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Mechanical Engineering Technologists and Technicians

Summary

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Video transcript available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xd0Judgrkzk.
Quick Facts: Mechanical Engineering Technologists and Technicians
2020 Median Pay $58,230 per year
$28.00 per hour
Typical Entry-Level Education Associate's degree
Work Experience in a Related Occupation None
On-the-job Training None
Number of Jobs, 2020 40,400
Job Outlook, 2020-30 6% (As fast as average)
Employment Change, 2020-30 2,300

What Mechanical Engineering Technologists and Technicians Do

Mechanical engineering technologists and technicians help mechanical engineers design, develop, test, and manufacture machines and other devices.

Work Environment

Mechanical engineering technologists and technicians work primarily in factories or in research and development labs. Most work full time.

How to Become a Mechanical Engineering Technologist or Technician

Mechanical engineering technologists and technicians typically need an associate’s degree or other postsecondary training to enter the occupation.

Pay

The median annual wage for mechanical engineering technologists and technicians was $58,230 in May 2020.

Job Outlook

Employment of mechanical engineering technologists and technicians is projected to grow 6 percent from 2020 to 2030, about as fast as the average for all occupations.

About 4,000 openings for mechanical engineering technologists and technicians are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.

State & Area Data

Explore resources for employment and wages by state and area for mechanical engineering technologists and technicians.

Similar Occupations

Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of mechanical engineering technologists and technicians with similar occupations.

More Information, Including Links to O*NET

Learn more about mechanical engineering technologists and technicians by visiting additional resources, including O*NET, a source on key characteristics of workers and occupations.

What Mechanical Engineering Technologists and Technicians Do About this section

Mechanical engineering technicians
Mechanical engineering technicians plan the assembly process to be used in industrial settings.

Mechanical engineering technologists and technicians help mechanical engineers design, develop, test, and manufacture tools, engines, machines, and other devices. They may make sketches and rough layouts, record and analyze data, and report their findings.

Duties

Mechanical engineering technologists and technicians typically do the following:

  • Evaluate specifications in design drawings prior to adding or replacing tools
  • Prepare layouts and drawings of the assembly process and parts to be made, usually using three-dimensional design software
  • Recommend cost-effective changes in equipment design to improve reliability and safety 
  • Review instructions and blueprints in order to ensure that project plans follow test specifications and procedures and meet objectives
  • Plan, produce, and assemble mechanical parts for products, such as industrial equipment
  • Set up and conduct tests of complete units and their components, and record results
  • Compare test results with design specifications and with test objectives and recommend changes, if needed, in products or test methods
  • Make calculations for business estimates, such as of labor costs and equipment lifespan

Mechanical engineering technicians typically install, troubleshoot, and maintain designs created by engineers. They may work under the direction of engineers or engineering technologists.

Mechanical engineering technologists typically help engineers improve designs or incorporate new technology. They may be team leaders, instructing mechanical engineering technicians on installing equipment, systems, or structures.

Some mechanical engineering technologists and technicians test and inspect machines and equipment or work with engineers to eliminate production problems. For example, they may help test products by setting up instruments for vehicle crash tests.

Work Environment About this section

Mechanical engineering technicians
Because mechanical engineering technicians work with machines of all types, they must take safety precautions in their workspace.

Mechanical engineering technologists and technicians held about 40,400 jobs in 2020. The largest employers of mechanical engineering technologists and technicians were as follows:

Architectural, engineering, and related services 22%
Machinery manufacturing 15
Transportation equipment manufacturing 11
Scientific research and development services 6
Computer and electronic product manufacturing 6

Some mechanical engineering technologists and technicians, particularly those working in factories, are exposed to hazards from equipment, chemicals, or toxic materials. However, their risk of injury or illness is low if they follow procedures.

Work Schedules

Most mechanical engineering technologists and technicians work full time.

How to Become a Mechanical Engineering Technologist or Technician About this section

Mechanical engineering technicians
Mechanical engineering technicians help mechanical engineers manufacture industrial machinery and other equipment.

Mechanical engineering technologists and technicians typically need an associate’s degrees or other postsecondary training to enter the occupation.

Education

High school students interested in becoming a mechanical engineering technologist or technician should take classes in math, science, and computer science.

