What is an Industrial Mechanic?

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There are more than 500,000 industrial mechanics across the United States. Perhaps you’re interested in becoming one as well. If so, you’ll want to do some research before committing yourself to this career path.

That’s why we’ve put together the following information. It contains everything that you need to know to decide whether becoming an industrial mechanic is right for you or not.

What does an industrial mechanic do?

First thing’s first. Let’s figure out exactly what an industrial mechanic does. Industrial mechanics are responsible for the maintenance and repair of various industrial machines. They work on a wide variety of machinery, including conveying systems, production machinery, and packaging equipment.

The overall goal for someone in this role is to enable the factory or manufacturing facility that they work for to operate as efficiently as possible. Industrial mechanics work towards that goal by ensuring that the machines they work with are in the best shape possible at all times.

There are many different tasks that an industrial mechanic may complete during an average shift. Here’s a look at some of the most common:

  • Read blueprints and technical manuals to understand how machines function
  • Conduct routine maintenance tasks
  • Test the performance of machines
  • Troubleshoot problems and resolve them
  • Assemble and install new pieces of machinery
  • Maintain records detailing tasks completed
  • Adjust and calibrate machinery and equipment to optimize performance

Do industrial mechanics make good money?

Earning potential is one of the most important things to consider when deciding on a new career path. If you want to become an industrial mechanic, then you should know that they make an average of $54,920 per year. That shakes out to about $26.40 per hour, which is pretty good for a job that doesn’t require a college degree.

One thing to keep in mind is that your salary as an industrial mechanic can vary based on several factors. For example, the amount of experience that you have can play a huge role in determining how much an employer is willing to pay you.

Your location will also be influential in coming up with your likely pay. Industrial mechanics who live in Texas make about $58,600 on average. But those who live in Wyoming make upwards of $70,990 per year. Generally speaking, industrial mechanics should expect to make the most in states where the cost of living is highest.

How do you become an industrial mechanic?

If you’re still interested in becoming an industrial mechanic, keep reading. Here’s a step-by-step overview of the process that you need to follow to get hired as one.


Let’s start with the good news. You don’t need a college degree to become an industrial mechanic. One survey found that about 25% of industrial mechanics haven’t pursued any formal academic training beyond a high school diploma.

That being said, you may want to take a few courses at the college level. Employers love to hire industrial mechanics who have advanced training in mechanical drawing, industrial mathematics, blueprint reading, and electronics.

One option that you have is to pursue either an associate’s degree or a technical school certification in industrial machinery. Doing so could help you stand out from the competition when you’re ready to begin applying for jobs.


While you don’t need a college degree to become an industrial mechanic, you do need to spend time developing the skills that you need to excel in this role. Many aspiring industrial mechanics choose to do this through an apprenticeship. 

Apprenticeships give you the chance to work alongside an experienced industrial mechanic. As you do, they’ll help you develop the real-world abilities that you need to be a successful industrial mechanic one day.

Often, industrial mechanic apprenticeships include an instructional component. This means that you would likely spend some time in a classroom while you’re also completing on-the-job training. Your studies will cover important topics, such as:

  • Blueprint reading
  • Welding
  • How to use electronic and pneumatic devices
  • Mathematics
  • How to use grease and fluid properly

Finally, it’s worth mentioning that you get paid while you complete an apprenticeship. So although they can take 3-4 years to complete, you will be able to support yourself while you work through the program.


Some industrial mechanics also choose to pursue certifications. These can be a good way to set yourself apart from others in the industry. Certifications essentially just formalize your skills. They prove to employers that you know what you’re doing.

There are a variety of industrial mechanic certifications that are worth pursuing. The ones that are right for you will depend on the type of industrial machinery work that you want to do.

For example, you might be interested in pursuing the Mechatronics: Fluid Power 1 certification. Earning this will prove that you have a strong baseline understanding of how fluid works in industrial machines. Other certifications that you might consider include:

Where are the best places to work as an industrial mechanic?

As touched on previously, where you work as an industrial mechanic can play a huge role in how much you earn. Your location could also be a big factor in how easy it is for you to find a job. With that being said, here are the top states for industrial mechanics in 2021.


If just finding a job as an industrial mechanic is your biggest concern, then Texas is the place to be. There are more than 41,000 industrial mechanics employed in the Lone Star State. That’s the largest number in a single state in the entire country. It means there will be more opportunities for you to vie for in Texas than anywhere else in the United States.

Industrial mechanics in Texas also do a bit better financially than the average worker in this role does. Industrial mechanics here earn $58,600 per year on average. That’s a bit higher than the national average of $59,420.


If you care about maximizing your income above all else, then Hawaii is your best bet. Industrial mechanics in the state make $71,450 per year on average. That’s the highest average salary in the nation.

However, it could be pretty tough to find an industrial mechanic job in Hawaii. There are just over 500 employed in the state, which is one of the lowest figures in the entire country.


Michigan is a good option for aspiring industrial mechanics who want solid wages and good employment prospects. Every 5.23 out of 1,000 workers in Michigan is an industrial mechanic. That’s one of the highest numbers in America.

In total, there are more than 20,000 industrial mechanics employed in Michigan. This means there will be plenty of job opportunities for you to fight for in the state. You won’t have to sacrifice much in the way of salary if you look for a job here either. 

The average annual wage for an industrial mechanic in Michigan is $54,350. That’s right in line with the national average pay for industrial mechanics.

What are the top specializations for an industrial mechanic?

Not all industrial mechanics do the same thing. Some people in this field are generalists who can work in a variety of settings. But others choose to specialize in a specific type of industrial mechanic work.

For example, some industrial mechanics specialize in aircraft machinery. They help to maintain and repair the machines that are needed to make planes. 

Other common specializations for industrial mechanics include:

  • Appliances
  • Automobiles
  • Construction
  • Electronics
  • Energy
  • Consumables

If you think that you want to specialize in one of these areas, do your research first. The specialty that you pick can play a big role in determining the nature of your work.

For example, someone who specializes in appliance machines will likely work in a manufacturing facility. But someone who specializes in construction would likely spend their time on construction sites. 

The construction specialist may also have to spend time away from home as the place that their work takes place will change from project to project.

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