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Mechanical Engineering Technician Career

Career Description

Mechanical Engineering Technicians apply theory and principles of mechanical engineering to modify, develop, and test machinery and equipment under direction of engineering staff or physical scientists.

Common Work Tasks

  • Help engineers design, develop, test, and manufacture industrial machinery, consumer products, and other equipment
  • Assist in product tests by, for example, setting up instrumentation for auto crash tests
  • Make sketches and rough layouts, record and analyze data, make calculations and estimates, and report on their findings
  • Prepare layouts and drawings of the assembly process and of parts to be manufactured
  • Estimate labor costs, equipment life, and plant space
  • Test and inspect machines and equipment or work with engineers to eliminate production problems
  • Review project instructions and blueprints to ascertain test specifications, procedures, and objectives, and test nature of technical problems such as redesign
  • Review project instructions and specifications to identify, modify and plan requirements fabrication, assembly and testing
  • Devise, fabricate, and assemble new or modified mechanical components for products such as industrial machinery or equipment, and measuring instruments
  • Discuss changes in design, method of manufacture and assembly, and drafting techniques and procedures with staff and coordinate corrections

Other Job Titles

Mechanical Engineering Technicians are also known by other titles, including:

  • Aerospace Engineering and Operations Technicians
  • Civil Engineering Technicians
  • Environmental Engineering Technicians
  • Electromechanical Engineering Technicians

Education, Training, and Experience

Education and Training
Although it may be possible to qualify for certain engineering technician jobs without formal training, most employers prefer to hire someone with at least a 2-year associate degree in engineering technology. People with college courses in science, engineering, and mathematics may qualify for some positions but may need additional specialized training and experience. Prospective engineering technicians should take as many high school science and math courses as possible to prepare for programs in engineering technology after high school.

Experience
  Because many engineering technicians assist in design work, creativity is desirable. Good communication skills and the ability to work well with others also are important as engineering technicians are typically part of a team of engineers and other technicians.

Salary

The median annual salary for a mechanical engineering technician is $47,000. The top 10 percent earn more than $72,000, and the lowest 10 percent earn less than $30,000. Median earnings in the industries employing the largest number of mechanical engineering technicians are:

  • Architectural, Engineering, and Related Services - $47,260
  • Scientific Research and Development Services  - $54,710
  • Navigational, Measuring, Electromedical, and Control Instruments Manufacturing  - $48,460
  • Other General Purpose Machinery Manufacturing - $48,770
  • Aerospace Product and Parts Manufacturing  - $57,660

Job Outlook

  • 2006-2016 Employment growth:  6%
  • Number of new jobs created 2006-2016: 3,100
  • Employment 2006 : 48,000
  • Employment 2016:  51,000
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