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

If you want to be a mechanical engineering technician, the Elgin, Illinois area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. There are currently 1,520 working mechanical engineering technicians in Illinois; this should grow by 2% to about 1,550 working mechanical engineering technicians in the state by 2016. This is better than the national trend for mechanical engineering technicians, which sees this job pool shrinking by about 1.4% over the next eight years. Mechanical engineering technicians generally apply theory and principles of mechanical engineering to modify, develop, and test machinery and equipment under direction of engineering staff or physical scientists.

A person working as a mechanical engineering technician can expect to earn about $23 hourly or $48,200 per year on average in Illinois and about $23 per hour or $48,130 annually on average in the U.S. as a whole. Compared with people working in the overall category of Engineering Technologies, people working as mechanical engineering technicians in Illinois earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Engineering Technologies nationally. Mechanical engineering technicians work in a variety of jobs, including: development technician, engineering lab technician, and tool analyst.

There are two schools within twenty-five miles of Elgin where you can study to be a mechanical engineering technician, among sixty-one schools of higher education total in the Elgin area. Mechanical engineering technicians usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so you can expect to spend only a short time studying to be 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 Elgin 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.
  • 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.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Mechanical Engineering Technician Training

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.

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: Elgin, Illinois

Elgin, Illinois
Elgin, Illinois photo by James Jordan

Elgin is located in Kane County, Illinois. It has a population of over 106,330, which has grown by 12.5% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Elgin, 104, is above the national average. New single-family homes in Elgin cost $156,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, three hundred thirty-two new homes were constructed in Elgin, down from seven hundred fifty-six the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Elgin are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, metal and metal products, and administrative and support and waste management services. The average travel time to work is about 26 minutes. More than 20.5% of Elgin residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.0%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Elgin is 12.4%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Elgin residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 56.0%, is more than both the national and state average. Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Seventh Day Adventist Church and Saint Thomas More Roman Catholic Church are some of the churches located in Elgin. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Lutheran Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Elgin is home to the Fox Bluff Corporate Center and the Elgin Fire Station Number 2 as well as Wing Park and College Park. Shopping malls in the area include Wing Park Manor Shopping Center, Tyler Creek Plaza Shopping Center and Town and Country Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Elgin can choose from Elgin-Days Inn, Colonial Lodge Motel and Crowne Plaza for temporary stays in the area.