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Mechanical Engineering Technicians
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Description: what do they do?
Apply theory and principles of mechanical engineering to modify, develop, test, or calibrate machinery and equipment under direction of engineering staff or physical scientists.
Also known as:
Designer, Maintenance Technician, Engineering Lab Technician, Mechanical Designer, Laboratory Technician, Research and Development Technician, Engineering Technical Analyst, Process Technician, Process Engineering Technician, Mechanical Technician

    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 an O*NET database. Learn more on the Help page.

Career video
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    Transcript: Fascinated with engines and machines of all kinds? Well-organized and detail-oriented? Mechanical engineering technicians work with machines in all sorts of ways— from helping create new designs… to developing models and testing them… to manufacturing and operating finished machines. Often working with instructions from mechanical engineers, these technicians use 3-D design software, or sometimes paper and pencil, to make sketches of parts to be made, and of the process for putting parts together. To help determine the viability of producing parts, mechanical engineering technicians estimate labor costs, length of equipment life, and plant space needed for production. Based on their designs, they plan and produce new mechanical parts or make changes to existing products. Precision is critical— so products and equipment are tested and results are compared with original design specifications. When issues are uncovered, mechanical engineering technicians work with engineers to eliminate production problems. These technicians work primarily for engineering firms and manufacturing facilities on products such as flight simulators and control panels. Some work in research labs. Most work full time. Employers prefer candidates with an associate’s degree or certificate in mechanical engineering technology. Taking science and math courses in high school is helpful.
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Outlook: will there be jobs?
Image. Employment outlook for this occupation
New job opportunities are less 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
Michigan
4,310
2016 Employment
4,760
2026 Employment
10%
Percent change
430
Annual projected job openings
United States
42,600
2018 Employment
43,800
2028 Employment
3%
Percent change
4,300
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 2016 (for states) or 2018 (for the United States), the number expected to be employed in 2026 (for states) or 2028 (for the United States), 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 and each state's Labor Market Information office, 2016-26.

    National-level data come from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Projections, 2018-28.

Typical wages

Annual wages for Mechanical Engineering Technicians in Michigan
This graph displays wage data.  Find details by selecting the table view.
This chart displays wage data.  Find details by selecting the table view.
LocationMichiganUnited States
10%$33,530$34,900
25%$41,090$43,800
Median$53,470$56,250
75%$67,460$70,630
90%$81,430$85,430


    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, 2018 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:
  • Associate's degree
  • No work experience
  • No 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 U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Projections, Education and training assignments by detailed occupation, 2018.

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 Employment Projections, Educational attainment for workers 25 years and older by detailed occupation, 2016–17.

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
  • Confer with technical personnel to prepare designs or operational plans.
  • Test products for functionality or quality.
  • Estimate technical or resource requirements for development or production projects.
  • Review technical documents to plan work.
  • Fabricate devices or components.
  • Fabricate products or components using machine tools.
  • Design industrial equipment.
  • Create graphical representations of mechanical equipment.
  • Analyze test or validation data.
  • Document design or operational test results.
  • Recommend technical design or process changes to improve efficiency, quality, or performance.
  • Evaluate designs or specifications to ensure quality.
  • Monitor the productivity or efficiency of industrial operations.
  • Prepare contracts, disclosures, or applications.
  • Test performance of electrical, electronic, mechanical, or integrated systems or equipment.
  • Estimate operational costs.

    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:
  • 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.
  • Design - Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
  • Mechanical - Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

    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:
  • Reading Comprehension - Reading work-related information.
  • Critical Thinking - Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.
  • Active Listening - Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.
  • Operation Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or display screens to make sure a machine is working.
  • Writing - Writing things for co-workers or customers.
  • Speaking - Talking to others.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.
  • Monitoring - Keeping track of how well people and/or groups are doing in order to make improvements.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Thinking about the pros and cons of different options and picking the best one.
  • Coordination - Changing what is done based on other people's actions.

    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:
  • Oral Comprehension - Listening and understanding what people say.
  • Written Comprehension - Reading and understanding what is written.
  • Problem Sensitivity - Noticing when problems happen.
  • Near Vision - Seeing details up close.
  • Information Ordering - Ordering or arranging things.
  • Oral Expression - Communicating by speaking.
  • Inductive Reasoning - Making general rules or coming up with answers from lots of detailed information.
  • Deductive Reasoning - Using rules to solve problems.
  • Speech Recognition - Recognizing spoken words.
  • Selective Attention - Paying attention to something without being distracted.
  • Written Expression - Communicating by writing.
  • Speech Clarity - Speaking clearly.
  • Category Flexibility - Grouping things in different ways.

    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
  • 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
  • Discuss changes in design, method of manufacture and assembly, and drafting techniques and procedures with staff and coordinate corrections.
  • Set up prototype and test apparatus and operate test controlling equipment to observe and record prototype test results.
  • Calculate required capacities for equipment of proposed system to obtain specified performance and submit data to engineering personnel for approval.
  • Review project instructions and blueprints to ascertain test specifications, procedures, and objectives, and test nature of technical problems such as redesign.
  • Devise, fabricate, and assemble new or modified mechanical components for products such as industrial machinery or equipment, and measuring instruments.
  • Operate drill press, grinders, engine lathe, or other machines to modify parts tested or to fabricate experimental parts for testing.
  • Draft detail drawing or sketch for drafting room completion or to request parts fabrication by machine, sheet or wood shops.
  • Analyze test results in relation to design or rated specifications and test objectives, and modify or adjust equipment to meet specifications.
  • Record test procedures and results, numerical and graphical data, and recommendations for changes in product or test methods.
  • Confer with technicians and submit reports of test results to engineering department and recommend design or material changes.
  • Evaluate tool drawing designs by measuring drawing dimensions and comparing with original specifications for form and function using engineering skills.
  • Read dials and meters to determine amperage, voltage, electrical output and input at specific operating temperature to analyze parts performance.
  • Prepare parts sketches and write work orders and purchase requests to be furnished by outside contractors.
  • Review project instructions and specifications to identify, modify and plan requirements fabrication, assembly and testing.
  • Set up and conduct tests of complete units and components under operational conditions to investigate proposals for improving equipment performance.
  • Estimate cost factors including labor and material for purchased and fabricated parts and costs for assembly, testing, or installing.
  • Test equipment, using test devices attached to generator, voltage regulator, or other electrical parts, such as generators or spark plugs.

    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.