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.
What 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.
On the job, you would:
Discuss changes in design, method of manufacture and assembly, and drafting techniques and procedures with staff and coordinate corrections.
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.
Engineering and Technology
product and service development
Math and Science
arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics
Arts and Humanities
reading work related information
listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
People and Technology Systems
thinking about the pros and cons of different options and picking the best one
figuring out how a system should work and how changes in the future will affect it
listen and understand what people say
read and understand what is written
Ideas and Logic
notice when problems happen
make general rules or come up with answers from lots of detailed information
add, subtract, multiply, or divide
choose the right type of math to solve a problem
pay attention to something without being distracted
People interested in this work like activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions.
They do well at jobs that need:
Attention to Detail
You might use software like this on the job:
Computer aided design CAD software
Analytical or scientific software
The MathWorks MATLAB
Industrial control software
Computerized numerical control CNC programming software
Robotic control software
bachelor's degree or certificate after high school usually needed
Get started on your career:
New job opportunities are less likely in the future.