This career is essential to making sure all of the systems in a spacecraft are working together. Learn about the mission-critical work of mechanical technicians.

Two people working on robotic arm

Person in hardhat inspects metal tubes

The Rundown

What does a mechanical technician do? 

Mechanical technicians install machinery, parts and equipment onto aircraft and spacecraft.

Spacecraft consist of many parts and systems that all need maintenance to keep them in optimal working order. Mechanical technicians are responsible for checking the quality of the parts and systems and ensuring they are correctly assembled. Accuracy and attention to detail are of critical importance. Safety and cost are both major considerations in space missions.

Mechanical technicians will inspect spacecraft, diagnose faults and perform any necessary repairs. Preventative maintenance, such as upgrading parts and systems, is also part of the role.

What you’ll need to know and do

Mechanical technicians must be proficient in using power tools and other equipment to a high standard of work.

Mechanical technicians are sometimes called equipment maintenance technicians or simply maintenance technicians. Specialisations within the role include integration technician, vehicle and payload technician, and metrology technician.

Integration technicians make sure all of the systems in a spacecraft are working together. They need an understanding of avionic systems in addition to mechanical skills. Vehicle and payload technicians (also called launch technicians) check the installation of the payloads, ensuring that they will deploy from the rockets as planned. Metrology technicians calibrate measurements tools to make sure they record accurate readings.

Your study pathway

The following TAFE courses are relevant to becoming a mechanical technician:

  • engineering
  • aeroskills: mechanical and structures
  • aircraft maintenance engineering.

Key resources

Our key space career job roles and study pathways information is packaged up into downloadable PDFs that students, teachers or parents can easily browse through and keep as a handy reference.

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Careers in space booklet

Our space career booklet covers all the space careers we talk about online, and can be downloaded by students, teachers or parents to read, share or use in the classroom.


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