How to Become an Engine Builder: Job Description & Salary

Discover how to become an engine builder. Learn about the job duties, education and certification requirements, salary, and job outlook to determine if a career as an engine builder is the right choice for you. Schools offering Machining & Manufacturing degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Information at a Glance

Engine builders are responsible for constructing and rebuilding engines as well as the parts used to create them. Engine builders rely on a combination of hands-on work, tools, and machinery in order to complete the construction. In addition to engine and part building, engine builders are also responsible for keeping their work areas, tools, and equipment clean and well maintained. Check out the table below for quick info on the requirements and responsibilities of an engine builder.

Degree Required High school diploma or the equivalent
Key Responsibilities Mechanical skills, technical skills, physical strength, and dexterity
Job Growth (2016-2026)* -17%
Median Salary (2017)* $43,390

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Are The Duties Of An Engine Builder?

The role of an engine builder is to construct the parts that make up an engine and then assemble those individual parts into an engine. This requires engine builders to carefully read and comprehend complex blueprints and schematics in order to build the parts and engines properly. Engine builders use their hands, tools, and machines to help them do their job. They also ensure tools and equipment are maintained properly.

What Are the Educational Requirements?

Generally, a high school diploma or the equivalent is enough to work as an engine builder. However, several months of on-the-job training is often required as well. Some organizations prefer specialized training such as technical instruction, apprenticeship programs, or an associate's degree. While not usually required, the pursuit of certification via the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, International can bode well for someone pursuing a career as an engine builder.

What Are the Skill Requirements?

Engine builders must possess an array of skills to do their jobs effectively and efficiently. Often engine builders are required to stand for long periods of time and handle heavy equipment and parts, thus physical strength and stamina are good skills to have. Solid technical and mechanical skills are also essential to assist engine builders with manuals, blueprints, and programmable devices they often use and consult in their work. Along the same lines, dexterity is an asset as it helps engine builders work well with the parts they use to build the engines.

How Much Can I Earn?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics lists an annual median salary of $43,390 as of May 2017 among engine and other machine assemblers. Most assemblers worked full-time, with some working nights and weekends to meet deadlines. It is important to note that factors such as geographic location, education level, and the complexity of the equipment used can impact wages.

What Is the Job Outlook?

The BLS notes a decline of -17% for engine and other machine assemblers between 2016-2026. This decline is due in part to technological advancements that have resulted in more automation. The increased automation in conjunction with better processes and tools has meant more reliance on technological means and less reliance on humans. Those who possess advanced technical training and/or certification have the best prospects in this field.

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