Maintenance Engineer Job Description
Maintenance engineers’ work involves the maintenance of machinery and equipment, as well as optimization of procedures, systems, infrastructures, and budgets for the purpose of improving reliability and maintainability. Maintenance engineers typically analyze the equipment maintenance structure, look into equipment and machinery failures, assess the needs for spare parts and equipment replacements, report safety hazards, and evaluate alternatives.
Maintenance engineers are most frequently employed in the production, manufacturing or transport sector. They are responsible for designing maintenance methods and strategies, scheduling maintenance work, identifying problems, and managing maintenance equipment and tools.
Maintenance engineers must have a good knowledge of logistics, statistics, and probability, and an excellent understanding of how the machinery that they are working with operates. They need to have excellent diagnostic and problem solving skills, and be good at negotiation and business in general.
Good interpersonal and management skills are always an asset, as maintenance engineers are typically responsible for defining the required skills for maintenance staff. They usually work with professionals from other areas, so good communication skills are essential, both for individual projects and jobs and for long-term success and career advancement.
Excellent writing skills are a must for maintenance engineers, as they are responsible for providing written instructions for maintenance strategies, which help with commissioning and installation guidelines.
Maintenance engineers usually start their careers as apprentices at engineering, transport operating, or manufacturing companies. They can also enter the profession after obtaining academic degrees including a BTEC certificate and a degree in operations and maintenance engineering, or a certificate in engineering from City & Guilds. Employers will usually look at engineers’ relevant work experience more than anything else.
Candidates can also enter the field with foundation degrees, honours degrees in engineering, or a BTEC HND/HNC in a discipline relevant to the profession.
Engineers typically join maintenance engineering departments in order to gain some hands-on experience and develop new skills. Some companies offer training programs or specialist courses to help new maintenance engineers and technicians acquire new skills and knowledge.
Maintenance engineers who have gained some work experience can advance through the Technical Report Route (TRR) to obtain the status of engineering technician (Eng Tech), incorporated engineer (IEng), and eventually chartered engineer (CEng). TRR is designed for engineers who want to work to obtain chartered status, but do not have the required master’s degree.
Maintenance engineers who want to gain professional status can get information about the specific training required for incorporated or chartered status from the Engineering Council.
Maintenance engineers can either work on-site or supervise repairs and diagnose faults remotely. Their tasks typically include reducing the probability of breakdowns, improving the overall safety of manufacturing processes, staff, and production plants. They are responsible for managing the costs of maintenance and arranging purchase of components and fixtures. They also liaise with clients and other departments within their employing company, and frequently oversee quality inspections.
Maintenance engineers usually start their careers as technical specialists and, after gaining enough relevant work experience, they move on to senior engineering jobs, such as project management, plant management, or consultancy.