Mechanical engineering career information including example roles of mechanical engineers.
Mechanical engineering technicians work in many sectors including:
Mechanical engineering technicians work on projects with other engineering craftspeople and technicians under the supervision of an engineer. They cover a variety of skill areas including welding, hydraulics, pneumatics, fluid mechanics, computer-aided design (CAD), computer numerical controlled (CNC) machining, and measurement and inspection. Increasingly, they need a broad knowledge of other disciplines such as electronics and electrical engineering.
Mechanical engineering technicians work 37 to 40 hours a week, Monday to Friday, however, they may have to work overtime or shifts if the work relates closely to production. Technicians in a factory environment are likely to work shifts and be on call.
Work environments can vary from a quiet office; if involved in CAD work, to a noisy factory production line carrying out essential maintenance. Some work may be on outdoor sites. Protective clothing is usually provided where necessary.
To be a mechanical engineering technician, you should:
If you are aged under 24, you may be able to gain an apprentice technician position with an engineering, manufacturing or transport operating company. You will need four or five GCSEs (A-C) / S grades (1-3) in subjects such as maths, science, english, and design and technology. Some employers may require one or two A levels / Highers in maths and science or equivalent qualifications.
If you are aged between 16 - 24, you can contact Tomorrow's Engineers [new window] about careers in this field.
Alternative qualifications open to all ages include the Edexcel (BTEC) National Certificate / Diploma in Mechanical Engineering and National Certificate / Diploma in Operations and Maintenance Engineering (Mechanical). City & Guilds also offers a range of courses covering skills required in this role:
These courses are available at local colleges. Check with your local college for details.
There are opportunities for mechanical engineering technicians across a wide range of industries. Employers include local and central government departments, the armed services, manufacturers in all industries, research and development companies and public utilities such as water, gas, and electricity. There are also opportunities with manufacturers in materials development and design, marketing, selling and customer support.
Progression routes normally involve taking on supervisory and management duties. There may also be options to specialise in a particular aspect of the role, for instance, CAD work.
Reproduced from The Apprenticeship Guide [new window].
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