Summary Report for:
17-3027.00 - Mechanical Engineering Technicians
Apply theory and principles of mechanical engineering to modify, develop, test, or calibrate machinery and equipment under direction of engineering staff or physical scientists.
Sample of reported job titles: Designer, Engineering Lab Technician, Engineering Technical Analyst, Laboratory Technician, Maintenance Technician, Mechanical Designer, Mechanical Technician, Process Engineering Technician, Process Technician, Research and Development Technician
Also see: Automotive Engineering Technicians
Tasks | Technology Skills | Tools Used | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Test equipment, using test devices attached to generator, voltage regulator, or other electrical parts, such as generators or spark plugs.
- Analytical or scientific software — ANSYS Mechanical; MSC Software Adams; Spectral Dynamics Star Acoustics; The MathWorks MATLAB (see all 6 examples)
- Computer aided design CAD software — Autodesk Revit ; Bentley MicroStation ; Dassault Systemes CATIA; IBM CATIA V5 (see all 8 examples)
- Computer aided manufacturing CAM software — CNC Mastercam; Three-dimensional 3D solid modeling software
- Development environment software — Microsoft Visual Basic ; National Instruments LabVIEW
- Enterprise resource planning ERP software — SAP
- 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++
- Office suite software — Corel WordPerfect; Microsoft Office
- Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint
- Project management software — Microsoft Project
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
- Word processing software — Microsoft Word
Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.
- Adjustable wrenches
- Air compressors
- Ammeters — Clamp-on ammeters
- Amplifiers — High-voltage amplifiers; Linear amplifiers; Switched amplifiers
- Belt sander — Belt sanders
- Binocular light compound microscopes — Optical compound microscopes
- C clamps
- Calipers — Dial calipers; Vernier calipers
- Claw hammer — Claw hammers
- Comparators — Electronic comparators; Optical comparators
- Compression testers — Compression testing machines; Hydraulic universal testers
- Coordinate measuring machines CMM
- Cutting die — Metal cutting dies
- Cylinder gauge — Ring gauges
- Dial indicator or dial gauge — Dial indicators
- Drill press or radial drill — Drill presses; Punch presses
- Extruders — Extrusion machines
- Fatigue testers
- Flow sensors — Fluid meters
- Force or torque sensors — Force sensors; Torque meters
- Form tools or toolbits — Twist drills
- Gage block set — Plane-parallel gauge blocks
- Gas welding or brazing or cutting apparatus — Dry rod ovens; Gas welding equipment; Oxyacetylene welding equipment
- Go or no go gauge — Go/no-go gauges
- Goggles — Safety goggles
- Graphics tablets — Digitizing tablets
- Hacksaw — Hacksaws
- Hardness testers — Durometers
- Height gauges — Vernier height gauges
- Hex keys
- Hole gauge — Bore gauges
- Horizontal turning center — Computerized numerical control CNC lathes
- Impact testers
- Induction heaters — Heat treatment furnaces
- Injection molding machines — Rotational molders
- Inverted microscopes — Metallographs
- Levels — Spirit levels
- Lifter plate — Granite surface plates
- Loadcells — Load cells
- Locking pliers
- Longnose pliers — Long nose pliers
- Manual press brake — Hand brakes
- Metal band sawing machine — Band saws
- Metal inert gas welding machine — Metal inert gas MIG welding equipment
- Metal markers or holders — Marking gauges
- Metal polishing machine — Polishing machines
- Metal slitting saw — Sheet metal slitters
- Metal testing instruments — Bend test fixtures; Guided bend weld test units
- Microcontrollers — Programmable logic controllers PLC
- Micrometers — Screw gauge micrometers
- Mill saw file — Mill files
- Milling machines
- Multimeters — Digital multimeters
- Notebook computers — Laptop computers
- Nut drivers
- Offset screw driver — Offset screwdrivers
- Personal computers
- Pitch measuring instruments — Screw pitch gauges
- Plasma cutting machine — Track burning machines
- Plotter printers — Drafting plotters
- Positioning jig — Positioning jigs
- Power drills
- Power grinders — Cylindrical grinders; Pedestal grinders
- Pressure sensors
- Protective gloves — Safety gloves
- Punches or nail sets or drifts — Center punches
- Rulers — Steel rules
- Screwdrivers — Phillips head screwdrivers; Slotted screwdrivers; Straight screwdrivers
- Scroll saw — Scroll saws
- Shear strength testers — Shear testers
- Shears — Power shears; Power sheet metal shears
- Shielded metal arc welding or stick welding machine — Arc welding equipment; Stick welding machines
- Signal conditioners
- Signal generators
- Sine bar — Sine bars
- Slip or groove joint pliers — Arc-joint pliers; Slip joint pliers
- Socket sets — Socket wrench sets
- Spot welding machine — Portable welding equipment; Spot welders
- Squares — Combination squares; Layout squares
- Strain gauges
- Stripping tools — Wire strippers
- Surface grinding machine — Surface grinding machines
- Tape measures — Measuring tapes
- Taper gauge — Taper plug gauges
- Taps — Metal cutting taps
- Temperature transmitters — Temperature sensors
- Tension testers — Tensile testers
- Thermal differential analyzers — Dynamic mechanical analyzers DMA
- Thickness measuring devices — Snap gauges
- Thread counters or gauges — Screw thread gauges
- Tracer or duplicating or contouring lathe — Lathes
- Tungsten inert gas welding machine — Tungsten inert gas TIG welding equipment
- Twin screw extruder — Twin-screw extruders
- Ultrasonic examination equipment — Ultrasound inspection equipment
- Universal milling machine — Combination milling machines
- Utility knives
- Vacuum molding machines — Vacuum molders
- Vacuum pumps — Freon recovery equipment
- Vertical machining center — Computerized numerical control CNC vertical milling machines
- Vibration testers
- Wave soldering machine — Soldering equipment
- Welder torch — Brazing equipment
- Welding masks
- Wire cutters
- 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.
- Clerical — Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and 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.
- 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.
- Operation 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.
- 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 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.
- 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 Material — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
- Communicating with Persons Outside 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.
- Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Provide 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 water craft.
- Judging the Qualities of Things, 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.
Detailed Work Activities
- Confer with technical personnel to prepare designs or operational plans.
- Estimate technical or resource requirements for development or production projects.
- Test products for functionality or quality.
- Review technical documents to plan work.
- Create graphical representations of mechanical equipment.
- Design industrial equipment.
- Fabricate devices or components.
- Fabricate products or components using machine tools.
- 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.
- 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.”
|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||(6.0 to < 7.0)|
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.
- 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.
- 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.
Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2018)||$27.04 hourly, $56,250 annual|
|Employment (2018)||43,000 employees|
|Projected growth (2018-2028)||Slower than average (2% to 3%)|
|Projected job openings (2018-2028)||4,300|
|Top industries (2018)|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2018 wage data and 2018-2028 employment projections . "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2018-2028). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.
Job Openings on the Web
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.
- Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology
- American Welding Society
- National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies
- National Society of Professional Engineers
- Occupational Outlook Handbook: Mechanical engineering technicians
- Refrigeration Service Engineers Society
- Society of Manufacturing Engineers
- The American Society of Mechanical Engineers