For every mechanical construct that moves, turns, pushes and pulls, there is a specialist behind its intricate and innovative design. The modern world is truly a thriving place for mechanical engineering technicians.
Mechanical engineering technicians apply their core skills to maintaining and operating machines utilized in industrial settings. Within the field, there are many variations on how mechanical engineering technicians use their expertise. Some mechanical engineering technicians maintain equipment such as motors and turbines, while others set up and test parts.
Regardless of expertise, all mechanical engineering technicians share one thing in common: a background of core skills in mathematics, science and English.
Operation and Maintenance
Mechanical engineering technicians perform numerous hands-on activities. Depending on the place of work, a mechanical engineering technician may work directly with machinery and products of the business at hand.
They must ensure that floor processes are continuous and experience minimal downtime. As such, a mechanical engineering technician’s major responsibility includes regular maintenance and repair of equipment. To perform these duties, it is necessary to be well-versed with the use of tooling and have practical knowledge of mechanical and electrical systems.
Mechanical engineering technicians are often responsible for testing products within a lab setting; many find themselves in charge of the setup, performance, and teardown of engineering tests. In handling specialized tests, mechanical engineering technicians will often work with mechanical parts, pneumatics, electrical wiring, and industrial test equipment.
In the modern world, technology has progressed to an era of high capacity. Before CAD design, engineering drawings were sketched by hand, with a single drawing often taking several days to complete, and if revisions were needed, it would take at least one additional day to process.
Today, with the power of CAD, we can fully design and detail the same drawings in less than one hour and release revisions within just a few short minutes. Manipulation of this extraordinary software is a crucial skill for a mechanical engineering technician. In addition to knowledge of CAD, knowing how to work with spreadsheets, write reports, and use data acquisition software are also pivotal skills as mechanical and electrical processes require close, thoughtful documentation.
Career Outlook: The Dual Ladder System
Most people are familiar with a one-ladder system, in which professionals position themselves to make lateral moves into higher positions. One of the most attractive destinations in the industry is the role of project manager, a management position in which one is able to direct and lead projects. These individuals expertly coordinate tasks that make up the life of a project. From assigning specific responsibilities to meeting deadlines, project managers see projects through from inception to completion. Those who seek to be a leader will most likely advance in this path.
For mechanical engineering technicians who enjoy the more technical, mathematical side of engineering, there is another career path available. Many engineers who enjoy solving problems and designing solutions elect to pursue a career as an advanced engineer. Designing mechanical systems and solving problems on the line are some of the few complex assignments that these specialists tackle on a daily basis. These analytical experts are often responsible for high-level data analyses and intricate mechanical design assignments.
The stability of the industry and the versatility of the role itself makes becoming a mechanical engineering technician an attractive profession. In an ever-changing world, working as a mechanical engineering technician is sure to be a challenging but rewarding career for the curious of mind.
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