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Mechanical Engineering Technician Profile

 
Introduction

This Section of the site details information that you might find useful if you are looking to secure employment or require further details regarding working as a Mechanical Engineering Technician. This page details the following Information:-

  • Finding Suitable Work as a Mechanical Engineering Technician
  • Working Duties Expected
  • Hours and Environment
  • Working Skills Required
  • Training Requirements
  • Salary Expectations
  • Trade Information
  • Other useful Mechanical Engineering Technician Work Information


Finding Suitable Work

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Working Duties Expected

Mechanical engineering involves designing, constructing and operating machines. It is concerned with all the parts of machinery that move. A mechanical engineering technician could work in one of many areas of industry:

  • manufacturing - making engine components, textile machinery or aircraft parts
  • processing - designing, making and operating industrial plant
  • services - railways, steel, coal and power
  • government - defence installations and scientific work
  • the armed forces - bridge construction, armoured vehicle operation.


Mechanical engineering technicians usually work with chartered or incorporated mechanical engineers, as part of a project team, with other engineering technicians. They need a broad knowledge of other disciplines such as electronics and electrical engineering.

There are a range of areas technicians can choose to specialise in:

  • working as production planners, purchasers, estimators, quality inspectors or after-sales service in manufacturing
  • in research and development, making and testing new products and components
  • in design, preparing detailed drawings for manufacturing and assembly
  • in chemical and other process industries, supervising or solving problems on process production lines
  • in maintenance, rectifying faults in manufacturing equipment and machinery.


Hours and Environment

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.

The work environments range from quiet, modern, open-plan offices, to factory production areas, which may be very noisy. Depending on the job, some work may be on outdoor sites. Work can involve travel and short periods away from home. Protective clothing is usually provided where necessary.

Skills and Interests

To be a mechanical engineering technician, you should:

  • have good practical skills for handling tools and instruments
  • have good numeracy skills
  • have good communication and organisational skills
  • have computer skills
  • understand engineering drawings and principles
  • have problem-solving skills
  • be a good team worker, but with a degree of initiative
  • have normal colour vision.


Entry

You may be able to gain a trainee technician postion with an employer with four or five GCSEs (A-C)/S grades (1-3) including maths, English and a science subject. Some employers may require one or two A levels/highers or equivalent qualifications.

A common route for young people is to train as a technician apprentice, through Foundation and Advanced Modern Apprenticeships. Most apprentices come in at 16 to 18, but entry is possible up to 24. You will need four GCSEs (A-C)/S grades (1-3), including maths and science or technology, or an appropriate Intermediate GNVQ/GSVQ level II or equivalent.

For details of qualification equivalents see:

Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (England, Wales and Northern Ireland)
Scottish Qualifications Authority
An Access to Higher Education qualification may also be accepted for entry to certain courses. If experienced in a related field, you may be able to gain recognition of skills through Accredited Prior Learning (APL). Please check with colleges or universities for exact entry requirements.

Alternative entry qualifications include BTEC Certificates/Diplomas in Mechanical, Electrical or Electronic Engineering.

If you are working as an engineering craftsperson, you may be able to become a technician by studying part-time for a relevant BTEC national certificate or diploma, or an SQA national certificate group award, or by doing an NVQ/SVQ Level 3.

If you are an engineering operative or in a non-engineering job, especially a supervisory one, it may be possible to study part-time for a BTEC national certificate or diploma, or an SQA national certificate group award and then apply for a mechanical engineering technician position.

Training

Theoretical training may be delivered by day or block release study at college. With workplace assessments, this can lead to NVQ/SVQ level 3. You will probably also study for a BTEC national certificate or diploma, or an SQA national certificate group award, or City & Guilds certificate, or vocational A level/GSVQ Level III.

You can work towards BTEC HNC/HNDs in the engineering disciplines. The Engineering Council has a searchable database of relevant training courses around the country. See contacts below.

Mechanical engineering technicians should aim to get the qualification EngTech. To achieve this you must register formally with the Engineering Council as an engineering technician, and you will need:

an appropriate qualification such as an NVQ/SVQ level 3, vocational A level/GSVQ Level III, BTEC national certificate or diploma, or an SQA national certificate group award
at least three years initial professional development, including suitable further training and responsible work experience
to be a member of a relevant professional institution
to take a final test called a professional review.
Foundation and Advanced Modern Apprenticeships (MAPPs) may be available for people aged 16-24.
For details see: MAPPs (England); Skillseekers MAPPs (Scotland); National Traineeships MAPPs (Wales); and MAPPs (Northern Ireland).

Opportunities

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, IT 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.

Annual Income

The annual income section is intended as a guideline only.

New entrants start at around £14,000 a year.
Experienced technicians average about £25,000 a year.
Senior technicians may earn over £30,000 a year.

Further information

Institution of Mechanical Engineers
1 Birdcage Walk
Westminster
London
SW1H 9JJ
Tel: 020 7222 7899
www.imeche.org.uk

Engineering Council
10 Maltravers Street
London
WC2R 3ER
Tel: 020 7240 7891
www.engc.org.uk

SEMTA (Science Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies Alliance) *
14 Upton Road
Watford
Hertfordshire
WD18 0JT
Tel: 0808 100 3682
www.semta.org.uk

Institution of Incorporated Engineers
Savoy Hill House
Savoy Hill
London
WC2R 0BS
Tel: 020 7836 3357
www.iie.org.uk

* PLEASE NOTE
National Training Organisations (NTOs) ceased to be recognised by the government on 31 March 2002. However, some are continuing to operate in their respective fields. Please contact individual NTOs with queries regarding their current status.

The Secretary of State for Education and Skills is licensing new Sector Skills Councils - charged with boosting skills and productivity in business sectors. For information about Sector Skills Councils, their roles and responsibilities, please visit the Sector Skills Development Agency website: www.ssda.org.uk

Other Useful Mechanical Engineering Technician Work Information

We have a section available at this site on Mechanical Engineering Technician job interview tips that you may find of interest should you wish to brush up your skills in this area and we also have number of career articles that may also be of use to you from within our guides and documents section.

Locations where we feature Jobs include:-
Aberdeen, Berkshire, Aberdeen, Bath, Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Cambridgeshire, Cardiff, Central London, Cheltenham, Cornwall, Coventry, Derby, Devon, Docklands, Dorset, Dundee, Durham, East Midlands, East Sussex, Edinburgh, Essex, Glasgow, Gloucester, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Kent, Lancashire, Leeds, Leicester, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Middlesbrough, Midlands and in various parts of the West Midlands

Details of other Mechanical Engineering Technician Jobs can also be found in other UK wide areas including:-
Milton Keynes, Newcastle, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Norfolk, North London, North Midlands, Northampton, Northamptonshire, Northern Ireland, Northumberland, Norwich, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, Oxford, Oxfordshire, Plymouth, Salisbury, Scotland, Sheffield, Shropshire, Somerset, South East, South London, South Midlands, Southampton, Staffordshire Surrey, Swansea, Swindon, Telford, Wales, Warwickshire, West End, West London, West Midlands, Worcestershire, York and throughout Yorkshire.

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