Mechanical Engineering Technician

A Mechanical Engineering Technician supports and assists a Mechanical Engineer in developing, designing, and testing mechanical devices such as engines, machines and tools. They help by preparing drawings of parts that are needed in manufacturing tools and machines. They read and interpret blueprints and instructions to make sure the proper procedures are being followed. They might produce and assemble new mechanical parts for machinery and equipment and conduct tests on completed pieces to test for quality and performance. They also record their findings and make recommendations for improvements.

Mechanical Engineering Technicians must make estimates for the cost of labor, the life of the equipment and the amount of space needed for the assembled machinery. They help run tests on equipment to identify and eliminate potential production issues.

Work Environment
Mechanical Engineering Technicians work alongside Mechanical Engineers in a research laboratory or a manufacturing setting. Due to the nature of their work they may be exposed to potentially hazardous and toxic materials, and equipment. If proper procedures are followed, hazardous injuries are rare. Mechanical Engineering Technicians typically work full time, regular work schedules.

How to Become a Mechanical Engineering Technician
Employers prefer to hire Mechanical Engineering Technicians with an associate’s degree in Mechanical Engineering Technology or equivalent certification through a vocational or technical school. Students studying to become a Mechanical Engineering Technician should plan on taking as many math and sciences courses as possible as well as courses in mechanical design, thermodynamics and fluid mechanics.

Earning an associate’s degree in Mechanical Engineering Technology opens the door to earning a Bachelor’s degree.

Some important qualities of a Mechanical Engineering Technician include: excellent math and mechanical skills. A Mechanical Engineering Technician uses math every day when drawing and studying schematics and many other job duties. They also must be very mechanically inclined since they help in assembling machinery and equipment. A Mechanical Engineering Technician must be very creative and detail oriented. They have to use their creative minds to help a Mechanical Engineer bring their drawings to life. They also must use very precise measurements and keep accurate data. In addition, they must use their interpersonal skills and communication skills to work in a team environment and be able to follow directions and give feedback as necessary.

According to recent research performed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a Mechanical Engineering Technician can make between $33,500 and $77,000 per year depending on the industry they work in. The median salary is about $52,000 per year.

Job Outlook
The growth in employment for Mechanical Engineering Technicians will vary by industry over the next ten years. Many manufacturing and other industries are beginning to contract out the services of Mechanical Engineering Technicians to Engineering Services rather than hiring them in house. This allows the company to keep costs down by only paying for a Mechanical Engineering Technician when they need one. This will help in sustaining the need for Mechanical Engineering Technicians.

Work is beginning to emerge for Mechanical Engineering Technicians in the fields of remanufacturing, alternative energies, automation and 3D printing. Specializing in one of these new technologies will soon be important in this industry. The candidates that have the knowledge and skills in the latest technology will have the best job prospects.

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