Industrial mechanics: professionals for large machines and systems

Whether its grinding, milling or filing, training as an industrial mechanic gives young skilled workers all the metal processing techniques they will need later on in their everyday working lives.

They produce and install equipment, machines and production systems and convert these as requirements change. This includes all kinds of production systems such as coating facilities and automatic cutting machines, but also machines for turning and milling. They are basically all-rounders in industrial companies.

Downtime is not an option

For example, it can get very expensive if the line is down when producing tesafilm®. It is vital therefore that production facilities are always appropriately maintained and ready for use. However, because machines can't quite manage all on their own, industrial mechanics are also deployed in the maintenance and monitoring of technical systems.

Although he is currently still completing his training as an industrial mechanic at the tesa plant in Offenburg, this is already part of Lucas Wörner's everyday routine. "Even as a child I was really interested in how things functioned mechanically. At home, I often helped my dad to repair devices of various types. I also did a lot of work on my bicycle,” explains Lucas. “After a few placements I then finally decided I also wanted to do this as my job." Lucas became aware of the tesa plant in Offenburg at school. The company came into the school and presented its training occupations, and eventually Lucas applied for the training.

What qualities do you need to be able to train as an industrial mechanic?

To start with, you need to be good with your hands. You learn everything else such as drilling, milling, filing and grinding over the three-and-a-half year training. In school, an interest in maths and physics is good for understanding the basics of control technology and for making calculations.

Other requirements:

  • Good spatial awareness
  • Enjoyment of practical activities, e.g. setting up machines or assembling component groups
  • Enjoyment of programming machines
  • Working with care
  • Good communication skills for explaining systems to colleagues
  • Good school-leaving certificate from a lower-level/intermediate-level secondary school

Training at the tesa plant in Offenburg

Lucas explains that training as an industrial mechanic with tesa does not take place in a training workshop. Instead, following external basic training, and from the second year of training onwards, trainees are allowed to perform repairs on large production facilities. For Lucas, this was an obvious reason to start his training with tesa. He also adds: "It's great too that as a trainee you are already given your own projects." This also makes his training all the more enjoyable. Key for him is also the opportunity to work with a lot of independence and at the same time to learn something everyday from his supervisor. He wants to make one thing very clear: "I would choose this training and tesa every time."

What career opportunities does training as an industrial mechanic offer?

There are many continuing vocational education and training opportunities for the profession of industrial mechanic.

In the company you can specialise in specific areas, complete further training and keep your knowledge up to date.

As an industrial master craftsperson specialising in metalworking you can take on specialist and leadership tasks. In this case, you ensure that product targets are reached in production and assembly. Salary also increases with responsibility. Responsibility also increases as a technical specialist. This involves planning and organisational tasks which are performed at the middle/senior management level. A technician specialising in mechanical engineering also receives more responsibility. The focus here is on the development and construction of machines and systems. Degree after training? This is also possible and, subject to certain requirements, even without the university or university of applied sciences entrance qualification – for example, if you have completed continuing vocational education and training as a master craftsperson. One option would be a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering which again would open up entirely new pathways and prospects.

Training as an industrial mechanic therefore has a lot to offer. It is one of the most popular training courses in Germany for good reason.

Source: (website on the World Skills contest), revised by iMOVE, December 2021