Industrial machinery is an important field, keeping the industries performing at their highest capacity. The industrial machinery mechanics are responsible for maintaining and repairing factories’ types of machinery, be it production machinery or packaging equipment. But most importantly, is industrial machinery a good career path for you?
Why Is Industrial Machinery 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.
What Started The Demand For Industrial Machinery Mechanics?
To understand the Industrial Machinery Mechanics’ career prospects, let’s go back to the past when it all started. 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 for making and working metal, there was progress in so many fields, all happening almost simultaneously.
Among all those 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 industry to use machines to manufacture goods. And from there, industrial machinery was quickly introduced into different sectors, bringing about drastic changes, economically and politically.
The Machine Age started 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 adaptations, industrial machinery is in demand all the time across the states. So, what are the tasks of industrial machinery mechanics?
What Do You Do As An Industrial Machinery Mechanic?
Industrial machinery mechanics must 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 must 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 smoothly. To deliver all of the above tasks, they need excellent observation skills to spot the problems and understand the root cause to solve them. Their judgment affects the whole production process involving that equipment.
As a result, industrial machinery mechanics required proper training and years of experience to deal with 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 correct 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, to succeed in this career path, the industrial machinery mechanic needs extra electrical, electronic, and computer programming skills. Because the more complex the equipment is, the more tools and skills are required to find solutions. 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 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 occupation, this career path is prosperous for US citizens.
What Are The Best Paying Jobs In Industrial Machinery/Components?
Once you choose to pursue the industrial machinery/components field, you need to get specialized education and training. You would start off working as helpers and gaining skills. Apprenticeship programs, besides your two-year associate degree program in industrial maintenance, can be helpful.
The best-paying jobs in industrial machinery/components include Diesel Mechanics, HVAC Mechanics, Heavy Equipment Mechanics, aircraft mechanics, or just Industrial Machinery mechanics in general. Let’s get to the fun part: the salary!
In reality, Diesel Mechanics especially 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.
However, the diesel mechanics working in the natural gas distribution industry earn on average $87,730 annually. Meanwhile, diesel mechanics serving for couriers and express delivery services receive $65,030 per year.
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 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 $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 of others above. Aircraft Mechanics received an average yearly salary of $64,090 in 2019.
However, the very highest pay of $94,790 per year is for aircraft mechanics working for spectator sports companies. That is such a big difference compared to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ average salary number.
Heavy Equipment Mechanics can get a high salary. Image: viu
Industrial Machinery Mechanics
After all, with a typical career as Industrial Machinery Mechanics, how much would you make? You will earn on average $53,590 per year for maintaining industrial processing equipment in factories or pipelines carrying oil and natural gas.
Moreover, depending on your employment field, your salary will differ. 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 fields to select. Image: tradeupmanitoba
Is Industrial Machinery A Good Career Path For You? – Conclusion
Though Industrial Machinery/Components doesn’t sound like an attractive career path, the salary you get in this field is worth considering. Is industrial machinery/components a good career path?
All in all, as previously mentioned, being an industrial machinery mechanic means you can have multiple industry choices and get a high 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.