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Mechanical engineering technician Mechanical maintenance technician

Mechanical engineering technicians design, install and repair industrial plant machinery and parts.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £18,000 to £40,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 35 to 40 per week

1. Entry requirements

You could become an technician by doing an apprenticeship in mechanical engineering. For this, you'll need 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C).

Previous experience in engineering, like welding, could help you get a job.

You could also take a college course in mechanical engineering to help you find a trainee position.

The Institution of Engineering and Technology, SEMTA and Tomorrow's Engineers have more careers advice.

2. Skills required

You'll need:

  • maths, science and IT skills
  • the ability to read engineering drawings
  • practical and technical skills

3. What you'll do

You could be:

  • building engine and gear components, maintaining conveyor and packaging equipment, and servicing robotic machinery on production lines (in manufacturing)
  • installing and maintaining industrial plant equipment, such as motors, valves and pumps (in power, water and processing companies)
  • servicing lifts and escalators, and installing heating and air conditioning systems (in building services)
  • repairing mechanical parts on rail engines and signalling equipment (in transport companies)

Your day-to-day tasks may include:

  • drawing up plans for new ideas, using computer-aided design (CAD) software
  • investigating and testing ideas to improve existing systems and solve problems
  • making new parts
  • installing and testing instruments and machinery
  • carrying out preventative maintenance
  • identifying and repairing faults
  • meeting performance and safety targets

4. Salary

Starter: £18,000 to £23,000

Experienced: £24,000 to £30,000

Highly Experienced: £35,000 to £40,000

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You'll usually work 37 to 40 hours, Monday to Friday. In a factory you're likely to work shifts and be on-call for out-of-hours problems.

You could work in an office doing CAD work or on a noisy factory production line, carrying out maintenance. You could also work outdoors, servicing equipment and machinery on site.

6. Career path and progression

With experience, you could become a supervisor or project manager, or specialise in areas like CAD design or quality control.

You could also qualify as an engineer by completing a degree in mechanical engineering.

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Last updated: 18 August 2017