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Industrial Machinery Mechanics

At a Glance

  • Install, fix, and maintain machines in factories
  • Work alone most of the time
  • Often wear protective gear such as earplugs and work boots
  • May work overtime and weekends
  • Train on the job
  • Often work for car manufacturers

Career summary

Industrial machinery mechanics maintain and repair factory equipment and other machinery.

#no matching wois occupations

Industrial machinery mechanics try to prevent problems before they occur. They inspect machines to make sure they are working properly. They also clean, oil, and grease parts and tighten belts on a regular basis.

When equipment needs attention, mechanics talk to users to find out what is wrong. They inspect equipment and look for common problems such as loose or worn out parts.

To test the mechanical systems, mechanics use computerized diagnostic systems. Mechanics must take equipment apart to run these tests. They make adjustments or replace worn parts and put equipment back together. When they are finished, mechanics run the equipment to see if it works.

Then mechanics make adjustments or replace worn parts and put equipment back together. When they are finished, mechanics run machines to see if they work.

Mechanics are under pressure to fix equipment quickly because breakdowns usually stop or slow production. They often replace faulty parts with new parts, and bring the broken parts back to their shop for repair. They make sure they have a well-stocked inventory of new parts and keep track of the parts they used.

Mechanics keep some parts in stock. They keep track of which parts they have used and order more when the supply is low. Sometimes mechanics make new parts. They use machines to cut and shape metal. They may also weld pieces of metal together.

In addition to making repairs, mechanics help install new machines. They study blueprints and information from manufacturers. Once the machine is installed, mechanics make sure it is installed correctly. They demonstrate how the machine works to workers who will use it.

Mechanics keep records of their maintenance and repair work. They record which parts they replace on each machine and the date.

Related careers

This career is part of the Manufacturing cluster of careers.

Related careers include:

Military careers

Job duties

Task list

The following list of tasks is specific to industrial machinery mechanics.

Common work activities

Industrial machinery mechanics perform the following tasks. These tasks are common to many careers.

Work requirements

Working conditions

In a typical work setting, industrial machinery mechanics:

Interpersonal relationships

Physical work conditions

Work performance


Physical demands

Industrial machinery mechanics frequently:

It is important for industrial machinery mechanics to be able to:

It is not as important, but still necessary, for industrial machinery mechanics to be able to:

Skills and abilities

Industrial machinery mechanics need to:


Reason and problem solve

Manage oneself, people, time, and things

Work with people

Work with things

Perceive and visualize

Education and training

Educational programs

The programs of study listed below will help you prepare for the occupation or career cluster you are exploring.

Programs of study directly related to this occupation

Other programs of study to consider


To work as an industrial machinery mechanic, you typically need to:

Education after high school

No formal education is required beyond high school.

On-the-job training

Many industrial machinery mechanics learn their skills on the job from an experienced worker. You begin as a helper and perform basic tasks. As you gain experience, you learn more complex tasks. Training usually takes about four years.

Military training

Some branches of the military train people to be powerhouse mechanics. Training lasts 12 to 24 weeks, depending on your specialty. Additional training occurs on the job.

If you receive this type of training in the military, you may earn credit for previous work experience when you enter a civilian apprenticeship program.

Washington apprenticeships

For further information on apprenticeships in Washington, contact:

Washington State Department of Labor and Industries
Apprenticeship Program (external link)

PO Box 44530
Olympia, WA 98504-4530

#Checked L&I contact info 4/23/09 lh & 5/3/10, 4/9/12 & 3/19/14, 5/2/16, 4/4/18 cj.

Helpful high school courses

You should take a general high school curriculum that meets the state's graduation requirements. You will be required to take both math and science classes to graduate.

Helpful electives to take in high school that prepare you for this career include:

The courses listed above are meant to help you create your high school plan. If you have not already done so, talk to a school counselor or parent about the courses you are considering taking.

You should also check with a teacher or counselor to see if work-based learning opportunities are available in your school and community. These might include field trips, job shadowing, internships, and actual work experience. The goal of these activities is to help you connect your school experiences with real-life work.

Join some groups, try some hobbies, or volunteer with an organization that interests you. By participating in activities you can have fun, make new friends, and learn about yourself. Maybe one of them will help direct you to a future career. Here are examples of activities and groups that may be available in your high school or community.

Things to know

Most employers prefer to hire applicants who have a high school diploma or equivalent. Employers may require applicants to pass a physical exam and drug-screening test.

Employers look for applicants who are in good physical condition. They also look for people who have good eye-hand coordination. Experience repairing machinery can be helpful.

Costs to workers

Some workers are required to join a union and pay an initiation fee and annual dues.

Job listings

Listed below are links to job categories from the National Labor Exchange that relate to this career. Once you get a list of jobs, you can view information about individual jobs and find out how to apply. If your job search finds too many openings, or if you wish to search for jobs outside of Washington, you will need to refine your search.

To get a listing of current jobs from the WorkSource system, go to the WorkSource website (external link).


