Employment of mechanical engineering technicians is expected to increase by 4 percent from 2010 to 2020, slower than the average for all occupations. Employment in this occupation depends on the overall state of manufacturing, which is expected to decline. Mechanical engineering technicians also work for firms in engineering services and in research and development, both of which contract services from manufacturing and other industries. Contracting for this work allows firms to hire these services at a lower cost than employing technicians in-house. Employment of mechanical engineering technicians will not change at the same rate in every industry.
The two expanding fields in which mechanical engineering technicians may find broader opportunities in the future are remanufacturing and alternative energies.
Mastering new technology and software will likely become more important for this occupation. Those who stay aware of the latest developments should have the best job prospects.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition