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Career and Education Opportunities for Mechanical Engineering Technicians in Charleston, West Virginia

There are many career and education opportunities for mechanical engineering technicians in the Charleston, West Virginia area. The national trend for mechanical engineering technicians sees this job pool shrinking by about 1.4% over the next eight years. 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.

Income for mechanical engineering technicians is about $19 hourly or $39,680 yearly on average in West Virginia. Nationally, their income is about $23 hourly or $48,130 per year. Compared with people working in the overall category of Engineering Technologies, people working as mechanical engineering technicians in West Virginia earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Engineering Technologies nationally. Jobs in this field include: refrigeration technician, machinist, and process technician.

The Charleston area is home to seventeen schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Charleston where you can get a degree 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 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 Charleston 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 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

Community and Technical College at West Virginia University Institute of Technology - Montgomery, WV

Community and Technical College at West Virginia University Institute of Technology, 405 Fayette Pike, Montgomery, WV 25136. Community and Technical College at West Virginia University Institute of Technology is a small university located in Montgomery, West Virginia. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 743 students. Community and Technical College at West Virginia University Institute of Technology has an associate's degree program in Mechanical Engineering Related Technologies/Technicians, Other Specialties which graduated five students 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: Charleston, West Virginia

Charleston, West Virginia
Charleston, West Virginia photo by Malepheasant

Charleston is situated in Kanawha County, West Virginia. It has a population of over 50,302, which has shrunk by 5.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Charleston, 84, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Charleston are priced at $268,400 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, thirty-four new homes were constructed in Charleston, up from twenty-seven the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Charleston are health care, educational services, and public administration. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, health care, and public administration. The average travel time to work is about 16 minutes. More than 32.6% of Charleston residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 15.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Charleston is 7.7%, which is the same as West Virginia's average of 7.7%. About 16.7% of Charleston's residents are below the poverty line, which is better than the state average.

The percentage of Charleston residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 34.5%, is less than both the national and state average. Starcher Baptist Church, Southeast Church of the Nazarene and South Ruffner Presbyterian Church are among the churches located in Charleston. The largest religious groups are the American Baptist Churches in the USA, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Charleston is home to the John F Kennedy Center and the Kanawha County Courthouse as well as Watt Powell Stadium and Ruffner Memorial Park. Shopping centers in the area include Patrick Street Plaza Shopping Center, Laidley Court Shopping Center and Plaza East Shopping Center. Visitors to Charleston can choose from Days Inn Charleston East WV, Motel 6 and Fairfield Inn Charleston for temporary stays in the area.