Career Development

What Does a Machine Technician Do?

Find out what a machine technician does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a machine technician.

Technicians are the people who keep our modern world running smoothly. They work in a variety of industries, from manufacturing to healthcare to aerospace, and they play an important role in ensuring that everything works as it should.

As technicians gain experience, they may advance into supervisory roles or become specialized in certain areas. For example, some technicians specialize in electronics repair while others focus on automotive repair. Regardless of their specialty, technicians must have strong technical knowledge and problem-solving skills to succeed in this field.

Machine Technician Job Duties

Machine technicians have a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Diagnosing machine malfunctions by reviewing error codes, inspecting components, and testing systems
  • Coordinating with engineers to ensure that designs meet requirements for performance and safety
  • Installing, repairing, or maintaining industrial machinery or equipment such as power generators, motors, pumps, valves, or boilers
  • Troubleshooting problems with machines to determine causes of breakdowns or malfunctions
  • Performing preventative maintenance on machines to ensure optimal performance and avoid breakdowns
  • Installing and maintaining industrial control systems such as computerized automation systems that monitor and control production processes
  • Repairing worn parts, replacing broken components, or rebuilding entire machines
  • Diagnosing problems using blueprints, diagrams, schematics, or other mechanical drawings
  • Repairing electrical components such as wiring, switches, and circuit boards

Machine Technician Salary & Outlook

The salary of a technician can vary depending on their level of education, years of experience, and the type of company they work for. Some technicians may also work as freelance contractors, charging an hourly rate for their services.

  • Median Annual Salary: $47,000 ($22.6/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $89,500 ($43.03/hour)

The employment of machine technicians is expected to grow faster than average over the next decade.

As manufacturing companies invest in new equipment, they will need technicians to maintain and repair the machines. In addition, as older machines and equipment break down or become obsolete, technicians will be needed to install new equipment and machinery.

Related: Machine Technician Interview Questions and Answers

Machine Technician Job Requirements

There are a number of requirements for obtaining a position as a machine technician, including:

Education: Most employers require technicians to have a high school diploma or GED. Some employers prefer candidates who have an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as engineering or computer science.

Training & Experience: Most of a machine technician’s training will take place while they are completing their education. Students will learn the basics of the job while completing internships. They will also receive on-the-job training from their new employers. This training will help them learn the specific processes and procedures of the company.

Certifications & Licenses: Certifications are not usually a requirement as a machine technician, but they can make you a more competitive candidate when applying for jobs.

Machine Technician Skills

Machine technicians need the following skills in order to be successful:

Technical skills: Machine technicians need to have a basic understanding of the technical aspects of the machines they work on. This includes knowledge of the electrical, mechanical and software systems of the machines. They need to be able to identify the parts of the machines and understand how they work together. This is important for diagnosing and repairing machines.

Communication skills: Machine technicians must be able to communicate with their coworkers and supervisors. They must be able to explain their ideas and answer questions about their work. They also need to be able to communicate with customers and suppliers.

Problem-solving skills: Machine technicians use their problem-solving skills to identify and resolve issues with machinery. They may troubleshoot machinery to identify the source of a problem and then develop a solution to fix it. For example, if a machine isn’t operating properly, a machine technician may use their knowledge of machinery to identify the problem and then find a solution to repair the machine.

Attention to detail: Machine technicians need to have excellent attention to detail to ensure they are performing their duties correctly. This can include paying close attention to the instructions they are given, following the correct procedures and making sure they are using the correct tools and equipment. Attention to detail can also help them identify potential issues with machines and prevent them from occurring.

Ability to work independently: Machine technicians often work alone, so it’s important for them to be able to work independently. This can include performing tasks like reading and understanding technical manuals, identifying and fixing problems with machinery and completing other tasks without the help of others.

