Mechanical Engineering Technologist or Technician

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Job Outlook:
Little or no change
Education: Associate's degree
High: $94,720.00
Average: $64,530.00
Average: $31.02

What they do:

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

On the job, you would:

  • 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.

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.


A3 Your Strengths Importance

Characteristics of this Career

85% Attention to Detail  -  Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
77% Analytical Thinking  -  Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
75% Dependability  -  Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
73% Initiative  -  Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
70% Integrity  -  Job requires being honest and ethical.
70% Persistence  -  Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
68% Adaptability/Flexibility  -  Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
68% Cooperation  -  Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
66% Achievement/Effort  -  Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
66% 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.
A3 Your Strengths Importance


83% Realistic  -  Work involves designing, building, or repairing of equipment, materials, or structures, engaging in physical activity, or working outdoors. Realistic occupations are often associated with engineering, mechanics and electronics, construction, woodworking, transportation, machine operation, agriculture, animal services, physical or manual labor, athletics, or protective services.
83% Investigative  -  Work involves studying and researching non-living objects, living organisms, disease or other forms of impairment, or human behavior. Investigative occupations are often associated with physical, life, medical, or social sciences, and can be found in the fields of humanities, mathematics/statistics, information technology, or health care service.
A3 Your Strengths Importance

Values of the Work Environment

72% 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.


A3 Your Strengths Importance

Abilities | Cognitive, Physical, Personality

75% Written Comprehension  -  The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
75% Oral Comprehension  -  The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
72% 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).
72% Near Vision  -  The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
69% Inductive Reasoning  -  The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
69% Speech Recognition  -  The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
69% Oral Expression  -  The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
69% 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.
69% Deductive Reasoning  -  The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.

Job Details

Create graphical representations of mechanical equipment.
Prepare contracts, disclosures, or applications.
Create graphical representations of mechanical equipment.
Review technical documents to plan work.
Review technical documents to plan work.
Test performance of electrical, electronic, mechanical, or integrated systems or equipment.
Analyze test or validation data.
Evaluate designs or specifications to ensure quality.
Estimate technical or resource requirements for development or production projects.
Document design or operational test results.
Monitor the productivity or efficiency of industrial operations.
Estimate operational costs.
Test products for functionality or quality.
Analyze green technology design requirements.
Estimate operational costs.
Assemble equipment or components.
Test products for functionality or quality.
Test performance of electrical, electronic, mechanical, or integrated systems or equipment.
Design industrial equipment.
Assist engineers or scientists with research.
Conduct quantitative failure analyses of operational data.
Document design or operational test results.
Recommend technical design or process changes to improve efficiency, quality, or performance.
Analyze costs and benefits of proposed designs or projects.
Design industrial equipment.
Design industrial equipment.
Design industrial equipment.
Assemble mechanical components or machine parts.
Fabricate devices or components.
Collaborate with others to develop or refine designs.
Explain engineering drawings, specifications, or other technical information.
Schedule operational activities.
Create graphical representations of industrial production systems.
Create graphical representations of mechanical equipment.
Document technical design details.
Provide technical guidance to other personnel.
Test characteristics of materials or structures.
Test performance of electrical, electronic, mechanical, or integrated systems or equipment.
A3 Your Strengths Importance

Attributes & Percentage of Time Spent

93% Face-to-Face Discussions  -  How often do you have to have face-to-face discussions with individuals or teams in this job?
89% Contact With Others  -  How much does this job require the worker to be in contact with others (face-to-face, by telephone, or otherwise) in order to perform it?
89% Electronic Mail  -  How often do you use electronic mail in this job?
84% Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets  -  How much does this job require wearing common protective or safety equipment such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hard hats or life jackets?
83% Telephone  -  How often do you have telephone conversations in this job?
82% Indoors, Environmentally Controlled  -  How often does this job require working indoors in environmentally controlled conditions?
79% Importance of Being Exact or Accurate  -  How important is being very exact or highly accurate in performing this job?
77% Time Pressure  -  How often does this job require the worker to meet strict deadlines?
76% Freedom to Make Decisions  -  How much decision making freedom, without supervision, does the job offer?
75% Work With Work Group or Team  -  How important is it to work with others in a group or team in this job?
73% Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results  -  What results do your decisions usually have on other people or the image or reputation or financial resources of your employer?
72% Structured versus Unstructured Work  -  To what extent is this job structured for the worker, rather than allowing the worker to determine tasks, priorities, and goals?
71% Consequence of Error  -  How serious would the result usually be if the worker made a mistake that was not readily correctable?
69% Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable  -  How often does this job require working exposed to sounds and noise levels that are distracting or uncomfortable?
69% Coordinate or Lead Others  -  How important is it to coordinate or lead others in accomplishing work activities in this job?
69% Responsibility for Outcomes and Results  -  How responsible is the worker for work outcomes and results of other workers?
68% Physical Proximity  -  To what extent does this job require the worker to perform job tasks in close physical proximity to other people?
67% Responsible for Others' Health and Safety  -  How much responsibility is there for the health and safety of others in this job?
65% Frequency of Decision Making  -  How frequently is the worker required to make decisions that affect other people, the financial resources, and/or the image and reputation of the organization?
79% Duration of Typical Work Week  -  Number of hours typically worked in one week.
A3 Your Strengths Importance

Tasks & Values

84% Getting Information  -  Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
80% Documenting/Recording Information  -  Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
79% Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials  -  Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
79% Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates  -  Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
79% Making Decisions and Solving Problems  -  Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
77% Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events  -  Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
76% 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.
75% Processing Information  -  Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
75% 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.
73% Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work  -  Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
73% Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others  -  Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
72% Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge  -  Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
71% Working with Computers  -  Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
71% Analyzing Data or Information  -  Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
70% Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships  -  Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
70% Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings  -  Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
68% 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.
66% 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.

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.


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 technologists and technicians held about 41,100 jobs in 2022. The largest employers of mechanical engineering technologists and technicians were as follows:

Architectural, engineering, and related services 21%
Machinery manufacturing 13
Scientific research and development services 11
Transportation equipment manufacturing 9
Computer and electronic product manufacturing 7

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.

Getting Started

Bachelor's Degree
Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production)

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 degree or other postsecondary training to enter the occupation.


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.


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

Job Outlook

Employment of mechanical engineering technologists and technicians is projected to show little or no change from 2022 to 2032.

Despite limited employment growth, about 3,700 openings for mechanical engineering technologists and technicians are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Most 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.


Mechanical engineering technologists and technicians will continue to be needed to help engineers plan for and design increasingly complex mechanical products, equipment, and systems. However, automation of routine engineering and design tasks also may reduce the need for workers in this occupation.  

Contacts for More Information

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


For information about certification, visit

The National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET) 

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 Median Annual Pay, May 2022
Drafters Drafters

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

Associate's degree $60,400
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 $61,210
Machinists and tool and die makers Machinists and Tool and Die Makers

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

See How to Become One $49,560
Mechanical engineers Mechanical Engineers

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

Bachelor's degree $96,310

Information provided by CareerFitter, LLC and other sources.

Sections of this page includes information from the O*NET 27.3 Database by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license.

CareerFitter, LLC has modified all or some of this information. USDOL/ETA has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.