Mechanical Engineering Technologists and Technicians
17-3027.00

Apply theory and principles of mechanical engineering to modify, develop, test, or adjust machinery and equipment under direction of engineering staff or physical scientists.

Sample of reported job titles: Engineering Lab Technician, Engineering Technical Analyst, Engineering Technologist, Laboratory Technician, Maintenance Technician, Mechanical Designer, Mechanical Technician, Process Engineering Technician, Process Technician, Research and Development Technician

Also see: Automotive Engineering Technicians

Occupation-Specific Information

Tasks

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Read dials and meters to determine amperage, voltage, electrical output and input at specific operating temperature to analyze parts performance.
  • 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.
  • Set up prototype and test apparatus and operate test controlling equipment to observe and record prototype test results.
  • Evaluate tool drawing designs by measuring drawing dimensions and comparing with original specifications for form and function using engineering skills.
  • Prepare parts sketches and write work orders and purchase requests to be furnished by outside contractors.
  • Estimate cost factors including labor and material for purchased and fabricated parts and costs for assembly, testing, or installing.
  • Analyze energy requirements and distribution systems to maximize the use of intermittent or inflexible renewable energy sources, such as wind or nuclear.
  • Analyze or estimate production costs, such as labor, equipment, and plant space.
  • Assemble or disassemble complex mechanical systems.
  • Assist engineers to design, develop, test, or manufacture industrial machinery, consumer products, or other equipment.
  • Assist mechanical engineers in product testing through activities such as setting up instrumentation for automobile crash tests.
  • Conduct failure analyses, document results, and recommend corrective actions.
  • Conduct statistical studies to analyze or compare production costs for sustainable and nonsustainable designs.
  • Design molds, tools, dies, jigs, or fixtures for use in manufacturing processes.
  • Design specialized or customized equipment, machines, or structures.
  • Devise, fabricate, or 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, or drafting techniques and procedures with staff and coordinate corrections.
  • Inspect and test mechanical equipment.
  • Interpret engineering sketches, specifications, or drawings.
  • Prepare equipment inspection schedules, reliability schedules, work plans, or other records.
  • Prepare layouts of machinery, tools, plants, or equipment.
  • Prepare specifications, designs, or sketches for machines, components, or systems related to the generation, transmission, or use of mechanical or fluid energy.
  • Provide technical support to other employees regarding mechanical design, fabrication, testing, or documentation.
  • Test machines, components, materials, or products to determine characteristics such as performance, strength, or response to stress.

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Technology Skills

  • Analytical or scientific software — ANSYS Mechanical; Finite element method FEM software; MSC Software Adams; The MathWorks MATLAB Hot technology ; 7 more
  • Cloud-based data access and sharing software — Microsoft SharePoint Hot technology
  • Computer aided design CAD software Hot technology — Autodesk AutoCAD Hot technology ; Autodesk Revit Hot technology ; Bentley MicroStation Hot technology ; Dassault Systemes SolidWorks Hot technology ; 7 more
  • Computer aided manufacturing CAM software — CNC Mastercam; Stereolithography SLA rapid prototyping systems; TekSoft CAMWorks; Three-dimensional 3D solid modeling software
  • Data base user interface and query software — Microsoft Access Hot technology
  • Development environment software — Microsoft Visual Basic Hot technology ; National Instruments LabVIEW Hot technology
  • Electronic mail software — Microsoft Outlook Hot technology
  • Enterprise resource planning ERP software Hot technology — SAP business and customer relations management software
  • Industrial control software — Computerized numerical control CNC programming software; Robotic control software; Soft Servo Systems LadderWorks PLC
  • Internet browser software — Web browser software
  • Object or component oriented development software — C++ Hot technology
  • Office suite software — Corel WordPerfect Office Suite; Microsoft Office Hot technology
  • Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint Hot technology
  • Process mapping and design software — ProModel
  • Project management software — Microsoft Project Hot technology
  • Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel Hot technology
  • Word processing software — Microsoft Word Hot technology
Hot technology Hot Technologies are requirements frequently included in employer job postings.

