Mechanical Technician

Design and Engineering
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    Required Education, Credentials, and Licenses

    • Associate degree or trade certificate

    Preferred Education and Credentials

    • Knowledge of HVAC/R equipment and systems 


    • Detail-oriented
    • Math
    • Engineering and technological
    • Mechanical
    • Analytical
    • Problem-solving
    • Hand dexterity
    • Written and verbal communication 
    • Computer literate
    • Teamwork


    Mechanical technicians assist mechanical engineers with design, building, and evaluation of machines and systems that generate and use energy, including both fossil fuel- and electricity-based HVAC/R systems. These jobs also sometimes have the title mechanical engineering technician.

    Mechanical technicians need to be detail-oriented since they support the design process by reviewing and understanding project requirements and technical specifications, collecting measurements, and preparing plans or drawings to accurately implement engineers’ designs. They perform tests on mechanical systems, gather and record data, and then carry out calculations and analyses to ensure that equipment is operating properly. They may suggest adjustments be made to the equipment or assembly to increase efficiency or functionality of the mechanical system. Mechanical technicians also provide maintenance support by troubleshooting and fixing mechanical malfunctions, which requires good hand control to work on mechanical components that may be delicate.

    As clean energy HVAC/R systems become more commonly used in buildings, mechanical technicians need training to learn how the equipment differs from that used in more traditional oil or gas burning systems. Understanding the mechanics, efficiency ratings, and proper installation of variable refrigerant flow systems and air or ground source heat pumps (as examples of cleaner technologies), as well as how HVAC/R systems connect to automated or smart building controls, will allow mechanical technicians to properly assess whether these systems are operating in a way that maximizes energy and cost efficiency.

    Mechanical technicians need to document their work, which may include producing technical reports that explain the testing processes and their recommendations, so they need to be effective writers. They should be comfortable using computers, and may use spreadsheet, word processing, or design software (e.g., AutoCAD) to complete their job duties.

    Mechanical technicians often collaborate with designers and mechanical engineers, so it is necessary that they have strong interpersonal skills, communicate well, and enjoy working as part of a team.

    Mechanical technicians spend time at offices and also visit worksites to conduct tests on equipment and systems and investigate problems. Most of them work full-time.

    Job Outlook

    According to the New York State Department of Labor, there are approximately 1,300 mechanical engineering technologists and technicians in New York State and opportunities for employment are expected to be favorable through 2030 – they project this occupation to grow by 200 jobs between 2020 and 2030.

    Entering the Field

    Mechanical technicians typically need to have an associate degree or trade certificate in mechanical engineering technology or a related program. Junior technicians without prior experience generally work under the supervision of a trained engineer for a few years to gain job skills and knowledge. Several years of experience working on heating, cooling, or ventilation equipment or systems (including modern electricity-based technologies) may be advantageous for mechanical technicians looking for a job in the HVAC/R field, particularly those who do not have an associate degree. HVAC/R installers and service technicians, for example, who want to transition into a more engineering-focused job in the field can apply their knowledge of buildings’ mechanical systems to a mechanical technician role supporting the design and evaluation process.


    In New York State, the median wage for mechanical technicians is approximately $65,200. Entry-level workers earn about $46,200 and experienced workers earn about $77,900.

    Annual Wage (Q1 2023 dollars, rounded to 100s) – Statewide and by Labor Market Region

    New York State$46,200 $65,200 $77,900
    Capital Region$45,100 $69,100 $84,600
    Central New York$45,900 $79,100 $77,000
    Finger Lakes$46,400 $63,200 $69,400
    Hudson Valley$49,700 $67,900 $80,200
    Long Island$53,500 $73,800 $90,900
    Mohawk ValleyN/AN/AN/A
    New York City$51,200 $70,200 $79,900
    North Country$50,700 $63,900 $70,100
    Southern Tier$46,900 $63,400 $73,900
    Western New York$42,800 $64,000 $71,400

    Source: New York State Department of Labor, Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics Survey, SOC Code 17-3027 (Mechanical Engineering Technologists and Technicians); N/A denotes wage data that is not available.


