Manufacturing Production Technicians


Education and Training Requirements

High School

Take courses in general mathematics, algebra, geometry, science, and mechanical drawing. Other classes that will help prepare you for manufacturing production technician work are physics, computer science, and electronics. Any class that gives you experience in blueprint reading boosts your qualifications.

Postsecondary Training

For many technician jobs, an associate's degree or certificate from a vocational-technical school is required. As machinery and manufacturing processes have become more complex, production technicians must also have more formal training. Many production technicians participate in trade union-sponsored apprenticeship programs, which can last four years and include on-the-job and related classroom training. They learn how to set up and maintain machines as well as how to use various tools. Classroom topics cover mathematics, blueprint reading, safety, electrics, electronics, hydraulics, welding, and other subjects related to the trade. Classes also include computer programming and technologies, such as computer-aided design, computer-aided manufacturing software programs, and numerical control machine tools.

Other Education or Training

Manufacturing production technicians keep up with the latest technologies and industry practices by taking classes and attending workshops throughout their careers. They take classes offered by professional associations such as the Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals, which offers webinars such as Gathering the Right Information for Predictive Maintenance and Best Practices for Condition Monitoring with Ultrasound. Contact the society for more information. 

Certification, Licensing, and Special Requirements

Certification or Licensing

Certification can improve manufacturing production technicians' skills and knowledge as well as enhance their employment prospects. The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals offers the following certification credentials to manufacturing production technicians who pass an examination: certified maintenance and reliability technician, certified maintenance and reliability professional, and certified asset management assessor. Contact the society for more information. 

Experience, Skills, and Personality Traits

Employers usually prefer to hire manufacturing production technicians with an associate's degree or voacational-technical school certificate, apprenticeship training, and one to two years of prior work experience. Technicians should have a strong and broad knowledge of machinery and manufacturing operations. Keen analytical and organizational skills are needed. Technicians must be able to pay close attention to details and gather information about both machinery and machine operators to identify problems and make decisions about appropriate solutions. They must have strong knowledge of engineering science and technology and design techniques and tools. Technology skills are also essential, as technicians use various software programs to perform their work, such as analytical software and computer-aided design and manufacturing software programs.  

Manufacturing production technicians must be responsible, reliable, and have sound decision-making abilities. They are entrusted with monitoring valuable equipment and are often called upon to exercise considerable independent judgment. They must keep up with the newest technologies in order to effectively and correctly maintain new machines and production techniques. People who do best in this type of work are adaptable, flexible, and honest and ethical.