What Is Mechanical Engineering Technology? | Job Description, Salary, Programs

Mechanical engineering technicians or technologists play a critical role in the design, development, and manufacture of mechanical parts, systems, and equipment.

While mechanical engineers heavily focus their efforts on designing, mechanical engineering technicians use specific technical skills to help build, test, and manufacture mechanical devices.

To better understand what mechanical engineering technology is, we’ll look at what technologists here do, their job descriptions, and their salaries.

Basically, a career as a mechanical technologist who works cooperatively with engineers to install, maintain, test, plan for, and produce mechanical parts according to given specifications, will require a minimum of an associate degree.

As a prospective mechanical technologist, you should strive to gain hands-on experience through an internship and consider earning a bachelor’s degree in order to advance in the field.

Keep reading for a breakdown of what your job description will be as a mechanical engineering technologist, possible salary, and job outlook.

In addition, this article will outline mechanical engineering technology programs and the basic requirements for pursuing one.

Here is a table of what to expect:

What is Mechanical Engineering Technology?

Mechanical Engineering Technology is basically the application of engineering principles and technological developments for the creation of useful products and production machinery.

Who is a Mechanical Engineering Technologists?

Also referred to as mechanical engineering technicians, mechanical engineering technologists are responsible for assisting mechanical engineers in the design of machinery, products, and equipment.

They serve primarily as problem solvers and troubleshooters in the manufacture, fabrication, and ongoing maintenance of machinery and automated equipment.

Mechanical engineering technologists are expected to apply current technologies and principles from the machine and product design as well as production, and material and manufacturing processes.

They will also be needed in specialties such as aerospace, automotive, energy, nuclear, petroleum, manufacturing, product development, and industrial design.

It is important to note that professionals in the mechanical engineering technology field have several titles in the USA and the world.

Some of these titles will also be used interchangeably as we go on. The titles include but are not limited to:

Furthermore, those interested in the mechanical engineering technology field may benefit from developing a few key skills. These skills include communication skills, creativity, and problem-solving.

Also, the ability to operate different types of machinery and use various software programs is definitely a plus.

What Does a Mechanical Engineering Technologist Do?

Basically, mechanical engineering technologists help mechanical engineers design, develop, test, and manufacture mechanical devices, including tools, engines, and machines.

They also make sketches and rough layouts, record and analyze data, make calculations and estimates, and report their findings.

Typically, mechanical engineering technicians do the following duties:

  • Evaluate design drawings for new or changed tools by measuring dimensions on the drawings and comparing them with the original specifications.
  • Preparing layouts and drawings of parts to be made and of the process for putting the parts together, often using three-dimensional design software.
  • Discussing changes with coworkers—for example, in the design of a part and in the way it will be made and assembled.
  • Reviewing instructions and blueprints for projects in order to ensure that test specifications and procedures are followed and objectives are met.
  • Planning, producing, and assembling new or changed mechanical parts for products, such as industrial machinery or equipment.
  • Setting up and conducting tests of complete units and their components, and record results.
  • Comparing test results with design specifications and with test objectives and making recommendations for changes in products or in test methods.
  • Estimating labor costs, equipment life, and plant space.

What is the Job Outlook For Mechanical Engineering Technician?

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the employment of mechanical engineering technicians is projected to grow 3 percent from 2018 to 2028, slower than the average for all occupations.

The BLS went further to suggest that the overall decline in manufacturing in the United States will contribute to slow growth. 

However, there should be opportunities for those who can master new software and technology in addition to traditional manual skills.

How Much Does a Mechanical Engineering Technician Earn?

As seen on the US BLS, the median annual wage for mechanical engineering technicians earn $56,980 per year. That is, mechanical engineering technologists earn $27.40 per hour.

Glassdoor, the national average salary for a Mechanical Engineering Technician is $44,784 in the United States. 

Meanwhile, Payscale reports that the average salary for a Mechanical Engineering Technologist is $63,342.

How to Become a Mechanical Engineering Technologist?

Basically, to start a career as a mechanical technician, you’ll need to earn an associate degree. However, some employers may prefer mechanical technicians with bachelor’s level training in mechanical technology.

Notwithstanding below is a step by step procedure on how to become a mechanical engineering technologist:

Earn an Associate Degree

Employers typically look for applicants with postsecondary training, and this may include an associate degree in mechanical engineering technology (MET).

Coursework here usually involves mathematics classes, such as algebra and calculus, and mechanical-related courses, like fluid mechanics and mechanical engineering design.

An associate degree program in mechanical engineering technology normally takes two years to complete. Also, graduates should be prepared to install, maintain, and perform tests on mechanical systems.

