What does Industrial Machinery Mechanics Do?
There is growing demand for industrial machinery mechanics. This trade offers great pay and plenty of job security. Like all mechanics, they use tools to repair equipment and keep mechanical devices operational. Instead of specializing in vehicles, they focus on the large stationary equipment used in industrial processes. Jobs often are in the transportation, manufacturing and energy production industries.
Industrial Machinery Mechanics Skills and Abilities
You must have a strong aptitude for working with assemblies and moving parts. You need advanced knowledge of mechanical systems including pumps, levers, gears, and hydraulic rams. Some knowledge of basic engineering principles is also essential. It may be necessary to learn about electrical theory and be able to describe how digital controls affect equipment.Mechanics need strong analytical thinking capabilities and must be able to follow procedures. Those that excel in this career will also become adept at finding new solutions to unexpected component failure. They must quickly diagnose faults and develop maintenance programs that limit the risk of lost production time.
Industrial Machinery Mechanics Duties
Industrial mechanics spend most of their time removing and installing faulty assemblies. They may also perform routine maintenance on equipment. Sometimes it may be necessary to tear down a subassembly to check for the root cause of a problem or to repair a component that is too expensive to replace.All of the work must be documented, and mechanics must provide detailed descriptions of the work they perform. Some industrial mechanics will also become involved in sourcing suppliers for the parts and materials needed to maintain their company’s equipment.
Industrial Machinery Mechanics Tools and Technology
Industrial mechanics use a wide variety of basic hand tools. Sockets, wrenches, pliers, and screwdrivers are all necessary for removing and installing various fasteners. They commonly use power tools like drills and saws. Some shops will employ pneumatic equipment as well. Larger table or bench tools many be used to reshape critical parts, and sometimes it is necessary to weld components together. Measuring tools are essential. A basic tape measure may be used along with more elaborate laser measuring devices. For fine detail work, highly sensitive calipers and gauges are used to meticulously measure tolerances in critical machine components.Mechanics depend on computers and software applications for troubleshooting and organizing work routines. They may need to search for parts through a database. Instructions and specifications are often provided in digital formats that they must also be able to access.
Education and Training for Industrial Machinery Mechanics
A high school education is all that is typically required for this job. Some choose to attend a trade school to quickly learn valuable technical skills, but job training and experience are usually sufficient to qualify for this work. Employers often provide specialty training for those workers who demonstrate superior reliability and enthusiasm.
Industrial Machinery Mechanics Salary
Nationwide, the median salary for industrial mechanics is $48,600 a year. Starting out, you should expect to earn significantly less. The low end of the pay scale is about $31,400. More experienced and established mechanics often enjoy a comfortable salary of as high as $73,500. In areas where their skills are in higher demand, the top salaries approach $90,000.
Industrial Machinery Mechanics Jobs by Geography
There is plenty of industrial mechanic work across the country. Many work in the oil and energy producing sectors. They may find employment with harvesting or refining operations. Some work in manufacturing, and others find jobs in logistics. While Wyoming has the nation’s lowest total population, the state also has the highest per capita concentration of mechanics. States in the western part of the nation like California, Washington, and Nevada tend to pay more, but those in Texas and the Midwestern regions of Ohio, Illinois and Michigan will have many excellent employment options as well.