Bureau of Labor Statistics

Mechanical Engineering Technologists and Technicians

mechanical engineering technicians image
Mechanical engineering technicians plan, produce, and assemble new or changed mechanical parts for products, such as industrial machinery or equipment.
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, 2019 43,500
Job Outlook, 2019-29 3% (As fast as average)
Employment Change, 2019-29 1,400

Summary

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 technicians was $58,230 in May 2020.

Job Outlook

Employment of mechanical engineering technologists and technicians is projected to grow 3 percent from 2019 to 2029, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Those with knowledge of innovative technologies, such as three-dimensional printing, should have the best prospects.

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

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

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

Mechanical engineering technicians held about 43,500 jobs in 2019. The largest employers of mechanical engineering technicians were as follows:

Architectural, engineering, and related services 21%
Machinery manufacturing 15
Transportation equipment manufacturing 12
Scientific research and development services 6
Computer and electronic product manufacturing 6

Mechanical engineering technologists and technicians held about 43,500 jobs in 2019. The largest employers of mechanical engineering technologists and technicians were as follows:

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

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

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 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

Mechanical Engineering Technologists and Technicians

Percent change in employment, projected 2019-29

Total, all occupations

4%

Mechanical engineering technologists and technicians

3%

Drafters, engineering technicians, and mapping technicians

1%

 

Employment of mechanical engineering technologists and technicians is projected to grow 3 percent from 2019 to 2029, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Firms may contract the work of mechanical engineering technicians from industries that provide engineering, research and development, or consulting services. Contracting for this work allows firms to hire these services at a lower cost than employing in-house technicians.

Job Prospects

About 3,800 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 projections data for mechanical engineering technologists and technicians, 2019-29

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

Occupational Title

Mechanical engineering technologists and technicians

SOC Code17-3027
Employment, 201943,500
Projected Employment, 202944,900
Percent Change, 2019-293
Numeric Change, 2019-291,400
Employment by IndustryGet data

State & Area Data

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 OES 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

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 2020 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 Info

Last Modified Date: Wednesday, April 28, 2021

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 July 16, 2021).

Telephone: 1-202-691-5700 www.bls.gov/ooh Contact OOH

View this page on regular www.bls.gov

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