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ME or MET?

  1. Dec 29, 2009 #1
    Hey guys, I'm a freshmen in Montana State University, and I have no clue which path I want to follow. I am currently enrolled into ME but I only have one semester under my belt so if I switch it wont be to much of a big deal...
    I tried to talk to my advisor about this stuff but he tells me he's too busy and to come back at another time (I've tried 5 times now :grumpy:)
    So, to my real question =P, Whats the main difference between ME and MET?
    What would be better to go into for someone that wants to go into weapon design, such as working for the government to create bigger better weapons? And I'm not talking about only drafting and designing it using Pro-E ... I hate that crap. I like to be physical with my creations, I love to tinker with things to make them better and stronger. I have a passion for machines but not the whole drawing them out and all that jazz...
    If you guys have any information for me that would be great, I'm not in Engineering for the money, I'm here to do what I love.
    ~James
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 29, 2009 #2

    Mech_Engineer

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    Well a mechanical engineering technology degree will be a mechanical drafter/technician. The job will depend on the company, but an MET is basically someone who works for an ME and knows somewhat generally what they are talking about, but doesn't have the in-depth math and physics skills to design something from conception.

    If you want to design things from scratch, get an ME degree. If you want to design things in CAD based on an engineer's vision and put designs together get the MET degree. FWIW, an MET will also have a lower salary, and have fewer chances for advancement.
     
  4. Dec 29, 2009 #3

    FredGarvin

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    In the couple of employers I have worked for that also employed METs, they were technicians and not thought of as engineers. That is not to say that they were not highly regarded for their skills, but they were not thought of as engineers. That included also salary and benefits as well as seniority. Take that for what you will.
     
  5. Dec 30, 2009 #4
    I have to say, it is the unfortunate reality that technicians, even ones with lots of experience are looked at as "second rate". your career path is severly limited, as is your respect and salary. but what really gets under my skin (yes I am a tech) is when managers look at the green engineer as " a god of math, technology and science" (no disrespect ment) and the 30 year tech as just another brainless, knuckle draggin' hourly minion......(breathe, breathe must....not.....rant......... )

    to have a successful career, you need to fill your bag with any shingle you can get before leaving school. don't fall in the trap, "well I can always go back"
    you can, but its not easy, (and don't fall in love during your 2nd year...lol)
    get your ME, EE, etc PLUS some sort of business or marketing. very few CEO's that are engineers, vs the number of marketers.

    dr
     
  6. Dec 30, 2009 #5

    Mech_Engineer

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    The environment a technician works in is also incompatible with many requirements of an engineering position, so it can be difficult to transition from a technical position to an engineering position.

    Technicians live in a results-based world. If a design's hole is located in the wrong spot, you drill a new one. If you're missing a screw or a spring when assembling a design, you find one that works. If a drawing is incorrect, you find the correct dimension and move on. The goal of a technician's labor is a single assembled unit, and how you got there is essentially irrelevant as long as the finished product works.

    An engineer on the other hand worry's about WHY all of those problems cropped up. If a hole is located incorrectly, look at the drawings, look at the tolerance analysis, find out what happened and fix it at the source. If a screw is missing, you look at the BOM and run through the requisitions to see how it fell through the cracks. If a drawing is incorrect, you fix the problem in the drawing and make sure that engineering document control releases a new revision of the drawing for manufacture. All of this work makes sure the next 100 items do not have the same problems as the first one. This is an accountability-based world where you're putting your signature on something that you checked it and are putting your professional reputation behind it. How you got there matters as much as anything else.
     
  7. Dec 30, 2009 #6
    I should add one thing.
    as a tech, I have gotten to go to some of the most amazing places in the world. I've tour'd most major aircraft mfg plants, many more than once
    NASA's JPL, Redstone, Johnson, Glenn, Edwards, and many more
    all in quest to satisfy the customer
    there is NO FEELING like "ringing the bell" for the customer,
    and then returning to my bench, tools and tech support line with the "conquering hero" song in your heart
    that is true job satisfaction
    you actually feel:
    "BBBAD, BBAD, BBAD, BAD TO THE BONE"

