Mechanical Engineering Technologist

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Mechanical Engineering Technologist


Mechanical engineering technologists are involved in almost every aspect of people's lives, including vehicle design, medicine, robotics, high tech materials and computers. Cars, allergy medication, DVD players and laptop computers all stem from this line of work. Mechanical engineering technologists may work independently or provide technical support and services in mechanical engineering fields such as the design, development, maintenance and testing of machines. They also work with tools, heating and ventilating systems, power generation and power conversion plants and manufacturing plants and equipment. Their work focuses on improving our existing mechanical structures and machinery while investigating economical and environmental solutions to potential problems.

This is by far the most broad discipline within engineering technology because there are so many different areas that one can choose to specialize in; for example, research and development, quality control or manufacturing. In development and research, technologists work in laboratories conducting scientific studies and research for their own projects or in aid of mechanical engineers. They also participate in field surveys, inspections or technical investigations of power plants, water supply systems and dams and provide their findings as data.

Computers are commonly used to process laboratory test data and prepare computer-aided designs (CAD). Specializing in quality control involves inspections and studies on improving already existing mechanical processes and machinery on production lines. Tests must routinely be performed in order to examine the existing quality of mechanical engineering structures. The manufacturing side deals more with hands-on design, development and even possibly production of machinery.

Mechanical engineering technologists work in teams with engineers, technicians and tradespeople. They must be very knowledgeable about materials and equipment needed to design, construct, operate and maintain technical products. They must identify safety and environmental concerns and suggest ways to eliminate or reduce potential problems. They adopt scientific, mathematical and engineering theories when solving technical problems. Some mechanical engineering technologists also estimate constructions costs and suggest materials to be used in particular projects, while others survey land-sites, prepare sketches and drawings and monitor instruments used in different research studies.

They are required to constantly update their skills and knowledge in order to keep up with technological advancements in this quickly changing field.
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ECPI University
ECPI University
Programs Offered:
  • Mechanical Engineering Technology - Associate's
  • Mechanical Engineering Technology - Bachelor's
  • Mechatronics - Bachelor's



  Interests and Skills  
What interests and skills does it take to become a mechanical engineering technologist? They should be good at sketching drawings, good at mathematics and mechanical problem solving and able to visualize three-dimensional objects from two-dimensional drawings. Communication skills both in person and in writing are crucial because technologists work in teams with engineers and scientists. They should also enjoy obtaining and analyzing test results, finding innovative solutions to problems and taking a methodical approach to their work.

  Typical Tasks  
  • Prepare engineering designs, drawings and specifications for machines and related components
  • Conduct cost and material estimates, project schedules and reports
  • Run tests and analyses of machines, components and materials to determine their performance, strength, response to stress and other characteristics
  • Design moulds, tools, dies, jigs and fixtures for use in manufacturing process
  • Prepare layouts for new machines, tool designs, plants and equipment
  • Inspect mechanical installations and construction
  • Prepare contract and tender documents
  • Analyze the cost efficiency of projects
  • Supervise, monitor and inspect mechanical installations and construction projects
  • Prepare standards and schedules and supervise mechanical maintenance programs or operations of mechanical plants.
  • Mechanical engineering technologists usually work indoors in offices, laboratories or manufacturing facilities and spend the majority of their working hours on the computer or conducting experiments. Some technologists may work outdoors at construction sites, supervising the building process or at power plants. At certain plants, technologists may be exposed to toxic fumes, dust or other safety hazards. Mechanical engineering technologists generally work regular five day, 40-hour weeks, with the possibility for longer hours in order to meet project deadlines.

  Workplaces, Employers and Industries  
  • Mechanical engineering technologists work for private companies and in the public sector. Consulting engineering companies, industrial, fabrication, manufacturing and construction companies, mechanical equipment sales companies and processing companies (e.g. in the chemical, oil, gas, pipeline and food industries) generally hire technologists. In the public sector, they can be found in government and regulatory agencies.

  Long Term Career Potential  
With experience and education, mechanical engineering technologists may obtain employment as computer drafting specialists, designers, planners, inspectors, cost estimators, quality assurance coordinators or even purchasers. They can advance to technical supervisory or managerial positions, or become self-employed in consulting or other service businesses. With further education, training and experience, it is possible for technologists to become professional engineers.

  Educational Paths  
Completion of a two- or three-year college program in mechanical engineering technology is usually required for mechanical engineering technologists. A certification in mechanical engineering technology or a related field is available through associations of engineering or applied science technologists and technicians, and may be required for some positions.

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition,
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, 2002,

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ECPI University
ECPI University
Programs Offered:
  • Mechanical Engineering Technology - Associate's
  • Mechanical Engineering Technology - Bachelor's
  • Mechatronics - Bachelor's

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