Mechanical Engineering Psychology Degree Programs

Mechanical engineering is a discipline which applies aspects of material science and physics to design, and maintains and manufactures mechanical systems. This field makes use of mechanical power and heat to design, produce, and operate tools in addition to advancing productivity and efficiency in different industries and manufacturing plants.

Engineering psychology has a singular relationship with mechanical engineering, in that it focuses on the behavior and ability of humans who design and produce mechanical products. It is an applied field of psychological science which helps enhance people-machine relationships by planning the interactions between man and machine, and by designing the equipment or the environment in which they both work. People in this field have the responsibility of improving these relations. Through proper education and experience, one might obtain a reputable job in this field and enjoy a fulfilling career.

Overview

Mechanical engineering psychologists concentrate on making machines more user-friendly. Because this science was created from experimental psychology, experts are especially concerned with continuous revisions of equipment and environment to enhance peoples’ comfort and performance. These revisions are made through engineering psychologists’ capability and knowledge in improving human and machine performance. Through proper research and experiments, such as changing designs and approaches where needed, they can find which scenario best suits a given individual.

Mechanical engineering psychology is also associated with other human factors and ergonomics.These psychologists apply methods from various disciplines to enhance individuals’ overall efficiency in working with and around machines. In this way, they are similar to human factors specialists; though the latter group makes use of broader principles to provide comfort, both groups of professionals have the ultimate goal of improving quality of life by reducing stress and fatigue, while simultaneously increasing safety, satisfaction, and comfort.

Degree Programs

Bachelor Degrees

A bachelor’s degree in this field focuses on teaching students about human behavior in relation to equipment, large-scale systems, machines, and the designing of products. The general applications that are part of this program are environmental design, computer interface design, biomedical engineering and consumer product design. Popular courses include computer science, electrical and computer engineering, civil and environmental engineering, linguistics, and engineering psychology.

Masters Degrees

To obtain a master’s degree, students have to complete 36 credit hours along with a first year research project. The general courses taught are biopsychology, perception, cognitive neuroscience, and engineering and human performance. In addition to this, students are required to produce a research thesis demonstrating quantitative skills.

Ph.D. Programs

Students could choose a concentration in cognitive psychology, engineering psychology, or social psychology, and choose from courses such as cognitive neuroscience, developmental psychology, history and systems, and perception and learning. Those who acquire this degree might work in the design and evaluation sector of the computer industry.

Career Opportunities

In 2011, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated that about 57,950 people work as occupational health and safety specialists. Most of them work in the aviation industries, though others are employed in military related centers, consulting firms, and private settings. The field has an anticipated growth rate of 12% through 2018.

Salary Prospects

In the year 2011, the average annual salary for a mechanical engineering psychologist was $83,000 (indeed.com).

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