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Applied Engineering Technologies

Job Outlook

Significant Points

  • Highly skilled mechanics usually learn their trade through a 4-year apprenticeship program, while lower skilled maintenance workers receive short-term on-the-job training.
  • Employment is projected to grow more slowly than average, but applicants with broad skills in machine repair and maintenance should have favorable job prospects.
  • Unlike some manufacturing occupations, these workers usually are not affected by changes in production.

Earnings

Median hourly earnings of industrial machinery mechanics were $18.78 in May 2004. The middle 50 percent earned between $15.09 and $22.95. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $12.14, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $27.59.

Machinery maintenance workers earned less than the higher skilled industrial machinery mechanics. Median hourly earnings of machinery maintenance workers were $15.79 in May 2004. The middle 50 percent earned between $12.21 and $20.18. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $9.60, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $24.59.

Earnings vary by industry and geographic region. Median hourly earnings in the industries employing the largest numbers of industrial machinery mechanics in May 2004 are:

Electric power generation, transmission and distribution $25.78
Motor vehicle parts manufacturing 21.79
Plastics product manufacturing 18.04
Machinery, equipment, and supplies merchant wholesalers 17.74
Commercial and industrial machinery and equipment (except automotive and electronic) repair and maintenance 16.93

About 25 percent of industrial machinery mechanics and maintenance workers are union members. Labor unions that represent these workers include the United Steelworkers of America; the United Auto Workers; the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers; the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America; and the International Union of Electronic, Electrical, Salaried, Machine, and Furniture Workers-Communications Workers of America.

Suggested citation: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2006-07 Edition, Industrial Machinery Mechanics and Maintenance Workers, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos191.htm.


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