    lol

    dr
     
  8. Feb 6, 2010 #7
    I am in my Freshman year of college @ msu (midwestern state univ.) I feel the college is not right for me at this point in my life. I have grown up most of my life here and just need to get away for awhile. The only good thing about this college is its way cheap prices, but with that being said it seems alot of teachers have an "i dont give a crap" attitude.
    So i have been looking into colleges for next semester and sofar I really like UNT (univ. north texas) It is relatively inexpensive, but with all the degrees they offer no ME they have MET however so If I was to attend this college for a year and progress in the MET degree but also by using my ME syllabus and just finish off the basics (Im in calc. 2 and physics 2 already) but if i was too keep taking as many of the ME courses as I could at UNT then after a year there go to another school or maybe back to MSU to finish the ME degree (I am just really taking a liking to UNT...). Does anyone have any inputs or better ideas or if this is possible because I really want to be an ME, but need a break from my current university it just doesn't feel like the right place for me. Right now federal aid and scholarships are covering the majority of my cost that is why I cant just jump into a 60g private school that offers ME so I think UNT is very reasonable. Sorry for my poor wording I'm just wondering how I can go to UNT for at least a year and advance as far as I can in ME using a college with ME then transfer to that college to graduate(mainly if im going up in colleges so I will have the chance to finance it better in the future).
     
  9. May 29, 2010 #8
    I am currently in the MET program at Purdue University. I got a 3.9 in my first year. I am going to start a MET co-op next fall. I am taking summer classes this summer. But, I think I can go ME and be more successful. So my dilemma is the fact that I wasted a whole year of schooling, not to mention my parents money. And I'm a little scared that I wont make it through the ME curriculum. I am just really confused at this point. There are so many unknowns that make this choice a huge risk...... :(
     
  10. May 29, 2010 #9
    In the summer I work for a manufacturer that makes fasteners and also some components for nuclear reactors (accumulators, control rod drives, etc.) and there is an MET employed there not thought of as a technician. Basically he uses his knowledge of machining and manufacturing to come up with prices for the costumer.
     
  11. May 29, 2010 #10
    Is he looked at for promotions? or is that as far as an MET degree will take someone? I really want to go into ME for the long term benefits.
     
  12. Jun 1, 2010 #11

    stewartcs

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    I know a guy who is a VP of Engineering that has an Electronics Engineering Technology degree.

    CS
     
  13. Dec 14, 2010 #12
    Wow, I can't believe some of the negative comments on here regarding the MET degree. I have an MET degree from the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown that I received in 1993. I never worked as a "technician or draftsman", but did manage a few over the years. To assume that someone with an MET degree will not be able to get an Engineering job is flat out false. It's a bad stereotype that has cropped up over the years because a lot of programs are sub-par and lack the proper credentials to be solid, viable programs.

    Many MET programs are very good and I will cite UPJ's as such. As I review my tests, I see that in their program I used the same circuits text as UC, the same thermo text as MIT, the same Statics and Strength of Materials texts as Purdue and a whole host of the classical "cloth bound" engineering texts used by lots of major universities around the country. I, for one, have never understood the high and mighty attitudes of some of the guys who get a straight ME degree and then talk down on the MET degree REGARDLESS of where it is from. I'd advise these types to take a look at the program before you make a blanket statement as such, because most likely you are off base. I'll also remind you that if a straight ME program and an MET program is using the same text but the ME program being at a LARGE university puts you in a classroom with 200 other people whilst the MET program places you in a smaller class setting...well, let's just say that you will get better service in the smaller setting.

    "METs don't have the math skills"-Another blanket statement that is likely very false. Any good ME or MET program will require the same set of math skills and these are usually received in the first couple of years of any good program. You'll typically also be in there with Physics and other majors as well. This typically will include 2 or more calculus classes and a class in differential equations. In a good MET program you'll actually use that math to solve problems in classes like Finite Elements or Vibrations.

    I have 15+ years in several Engineering/manufacturing companies. I have yet to meet one straight ME that I consider out of my league in terms of their ability to reason, solve problems, analyze or design. I have had one supervisor who felt it necessary to make comments about my degree, even though I also have an MBA from Xavier University and wasn't working as an Engineer for him. This same person ran manufacturing yet had a hard time telling me what welding process was used in the shop and furthermore admitted he didn't know the difference between MIG and TIG welding. WOW, how's that ME degree working for you these days?

