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Industrial Machinery Mechanics
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Description: what do they do?
Repair, install, adjust, or maintain industrial production and processing machinery or refinery and pipeline distribution systems.
Also known as:
Machine Adjuster, Maintenance Mechanic, Maintenance Technician, Master Mechanic, Overhauler, Loom Fixer, Mechanic, Industrial Mechanic, Industrial Machinery Mechanic, Fixer

    What does this information tell me?

    This description is a quick overview of what workers in this career might do.

    "Also known as" shows other common names for this career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center.

Career video
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    Transcript: Industrial machinery works around the clock to manufacture food products, generate power, and move suitcases at the airport. Industrial machinery maintenance workers, mechanics, and millwrights make sure industrial machinery stays on the job. Machinery maintenance workers do basic maintenance and repairs, such as cleaning and lubricating machinery, performing basic diagnostic tests, and testing damaged parts. Using computerized diagnostic equipment and expertise, industrial machinery mechanics detect and fix mechanical problems; just listening to a machine’s vibration, they can distinguish a worn belt from a weak motor bearing. Millwrights install and disassemble industrial machines as well as conduct repairs. They often move machines within a facility, carefully categorizing and sequencing every part. They use cranes and forklifts to bring the heavy parts to the new location. In addition to hand tools, these workers use welding and cutting equipment, and precision-measuring devices. Because of the high risk of injury on the job, safety precautions and protective equipment such as hardhats, steel-toed shoes, and earplugs are essential. Industrial machinery mechanics and maintenance workers typically work regular, full-time hours, although overtime is common, especially for mechanics. Millwrights may have more variable schedules with downtime between projects, as they usually work on a contract basis to assemble or disassemble machines. While all 3 need a high school education to enter the field, machinery maintenance workers typically receive on-the-job training; industrial machinery mechanics need a year or more of training; and most millwrights learn their skills in a 4-year apprenticeship— although an associate’s degree in industrial maintenance may suffice.
View transcript
Outlook: will there be jobs?
Image. Employment outlook for this occupation
New job opportunities are likely in the future.


    What does this information tell me?

    Outlook information can tell you whether a career is expected to be in demand in the future—that is, whether there are likely to be job openings if you choose this career. Careers can have one of three outlooks:

    • A Bright outlook means new job opportunities are very likely in the future
    • An Average outlook means that a small number of new job opportunities are likely in the future (less than an 8 percent increase)
    • A Below Average outlook means new job opportunities are less likely in the future

    You can also view local job listings in this field by clicking "Find job openings" above. This can help you see if local businesses are hiring—another way of looking at demand.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET’s Bright Outlook occupations. Note this information is only available at a national level, so even if you selected a state, you’ll only see this information for the whole country.

Projected employment
Washington
6,610
2014 Employment
7,500
2024 Employment
13%
Percent change
270
Annual projected job openings
United States
346,900
2016 Employment
370,100
2026 Employment
7%
Percent change
33,000
Annual projected job openings

    What does this information tell me?

    Projected employment shows how much employment is expected to grow in this occupation over a 10-year period. This can help you decide if this career is a good choice for future job opportunities. You can look at projected employment in your state, or in other states where you might consider living.

    You can see the total number of people employed in this occupation in 2014 (for states) or 2016 (nationally), the number expected to be employed in 2024 or 2026, and rate of growth over those years.

    The projections are based on assumptions of unemployment rates and labor productivity growth rates.  While the projected numbers may not be exact, they are helpful to compare one career to another, or one location to another.

    What is the source of this information?

    State-level data come from Projections Central: Long Term Projections.

    National-level data come from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections, Employment Projections: 2016-26.

Typical wages

Annual wages for Industrial Machinery Mechanics in Washington
LocationWashingtonUnited States
10%$35,070$33,030
25%$44,230$40,770
Median$56,280$51,360
75%$72,610$62,940
90%$89,670$77,540


    What does this information tell me?

    This chart shows you a range of how much most workers in this occupation earn per hour, in the location that you selected.

    You can select from three views of this data:

    • The Graph shows you wages at the 10th, 25th, 50th, 75th and 90th percentiles. Note that the lowest (10th %ile) wage shown is not necessarily a "starting wage." Instead it means that 10 percent of all workers in this career earn less that this amount, and 90 percent earn more. However, you can assume that you might earn close to the 10th or 25th %ile wages when you start out in most careers.
    • Select "Chart" to see a visual comparison between national wages and wages in the location you selected.
    • Select "Table" to see more wage data the national and local level.

