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By completing an online master’s in engineering management, students can further their understanding of engineering theory and practices while preparing for a leadership or administrative role in the engineering workforce. Afterward, graduates may qualify for an architectural and engineering management job and can expect to earn an average salary of $152,000.

Depending on which online graduate program a student chooses, this degree may be cheaper or more expensive than an undergraduate degree (the average cost is $26,000). According to U.S. News, the cost of an online master’s in engineering management degree runs between $9,000 and $35,000. Most programs run between 30 and 45 credits, meaning full-time students could complete the program in two years or one year with an accelerated schedule.

How to Choose an Online Master’s in Engineering Management Program

Choose your area of study

Depending on the online master’s in engineering management program a student decides on, they may need to choose a specific field of study. These fields of study, or concentrations, typically include process management, product management, operations management, and data analytics.

Each concentration prepares students for very specialized roles within the engineering workforce. Because of this, students should carefully consider what careers they would like to pursue after graduation and select a program that will best prepare them for that career. Otherwise, students may pay for classes that don’t ultimately benefit their career aspirations.

Research schools and programs

There are many different online master’s in engineering management programs to choose from, so students need to narrow down all of the possibilities to a few prospective schools.

One immediate way to do this is to check the accreditation status. Any schools that aren’t properly accredited are not worth attending because future employers will not necessarily respect or acknowledge such a school or its graduates. Students should also screen schools by cost. If a program is too expensive to attend without going into significant debt, you should choose a more affordable one. Finally, students may wish to review which professors will teach potential classes. Learning more about what these professors specialize in can help students better understand what they will learn from these classes.

Prepare for tests and applications

Some online master’s in engineering management programs no longer require students to submit GRE scores with their application, but others still have it as a requirement. For schools that require these scores, pay close attention to the application deadline: it can take up to three months to study for the GRE and up to 15 days to receive test results, so students hoping to get into a program sooner rather than later should consider applying to schools that don’t require GRE scores.

Students should also verify what other materials they must submit with the application, typically including undergrad transcripts, application essays, letters of recommendation, and a cover letter.

Select your program

After narrowing things down to a few interesting schools, students must decide which online master’s in engineering management program to apply to.

Cost remains a significant consideration: students may wish to focus on schools that seem more affordable or offer better financial aid opportunities. Additionally, students who worry about keeping up with their academic demands may want to apply to schools that provide extensive academic support. Finally, students hoping to network during grad school may focus on schools offering online students professional networking and internship opportunities.

Determine how you’ll pay for your degree

Students who need financial assistance to pay for their online master’s in engineering management degree should complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each academic year of their college career. After filling out this form, students will automatically be offered federal student loans, and filling out the FAFSA may qualify students for things like grants and scholarships (though these are few and far between).

Anyone who needs additional aid beyond this or is curious about available aid opportunities should contact the Financial Aid department of every school they are interested in applying to.

Best 50 Accredited Online Master’s in Engineering Management Programs

Best Master's in Engineering Management Programs 2023

University of South Florida

Johns Hopkins Engineering for Professionals

George Washington University

Stanford University

University of Southern California

Purdue University

University of Central Florida

Arkansas State University

Lamar University

National University

Penn State World Campus

University of Alabama at Birmingham

Ohio University

University of Houston - Clear Lake

Kettering University

Rowan University Global Learning & Partnerships

Drexel University

Colorado State University

University of North Carolina at Charlotte

University of California

University of Idaho

University of Arizona

South Dakota School of Mines and Technology

University of Colorado Colorado Springs

Texas Tech University

University of Michigan - Dearborn

Old Dominion University

University of Kansas

Iowa State University

Florida International University

Stevens Institute of Technology

UMass Amherst

Texas A&M University

Kansas State University

Duke University

Washington State University

New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology

Missouri University of Science and Technology

University of Louisville

Syracuse University

University of Wisconsin at Madison

Ohio State University

Louisiana Tech University

The University of Texas at Austin

University of Arkansas

Lawrence Technological University

University of Nebraska - Lincoln

University of New Orleans

University of Dayton

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How We Rank Schools

This list features some of the best online Master’s in Engineering Management programs at top colleges nationwide. Each school featured is a nonprofit, accredited institution — either public or private — with a high standard of academic quality for post-secondary institutions. Many of the schools on our list have been accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, which assesses the objectives, quality, and overall effectiveness of engineering and tech-related programs.

We evaluated each school’s program on tuition costs, admission, retention and graduation rates, faculty, reputation, and the student resources provided for online students. Then we calculated the Intelligent Score on a scale of 0 to 100. Read more about our ranking methodology.

Next, we compared this comprehensive list of online Master’s in Engineering Management programs to a list of aggregated college rankings from reputable publications like the U.S. News & World Report, among others, to simplify a student’s college search. We pored through these rankings so students don’t have to.

What Can You Expect from an Online Master’s in Engineering Management Program?

In an online master’s in engineering management program, students can expect courses emphasizing practical engineering skills rather than more abstract theory. In addition to advanced engineering concepts, these courses also emphasize business training, making many programs like a hybrid of an MBA and a Master of Science in Engineering.

With the master’s in engineering management programs, students should expect to complete practicums that help them demonstrate mastery of the different skills and concepts they have learned rather than just a thesis.

Full-time students can usually complete this online graduate program in two years. Some schools offer accelerated classes that allow full-time students to complete all required coursework within only one year. Fortunately, most schools offer flexible scheduling that can help accommodate part-time students, although part-time applicants should expect to spend at least three years completing their degree.

