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A mechanical engineering technician works under the supervision of a mechanical engineer. She aids the engineer in the design, construction, maintenance, and modifications of a variety of machines, tools, consumer products, and mechanical equipment. This technician can be employed in a variety of industries, similar to the mechanical engineer. They can work on anything from car engines to power saws or elevators to nuclear reactors. Large scale equipment or delicate tools can all become the focus of a skilled mechanical engineering technician.
One of the large roles that a mechanical engineering technician fulfills is that of the product tester. For example, she may set up the equipment, instrumentation, and monitors for crash testing in cars. In addition, she may sketch and layout what she foresees a test will show. Through testing, she can help determine what needs to be changed, removed, or added to make a piece of equipment better, more effective, or more cost-efficient.
Recording and analyzing data are both important duties for this type of technician. Through analysis, she can determine the cost of a particular product. Next, she can compare that cost to the practical value of the product, machine, or tool through careful mathematic calculations. Other estimates include the cost of labor, the life of the equipment, and the space that is available in the plant to develop and produce the new machine or tool.
Sketching new machines, parts, or tools, assembling new mechanical devices, and writing reports are other duties of a mechanical engineer. Specifically, if she is planning for production, she must have the layouts and sketches ready for the supervising mechanical engineer to review. Sometimes, a sketch may be of a single screw, bolt, or nut – attention to detail is a must. The layouts will give details of the assembly process and of the components that will be manufactured.
Occasionally, a mechanical engineering technician will focus only on writing reports. She may decide to be her own boss and write technical articles for industry-related magazines and journals, as well. Many private, public, and government agencies need people who are knowledgeable on the subtleties of mechanical engineering and who can also write clear, concise, and informative articles.
Specialization is popular for a mechanical engineering technician, allowing her to focus on one small area that is part of a larger industry. Biomedical equipment, products manufacturing, measurement and control, solar energy, energy resource technology, turbo machinery, and engineering materials and technology often peak the interest in technicians wanting to specialize. Typically, technicians will gain specialized training from engineers who have also focused on the same area of expertise.
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