Popular Careers

Career Development

Career development resources for aspiring professionals.

Career Change Center

Career change guides, tutorials and resources for professionals in transition.

Job Search Resources

Job search resources, websites, guides and directories for job seekers.


Career and Education Opportunities for Mechanical Engineering Technicians in Columbia, Maryland

There are many career and education opportunities for mechanical engineering technicians in the Columbia, Maryland area. About 750 people are currently employed as mechanical engineering technicians in Maryland. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 15% to 860 people employed. 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 $24 per hour or $50,920 annually on average in Maryland and about $23 per hour or $48,130 yearly on average in the U.S. as a whole. Earnings for mechanical engineering technicians are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Engineering Technologies in Maryland and not quite as good as general Engineering Technologies category earnings nationally. Mechanical engineering technicians work in a variety of jobs, including: proof technician, robotics technician, and gyroscope technician.

There are two schools within twenty-five miles of Columbia where you can study to be a mechanical engineering technician, among 109 schools of higher education total in the Columbia area. Mechanical engineering technicians usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so it will take only a short time to learn 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 Columbia include:

  • Aerospace Technician. Operate, install, and maintain integrated computer/communications systems consoles, simulators, and other data acquisition, test, and measurement instruments and equipment to launch, track, and evaluate air and space vehicles. May record and interpret test data.
  • 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.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Mechanical Engineering Technician Training

The Community College of Baltimore County - Baltimore, MD

The Community College of Baltimore County, 7201 Rossville Blvd., Baltimore, MD 21237. The Community College of Baltimore County is a large college located in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 20,673 students. The Community College of Baltimore County has an associate's degree program in Mechanical Engineering/Mechanical Technology/Technician which graduated two students in 2008.

Northern Virginia Community College - Annandale, VA

Northern Virginia Community College, 4001 Wakefield Chapel Rd, Annandale, VA 22003-3796. Northern Virginia Community College is a large college located in Annandale, Virginia. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 41,870 students. Northern Virginia Community College has a one to two year program in Mechanical Engineering Related Technologies/Technicians, Other Specialties 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: Columbia, Maryland

Columbia, Maryland
Columbia, Maryland photo by Jeff Kubina

Columbia is located in Howard County, Maryland. It has a population of over 96,421. The cost of living index in Columbia, 100, is near the national average.

The three most popular industries for women in Columbia are educational services, health care, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, public administration, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 30 minutes. More than 59.0% of Columbia residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 28.7%, is higher than the state average.

The percentage of Columbia residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 49.3%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Abiding Savior Lutheran Church, Atholton Seventh Day Adventist Church and Long Reach Interfaith Center are all churches located in Columbia. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.

Columbia is home to the Symphony Woods Office Center and the Rivers Corporate Park as well as Middle Patuxent Environmental Area and Clarksville Environmental Area. Shopping centers in the area include Governor Century Plaza Shopping Center, Atholton Shopping Center and Owen Brown Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Columbia can choose from PFMG, Courtyard by Marriott and Hilton Inn Columbia for temporary stays in the area.