Potential courses you’ll take in an online master’s in engineering management degree program

  • Engineering Management Science. This course involves the study and application of different mathematical models. Students will learn how these models can help them optimize systems, forecast potential problems, and simulate diverse solutions.
  • Ethics and Values in Science and Technology. This course helps students navigate and understand the often complex relationship between science and technology developed by humans and how these developments shape and are shaped by ideas of morality.
  • Organizational Behavior. This course teaches students to understand how humans behave in groups and how to approach job design and organization that help to foster positive performance (including keeping workers motivated and focused on their daily tasks).
  • Engineering Management Strategy. This course is a capstone culmination of the different skills and concepts students have learned throughout their graduate program. It is typically discussion-based, with students having an open forum to discuss and critique the capstone projects that each of their peers completes and presents to the class.

What Can You Do With an Online Master’s in Engineering Management Degree?

Career outlook

Based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the career outlook for engineering managers is strong. Around 4% job growth is expected through 2032, which amounts to more than 200,000 additional jobs per year.

The average salary for engineering managers is well into six figures, sitting at $159,920 per year or $76.88 per hour. Pay and job availability can vary significantly depending on what engineering sector you’re going into. For example, industrial engineering is poised to see much faster job growth at 12%, and chemical engineering pays an average of $131,800 per year for nonmanagerial positions.

Career paths

A master’s degree in engineering management can prepare you for a career in any of the engineering fields. This includes chemical engineering, industrial engineering, manufacturing, and transportation.

Graduates often take on direct leadership roles for engineering teams but may also work in higher-level positions in corporate organizations as operations managers, project engineers, or directors of engineering.

Common career paths for an engineering manager include:

  • Engineering manager — liaise between the engineering team and upper-level management to facilitate process changes and decision-making
  • Project engineer — manage all aspects of engineering projects, including staffing, budget, and materials
  • Engineering operations manager — focus on infrastructure management and optimizing processes for maximum efficiency
  • Plant manager — oversee the daily operations of manufacturing plants
  • Director of engineering — lead an organization’s engineering department, focusing on decision-making, team building, and project management

Engineering Manager

Earning Potential: $102,450-$221,550 annually
Education Required: Master’s degree in Engineering Management, Engineering, Architecture, or related fields

Engineering managers are responsible for oversight of engineering teams and projects. They make decisions regarding resource allocation — including people and materials — to ensure projects operate efficiently and within budget. They are also responsible for hiring, training, promoting, and firing staff. Engineering managers need a deep understanding of all aspects of engineering projects, from the design and development of products and processes to testing, troubleshooting, and quality assurance. They must also be comfortable communicating and collaborating with upper-level management, including goal setting, budget development, and C-suite presentations.

Director of Engineering

Earning Potential: $174,817-$214,051 annually
Education Required: Master’s degree in Engineering Management, Engineering, or Business Administration

Directors of engineering are responsible for everything engineering-related within an organization. They are usually the direct supervisor for engineering managers and report to the C-suite executives, particularly the Chief Operating Officer (COO). Engineering directors are focused on interdepartmental collaboration, working with other teams, such as marketing, tech, and research and development. They must have excellent communication skills, be able to lead a team efficiently and effectively, and have a solid background in engineering.

Engineering Operations Manager

Earning Potential: $132,479-$163,717 annually
Education Required: Master’s degree in Engineering Management, Industrial Engineering, or related fields

Engineering operations managers are focused on the processes and systems used for engineering projects. Their main goal is to make everything as efficient as possible to ensure the lowest cost for the highest return. Engineering operations managers need to keep a close eye on the budget and forecasting as well as resource and materials management. They ensure engineering teams have the tools to meet their goals and solve problems when issues arise. These managers must also ensure that teams are following the proper safety and security procedures and conduct postmortems on incidents.

Online Master’s in Engineering Management Degree Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply to an online master’s in engineering management degree program?

To apply to an online master’s in engineering management program, students must locate the application on the university website. There, students can complete and apply after verifying the requirements (including whether GRE scores, letters of recommendation, or application essays are required).

Students who still have questions about the school or the application are encouraged to contact the admissions office for the school in question. This office can answer all the student’s questions while confirming all details about the application, including whether the school now has everything they were looking for.

How much does an online master’s in engineering management degree cost?

According to U.S. News, students can expect to pay between $9,000 and $35,000 for their online master’s in engineering management. The range is so extreme because some programs are more expensive than others. As a rule of thumb, public schools are always more affordable than private schools, and in-state tuition is always cheaper than out-of-state tuition. By carefully selecting an inexpensive program, students can ensure they don’t graduate with excessive debt.

No matter the cost, online students may also be relieved to know they are saving money by taking courses remotely because they can avoid the various costs associated with on-campus classes (including fees, parking tags, and an expensive relocation to a college town).

How long does it take to earn an online master’s in engineering management degree?

Students who attend full-time can typically complete an online master’s in engineering management degree within two years. If a student attends part-time, it may take three years to complete their coursework. For full-time students taking an accelerated class, it may be possible to complete coursework in as little as one year. Ultimately, it’s up to each student to honestly assess how much time and energy they have available for schoolwork and to pick a program that best suits their needs.

Is an online master’s in engineering management degree worth it?

If you want to increase your earning potential and take on higher-level management roles, an online master’s in engineering management degree can be your stepping stone.

Completing this degree makes you a suitable managerial candidate in most engineering disciplines. When combined with years of experience, it also puts director-level positions within reach. The average annual salary for someone with a master’s in engineering management degree is $101,000.

Online programs give you the same education and training as a traditional classroom experience. You’ll learn about federal and state regulations and how to lead a team effectively. Projects and assignments focus on things like the application of mathematical models for accurate forecasting, ethical considerations in science and technology, and engineering management strategy.

Completing an online degree also gives you experience with collaborating and communicating with classmates and instructors in a remote environment. This will likely be increasingly valuable in the workplace as hybrid and remote teams become more popular.

Read More about Engineering Management Degrees