Industrial machinery mechanics: Salary, career path, job outlook, education and more

Industrial machinery mechanics, also called maintenance machinists, keep machines in working order by detecting and correcting errors before the machine or the products it produces are damaged. Many of these machines are increasingly run by computers. Industrial machinery mechanics use technical manuals, their understanding of industrial equipment, and observation to determine the cause of a problem. For example, after detecting a vibration from a machine, they must decide whether it is the result of worn belts, weak motor bearings, or some other problem. They may use computerized diagnostic systems and vibration analysis techniques to help figure out the source of problems. Examples of machines they may work with are robotic welding arms, automobile assembly line conveyor belts, and hydraulic lifts.

After diagnosing a problem, the industrial machinery mechanic may take the equipment apart to repair or replace the necessary parts. Once a repair is made, mechanics test a machine to ensure that it is operating correctly.

In addition to working with hand tools, mechanics commonly use lathes, grinders, and drill presses. Many also are required to weld.

Education Required
Industrial machinery mechanics, machinery maintenance workers, and millwrights generally need at least a high school diploma or equivalent. Some mechanics and millwrights complete a 2-year associates degree program in industrial maintenance. Industrial maintenance programs may include courses such as welding, mathematics, hydraulics, and pneumatics.
Training Required
Industrial machinery mechanics and machinery maintenance workers typically receive more than a year of on-the-job training. Industrial machinery mechanics and machinery maintenance workers learn how to perform routine tasks, such as setting up, cleaning, lubricating, and starting machinery. They also may be instructed in subjects such as shop mathematics, blueprint reading, proper hand tool use, welding, electronics, and computer programming. This training may be offered on the job by professional trainers hired by the employer or by representatives of equipment manufacturers.
Job Outlook
The projected percent change in employment from 2016 to 2026: 7% (As fast as average)
(The average growth rate for all occupations is 7 percent.)
Median pay: How much do Industrial Machinery Mechanics, Machinery Maintenance Workers, and Millwrights make?
$49,100 Annual Salary
$23.61 per hour

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