Mechanical engineering technologists and technicians typically need an associate’s degree or a certificate from a community college or vocational–technical school. Employers may prefer to hire candidates who have completed a bachelor’s degree or whose programs are accredited by an organization such as ABET.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

The National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET) offers optional credentials through its technician certification programs. For example, mechanical engineering technologists and technicians who examine water-based fire protection systems may obtain certification in fire sprinkler layout or fire sprinkler inspection and testing. An engineering technologist’s or technician’s supervisor usually must verify the candidate’s performance competency as part of the certification process.

Advancement

Technicians who obtain appropriate education or certification may advance to become technologists.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Mechanical engineering technologists and technicians must be able to clearly explain, both orally and in writing, the need for changes in designs or test procedures.

Detail oriented. Mechanical engineering technologists and technicians must make precise measurements and keep accurate records for mechanical engineers.

Math skills. Mechanical engineering technologists and technicians use mathematics for analysis, design, and troubleshooting.

Mechanical skills. Mechanical engineering technologists and technicians must apply theory and instructions from engineers by making new components for industrial machinery or equipment. They may need to be able to operate machinery such as drill presses, grinders, and engine lathes.

Problem-solving skills. Mechanical engineering technologists and technicians help mechanical engineers bring their plans and designs to life. This may require helping the engineer overcome problems that emerge throughout development or manufacturing.

Pay About this section

Mechanical Engineering Technologists and Technicians

Median annual wages, May 2020

Drafters, engineering technicians, and mapping technicians

$58,900

Mechanical engineering technologists and technicians

$58,230

Total, all occupations

$41,950

 

The median annual wage for mechanical engineering technologists and technicians was $58,230 in May 2020. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $36,200, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $91,320.

In May 2020, the median annual wages for mechanical engineering technologists and technicians in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:

Scientific research and development services $62,720
Computer and electronic product manufacturing 60,820
Architectural, engineering, and related services 58,230
Transportation equipment manufacturing 57,720
Machinery manufacturing 56,850

Most mechanical engineering technologists and technicians work full time.

Job Outlook About this section

Mechanical Engineering Technologists and Technicians

Percent change in employment, projected 2020-30

Total, all occupations

8%

Mechanical engineering technologists and technicians

6%

Drafters, engineering technicians, and mapping technicians

2%

 

Employment of mechanical engineering technologists and technicians is projected to grow 6 percent from 2020 to 2030, about as fast as the average for all occupations.

About 4,000 openings for mechanical engineering technologists and technicians are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.

Employment

Because mechanical engineering technologists and technicians are directly supervised by mechanical engineers, their employment growth will be driven by many of the same factors driving employment growth for mechanical engineers. These factors include demand for engineering services in the motor vehicle parts and machinery manufacturing industries.

Companies may contract out the work of mechanical engineering technologists and technicians to consulting firms, which should lead to employment growth in this industry. Contracting for this work allows companies to obtain engineering services at a lower cost than employing in-house technologists and technicians.

Employment projections data for mechanical engineering technologists and technicians, 2020-30
Occupational Title SOC Code Employment, 2020 Projected Employment, 2030 Change, 2020-30 Employment by Industry
Percent Numeric

SOURCE: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program

Mechanical engineering technologists and technicians

17-3027 40,400 42,700 6 2,300 Get data

State & Area Data About this section

Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS)

The Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) program produces employment and wage estimates annually for over 800 occupations. These estimates are available for the nation as a whole, for individual states, and for metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas. The link(s) below go to OEWS data maps for employment and wages by state and area.

Projections Central

Occupational employment projections are developed for all states by Labor Market Information (LMI) or individual state Employment Projections offices. All state projections data are available at www.projectionscentral.com. Information on this site allows projected employment growth for an occupation to be compared among states or to be compared within one state. In addition, states may produce projections for areas; there are links to each state’s websites where these data may be retrieved.

CareerOneStop

CareerOneStop includes hundreds of occupational profiles with data available by state and metro area. There are links in the left-hand side menu to compare occupational employment by state and occupational wages by local area or metro area. There is also a salary info tool to search for wages by zip code.

Similar Occupations About this section

This table shows a list of occupations with job duties that are similar to those of mechanical engineering technologists and technicians.

Occupation Job Duties ENTRY-LEVEL EDUCATION Help on Entry-Level Education 2020 MEDIAN PAY Help on Median Pay
Drafters Drafters

Drafters use software to convert the designs of engineers and architects into technical drawings.

