and employers and provide insight into the applicant's relevant skills and achievements. References can also address the applicant's preparedness for the program.
Resume and Work Experience
Many college applications include a resume requirement, but applicants do not always need prior professional experience. Many schools use the college application resume to learn more about the applicant's professional journey and skills. In some cases, however, relevant experience can help prospective students' chances of receiving an offer of admission.
Grad school essays have different functions depending on the school and program. They might give space for applicants to discuss their professional experiences or allow candidates to highlight their academic and research interests. Schools may also provide candidates with a question to answer in their writing.
Prospective students almost always need to submit official transcripts, which provide schools with information about their previous studies at the high school and undergraduate levels. Transcripts help schools identify how prepared applicants are for the program and if they have the appropriate prerequisites. Transcripts are also required in order to apply transfer credits.
What Can I Do With an Online Master's in Engineering Management Degree?
Equipped with specialized engineering and leadership skills, engineering management graduates can pursue careers in both engineering and management. This includes senior-level positions in the various engineering branches, plus engineering management jobs and general management careers.
The BLS projects the addition of nearly 150,000 new architectural and engineering positions and over 900,000 new management positions between 2020 and 2030, including over 8,000 architectural and engineering managers. Architectural and engineering managers earned a median annual wage of $152,350 in May 2021, over three times the median annual wage for all occupations.
Discover the career possibilities for graduates with a master's in engineering management.
Engineering managers oversee engineering teams and activities for organizations. They plan and manage large projects, handling the budgets, scope, materials, logistics, and staffing. They also evaluate the project progress and performance, troubleshoot and problem solve, and report to stakeholders.
Median Annual Salary (May 2021): $152,350
Management analysts use data to help organizations improve their operations and efficiencies. They review and evaluate current operations, design or suggest new practices, and help implement or upgrade systems. These analysts may specialize in certain industries or management processes.
Median Annual Salary (May 2021): $93,000
Industrial Production Manager
Industrial production managers oversee manufacturing and industrial plant operations. They manage production targets, budgets, and staffing, while also reviewing performances, systems, and health and safety processes. If they identify an issue or inefficiency, these managers may design or implement an upgrade or revision to the system.
Median Annual Salary (May 2021): $103,150
Health and Safety Engineer
Health and safety engineers design, develop, and implement safety processes, devices, and systems to keep people safer. They may review current practices and systems within an organization or test and evaluate product quality looking for potential hazards. They can specialize by industry, processes, or products and equipment.
Median Annual Salary (May 2021): $99,040
Top executives take on many different roles in organizations, overseeing departments, setting overarching goals and policies, and managing the daily operations. They may take charge of communicating with stakeholders, collaborating with other managers, or establishing sales and supply contracts.
Median Annual Salary (May 2021): $179,520
Engineering Management Not For You? Check Out These Related Careers.
A master's in engineering management provides a solid foundation for further study at the doctoral level. Graduates can pursue a doctorate in engineering management or a doctorate in an individual engineering branch.
They can also tackle a doctoral degree in a management discipline, such as a doctorate in organizational leadership. Doctorates can lead to teaching careers at postsecondary institutions, research and development positions, and desirable leadership roles in the engineering field.
How Do I Choose an Online Master's in Engineering Management Program?
When reviewing the price of schools and programs, prospective students should compare online and on-campus costs. They can also look at the cost differences between in-state, out-of-state, private, and public schools. By calculating the true program cost, working professionals can figure out what impact their studies will have on their income.
Students will have a better educational experience if they find a program format that fits their individual needs. Before choosing a program, prospective students should figure out if they prefer synchronous and asynchronous learning and full-time or part-time studies. These different program formats allow learners to balance work, school, and personal obligations.
While program location may impact in-person learners more, both online and on-campus learners need to think about where they will study. Online students may not need to travel to class every day, but they might need to visit campus for in-person requirements. Attending school nearby also offers students access to campus resources.
All prospective students should make it a priority to look for institutional and programmatic accreditation at prospective schools and programs. Institutional accreditation guarantees that students qualify for federal financial aid. Programmatic accreditation for engineering programs comes from the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). However, it is much less common for master's degree programs to be ABET-accredited than bachelor's degree programs.
Schools can enhance the quality of education and college experience for their students with the services they provide. Student services like career services, academic support, and mentorship programs can help degree-seekers enormously. Online learners should look at the specific online student services available and in-program extras, such as internships and practicums.
Frequently Asked Questions About Online Engineering Management Master's Programs
Is a master's in engineering management worth it?
Yes. A master's in engineering management carries great value for professionals who want to pursue leadership careers in engineering or a related field. According to the BLS, management professionals earned a median annual wage of $102,450 in May 2021. The BLS also projects 9% growth in the management field between 2020 and 2030.
Online learners can benefit from the value of an online degree as well. Online learning features a flexible schedule and program format, which is often more suitable for working professionals. Online programs can also be more accessible, giving learners more study options.
What can I do with a master's in engineering management?
A master's in engineering management prepares graduates to lead engineering teams and apply engineering principles to general management and analyst careers. Depending on their previous training and experience, graduates can access engineering positions as well. Their master's degree training should qualify them for the most desirable of these careers.
Master's graduates can also continue their training with a doctorate in engineering, engineering management, or other related disciplines. Doctoral degrees qualify graduates for postsecondary teaching and research and development roles.
How much money can I make with a master's in engineering management?
According to the BLS, architectural and engineering managers made a median annual wage of $152,350 in May 2021. Depending on the industry, median annual wages in the field varied. For example, scientific research and development paid $187,240, company management paid $164,060, manufacturing paid $151,890, and government positions paid $135,150.
Management occupations paid a median annual salary of $102,450 in May 2021, as per the BLS. Wages in this occupational group include financial managers at $131,710, human resources managers at $126,230, and training and development managers at $120,130.
What are the highest paying jobs with a master's in engineering management?
The highest-paying job for graduates with a master's in engineering management is in the computer and information management field. According to the BLS, professionals in this field made a median salary of $159,010 per year in May 2021, while the top 10% of earners made more than $208,000.
The top 10% of earners in the architectural and engineering management field also made considerably high wages, earning more than $208,000 annually as of May 2021. In fact, the managers who worked in scientific research and development services made median annual wages of $187,240 in May 2021, which is one of the highest salaries available.
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