Industrial mechanics do not have a typical day. Every day, new problems and challenges present themselves. Troubleshooting, equipment repairs and/or rebuilds, and preventative maintenance are just some of the activities which industrial mechanics are expected to perform.
Performing visual inspections; changing machine parts; adjusting and calibrating automated manufacturing equipment; and keeping machines oiled, greased, and cleaned are all part of regularly scheduled preventative maintenance.
Beyond preventative maintenance, industrial mechanics must be available to solve mechanical problems. As an industrial mechanic, you are responsible for repair and maintenance of machinery. Responsibilities include diagnosing the problem, disassembling the equipment, making repairs, reassembling everything, and testing the equipment.
A majority of industrial mechanics work in shifts because many manufacturing businesses operate 16 to 24 hours a day. Since factories and other facilities cannot afford for machinery to be out of service, mechanics are often required to work long hours, including evenings and weekends, to complete repairs. Overtime is common.
To prevent on-the-job injuries, many companies will require the use of hardhats, safety glasses, belts, steel-tipped shoes, and hearing protectors.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, two out of three workers are employed in manufacturing industries. Others work for government agencies, public utilities, mining companies and other industries where industrial machinery is used.
Nationally, new job opportunities for industrial machinery mechanics are expected to grow by 22 percent by 2020. Within Michigan, jobs are expected to grow five percent by 2018.
Industrial mechanics who demonstrate responsibility, self-motivation, and advanced knowledge of the machinery often get promoted to manager or supervisor. Mechanics who become managers or supervisors often have more administrative responsibilities and will act as the liaison between upper management and the hourly employees.