    Over the years I've worked with a lot of people. Ironic it is that some of the best designers I have ever worked with had no degree at all. You can't teach creativity, I'm convinced of that. I've also worked with a lot of MEs who thought high and mighty of themselves and I watched a straight ME guy design something on SoildWorks that passed all the stress analysis tests, but how ironic...he forgot to model the product how it was used in the real world and it had a major deflection based problem that required a last minute "band-aid" fix before it went to launch. This fix also added significant cost to the product. Noted individual also had an MBA but could not, under any circumstance, manage his way out of a paper bag. This had everything to do with a product launch that was 9+ months late and costs MANY thousands of dollars in lost margin contribution for a company who was already on the downward spiral. Remember guys, a lot of designs are deflection limited, not stress limited. I guess somewhere along the way people lose their common sense when they hang a degree on the wall.

    Before you pass judgement on a person because they have an MET degree, I would urge you to take a look at the program they went through and in addition have a look at their work history and accomplishments. Just because someone graduated with a straight ME degree is NOT a guarantee they will be a brilliant problem solver, engineer, designer or even a technician for that matter. And just because someone has an MET degree certainly doesn't guarantee that they can't solve a differential equation or calculate an I value or plot the stress on a Mohr's circle. Additionally, many METs will take the FE exam and pass that with flying colours just like the ME guys can. UPJ happened to have a higher pass rate on the FE exam than a lot of straight ME programs did at the time I went there. Enough said.

    One always has to prove him or her self in the real world and real world work experience with the degree is where the assessment on an individual must be made. If you're blaming your MET degree on your lack of getting a promotion or the pay increase you are after, I would urge you to take a look at your performance on the job before you curse your MET degree.
     
  14. Dec 14, 2010 #13

    Mech_Engineer

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    Please refer to the descriptions posted at ASME's website, they have a good comparison online which basically says what I summarized... I'm not degrading an MET degree, the two are functionally different in their application and purpose.

    http://www.asme.org/Communities/Students/K12/Technology_Which_Path_Take.cfm" [Broken]

    Mechanical Engineer:

    Mechanical Engineering Technology:
     
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  15. Dec 14, 2010 #14
    Do you suppose the descriptions on the ASME website were written by those who have a straight ME degree? As if to say the MET is not capable of pushing the state of the art. Again, another broad-brush approach to describing the two programs. How is it that an ME is stated as having higher math credentials than the MET when in many instances they take the same math courses? Are you aware of what is called the LCD?

    A lot of ME guys do look down on METs...I have seen this. I can understand that some MET programs are garbage...and there are probably some straight ME programs which are also garbage. Again, it all gets back to how you apply yourself in the real world. A degree is just the starting point for a career, it is not the end-all by which a person will be judged as a superior performer. Have you ever given a review or received a review where the supervisor said "we like the fact that you have a degree from XX university, so therefore we are giving you a raise"...VERY unlikely in my opinion.

    Is one supposed to read the ASME website and assume that you will automatically get a superior candidate with an ME degree vs an MET degree? How brilliant do you think anybody is straight out of a 4-year program anyway?

    I think my ex-boss said it best when he said to me: "Imagine how smart this guys kids are going to be, he went to CMU and she's a med student". This was about a new employee who he just hired and had yet to even walk in the door. Stereotyping of any form is simply wrong, yet he systematically pushed 3 METs around like sub-par to his MEs, even though some of his MEs regularly performed more poorly than his METs. I'd laugh when he'd get up and draw a stress-strain curve in the middle of a meeting acting like none of us knew what it was. Palease.

    Need I bring up some MEs lost their PE license over this mess:

    http://ethics.tamu.edu/ethics/hyatt/hyatt1.htm [Broken]

    That's an example of a real world issue with registered PEs.

    What you said was "Well a mechanical engineering technology degree will be a mechanical drafter/technician". A blanket statement like that will not get you anywhere and it's stereotypes like this that give people who completed a good program a bad name coming out of the gate. I've seen plenty of METs in high end design and development positions. 3 years out of my MET program I was a Product Line Engineer for a major high-speed packaging manufacturer and I have plenty of clean sheet new designs I could show you to back that up. Additionally, I have three US patents to my name.

