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Career and Education Opportunities for Mechanical Engineering Technicians in Alexandria, Virginia

Alexandria, Virginia provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for mechanical engineering technicians. The national trend for mechanical engineering technicians 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.

The income of a mechanical engineering technician is about $21 hourly or $44,450 yearly on average in Virginia. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $23 hourly or $48,130 yearly on average. Mechanical engineering technicians earn less than people working in the category of Engineering Technologies generally in Virginia and less than people in the Engineering Technologies category nationally. Mechanical engineering technicians work in a variety of jobs, including: research and development technician, mechanical designer, and gyroscope technician.

There are eighty-four schools of higher education in the Alexandria area, including one within twenty-five miles of Alexandria where you can get a degree to start your career as a mechanical engineering technician. Given that the most common education level 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 Alexandria 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 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

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: Alexandria, Virginia

Alexandria, Virginia
Alexandria, Virginia photo by SchuminWeb

Alexandria is situated in Alexandria City County, Virginia. It has a population of over 143,885, which has grown by 12.2% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Alexandria, 124, is far greater than the national average.

The three big industries for women in Alexandria are professional, scientific, and technical services, public administration, and health care. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, public administration, and construction. The average commute to work is about 30 minutes. More than 54.3% of Alexandria residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 24.8%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Alexandria is 4.6%, which is less than Virginia's average of 6.4%.

Church of Resurrection Episcopal, Agudas Achim Synagogue and Alexandria Bible Church are some of the churches located in Alexandria.

Alexandria is home to the Circle Terrace Hospital and the Kate Waller Barrett Branch as well as Marina Park and Founders Park. Shopping centers in the area include Hamlet Shopping Center, Landmark Shopping Center and Arlandria Shopping Center. Visitors to Alexandria can choose from Comfort Inn-Landmark, Best Western Old Colony Inn and Hilton Inn for temporary stays in the area.