Mechanical Engineering Technologists and Technicians
17-3027.00

The occupation code you requested, 17-3029.07 (Mechanical Engineering Technologists), is no longer in use. In the future, please use 17-3027.00 (Mechanical Engineering Technologists and Technicians) instead.

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 Laboratory Technician (Engineering Lab Technician), Engineering Technical Analyst, Engineering Technician (Engineering Tech), Engineering Technologist, Manufacturing Engineering Technician (Manufacturing Engineering Tech), Mechanical Designer, Mechanical Technician (Mechanical Tech), Process Engineering Technician (Process Engineering Tech), Process Technician, Research and Development Technician (R and D Tech)

Also see: Automotive Engineering Technicians

Occupation-Specific Information

Tasks

  • Assemble or disassemble complex mechanical systems.
  • Interpret engineering sketches, specifications, or drawings.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Prepare specifications, designs, or sketches for machines, components, or systems related to the generation, transmission, or use of mechanical or fluid energy.
  • Read dials and meters to determine amperage, voltage, electrical output and input at specific operating temperature to analyze parts performance.
  • Design molds, tools, dies, jigs, or fixtures for use in manufacturing processes.
  • Review project instructions and specifications to identify, modify and plan requirements fabrication, assembly and testing.
  • Design specialized or customized equipment, machines, or structures.
  • Conduct failure analyses, document results, and recommend corrective actions.
  • Set up and conduct tests of complete units and components under operational conditions to investigate proposals for improving equipment performance.
  • Assist engineers to design, develop, test, or manufacture industrial machinery, consumer products, or other equipment.
  • Prepare layouts of machinery, tools, plants, or equipment.
  • Prepare equipment inspection schedules, reliability schedules, work plans, or other records.
  • 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.
  • Analyze energy requirements and distribution systems to maximize the use of intermittent or inflexible renewable energy sources, such as wind or nuclear.
  • 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.
  • Assist mechanical engineers in product testing through activities such as setting up instrumentation for automobile crash tests.
  • Conduct statistical studies to analyze or compare production costs for sustainable and nonsustainable designs.
  • Analyze or estimate production costs, such as labor, equipment, and plant space.
  • 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.
  • Monitor, inspect, or test mechanical equipment.

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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 — 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
  • Electronic mail software — Microsoft Outlook Hot technology
  • Enterprise resource planning ERP software — SAP software Hot technology
  • 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 software In-Demand Hot technology
  • Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint In-Demand Hot technology
  • Process mapping and design software — ProModel
  • Project management software — Microsoft Project Hot technology
  • Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel In-Demand Hot technology
  • Word processing software — Microsoft Word In-Demand Hot technology
Hot technology
Hot Technologies are requirements most frequently included across all employer job postings.
In demand
In Demand skills are frequently included in employer job postings for this occupation.

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Occupational Requirements

Work Activities

  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • 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.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
  • Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
  • 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.
  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
  • Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
  • Working with Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
  • Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
  • 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.
  • Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
  • Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
  • Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
  • Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
  • Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
  • Judging the Qualities of Objects, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
  • Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment — Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or watercraft.
  • Providing Consultation and Advice to Others — Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.
  • Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling materials.
  • Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
  • Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.

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Detailed Work Activities

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Work Context

  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 82% responded “Every day.”
  • Contact With Others — 64% responded “Constant contact with others.”
  • Electronic Mail — 87% responded “Every day.”
  • Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 70% responded “Every day.”
  • Telephone — 50% responded “Every day.”
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 77% responded “Every day.”
  • Duration of Typical Work Week — 60% responded “More than 40 hours.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 42% responded “Very important.”
  • Time Pressure — 42% responded “Every day.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions — 43% responded “Some freedom.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team — 38% responded “Very important.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 39% responded “Important results.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work — 53% responded “Some freedom.”
  • Consequence of Error — 41% responded “Very serious.”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others — 36% responded “Very important.”
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 34% responded “High responsibility.”
  • Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 43% responded “Every day.”
  • Physical Proximity — 47% responded “Slightly close (e.g., shared office).”
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — 31% responded “Very high responsibility.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making — 31% responded “Every day.”
  • Exposed to Hazardous Equipment — 32% responded “Every day.”
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 28% responded “Important.”
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 36% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Exposed to Contaminants — 28% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Standing — 31% responded “More than half the time.”
  • Deal With External Customers — 32% responded “Very important.”
  • Letters and Memos — 27% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Spend Time Sitting — 40% responded “Less than half the time.”
  • Exposed to Hazardous Conditions — 28% responded “Every day.”

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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, desktop publishers, electricians, agricultural technicians, barbers, court reporters and simultaneous captioners, 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

  • 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.
  • Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
  • 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.
  • Operations Monitoring — Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Mathematics — Using mathematics to solve problems.
  • Quality Control Analysis — Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
  • Systems Analysis — Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
  • Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Systems Evaluation — Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
  • Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.
  • Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Operation and Control — Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
  • Persuasion — Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
  • Science — Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
  • Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

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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.
  • Mechanical — Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
  • Design — Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
  • 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.
  • Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Production and Processing — Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
  • 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.

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Education

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

  • 37%
     
    responded: Bachelor’s degree required
  • 33%
     
    responded: Post-secondary certificate required
  • 14%
     
    responded: Associate’s degree required

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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.
  • 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).
  • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • 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).
  • Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • 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.
  • Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Number Facility — The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.
  • Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
  • 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.
  • Mathematical Reasoning — The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
  • Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
  • Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • 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.
  • Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Arm-Hand Steadiness — The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
  • Control Precision — The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
  • Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Manual Dexterity — The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
  • Visual Color Discrimination — The ability to match or detect differences between colors, including shades of color and brightness.

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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.
  • Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • 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.
  • Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
  • 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.
  • Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.

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Workforce Characteristics

Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages (2021)
$29.07 hourly, $60,460 annual
State wages
Local wages
Employment (2021)
41,700 employees
Projected growth (2021-2031)
Slower than average (2% to 3%)
Projected job openings (2021-2031)
4,200
State trends
Top industries (2021)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2021 wage data external site and 2021-2031 employment projections external site . “Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2021-2031). “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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