Advanced Manufacturing Technicians


Education and Training Requirements

High School

In high school, you should take mathematics (algebra, geometry, statistics), science (physics, chemistry, biochemistry), computer science, English, and communications classes. Shop courses will help you to learn how to work with tools, build things, read schematics, and learn about mechanical drawing and how to use computer-aided design software.

Postsecondary Education

A minimum of an associate’s degree in engineering technology, an engineering specialty (such as electrical or mechanical engineering), industrial production, robotics, manufacturing, advanced manufacturing, additive or digital manufacturing, artificial intelligence, 3–D printing, or a related field is required for most positions. Some employers require their technicians to have bachelor’s degrees. Typical classes in an associate degree program in advanced manufacturing technology include:

  • Design Problems
  • Digital Electronics
  • Engineering Project Management
  • Fluid Power and Design
  • Fundamentals of Machining Processes
  • Industrial Control System Applications
  • Interpreting Engineering Drawings
  • Intro to Industrial Control Systems
  • Intro to Industrial Internet of Things
  • Intro to Industrial Robots
  • Intro to Manufacturing Quality Control Systems
  • Intro to Mechatronics
  • Machine Mechanisms
  • Materials and Processes
  • Motor Controls for Advanced Manufacturing
  • Programmable Logic Controller System Design
  • Vision and Smart Sensors

The Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education (FAME) offers the FAME Program in which students participate in a work-study opportunity to earn an associate degree and certification as an advanced manufacturing technician. Students attend classes at a local community college twice a week (eight hours or more each day) and work at least 24 hours a week for a local, sponsoring employer, while earning a competitive wage. Visit https://fame-usa.com/fame-program-for-students to learn more.

ABET is the official accrediting agency for colleges and universities that offer engineering technology programs. Visit https://www.abet.org for a list of accredited programs.

Some advanced manufacturing technicians prepare for the field via apprenticeships. Visit https://www.apprenticeship.gov for more information about this type of training. Other aspiring technicians receive their initial training in the military, and then augment this military education by earning a degree in engineering technology, advanced manufacturing, or a related field. Visit https://www.todaysmilitary.com/careers-benefits/explore-careers for more information on careers in the military.


A growing number of colleges and universities offer undergraduate and/or graduate certificates in industrial production, manufacturing, advanced manufacturing, additive manufacturing, artificial intelligence, 3–D printing, and related fields. Certificates in engineering specialties and related technical fields are also available. For example, Schoolcraft College in Livonia, Michigan, offers an advanced manufacturing certificate to students who complete the following classes: Basic Machining Processes; Manufacturing Processes; Mechanical Blueprint Reading with Sketching; Introduction to Engineering and Technology; Basic Computer Numerical Control; Basic Mastercam; Quality Planning and Team Building; Advanced Computer Numerical Control; Advanced Mastercam; and Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerance. Contact schools in your area to learn more.

Other Education or Training

The field of advanced manufacturing continues to evolve due to new technologies and production techniques, so it’s important to stay up to date by taking classes, webinars, and seminars. Participating in continuing education classes is also often required to renew one’s certification credentials. Professional development opportunities are provided by associations such as the American Society for Engineering Education, Association for Advancing Automation, Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, Association of Equipment Manufacturers, American Chemical Society, American Institute of Chemical Engineers, American Society for Engineering Education, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Association for Computing Machinery, IEEE Computer Society, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers, National Society of Professional Engineers, and SME, among other organizations.

Certification, Licensing, and Special Requirements

Certification or Licensing

Becoming certified sends employers a message that you have met the highest standards that have been established in your field. Technicians who are certified typically earn higher salaries and have better employment prospects than technicians who are not certified. Several professional associations provide voluntary certification to technicians. For example, the Society of Manufacturing Engineers offers the certified manufacturing associate, certified manufacturing technologist, certified additive manufacturing-fundamentals, certified additive manufacturing-technologist, Lean certification, and other credentials. Most certification programs require candidates to meet experience and education requirements and pass an examination. Visit https://www.sme.org/certification for more information. Other certification credentials are provided by the Association for Advancing Automation, ETA International, International Society of Automation, International Society of Certified Electronics Technicians, National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies, and the Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals. No licensing is required for advanced manufacturing technicians.

Experience, Skills, and Personality Traits

In addition to earning an associate degree, many aspiring technicians obtain valuable experience by participating in internship and co-op programs. Apprentices build their skills by receiving both classroom training and hands-on experience at advanced manufacturing facilities.

In addition to technical ability, technicians should have excellent problem-solving, time-management, and organizational skills. They must be able to work as a member of a team, but also be able to work productively on their own, when necessary. Other important traits include top-notch oral and written communication skills, the ability to follow instructions, a diligent and hardworking personality, and a willingness to pursue continuing education throughout their careers.