Are You Qualified Enough to Meet the Swell in Mechanical Maintenance Jobs?

Demand for Industrial Mechanics is Projected to Rise

The demand for industrial mechanics is growing over the next eight years. Are you ready to take advantage of the opportunity?

If you’re on track toward mechanical maintenance work, your future job prospects may be looking up—employment of industrial machinery mechanics is supposed to grow 22 percent in the next eight years. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, that’s faster than average for most occupations, a result of the continued adoption of sophisticated manufacturing machinery. More complex machines call for more highly skilled mechanics.

The trick, however, is making sure you have a broad range of skills in machine repair so you’re qualified for industrial mechanic positions. While those are increasing, the pool of machinery maintenance workers is only projected to grow a mere six percent. The slower growth can be attributed to the automation of many human-held jobs in factories and manufacturing plants. Computer-controlled machines create less demand for lower-skilled maintenance workers. But, if you have a foundation of mechanical maintenance skills, you’re already half way there.

Maintenance workers can build on their knowledge by attending workshops, conferences, specialized programs, and advanced mechanical maintenance training. Nowadays, there are a lot of options for adult learners and working students. Many mechanical maintenance staff training programs are available online, vocational classes are offered at night, and some industrial technology courses can be taken as six-week intensive sessions.

Since so many Americans are still struggling to find employment, it’s important for us to capitalize on job growth in tradesmen positions like industrial mechanics—especially when the income opportunities are quite promising. Did you ever develop an interest in drafting, mechanical drawing, or blueprint reading? What about welding, computer programming, or electronics? These aptitudes, as well as a constant desire to keep learning and improving, will propel you forward in manufacturing maintenance work.

If you have a background in technical skills or knowledge, adding plant mechanical maintenance to your list of credentials is as easy as finding a training program. Many employers will send workers to local technical schools to brush up on certain skillsets, but if you already had some or all of that training, you’re a guaranteed shoo-in.

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