Associate's degree $57,960
Industrial engineering technicians Industrial Engineering Technologists and Technicians

Industrial engineering technologists and technicians help engineers solve problems affecting manufacturing layout or production.

Associate's degree $57,320
Machinists and tool and die makers Machinists and Tool and Die Makers

Machinists and tool and die makers set up and operate machine tools to produce precision metal parts, instruments, and tools.

See How to Become One $47,040
Mechanical engineers Mechanical Engineers

Mechanical engineers design, develop, build, and test mechanical and thermal sensors and devices.

Bachelor's degree $90,160

Contacts for More Information About this section

For more information about general engineering education and career resources, visit

American Society for Engineering Education

American Society of Mechanical Engineers

Technology Student Association

For information about accredited programs, visit

ABET

For information about certification, visit

The National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET) 

O*NET

Automotive Engineering Technicians

Mechanical Engineering Technologists and Technicians

Suggested citation:

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Mechanical Engineering Technologists and Technicians,
at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/architecture-and-engineering/mechanical-engineering-technicians.htm (visited October 28, 2021).

Last Modified Date: Wednesday, September 8, 2021

What They Do

The What They Do tab describes the typical duties and responsibilities of workers in the occupation, including what tools and equipment they use and how closely they are supervised. This tab also covers different types of occupational specialties.

Work Environment

The Work Environment tab includes the number of jobs held in the occupation and describes the workplace, the level of physical activity expected, and typical hours worked. It may also discuss the major industries that employed the occupation. This tab may also describe opportunities for part-time work, the amount and type of travel required, any safety equipment that is used, and the risk of injury that workers may face.

How to Become One

The How to Become One tab describes how to prepare for a job in the occupation. This tab can include information on education, training, work experience, licensing and certification, and important qualities that are required or helpful for entering or working in the occupation.

Pay

The Pay tab describes typical earnings and how workers in the occupation are compensated—annual salaries, hourly wages, commissions, tips, or bonuses. Within every occupation, earnings vary by experience, responsibility, performance, tenure, and geographic area. For most profiles, this tab has a table with wages in the major industries employing the occupation. It does not include pay for self-employed workers, agriculture workers, or workers in private households because these data are not collected by the Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) survey, the source of BLS wage data in the OOH.

State & Area Data

The State and Area Data tab provides links to state and area occupational data from the Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) program, state projections data from Projections Central, and occupational information from the Department of Labor's CareerOneStop.

Job Outlook

The Job Outlook tab describes the factors that affect employment growth or decline in the occupation, and in some instances, describes the relationship between the number of job seekers and the number of job openings.

Similar Occupations

The Similar Occupations tab describes occupations that share similar duties, skills, interests, education, or training with the occupation covered in the profile.

Contacts for More Information

The More Information tab provides the Internet addresses of associations, government agencies, unions, and other organizations that can provide additional information on the occupation. This tab also includes links to relevant occupational information from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET).

2020 Median Pay

The wage at which half of the workers in the occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. Median wage data are from the BLS Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics survey. In May 2020, the median annual wage for all workers was $41,950.

On-the-job Training

Additional training needed (postemployment) to attain competency in the skills needed in this occupation.

Entry-level Education

Typical level of education that most workers need to enter this occupation.

Work experience in a related occupation

Work experience that is commonly considered necessary by employers, or is a commonly accepted substitute for more formal types of training or education.

Number of Jobs, 2020

The employment, or size, of this occupation in 2020, which is the base year of the 2020-30 employment projections.

Job Outlook, 2020-30

The projected percent change in employment from 2020 to 2030. The average growth rate for all occupations is 8 percent.

Employment Change, 2020-30

The projected numeric change in employment from 2020 to 2030.

Entry-level Education

Typical level of education that most workers need to enter this occupation.

On-the-job Training

Additional training needed (postemployment) to attain competency in the skills needed in this occupation.

Employment Change, projected 2020-30

The projected numeric change in employment from 2020 to 2030.

Growth Rate (Projected)

The percent change of employment for each occupation from 2020 to 2030.

Projected Number of New Jobs

The projected numeric change in employment from 2020 to 2030.

Projected Growth Rate

The projected percent change in employment from 2020 to 2030.

2020 Median Pay

The wage at which half of the workers in the occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. Median wage data are from the BLS Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics survey. In May 2020, the median annual wage for all workers was $41,950.