Industrial machinery mechanics (SOC 49-9041)

Pay Period
Washington Hourly $16.85 $21.58 $28.36 $37.18 $46.07
Monthly $2,920 $3,740 $4,915 $6,443 $7,984
Yearly $35,040 $44,890 $58,990 $77,330 $95,820
    Bellingham Hourly $14.21 $17.54 $21.72 $26.59 $37.29
Monthly $2,463 $3,040 $3,764 $4,608 $6,462
Yearly $29,564 $36,498 $45,169 $55,314 $77,566
    Bremerton-Silverdale Hourly $23.35 $29.58 $34.18 $37.34 $39.21
Monthly $4,047 $5,126 $5,923 $6,471 $6,795
Yearly $48,555 $61,523 $71,085 $77,647 $81,555
    Clarkston-Lewiston Hourly $14.62 $18.13 $21.95 $24.94 $29.00
Monthly $2,534 $3,142 $3,804 $4,322 $5,026
Yearly $30,408 $37,712 $45,656 $51,877 $60,311
    Kennewick-Richland Hourly $16.23 $19.26 $24.90 $38.21 $45.72
Monthly $2,813 $3,338 $4,315 $6,622 $7,923
Yearly $33,752 $40,055 $51,777 $79,478 $95,102
    Longview Hourly $23.46 $31.24 $34.80 $38.07 $41.70
Monthly $4,066 $5,414 $6,031 $6,598 $7,227
Yearly $48,796 $64,970 $72,401 $79,194 $86,742
    Mount Vernon-Anacortes Hourly $17.21 $20.44 $26.14 $35.18 $45.71
Monthly $2,982 $3,542 $4,530 $6,097 $7,922
Yearly $35,798 $42,508 $54,384 $73,166 $95,091
    Olympia-Tumwater Hourly $23.10 $26.86 $30.86 $38.12 $53.95
Monthly $4,003 $4,655 $5,348 $6,606 $9,350
Yearly $48,059 $55,883 $64,190 $79,271 $112,209
    Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue Hourly $17.79 $23.25 $30.12 $40.21 $49.68
Monthly $3,083 $4,029 $5,220 $6,968 $8,610
Yearly $36,990 $48,347 $62,648 $83,637 $103,339
    Spokane-Spokane Valley Hourly $16.01 $18.84 $23.99 $28.95 $31.93
Monthly $2,775 $3,265 $4,157 $5,017 $5,533
Yearly $33,309 $39,186 $49,882 $60,206 $66,404
    Vancouver Hourly $20.00 $23.78 $28.52 $33.94 $38.84
Monthly $3,466 $4,121 $4,943 $5,882 $6,731
Yearly $41,618 $49,477 $59,328 $70,591 $80,803
    Wenatchee Hourly $15.88 $20.50 $24.07 $42.64 $45.72
Monthly $2,752 $3,553 $4,171 $7,390 $7,923
Yearly $33,035 $42,645 $50,060 $88,703 $95,101
    Yakima Hourly $15.59 $17.65 $21.86 $27.29 $31.72
Monthly $2,702 $3,059 $3,788 $4,729 $5,497
Yearly $32,425 $36,725 $45,473 $56,762 $65,988
United States Hourly $16.19 $20.00 $25.16 $30.65 $37.59
Monthly $2,806 $3,466 $4,360 $5,312 $6,514
Yearly $33,670 $41,610 $52,340 $63,740 $78,190

Earnings vary by industry and area of the country. The mechanic's level of skill and responsibility also affect wages. In general, mechanics who belong to a union receive higher wages than non-union mechanics.

Industrial machinery mechanics who work full time usually receive benefits. Typical benefits include sick leave, paid vacation, and health insurance. Some employers also provide a retirement plan.

Employment and outlook

Washington outlook


The table below provides information about the number of workers in this career in various regions. It also provides information about the expected growth rate and future job openings.

Industrial Machinery Mechanics (SOC 49-9041)

Location Current employment Growth over 10 years Annual openings
Washington 7,784 7.1% 16.1% 802
    Adams, Chelan, Douglas, Grant, and Okanogan Counties 683 7.5% 13.4% 71
    Asotin, Columbia, Ferry, Garfield, Lincoln, Pend Oreille, Stevens, Walla Walla, and Whitman Counties 245 5.7% 8.6% 24
    Benton and Franklin Counties 477 9.2% 15.0% 51
    Clallam, Jefferson, and Kitsap Counties 321 1.6% 11.9% 29
    Clark, Cowlitz, and Wahkiakum Counties 586 10.6% 15.2% 65
    Grays Harbor, Lewis, Mason, Pacific, and Thurston Counties 327 4.6% 14.1% 31
    Island, San Juan, Skagit, and Whatcom Counties 397 6.0% 14.6% 39
    King County 2,194 5.9% 19.6% 219
    Kittitas, Klickitat, Skamania, and Yakima Counties 477 7.5% 13.8% 50
    Pierce County 728 7.0% 15.2% 75
    Snohomish County 579 8.1% 12.4% 60
    Spokane County 723 4.8% 13.9% 70
United States 381,500 5.1% 5.2% 37,800

National employment

Industrial machinery mechanics work in many industries. Jobs are located wherever industrial machinery is used. However, jobs are concentrated in heavily industrialized areas.

Major employers:

National outlook

Demand will be average for this occupation because manufacturers are using more sophisticated machinery. This machinery requires more highly-skilled mechanics to keep the machines in good working order.

Job openings will occur as current workers retire or leave this occupation. Some employers have reported difficulty in recruiting young workers with the necessary skills. Job prospects will be best for those who have apprenticeship or other formal training.

Other resources

BLS Career Outlook 2018 (external link)
You're a what? Robotics Technician
Chelan County PUD Apprenticeships (external link)
Engineer Girl! (external link)
National Academy of Engineering
International Society of Automation (external link)
67 TW Alexander Drive
PO Box 12277
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709
Robotic Industries Association (external link)
900 Victors Way, Suite 140
Ann Arbor, MI 48108
Seattle City Light Apprenticeship Program (external link)
Washington Business Week (external link)
PO Box 1170
Renton, WA 98057
Welding.com (external link)


Career cluster

Career path

O*Net (external link) occupation

O*Net job zone (external link)

DOT occupations

Holland occupational cluster