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Mechanical engineering technician

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Summary of occupation

Mechanical engineering technicians assist engineers with the design, manufacture, installation, operation and maintenance of machinery and other mechanical equipment. They draw up designs for new machinery, assemble and install new or altered mechanical equipment and parts and carry out workshop and field testing as part of the quality control process. They may also calculate building, maintenance and operation costs, including the expected lifetime of each component of the machine.

ANZSCO description: Conducts tests of mechanical systems, collects and analyses data, and assembles and installs mechanical assemblies in support of Mechanical Engineers and Engineering Technologists.
Alternative names: Mechanical Engineering Associate, Mechanical Engineering Officer, Mechanical Engineering Technical Officer
Job prospects: Limited
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Knowledge, skills and attributes

A mechanical engineering technician needs:

  • to enjoy technical and engineering activities
  • good communication skills
  • good problem-solving skills
  • the ability to work as part of a team
  • an interest in, and understanding of, different machines and how they work.
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Working conditions

Mechanical engineering technicians usually work in workshops, factories, power plants, building sites or offices. In Western Australia, they usually work in the Perth metropolitan area and some regional areas. The work environment can be noisy and dirty, and some of the machinery may potentially be dangerous. There are often strict safety procedures that must be followed to minimise the risk of working with heavy machinery. Work hours can vary significantly, depending on the employer and type of work being conducted. Some mechanical engineering technicians may work shifts, which can include nights and weekends. Many work on a Fly in/Fly out basis.

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Salary details

On average, mechanical engineering draftspersons and technicians can expect to earn between $1 500 and $1 999 per week ($78 000 and $103 999 per year), depending on the organisation they work for, and their level of experience.

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Tools and technologies

Mechanical engineering technicians usually use Computer-Aided Design (CAD) software when drawing up new plans or blueprints. When installing new equipment or carrying out maintenance they may use a variety of hand and power tools. Safety equipment may include steel-capped boots, safety googles, hard-hats, overalls, high-visibility clothing, gloves and hearing protection.

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Education and training/entrance requirements

To become a mechanical engineering technician you usually need to complete a qualification in technical or mechanical engineering.

The Diploma of Engineering – Technical and the Diploma of Engineering – Technical (Mechanical) are offered at registered training organisations throughout Western Australia.

You can also complete a traineeship. The mechanical engineering technician and the engineering associate – mechanical traineeships usually take 24 to 36 months to complete.

Related courses

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Apprenticeships and traineeships

As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer. You spend most of your time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider of your choice. They will assess your skills and when you are competent in all areas, you will be awarded a nationally recognised qualification.

If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. You generally start your school based apprenticeship by attending school three days a week, spending one day at a registered training organisation and one day at work. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you get a full-time apprenticeship you can apply to leave school before reaching the school leaving age.

If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.

Related apprenticeships

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Recognition of prior learning

If you think you already have some of the skills or competencies, obtained either through non-formal or informal learning, you may be able to gain credit through recognition of prior learning.

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