Find an Internship

Mechanical engineering tech students can gain hands-on experience by participating in internships through a school’s MET program.

This internship is an opportunity for technologists to start applying what was learned in the classroom environment to real-world experience.

Furthermore, tech interns may shadow an experienced mechanical engineering technician who can help a promising technician gain the skills necessary to obtain professional employment.

Get Employment

Graduates of mechanical engineering technology can find a job as mechanical technicians in various industries such as research and development, testing laboratories, and manufacturing.

As a prospective mechanical engineering technologist, it’s advisable that you take safety precautions in your workspace as you’ll be working with machines of all types.

Continuing Education

Mechanical technologists interested in advancing their career or pursuing a mechanical engineering job should consider earning a bachelor’s degree.

Basically, a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering Technology includes advanced courses in the field and additional laboratory time. Advanced courses here include 3D modeling, manufacturing processes, and project engineering, among others.

Mechanical Engineering Technology Programs

Basically, undergraduate programs in mechanical engineering technology provide students with a foundational understanding of machine design, robotics, computer-aided drafting, and product design.

Mechanical engineering technology degree programs are available in two levels namely:

  • A two-year Associate of Science in Mechanical Engineering Technology
  • A four-year Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering Technology.

Associate of Science in Mechanical Engineering Technology

Basically, an associate’s degree program in the field highlights topics such as physics, control systems, and computer-aided drafting.

Due to the nature of the field, much of the learning included within an associate’s degree in mechanical engineering tech is hands-on and takes place in a laboratory or workshop setting.

In addition, credits from this program may be transferred to a bachelor’s program in mechanical engineering technology.

Typical coursework in an associate’s degree in mechanical engineering technology program includes:

  • Physics
  • Machine and process design
  • Control systems
  • Electromechanical design
  • Computer-aided drafting
  • Fluid mechanics

Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering Technology

Basically, students enrolled in a bachelor’s degree program in mechanical engineering technology learn about the technologies, processes, and skills involved in designing and manufacturing industrial products.

Also, students are required to attend classroom lectures in mechanical engineering theory, in addition to completing laboratory assignments. They learn how to perform materials testing, design mechanisms, and also develop products in laboratory settings.

Mechanical tech students also receive instruction in software used by mechanical engineers, such as computer-aided design (CAD) software.

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Typical coursework in an bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering technology program includes:

  • Engineering design and graphics
  • Computer-aided drafting
  • Electronics laboratory
  • Applied fluid mechanics
  • Machine design
  • Thermodynamics

Requirements For Mechanical Engineering Technology Degree Programs

Basically, mechanical engineering tech schools require that applicants for the program have high school diplomas or GEDs for admission.

In addition, they are to have a strong grasp of mathematics, computer science, physics, and chemistry.

FAQs On What Is Mechanical Engineering Technology? Job Description, Salary, Programs

What Is Mechanical Engineering Technology?

Mechanical Engineering Technology is basically the application of engineering principles and technological developments for the creation of useful products and production machinery.

Who is a Mechanical Engineering Technologists?

Mechanical engineering technologists are responsible for assisting mechanical engineers in the design of machinery, products, and equipment.

What Does a Mechanical Engineering Technologist Do?

Basically, mechanical engineering technologists help mechanical engineers design, develop, test, and manufacture mechanical devices, including tools, engines, and machines.

How Much Does a Mechanical Engineering Technician Earn?

Mechanical engineering technicians earn $56,980 per year.

How to Become a Mechanical Engineering Technologist?

Here is a step by step procedure on how to become a mechanical engineering technologist:

1. Earn an Associate Degree
2. Find an Internship
3. Get Employment
4. Continuing Education

What are the Types of Mechanical Engineering Technology Programs?

The two types of mechanical engineering technology degree programs are:

1. A two-year Associate of Science in Mechanical Engineering Technology
2. A four-year Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering Technology.

Conclusion

The importance of mechanical engineering technologists in the design, development, and manufacture of mechanical parts, systems, and equipment cannot be overemphasized.

They not only assist mechanical engineers in the design of machinery, but also serve primarily as problem solvers and troubleshooters in the manufacture, fabrication, and ongoing maintenance of machinery and automated equipment.

Interested in pursuing a career as a mechanical technician?

You’ll need to earn atleast an associate degree in mechanical engineering technology.

I hope this article helps you in your decision making.

Good Luck And Success!!!

References

  • US BLS – Occupational Outlook Handbook of Mechanical Engineering Technician
  • Study – How to Become a Mechanical Technician: Education and Career Roadmap
  • Wikipedia – Mechanical Engineering Technology

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