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Occupational Requirements

Work Activities

  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
  • Drafting, Laying Out, and Specifying Technical Devices, Parts, and Equipment — Providing documentation, detailed instructions, drawings, or specifications to tell others about how devices, parts, equipment, or structures are to be fabricated, constructed, assembled, modified, maintained, or used.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
  • Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
  • Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
  • Communicating with People Outside the Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
  • Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
  • Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
  • Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
  • Working with Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
  • Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
  • Providing Consultation and Advice to Others — Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.
  • Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
  • Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
  • Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
  • Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
  • Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates — Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.
  • Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
  • Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment — Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or watercraft.
  • Judging the Qualities of Objects, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
  • Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
  • Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
  • Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
  • Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment — Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.

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Detailed Work Activities

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Work Context

  • Electronic Mail — 97% responded “Every day.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 96% responded “Every day.”
  • Contact With Others — 72% responded “Constant contact with others.”
  • Telephone — 66% responded “Every day.”
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 86% responded “Every day.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 63% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Duration of Typical Work Week — 63% responded “More than 40 hours.”
  • Time Pressure — 42% responded “Every day.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team — 44% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 60% responded “Every day.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions — 37% responded “Some freedom.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 33% responded “Very important results.”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others — 53% responded “Very important.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work — 47% responded “Some freedom.”
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 31% responded “Moderate responsibility.”
  • Consequence of Error — 34% responded “Extremely serious.”
  • Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 39% responded “Every day.”
  • Exposed to Hazardous Equipment — 40% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Deal With External Customers — 36% responded “Very important.”
  • Spend Time Sitting — 35% responded “More than half the time.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making — 35% responded “Every day.”
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 27% responded “Very important.”
  • Physical Proximity — 55% responded “Slightly close (e.g., shared office).”
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — 29% responded “Limited responsibility.”
  • Letters and Memos — 30% responded “Never.”

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Experience Requirements

Job Zone

Title
Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed
Education
Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.
Related Experience
Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.
Job Training
Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
Job Zone Examples
These occupations usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include hydroelectric production managers, travel guides, electricians, agricultural technicians, barbers, court reporters, and medical assistants.
SVP Range
1-2 years of preparation (6.0 to < 7.0)

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Training & Credentials

State training
Local training
Certifications
Apprenticeships
Have a career path or location in mind? Visit Apprenticeship.gov external site to find apprenticeship opportunities near you.

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Worker Requirements

Skills

  • Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
  • Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
  • Operations Monitoring — Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Quality Control Analysis — Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
  • Mathematics — Using mathematics to solve problems.
  • Operation and Control — Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
  • Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.
  • Systems Analysis — Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
  • Troubleshooting — Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.

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Knowledge

  • 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.
  • English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Physics — Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub-atomic structures and processes.
  • Administrative — Knowledge of administrative and office procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and workplace terminology.
  • Production and Processing — Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
  • Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.

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Education

How much education does a new hire need to perform a job in this occupation? Respondents said:

  • Bachelor’s degree required for some jobs
  • Post-secondary certificate required for some jobs
  • Associate’s degree required for some jobs

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Worker Characteristics

Abilities

  • Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
  • Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
  • Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Mathematical Reasoning — The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
  • Number Facility — The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.
  • Perceptual Speed — The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.
  • Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
  • Finger Dexterity — The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
  • Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
  • Fluency of Ideas — The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
  • Originality — The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.

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Interests

Interest code: RI
Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
  • Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
  • Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

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Work Values

  • Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
  • Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
  • Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.

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Work Styles

  • Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
  • Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
  • Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
  • Self-Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.

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Workforce Characteristics

Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages (2021)
$29.07 hourly, $60,460 annual
State wages
Local wages
Employment (2020)
40,400 employees
Projected growth (2020-2030)
Average (5% to 10%)
Projected job openings (2020-2030)
4,000
State trends
Top industries (2020)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2021 wage data external site and 2020-2030 employment projections external site . “Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2020-2030). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

State job openings
Local job openings

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More Information

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Sources of Additional Information

Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.

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