    I think you need to do some more research before you make such blanket statements about degrees in general. You might actually see the light in this situation if you do that. For your own benefit, before you stereotype METs as drafters and technicians why not do a little research on the subject with data to back those statements up? Where I went to school you always had to have some data to back up your theory. Or maybe they don't teach you that in your beloved ME programs? ;)

    And remember, part of the correct answer always includes proper units.
     
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  16. Dec 14, 2010 #15

    Mech_Engineer

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    Can you post a link to an accredited MET program which includes as much math and physics as a standard ME program? If an MET program includes just as much course work as an ME program, there's no reason to call it an MET program in the first place, its just ME!

    My understanding is that in general, MET programs are assocate's degree programs which are aimed at machinists, technicians, and technical designers/drafters. It's not an insult, I'm telling you what the degree is designed around...

    I'm not looking down on anybody, the two degrees have different applications in parallel fields. The fact is that most companies won't hire a person with an associate's MET degree into an ME position, generally because most MET programs are lighter in math and physics. If you don't agree with this statement, feel free to post links to MET programs which include the same math and physics classes as an ME program from the same university.

    What is the relevance to this thread? The OP asked what the difference between the two degrees is, and what you're basically saying is "there is no difference" which is not true.

    Superior candidate for what position? Machinist, or R&D design engineer?

    ... and what does that have to do with the distinction between an ME and MET degree?

    You're still not distinguishing between an ME and MET degree on the fundamental level. Why are they named differently at all? If an MET degree is the same thing as an ME degree, why are they named differently?

    Relevance?

    From what I've seen, you're blanketing all ME's as stuck-up idiots, and all MET's are skilled engineers. All I'm pointing out is the difference in the curriculums and their target careers. I'm not trying to insult anybody.

    Here, the ME and MET programs at Purdue University. I chose the 4-year MET program to keep things comparable, obviously there isn't much reason to compare an associate's degree to a bachelor's degree.

    ME Curriculum: https://engineering.purdue.edu/ME/Academics/Undergraduate/index.html
    Math: Differential Calc, Intergral Calc, Multivariate Calc, Linear Algebra, Ord Diff Eq, Partial Diff Eq
    Physics: Modern Physics, Statics, Dynamics, Mech. of Matls, Struc & Prop of Matls
    Technical: Elec & Optics, Lin. Circuit Anal, Measurements, System Mod. & Anal, Control Systems, Chemistry, Thermo I, Thermo II, Fluid Mechanics, Heat & Mass Transfer, several engineering design theory courses.


    MET Curriculum: http://www.tech.purdue.edu/met/academics/undergraduate/curricula/met_bs.cfm
    Math: Precalc, Calc for Technology I, Calc for Technology II
    Physics: Materials and Processes I, Materials and Processes II, Applied Statics, Dynamics, General Physics I, General Physics II, Electricity fundamentals, Heat/Power, Fluid/Power, Applied Thermodynamics, Applied Fluid Mechanics.
    Technical: Graphics Communications, Computational Analysis Tools in MET, Computer Analysis Tools for MET, Production Design and Specifications, Visual Programming, Controls and Instrumentation for Automation

    Also from the Purdue website:

     
  17. Dec 15, 2010 #16
    I never said the two were the same, what I did say is that many METs end up getting the same jobs as MEs do. How old are you and what is your industry experience? I'm 40 and have worked in the fields of die casting, design engineering, project engineering and product management with a focus on new product development. I've worked with both MEs and METs and I can assure you that in the practical world there is no appriciable difference in the quality a candidate brings to the table. In fact, I'd go out on the limb and state that the MET for a good university is a quality, practical minded graduate that can get in and get things done.

    Your assessment that most MET programs are 2 year is again, False. UPJ doesn't offer a 2 year program and I will attach the following link so you can review the program:

    http://www.upj.pitt.edu/2818/ [Broken]

    If you take a look, you will see 3 calculus courses, a differential equation course, fluid mechanics, statics and strengths, dynamics, two thermo courses, materials science, heat transfer and vibrations...ALL mandatory.
     
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  18. Dec 15, 2010 #17
    When you make a statement like:

    " Superior candidate for what position? Machinist, or R&D design engineer?"