    Mechanical technicians employed in the HVAC/R field often work for companies that provide mechanical engineering design services or manufacturers that produce HVAC/R equipment. Jobs for these positions may be advertised with the alternative title mechanical engineering technician. Check the job boards of engineering or HVAC/R manufacturing firms or search online job ads for the titles mechanical technician or mechanical engineering technician. Keywords like “HVAC,” “heat,” “cooling,” “refrigeration,” or “mechanical engineering” help identify job opportunities to work in this occupation.

    Labor Unions

    Most workers in architectural and engineering occupations, including mechanical technicians, are not members of unions. Check with local private employers in the HVAC/R field that hire mechanical technicians to see if they have a union affiliation. Mechanical technicians employed by New York State or local governments might be members of public sector unions.

    Education and Training Programs

    Most regions in New York State have schools that offer associate degrees in mechanical engineering technology or mechanical technology that prepare students to work as mechanical technicians in the HVAC/R field. Some schools also offer degrees in mechatronics, which may be relevant to automated equipment and systems. In addition to the schools listed in the table below, new or experienced mechanical technicians seeking training specific to energy efficient and electricity-based HVAC/R systems should check to see what opportunities are offered by the following organizations:

    Some HVAC/R equipment manufacturers and distributors offer training that is targeted to system design professionals (in addition to courses aimed at installation and service workers). See which companies partner with NYSERDA through Clean Heat Connect and check with individual manufacturers and distributors for a complete list of online or in-person offerings.

    Steven Winter Associates, Inc. offers a Building Electrification Training Series that lists design professionals among the target audience for its series of seven courses covering topics such as heat pumps and strategies for implementing clean energy mechanical systems.

    The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) offers HVAC/R design training (with online and in-person options) for mechanical design professionals with limited or no experience in the HVAC/R field or for those who want to learn about modern technologies.

    Educational InstitutionDepartmentCertificateAssociateBachelorMasterPhD
    Capital Region
    Hudson Valley Community CollegeSchool of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM)NoYesNoNoNo
    Central New York
    Cayuga County Community CollegeSchool of Science, Technology, Engineering and MathematicsNoYesNoNoNo
    Onondaga Community CollegeSchool of Computing & Applied TechnologiesNoYesNoNoNo
    SUNY MorrisvilleDesign & EngineeringNoYesNoNoNo
    Finger Lakes
    Finger Lakes Community CollegeMechanical TechnologyNoYesNoNoNo
    Monroe Community CollegeEngineering TechnologiesNoYesNoNoNo
    Hudson Valley
    SUNY Westchester Community CollegeSchool of Mathematics, Science and EngineeringNoYesNoNoNo
    Mohawk Valley
    Mohawk Valley Community CollegeSchool of STEMYesYesNoNoNo
    New York City
    New York City College of Technology (CUNY)School of Technology & DesignNoYesYesNoNo
    Queensborough Community College (CUNY)Engineering TechnologyNoYesNoNoNo
    North Country
    Clinton Community CollegeTechnologyNoYesNoNoNo
    SUNY College of Technology at CantonCanino School of Engineering TechnologyNoYesYesNoNo
    Southern Tier
    SUNY Broome Community CollegeScience, Technology, Engineering and MathematicsNoYesNoNoNo
    SUNY Corning Community CollegeTechnology and ManufacturingNoYesNoNoNo
    SUNY at DelhiSchool of Applied Technologies and ArchitectureNoYesYesNoNo
    Western New York
    Erie Community CollegeMechanical Engineering TechnologyNoYesNoNoNo
    Jamestown Community CollegeEngineering, Manufacturing, & Applied TechnologyNoYesNoNoNo
    Niagara County Community CollegeBusiness & STEMNoYesNoNoNo
    SUNY at AlfredMechanical and Electrical Engineering TechnologyNoYesYesNoNo

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