Mechanical Engineering Technician Kaihangarau Take Pūkaha

Mechanical engineering technicians help mechanical engineers design, develop, test and manufacture mechanical devices, including tools, engines and machines. 

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Registration with Engineering New Zealand is recommended for mechanical engineering technicians who want their experience and competence recognised.

Mechanical engineering technicians may do some or all of the following:

  • help mechanical engineers design machinery, products and equipment
  • check designs created by mechanical engineers for safety and reliability
  • estimate the amount of equipment needed to build machines or mechanical parts, and costs for these
  • prepare drawings of parts, machinery and assembly plans
  • oversee the building and installation of equipment and machinery
  • test and repair equipment and machines
  • supervise and work with engineering staff at sites such as power and manufacturing plants.

Physical Requirements

Mechanical engineering technicians need to:

  • be reasonably fit, healthy and strong as they may do heavy lifting
  • have good eyesight (with or without corrective lenses)
  • be comfortable working in confined spaces and at heights, as they may need to climb ladders and crawl around machinery.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for mechanical engineering technicians includes:

  • work in an engineering workshop
  • any work using hand tools or operating machinery
  • welding, pipe and sheet metal work.

Personal Qualities

Mechanical engineering technicians need to be:

  • practical and accurate, with an eye for detail
  • able to make decisions quickly and work well under pressure
  • good at problem solving
  • patient and confident
  • motivated and disciplined
  • able to work well independently and as part of a team
  • organised
  • good at communicating.


Mechanical engineering technicians need to have knowledge of:

  • engineering science and technology, maths and physics
  • how to use machinery, tools, and construction materials
  • mechanical processes such as how an engine works
  • how to design and produce technical plans, drawings and models
  • relevant computer programs, such as computer-aided design (CAD) software, for creating mechanical plans
  • safety regulations and quality standards.

Mechanical engineering technicians also need to keep up to date with changes in technology, equipment and manufacturing methods.


Mechanical engineering technicians:

  • usually work regular business hours, but some may do shift work
  • usually work in workshops, factories, power plants, offices and on building sites
  • may work in noisy and dirty conditions, using machinery that can be hazardous
  • may travel between local sites or overseas on contract.

Subject Recommendations

To gain entry to the New Zealand Diploma in Engineering (Mechanical), it is recommended that you have a minimum of 48 NCEA credits at Level 2 in four subjects, including at least 12 credits in maths. Physics is also highly recommended, and technology subjects may be useful.

Mechanical Engineering Technicians can earn around $45K-$65K per year.

Chances of getting a job as a Mechanical Engineering Technician are good due to a shortage of people interested in this type of work.

Pay for mechanical engineering technicians varies depending on experience, responsibility and employer.

  • Entry-level mechanical engineering technicians usually earn $45,000 to $65,000 a year.
  • Mechanical engineering technicians with four to six years' experience usually earn $65,000 to $85,000.
  • Mechanical engineering technicians in supervisory or managerial roles may earn $85,000 to $140,000. 

Source: research, 2020.

Mechanical engineering technicians may progress to supervisory or managerial roles.

Mechanical engineering technicians can specialise in jobs such as:

Boiler Technician/Operator
Boiler technicians/operators monitor, maintain and sometimes repair boilers.
Heating, Ventilation and Air-conditioning (HVAC) Technician
HVAC technicians install, maintain and repair residential and commercial HVAC equipment.
Hydraulic Technician/Mechanic
Hydraulic technicians/mechanics install, repair and maintain hydraulic equipment and machinery such as lifts, cranes and forklifts.
Mechanical Laboratory Technician
Mechanical laboratory technicians help mechanical engineers design, develop, test and manufacture mechanical devices, including tools, engines and machines.

Years Of Training

2-4 years of training usually required.

To become a mechanical engineering technician you need to complete a New Zealand Diploma in Engineering (NZDE) – Mechanical. This qualification takes two years of full-time study to complete.

Once on the job, mechanical engineering technicians can work towards completing the New Zealand Diploma in Engineering Practice (NZDEP), which leads to certification as an engineering technician with Engineering New Zealand.

Some employers also offer apprenticeships where you can gain a New Zealand Certificate in Mechanical Engineering (NZCME) – Trade. This qualification takes up to four years to complete.

Mechanical Engineering Technician