How to become a Mechanical Engineering Associate

Mechanical engineering associates assist mechanical engineers and engineering technologists with the design, manufacture, construction, operation and maintenance of machines, manufacturing equipment, mechanical installations and mechanical facilities. They usually have a range of duties carried out under the direction of mechanical engineers and engineering technologists.

Personal requirements of a Mechanical Engineering Associate

  • Enjoy technical and engineering activities
  • Interested in machinery design and application
  • Able to identify, analyse and solve problems
  • Good oral and written communication skills
  • Aptitude for computing and design

Education & Training for a Mechanical Engineering Associate

To become a mechanical engineering associate you usually have to complete a VET qualification. As subjects and prerequisites can vary between institutions, you should contact your chosen institution for further information.

Duties & Tasks of a Mechanical Engineering Associate

Mechanical engineering associates:

  • collect and analyse data, carry out complex calculations and prepare diagrams
  • organise and supervise the manufacture, operation and maintenance of plant machinery and equipment such as engines, air conditioners and other mechanical equipment
  • assemble and install new or altered mechanical equipment, parts, machine tools and controls, and help to construct, maintain and repair engineering machinery
  • perform or direct field or laboratory testing and analysis of results
  • estimate machinery requirements and material costs and quantities
  • produce designs, detailed drawings and documentation, manually or with the aid of computer-aided design (CAD), under the direction of mechanical engineers and technologists
  • make sure that designs and finished work comply with the required specifications, regulations and contracts
  • select tools and equipment
  • organise and supervise inspection and maintenance of machinery and plant.

Working conditions for a Mechanical Engineering Associate

Mechanical engineering associates work in offices, technical laboratories, workshops or on site. They work in teams, usually reporting to engineers or technologists, supervising technicians and tradespeople.

Employment Opportunities for a Mechanical Engineering Associate

Mechanical engineering associates are employed in the manufacturing industry as well as by architectural and technical (engineering consultancy) services, and in the electricity, gas, water and minerals industries. Most work is located in metropolitan areas. Firms vary in size from small operations to large government enterprises. Many people in this occupation work on a contract basis and can be very mobile. A major area of employment is engineering drafting. There are opportunities for promotion to positions managing design teams or whole drawing offices. With ability and the completion of further courses of study, associates may diversify into other areas of production engineering and/or management. With further training and experience, it is possible to become a fully qualified engineer.

Avg. weekly wage:


Future growth:


Employment by state:

ACT 1.1%

NSW 24.1%

NT 1.1%

QLD 15.8%

SA 8.5%

TAS 1.9%

VIC 23.1%

WA 24.4%

Hours worked:



Lower unemployment

Gender split:

Male 97%

Female 3%

Education level:

Highest qualification is secondary school: 5.7%

Highest qualification is a Certificate 3 or 4: 56.4%

Highest qualification is a Diploma or Advanced Diploma: 16.8%

Highest qualification is a Bachelor degree: 12.5%

Highest qualification is a Postgraduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate: 2.7%

Age brackets:

15-19 - 0.1%

20-24 - 6.1%

25-34 - 26.8%

35-44 - 22.6%

45-54 - 19.5%

55-59 - 8.2%

60-64 - 7.1%

65 and Over - 9.5%

*The data above is sourced from the Department of Employment’s Job Outlook website.

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