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Career and Education Opportunities for Mechanical Engineering Technicians in Chicago, Illinois

Chicago, Illinois provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for mechanical engineering technicians. Currently, 1,520 people work as mechanical engineering technicians in Illinois. This is expected to grow 2% to about 1,550 people by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for mechanical engineering technicians are expected to shrink by about 1.4%. In general, mechanical engineering technicians apply theory and principles of mechanical engineering to modify, develop, and test machinery and equipment under direction of engineering staff or physical scientists.

Mechanical engineering technicians earn about $23 hourly or $48,200 annually on average in Illinois and about $23 hourly or $48,130 yearly on average nationally. Earnings for mechanical engineering technicians are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Engineering Technologies in Illinois and not quite as good as general Engineering Technologies category earnings nationally. People working as mechanical engineering technicians can fill a number of jobs, such as: engineering lab technician, research mechanic, and maintenance superintendent.

There are seven schools within twenty-five miles of Chicago where you can study to be a mechanical engineering technician, among 180 schools of higher education total in the Chicago area. The most common level of education for mechanical engineering technicians is a high school diploma or GED. You can expect to spend only a short time training to become a mechanical engineering technician if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Mechanical Engineering Technician

Mechanical Engineering Technician video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, mechanical engineering technicians apply theory and principles of mechanical engineering to modify, develop, and test machinery and equipment under direction of engineering staff or physical scientists.

Mechanical engineering technicians inspect project instructions and specifications to pinpoint, modify and plan requirements. They also consider changes in layouts, method of manufacture and assembly, and drafting techniques with staff and then direct corrections. Finally, mechanical engineering technicians inspect project instructions and blueprints to ascertain test specifications and objectives, and test nature of technical problems such as redesign.

Every day, mechanical engineering technicians are expected to be able to listen to and understand others in meetings. They need to articulate ideas and problems.

It is important for mechanical engineering technicians to read dials and meters to establish amperage, voltage, electrical output and input at specific operating temperature to analyze parts performance. They are often called upon to talk with technicians and submit reports of test results to engineering department and recommend layout or material changes. They also analyze test results in relation to layout or rated specifications and test objectives, and modify or adjust apparatus to meet specifications. They are sometimes expected to record test procedures and results, numerical and graphical data, and recommendations for changes in product or test methods. Somewhat less frequently, mechanical engineering technicians are also expected to inspect lines and figures for clarity and return erroneous drawings to designer for correction.

Mechanical engineering technicians sometimes are asked to estimate cost factors including labor and material for purchased and fabricated parts and costs for assembly or installing. They also have to be able to inspect lines and figures for clarity and return erroneous drawings to designer for correction And finally, they sometimes have to analyze test results in relation to layout or rated specifications and test objectives, and modify or adjust apparatus to meet specifications.

Like many other jobs, mechanical engineering technicians must be reliable and be thorough and dependable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Chicago include:

  • Civil Engineering Technician. Apply theory and principles of civil engineering in planning, designing, and overseeing construction and maintenance of structures and facilities under the direction of engineering staff or physical scientists.
  • Electronics Engineering Technician. Lay out, build, and modify developmental and production electronic components, parts, and systems, such as computer equipment, missile control instrumentation, electron tubes, and machine tool numerical controls, applying principles and theories of electronics, electrical circuitry, engineering mathematics, electronic and electrical testing, and physics. Usually work under direction of engineering staff.
  • Environmental Engineering Technician. Apply theory and principles of environmental engineering to modify, test, and operate equipment and devices used in the prevention, control, and remediation of environmental pollution, including waste treatment and site remediation. May assist in the development of environmental pollution remediation devices under direction of engineer.
  • Equipment Engineering Technician. Apply electrical theory and related knowledge to test and modify developmental or operational electrical machinery and electrical control equipment and circuitry in industrial or commercial plants and laboratories. Usually work under direction of engineering staff.
  • Industrial Engineer. Design, develop, and evaluate integrated systems for managing industrial production processes including human work factors, quality control, inventory control, logistics and material flow, cost analysis, and production coordination.
  • Industrial Engineering Technician. Apply engineering theory and principles to problems of industrial layout or manufacturing production, usually under the direction of engineering staff. May study and record time, motion, and speed involved in performance of production, maintenance, and other worker operations for such purposes as establishing standard production rates or improving efficiency.
  • Petroleum Engineer. Devise methods to improve oil and gas well production and determine the need for new or modified tool designs. Oversee drilling and offer technical advice to achieve economical and satisfactory progress.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Mechanical Engineering Technician Training

Purdue University-Calumet Campus - Hammond, IN

Purdue University-Calumet Campus, 2200 169th St, Hammond, IN 46323-2094. Purdue University-Calumet Campus is a medium sized university located in Hammond, Indiana. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 9,325 students and an admission rate of 74%. Purdue University-Calumet Campus has an associate's degree and a bachelor's degree program in Mechanical Engineering Related Technologies/Technicians, Other Specialties which graduated six and seventeen students respectively in 2008.

Moraine Valley Community College - Palos Hills, IL

Moraine Valley Community College, 9000 W. College Parkway, Palos Hills, IL 60465-0937. Moraine Valley Community College is a large college located in Palos Hills, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 17,477 students. Moraine Valley Community College has an associate's degree program in Mechanical Engineering/Mechanical Technology/Technician which graduated five students in 2008.

Oakton Community College - Des Plaines, IL

Oakton Community College, 1600 E Golf Rd., Des Plaines, IL 60016-1268. Oakton Community College is a large college located in Des Plaines, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 10,552 students. Oakton Community College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Mechanical Engineering/Mechanical Technology/Technician which graduated three and two students respectively in 2008.

BIR Training Center - Chicago, IL

BIR Training Center, 3601 W Devon Ste 210, Chicago, IL 60659. BIR Training Center is a small school located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 1,240 students. BIR Training Center has a one to two year program in Mechanical Engineering Related Technologies/Technicians, Other Specialties which graduated sixteen students in 2008.

Northwestern University - Evanston, IL

Northwestern University, 633 Clark St, Evanston, IL 60208. Northwestern University is a large university located in Evanston, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 20,128 students and an admission rate of 27%. Northwestern University has a master's degree program in Mechanical Engineering/Mechanical Technology/Technician which graduated five students in 2008.

Joliet Junior College - Joliet, IL

Joliet Junior College, 1215 Houbolt Rd, Joliet, IL 60431-8938. Joliet Junior College is a large college located in Joliet, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 14,088 students. Joliet Junior College has less than one year, one to two year, and associate's degree programs in Mechanical Engineering/Mechanical Technology/Technician which graduated three, one, and five students respectively in 2008.

McHenry County College - Crystal Lake, IL

McHenry County College, 8900 US Hwy 14, Crystal Lake, IL 60012-2761. McHenry County College is a medium sized college located in Crystal Lake, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,374 students. McHenry County College has a one to two year program in Mechanical Engineering/Mechanical Technology/Technician which graduated one student in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Certified Forensic Claims Consultant : AACE International's Certified Forensic Claims Consultant (CFCC) certification program is designed to establish credentials to recognize your professional expertise.

For more information, see the AACE International (Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering through total cost management) website.

Geometric Dimensioning & Tolerancing Professional - Technologist: ASME GDTP Certification provides the means to recognize proficiency in the understanding and application of the geometric dimensioning and tolerancing (GD&T) principles expressed in the ASME Y14.

For more information, see the American Society of Mechanical Engineers International website.

Certified Manufacturing Technologist: This certification primarily benefits new manufacturing engineers and experienced manufacturers without other credentials.

For more information, see the Society of Manufacturing Engineers website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Chicago, Illinois

Chicago, Illinois
Chicago, Illinois photo by Dschwen

Chicago is situated in Cook County, Illinois. It has a population of over 2,853,114, which has shrunk by 1.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Chicago, 114, is well above the national average. New single-family homes in Chicago are valued at $200,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, three hundred eighty-one new homes were built in Chicago, down from eight hundred seventy the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Chicago are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 35 minutes. More than 25.5% of Chicago residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Chicago is 11.6%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Chicago residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.6%, is more than both the national and state average. Southlawn United Methodist Church, Southern Missionary Baptist Church and Lakeside Evangelical Church are all churches located in Chicago. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Muslim Estimate and the Lutheran Church.

Chicago is home to the Five Crossings and the Wrigley Field as well as Monticello Park and Wilson Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Lincoln Village Shopping Center, Market Place at Six Corners Shopping Center and Kimbark Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Chicago can choose from Extended Stay America, Embassy Suites Lakefront and Cottage Inn for temporary stays in the area.