Machine Technician Work Environment

Machine technicians work in factories, power plants, and other industrial settings. They may be exposed to noise, dust, and fumes, and they may work in hot or cold environments. They may work shifts that include evenings and weekends, and they may be on call. They may work overtime to meet production deadlines. Some machine technicians may travel to different worksites.

Machine Technician Trends

Here are three trends influencing how machine technicians work. Machine technicians will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Need for More Technical Talent

The need for more technical talent is a trend that is being driven by the increasing complexity of machines. As machines become more complex, they require more maintenance and repair work, which can only be done by technicians with the proper training.

This trend is creating a demand for machine technicians who have the skills to repair and maintain these complex machines. By becoming certified in specific areas, such as refrigeration or HVAC, technicians can set themselves apart from the competition and find success in this growing field.

More Automation in Manufacturing

As automation becomes more prevalent in manufacturing, machine technicians will need to learn how to operate and maintain these systems.

This trend will require machine technicians to be familiar with a wide range of automated systems, including robots, assembly lines, and material handling systems. In addition, they will need to be able to troubleshoot problems and provide maintenance and support for these systems.

Greater Demand for Preventative Maintenance

As businesses strive to reduce costs and improve efficiency, they are increasingly turning to preventive maintenance services. This means that machine technicians will need to be able to identify potential problems before they become serious and fix them quickly.

In order to be successful in this industry, machine technicians will need to be able to not only diagnose problems but also understand the underlying causes of those problems. This will allow them to come up with long-term solutions that will keep machines running smoothly for years to come.

How to Become a Machine Technician

A career as a machine technician can be both rewarding and lucrative. It’s important to start off on the right foot by getting certified in your field. This will show employers that you have the skills and knowledge necessary to do the job correctly.

You should also stay up-to-date on the latest technologies and techniques used in your industry. This will help you keep your skills sharp and ensure that you are always able to provide quality service to customers.

Advancement Prospects

Machine technicians can advance their careers by taking on more responsibility at their current job, or by pursuing higher levels of education. With more responsibility, machine technicians can become lead technicians, supervisors, or managers. Those who pursue higher levels of education can become engineers.

Machine technicians who wish to take on more responsibility at their current job can start by taking on additional tasks and assignments. They can also volunteer for special projects, or take on a leadership role in a professional organization. Those who pursue higher levels of education can do so by enrolling in an accredited engineering program.

Machine Technician Job Description Example

At [CompanyX], we produce top-of-the-line products that our customers rely on. To maintain our reputation for quality, we need skilled machine technicians who can keep our machines running smoothly. We’re looking for a machine technician with experience in [Industry Y] to join our team. The ideal candidate will have experience troubleshooting and repairing machines, as well as experience with preventative maintenance. He or she will be able to work independently and be able to think critically to solve problems. The machine technician will be responsible for keeping our machines running smoothly and efficiently, as well as keeping accurate records of maintenance and repairs.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Install, maintain, and troubleshoot production machinery and equipment according to company specifications and standards
  • Perform regular maintenance and safety checks on all machines to ensure optimal performance and identify potential issues
  • Keep accurate records of machine maintenance and repairs
  • Assist in the development and implementation of new processes and procedures
  • Train other technicians and workers on proper machine operation
  • Respond to emergency repair requests in a timely manner
  • Work closely with engineers and other departments to improve machine design and function
  • Develop and maintain positive relationships with vendors and suppliers
  • Stay up-to-date on industry trends and developments
  • Adhere to all company policies and safety regulations
  • Perform other duties as assigned
  • Maintain a clean and organized work area

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Technical training in machine technology, mechanics, or a related field
  • 3-5 years experience working with machinery
  • Strong understanding of mechanical principles and their applications
  • Ability to read and interpret technical manuals and drawings
  • Excellent problem-solving skills

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Associate’s degree in machine technology, mechanics, or a related field
  • 5-7 years experience working with machinery
  • Experience with CNC machines
  • Experience with welding and fabricating
  • Leadership experience


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