What is it like to study mechanical engineering?

Mechanical engineering degree

Table of Contents

Why study mechanical engineering?

A bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering gives you all the basics you need to work as a mechanical engineer. The degree is internationally recognized and enables you to start your career straight away or to take up a postgraduate master’s degree. As a graduate of the mechanical engineering degree, you have excellent prospects on the job market, after all, one in five employees subject to social security contributions in Germany is in an engineering profession.

The Wilhelm Büchner University recommends

Are you looking for a technology degree that offers you as much freedom as possible during the semester and trains you to become an engineer? Then the Wilhelm Büchner University recommends its Bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering (B.Eng.), Which you complete in 7 semesters from home.

After an introduction to the mathematical and scientific basics, you will familiarize yourself with the subject areas of mechanical engineering, computer science and electrical engineering. Towards the end, you also decide on a focus such as development and construction, production technology or power and work machines in order to qualify as an expert in this field.

During your distance learning at the WBH, you will use the wide range of offers on the online campus via computer and mobile phone. Here you can find all study documents, complete practice exams and expand your knowledge with the help of learning videos.

What study options do I have?

You can study mechanical engineering at universities and technical colleges as well as at private universities, in distance learning, as a dual course or abroad. The following list shows you popular mechanical engineering courses:

university

You can start your bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering at numerous universities and technical colleges in Germany. Most of the time you finish your mechanical engineering studies with a Bachelor of Science. With the introduction of the Bachelor's and Master's degrees, mechanical engineering studies at universities have become more application-oriented through practical semesters and internships. In contrast to a technical college degree, the mechanical engineering degree at the university is still more theoretical and research-oriented.

University of Applied Sciences

The universities of applied sciences place more value on the practical application of the teaching content than on theory and research. The courses are usually smaller and more tightly organized. The university of applied sciences degree is ideal for everyone who already has professional experience or is looking for a direct entry into industry after completing their studies. Under certain conditions, you can also study without a high school diploma. At the university of applied sciences, you usually complete your mechanical engineering studies with a Bachelor of Engineering.

Private universities

Private universities offer personal support, modern equipment, good organization and close contacts in industry. On the other hand, there are high tuition and course fees - on average, private universities charge their students € 500 per semester.

Distance learning

A distance learning university enables you to study mechanical engineering alongside your job. The advantage is that you can study from home and organize your time freely. You will receive the study documents by post, fill them out and send them back to the university. After a short time you will receive your results. Distance universities often also offer practical seminars.

dual study

The dual degree in mechanical engineering combines in-company training with a university degree. After graduating, you will not only have a professional training, but also an academic degree in your pocket. This makes you a sought-after specialist on the job market. In addition, your training company usually pays the costs for your studies and pays you a monthly allowance.

Study abroad

Many universities recommend their mechanical engineering students to spend a semester abroad. Under the title "Mechanical Engineering" you can study mechanical engineering at numerous universities around the world. You will receive either a Bachelor of Science or a Bachelor of Engineering degree.

Am I suitable for studying mechanical engineering?

The mechanical engineering course is very demanding. Interest in machines and technology is not enough for a successful graduation. In addition to the general university entrance qualification, you should have creativity, a basic technical understanding, mathematics, physics and English skills. There are also some formal and technical requirements to be observed.

Formal and professional requirements

To study mechanical engineering, you need a general or subject-specific university entrance qualification. At some universities you can study mechanical engineering without a high school diploma. For this, you should have several years of professional experience or a master's degree.

Most universities limit the number of places they can study with a numerus clausus. For admission, you should have an average grade of at least 2.5. Often the universities also test your previous scientific knowledge in an entrance exam and determine whether you are suitable for studying mechanical engineering. A pre-study internship is usually one of the admission requirements.

personal requirements

Technical understanding and logical thinking skills as well as good mathematics and computer skills are basic requirements for studying mechanical engineering. Your creativity is needed when it comes to linking different theories and methods or applying theoretical models. You should also be able to demonstrate good knowledge of English.

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What can I expect from a mechanical engineering degree?