    This clearly shows me you have a strong bias towards thinking that the MET degree only gets you into a low level position and that's just not true. For the record I meant a design/engineering role. When people like you make blanket statements like that you tarnish a lot of others without having the facts to do so. Have you heard of the company CTC? I'll tell you straight up that they have hired UPJ graduates and in fact many of the guys worked there on engineering R&D projects whilst they studied at UPJ. We're not talking drafting and technicians here my friend, this is primarily a RESEARCH company that has a lot of government funding.

    You and my ex-boss would work well together. He's just as negative as you are in this regard and probably more blind than you are. He's by far one of the most arrogant people I have ever worked with and quite frankly watching him make comments about METs was laughable. So misguided. I'd advise you to approach this subject with a much more open mind in the future.
     
  19. Dec 15, 2010 #18

    Mech_Engineer

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    What in your opinion is the distinction between an ME and MET degree? There must be a reason two different degrees are provided. Also, why would you get an MET degree instead of an ME?

    It's irrelevant because my arguments are all coming from programs and organizations which offer this degree; I am not trying to establish myself as an authority on ME/MET degrees (clearly you are).

    That being said, I work in the defence/nuclear operations, sensing and diagnostics industry. Where I work an MET degree is a 2-year degree a person gets to become a technician. I'm NOT bashing MET degrees, in my experience they are a lower-level (associate's) degree.

    That's fine, although its a generalization that is based on your experience and not on fact or a nationwide study on MET degrees. My statement is that the MET people I have worked with are excellent technicians, but people with associate's degrees are not hired into engineer positions at my company without significant experience and high-level manager approval.

    Why do they even call it an MET degree if the course load is the same as a mechanical engineer? Please refer to UPJ's description of the MET degree:

    This description is in-line with what I have been describing, as well as the description ASME provides.

    I was clarifying which stance you were taking. It seems to me that an MET is well-qualified to become a machinist for example, because they take classes dealing with advanced theory and operation of machining equipment which an ME typically does not. However an MET is typically not well-suited to a R&D engineering position because they are trained to utilize the state-of-the-art, rather than advance it. This is corroborated by ASME and UPJ.

    I also notice that while the UPJ program is very strong in physics and math, it does not deal with any engineering-theory courses which deal with the engineering design process, requirements, documentation, and engineering ethics. This is in-line with UPJ's claim that MET is essentially a functional degree rather than a theoretical development one. No offense, it's just the facts and an important distinction.

    It is dependent on the specific company and specific job description. Where I work, an ME degree is better suited for a design engineering role because even a "super MET" degree from UPJ does not cover engineering theory and practice, a critical component of my job description. This is backed up by ASME and UPJ.

    I'm not out to tarnish anybody, I'm simply presenting the descriptions and claims given by recognized engineering organizations and universities. My statements are backed up by even the link you provided, although UPJ does provide more engineer-level math and physics than a typical MET program.

    So UPJ has a very strong MET program, that's great! I'm glad people are able to get good jobs they like after going to school for it. I wouldn't consider the UPJ program the "normal" MET degree however. It seems to me that most MET programs (especially associate's ones) offer curriculums which are less math-intensive, for people who don't like math.

    Be that as it may, if a high school senior is looking for a major and wants to be a design engineer "when he or she grows up," the best bet is an ME degree. Even if the UPJ MET program is so close to an ME degree it's hard to understand why they have the two different programs at all... it doesn't cover engineering theory and practice.
     
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  20. Dec 15, 2010 #19
    [PLAIN]http://images2.memegenerator.net/ImageMacro/4339461/They-said-I-could-be-anything-So-I-became-a-mechanical-engineering-technologist.jpg?imageSize=Large&generatorName=PTSD-Clarinet-Boy [Broken]
     
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  21. Dec 15, 2010 #20
    In all seriousness, if you want to become an engineer then a proper engineering degree is the way to go about it.

    A mechanical engineering technology degree sounds like what we'd call an an HNC or HND over here, given the roles it trains you for.

    The thing is, engineers couldn't exist without technicians who can implement and manufacture their designs, carry out maintenance and and repairs. It pisses me off when arrogant engineering graduates think they're the **** because their degree has lots of maths in it and that they're above technicians. Thankfully industry here does a good job of knocking down pretentious graduates a step.
     
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