    Please note that wage data are not available at the city or ZIP code level. If you selected a city or ZIP code, you will see wage data for the regional area.

    Also note that in this update, 21 detailed occupations found within the 2010 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) were replaced with 10 new aggregations of those occupations; read more about these OES changes.

    You can learn more about wages for this and other occupations by clicking “See more wages” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    The wage information comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics Program, 2017 data. For more detailed state wage data, please find the link to your state's wage data program in the Other Resources box.

Education and experience: to get started
People starting in this career usually have:
  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • No work experience
  • More than 1 year on-the-job training

Programs that can prepare you:

    What does this information tell me?

    This shows you the typical level of education, work experience, and on-the-job training that most people have when they start in this career. Note that these are not requirements for entering this field, but the information can help you understand how qualified you might be.

    Interested in starting in this career? You can search for education programs in your local area by clicking “Find local training” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections Education and Training Data.

Typical education
How much education do most people in this career have?
Chart. Percent of workers in this field by education level attained

    What does this information tell me?

    This chart shows you the range of education levels that people who currently work in this field have. You can use this to see if you fit in this range. Note that this includes ALL people who work in this field and not just those getting started.

    Interested in getting qualified for this career? You can search for programs that lead to the education needed, in your local area, by clicking “Find local training” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections Education and Training Data.

Certifications: show your skills
Let employers know you have the skills to do well at this job.
Earning a certification can help you:
  • Get a job
  • Get a promotion

    What does this information tell me?

    When you click "Find certifications" you'll see a list of national certifications that are related to this career. From there, you can learn how to achieve one of these certifications to help you enter or get ahead in this field.

    What is the source of this information?

    This collection of occupational certifications is collected and regularly updated by CareerOneStop. Learn more at Certification Finder Help.

Licenses: do you need one?
Some states require an occupational license to work in this career.

    What does this information tell me?

    When you click "Find license details in your state" you'll see the license name and contact information for the agency in your state that oversees licensing for this field. If you have not selected a location, you'll see a list of all state licenses for this occupation.

    What is the source of this information?

    Information on licensed occupations is gathered in each state by Labor Market Information units under a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. Learn more at License Finder Help.

Apprenticeships: learn on the job
Apprenticeships combine paid on-the-job-training with classroom lessons.

    What does this information tell me?

    When you click "Find apprenticeship sponsors" you'll find information that can help you locate apprenticeship opportunities in your state:

    • If there are businesses that have sponsored apprenticeships in this field in the past, you'll find their name and contact information.
    • If there are related occupations that might have apprenticeship opportunities, you'll find links to that information.
    • You'll also see contact information for state and federal agencies that oversee apprenticeship programs.

    What is the source of this information?

    Apprenticeship information comes from the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Apprenticeships, and from CareerOneStop. Learn more at Apprenticeship Finder Help.

Activities: what you might do in a day
  • Repair worn, damaged, or defective mechanical parts.
  • Replace worn, damaged, or defective mechanical parts.
  • Maintain work equipment or machinery.
  • Disassemble equipment for maintenance or repair.
  • Test mechanical equipment to ensure proper functioning.
  • Observe equipment in operation to detect potential problems.
  • Reassemble equipment after repair.
  • Clean equipment, parts, or tools to repair or maintain them in good working order.
  • Adjust equipment to ensure optimal performance.
  • Lubricate equipment to allow proper functioning.
  • Inspect mechanical equipment to locate damage, defects, or wear.
  • Analyze test or performance data to assess equipment operation.
  • Record information about parts, materials or repair procedures.
  • Order materials, supplies, or equipment.
  • Maintain repair or maintenance records.
  • Interpret blueprints, specifications, or diagrams to inform installation, development or operation activities.
  • Operate welding equipment.
  • Cut materials according to specifications or needs.
  • Enter codes or other information into computers.
  • Train others in operational procedures.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of typical work activities that people in this career might do on the job. You can use this list to get an idea of whether this career might be a good fit for you.

    Click on “More activities” to see more detailed examples of activities for this career.

