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Industrial machinery is an important field, keeping the industries performing at their highest capacity. Industrial machinery mechanics are responsible for maintaining and repairing factories’ machines, be it production machinery or packaging equipment. Since it is highly technical, is industrial machinery/components a good career path?
Why Is Industrial Machinery/Components A Good Career Path?
To decide if this is a good career path, you first need to understand what an Industrial Machinery Mechanic does. After that, we will discuss the job outlook and show you why you should take up this career.
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What Triggered The Demand For Industrial Machinery Mechanics?
Let’s go back to the 19th century. This job came into existence from The Machine Age, the era from the late 19th to mid 20th century. The Machine Age overlaps with the Second Industrial Revolution and witnessed significant changes across industries.
During the Machine Age, gas turbines, internal combustion engines, and electric motors replaced steam engines. Goods production increased thanks to assembly lines. With gigantic production machinery to make bulk metal, there was progress in so many fields, almost simultaneously.
Among all industries revolutionized by industrial machinery, what was the first industry to begin to use machines to manufacture goods? Interestingly enough, the textile industry was the first one to adopt machines to mass-produce. And from there, industrial machinery quickly spread into varying sectors, bringing about drastic changes, economically and politically.
The Machine Age triggered the demand for Industrial Machinery. Image: St. Louis Magazine
Till today, industrial machinery holds an essential role in the development of the United States. Due to its various usages, industrial machinery is in demand all the time across the states. So, what are the fundamental requirements that industrial machinery mechanics need to possess?
What Do You Need As An Industrial Machinery Mechanic?
Industrial machinery mechanics follow technical manuals to understand the specifics of equipment and controls. They must have a proper understanding of industrial equipment, know how to disassemble machinery and equipment in case of problems. Furthermore, they repair and replace the broken components, ensuring that the machinery or equipment works efficiently after repair.
Besides, industrial machinery mechanics perform tests frequently to make sure all equipment runs reliably. To deliver all of the above tasks, they need excellent observation and analysis skills to break down the problems, analyze the problems’ smaller components and detect the root cause to solve them. Their judgment significantly affects the whole production process involving that equipment.
As a result, industrial machinery mechanics required intensive training and years of experience to deal with complex mechanic issues. They need to optimize the computerized diagnostic systems and vibration analysis techniques. These are very effective tools to figure out the roots of problems. Only with a precise diagnosis can the industrial machinery mechanic repair or replace the right parts.
On-the-job training is essential for industrial machinery mechanics. Image: NAIT
Furthermore, the industrial machinery mechanic needs extra electronic, and computer programming skills to succeed in this career path. Because the more complex the equipment is, the more tools and skills are required to understand the whole system and detect the “true problems”. Occasionally, these mechanics need to be comfortable using hand tools, lathes, grinders, and even drill presses.
What Is The Job Outlook For This Career Path?
Speaking of job prospects for industrial machinery mechanics, you can imagine that they can find jobs almost anywhere: from factories to power plants or even at construction sites. Anywhere industrial equipment is available; there is a constant need for industrial machinery mechanics.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the job outlook for this career from 2019-2029 increases 13%. That is a much faster rate than average! The same report states the median pay in 2019 for an industrial machinery mechanic of $52,860 per year, or $25.41 per hour. Though employment growth will vary by specific occupations, this career path is prosperous for US citizens.
What Are The Best Paying Jobs In Industrial Machinery/Components Sector?
Once you choose to pursue the industrial machinery/components field, you need to get specialized education and training. You would start off working as apprentices and accumulate technical skills. Apprenticeship programs, besides your two-year associate degree program in industrial maintenance, can be massively helpful.
The best-paying jobs in industrial machinery/components include Diesel Mechanics, HVAC Mechanics, Heavy Equipment Mechanics, aircraft mechanics, or even general Industrial Machinery mechanics. Let’s explore the fun part: the salary!
In reality, Diesel Mechanics specifically maintain engines that run on diesel fuel, such as buses, 18-wheelers, or construction vehicles. Diesel mechanics can earn an annual salary of $48,500 as of May 2019 in the same report.
However, the diesel mechanics working in the natural gas distribution industry can earn on average $87,730 annually. Meanwhile, diesel mechanics serving for couriers and express delivery services receive $65,030 per year on average.
Diesel mechanics deal with big engines run on diesel, such as an 18-wheeler. Image: Pinterest
On another note, HVAC mechanics take care of machines related to heating, refrigeration, or air conditioning. The same BLS report says general HVAC mechanics can earn from $48,730 annually in 2019. However, some get a more handsome paycheck. HVAC mechanics working for civil engineering companies earn $85,940 per year, while those in aerospace can make $77,180 every year.
HVAC mechanics are experts on refrigerators and air conditioners. Image: PSI Vail
Heavy Equipment Mechanics And Aircraft Mechanics
What about Heavy Equipment Mechanics? The BLS report claims that Heavy Equipment Mechanics make only $53,370 per year on average. Those heavy equipment mechanics that work for aerospace manufacturers get a much more attractive lump sum, $74,340 a year. Next in line are heavy equipment mechanics employed by power distribution companies. These workers receive $72,950 a year.
Most interestingly, Aircraft mechanics are the highest paid in the field. They are responsible for repairing aircraft. The pressure and the responsibilities they shoulder are much higher than those in other sections. Aircraft Mechanics received an average yearly salary of $64,090 in 2019.
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However, the highest pay of $94,790 per year is for aircraft mechanics who work in spectator sports companies. That is the outlier on the high side.
Heavy Equipment Mechanics can get a good income. Image: viu
Industrial Machinery Mechanics
After all, how much would you make as a general Industrial Machinery Mechanics,? The answer is $53,590 per year on average for maintaining industrial processing equipment in factories or pipelines carrying oil and natural gas.
Moreover, your salary will vary depending on your employment field. If you are in electric power generation, your annual paycheck is worth $74,550. However, if you are working in the natural gas industry, you will earn $72,190 per year. Both are much higher than the average salary for industrial machinery mechanics, as reported by the BLS.
The Industrial Machinery industry has many prosperous fields to select. Image: tradeupmanitoba
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Is Industrial Machinery/Components A Good Career Path? – Conclusion
Though Industrial Machinery/Components doesn’t sound like a fancy career that you can talk out loud at a party, the salary prospect in this field is worth considering. Is industrial machinery/components a good career path? You got the answer depending on what factor you emphasize more.
All in all, as previously mentioned, being an industrial machinery mechanic means you can have multiple career choices and get a decent annual salary. It takes special training and skills to succeed in this career, but you have years to accumulate your experience and expertise. Think it over, and you are the only one who can determine your future career. Don’t forget to visit our Job Overview section for more job reviews.