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How Do I Become a Machine Repair Technician?

Machine maintenance technicians keep assembly lines moving and factory machinery operating in peak condition. Before you join the ranks of machine repair technicians, let's take a look at what education and experience you'll need to become one.

Machine Repair Technician Formal Education

The amount of education you'll need as a machine repair technician generally depends on your exact duties. Some machine maintenance technicians, particularly those tasked only with running basic tests or doing simple lubrication and cleaning work, may need only a high school diploma. On the other hand, mechanics who perform repairs on the complicated and expensive machinery used in manufacturing are much more likely to have formal postsecondary education. Options for machine repair technicians include a machine maintenance certificate, a maintenance technician certificate or an Associate of Applied Science in Precision Machining Technology. These programs may be offered at community colleges, technical schools or vocational schools.

Important Facts About Machine Repair Technicians

Work Environment Office, on-site/in field, small shop, factory
Similar Occupations Broadcast engineer, sound technician, electrician
Projected Job Growth (2019-2029) 13% (for all maintenance technicians)**
Median Salary (2021) $46,007 per year*

Sources: *PayScale.com, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Machine Repair Technician Experience

Whether you have a degree or not, becoming a machine repair technician will require some work experience before you're ready to set out on your own. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) says military experience is frequently useful, but don't count yourself out if you lack machine repair experience from the Armed Services. Apprenticeship programs are another good way of building up the experience needed to become a machine repair technician. So is employment as an assistant in other, related factory jobs.

Machine Repair Technician Job Duties

Machine repair technicians, who might also be called machinery maintenance technicians or machinery mechanics, are responsible for keeping the machines used in assembly lines and repair shops working. They are generally skilled workers tasked with keeping parts of a factory going, including the lifts, conveyors and presses. They diagnose problems when machines are broken and perform needed repairs. Machinery repair techs also find work in other business environments that use similar technology. For example, a machine repair technician who specialized in conveyor systems could find work at an airport keeping baggage carousels operating.