The standard period of study for the bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering is 6 to 8 semesters. The degree qualifies you for a job or a subsequent master’s degree. During your mechanical engineering studies, you will mainly deal with the functionality of machines and technical systems, get to know various processes and areas of application and be able to build your first smaller machines yourself.

Course content

A bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering teaches you basic principles, concepts and methods of the subject. Therefore, the following content will be on your curriculum during your studies:

  • mathematics
  • chemistry
  • physics
  • Computer science
  • Materials engineering
  • Technical mechanics
  • Thermal and fluid mechanics
  • Measurement, control and regulation technology
  • Production and quality management
  • Project management and project work
  • construction
  • Electrical engineering
  • Energy Technology
  • Hydraulics / pneumatics
  • foreign languages
  • Business administration

Specialization opportunities

While you are learning the basics of engineering in the bachelor's degree, you can specialize in a sub-area in the master's degree. In addition to the general mechanical engineering degree, you can take courses in aerospace engineering, materials and materials science, development and construction, paper technology or energy technology. At some universities, the mechanical engineering course is interdisciplinary. Many universities and technical colleges concentrate their course content on a certain major, for example on shipbuilding, automotive engineering or foundry technology.

Which degrees can I get?

As with all bachelor programs, you will take modules in mechanical engineering, collect credit points and finish your bachelor thesis. A special feature are the various compulsory internships and practical phases that you complete before and during your mechanical engineering degree in order to gain practical experience. Depending on the university, you will complete your mechanical engineering studies with the academic degree of Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) or Bachelor of Engineering (B.Eng.). These qualify you for direct career entry or a subsequent Master’s degree with a Master of Science (M.Sc.) or Master of Engineering (M.Eng.) Degree. After completing the master’s course, you have the option to do a doctorate. Few universities also award the academic degree of graduate engineer.

After studying mechanical engineering

As a mechanical engineering graduate, you have very good chances on the job market. Thanks to the extensive training that the mechanical engineering course gives you, there are many different areas of activity.

Which professional fields are suitable for me after graduation?

The mechanical engineering course prepares you for a wide range of activities. As a mechanical engineer, you will work on ideas, drafts, calculations, design, construction, optimization, research and development, production and sales of machines and technical systems. You can work in the automotive industry, for energy suppliers or in medical technology. In addition to industrial companies, engineers and expert offices, trade associations or the public service can also be considered as employers. You can find other professional fields in the energy industry or in apprenticeships. Mechanical engineers can also find employment in logistics, sales or quality management. With a subsequent master’s degree and a doctorate, the path to science and research is open to you, or you work as a lecturer at universities or vocational schools.

"The subject, the final grade, the university - none of this is as important to us as many think. An engineer has to be enthusiastic and able to explain his ideas."Michael Groß, Head of HR Marketing at Audi, on the importance of soft skills for potential employees.

How do you start your career?

Even if you have comparatively good prospects on the job market as a mechanical engineer, you will find it difficult to find a suitable position without practical experience and contacts. You should therefore make contacts and networks during your studies through internships that will make your career start easier.

After completing your mechanical engineering degree, you can apply directly for a job or you can try to start your professional life through a trainee program. As a trainee, you will get to know various specialist areas and departments in a company and, as a junior employee, you will be systematically introduced to your future tasks. Many companies send their HR managers to universities and advertise internships and trainee positions in their company directly to students.

What career prospects do I have?

In the meantime, one can no longer speak of a general shortage of skilled workers. There is currently a lack of creative minds with a university degree, especially in electrical engineering, medical technology, plant engineering and vehicle and mechanical engineering. As a mechanical engineer, you are also a sought-after specialist in chemical companies or consulting firms. Medium-sized companies in particular currently have an increased need for junior staff. As a graduate of a mechanical engineering degree, the path to management is also open to you.

What salary do i earn?

The career opportunities for mechanical engineers are broad. Accordingly, the salaries vary depending on the position and department. A clerk earns an average of € 3,600, a division manager € 6,300 gross per month. The monthly starting salary of a university graduate is between € 2,800 and € 3,800 gross. With a master’s degree, you usually earn more when you start your career.

DepartmentAverage starting salary *
distribution3.829 €
Project and quality management3.573 €
production3.791 €
maintenance3.621 €
construction3.413 €

*) in gross / monthly