    You can also use this list to help you prepare for a job interview. Or, if you’ve already held a job like this, you can copy these activities to use on your resume.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from O*NET OnLine's Occupation Information. They are O*NET’s Detailed Work Activities.

Knowledge
People in this career often know a lot about:
  • Mechanical - Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
  • Engineering and Technology - Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
  • Production and Processing - Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of general knowledge areas that are most commonly required for jobs in the career. Knowledge is typically gained through education and related experience.

    This list can help you learn if you are prepared for a job in this career. It can also help you decide on education or training programs that could help you prepare for the career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Knowledge descriptors.

Skills
People in this career often have these skills:
  • Repairing - Repairing machines or systems using the right tools.
  • Equipment Maintenance - Planning and doing the basic maintenance on equipment.
  • Operation Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or display screens to make sure a machine is working.
  • Troubleshooting - Figuring out what is causing equipment, machines, wiring, or computer programs to not work.
  • Quality Control Analysis - Testing how well a product or service works.
  • Operation and Control - Using equipment or systems.
  • Critical Thinking - Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.
  • Equipment Selection - Deciding what kind of tools and equipment are needed to do a job.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of a list the work-related skills most commonly required for jobs in the career.

    This list can help you understand how well your current skills fit this career. It can also help you plan your education or professional development.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Skills descriptors.

Abilities
People in this career often have talent in:
  • Manual Dexterity - Holding or moving items with your hands.
  • Arm-Hand Steadiness - Keeping your arm or hand steady.
  • Control Precision - Quickly changing the controls of a machine, car, truck or boat.
  • Reaction Time - Quickly moving your hand, finger, or foot based on a sound, light, picture or other command.
  • Finger Dexterity - Putting together small parts with your fingers.
  • Multilimb Coordination - Using your arms and/or legs together while sitting, standing, or lying down.
  • Near Vision - Seeing details up close.
  • Hearing Sensitivity - Telling the difference between sounds.
  • Information Ordering - Ordering or arranging things.
  • Problem Sensitivity - Noticing when problems happen.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of a list of personal qualities that might influence work and are most commonly required for success in this career.

    This list can help you understand if your natural strengths and abilities are a good fit for this career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Abilities descriptors.

Interests
  • Conventional - Occupations related to Conventional interests frequently involve following set procedures and routines. They include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
  • Investigative - Occupations with Investigative interests frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. They often involve research and figuring out problems mentally.
  • Realistic - Occupations with Realistic interests frequently involve practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of work environment-preferences that are most commonly associated with the career. It can help you understand if your natural interests are a good fit for this career.

    Click "Take an interest assessment" for a quick 30-question assessment that can help you understand your interests and see careers that might be good matches for them.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Interest descriptors.

Typical tasks
  • Repair or replace broken or malfunctioning components of machinery or equipment.
  • Repair or maintain the operating condition of industrial production or processing machinery or equipment.
  • Disassemble machinery or equipment to remove parts and make repairs.
  • Observe and test the operation of machinery or equipment to diagnose malfunctions, using voltmeters or other testing devices.
  • Reassemble equipment after completion of inspections, testing, or repairs.
  • Clean, lubricate, or adjust parts, equipment, or machinery.
  • Examine parts for defects, such as breakage or excessive wear.
  • Analyze test results, machine error messages, or information obtained from operators to diagnose equipment problems.
  • Record parts or materials used and order or requisition new parts or materials as necessary.
  • Record repairs and maintenance performed.
  • Study blueprints or manufacturers' manuals to determine correct installation or operation of machinery.
  • Cut and weld metal to repair broken metal parts, fabricate new parts, or assemble new equipment.
  • Enter codes and instructions to program computer-controlled machinery.
  • Demonstrate equipment functions and features to machine operators.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of typical tasks that people in this career might do on the job.  You can use this list to get an idea of whether this career might be a good fit for you.

    Click on “More tasks” to see more detailed examples for this career.

    You can also use this list to help you prepare for a job interview. Or, if you’ve already held a job like this, you can copy these tasks to use on your resume.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from O*NET OnLine's Occupation Information. They are O*NET‘s Tasks.

    What does this information tell me?

    These are additional online resources related to this career. You may find different or more detailed information at these sources.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information is collected and maintained by CareerOneStop.