A Maintenance Engineer is charged with the maintenance and repairs of heavy machineries, plant equipment, tools, and systems used for manufacturing, engineering, and other related industrial production processes.
Although the daily activities and responsibilities of a maintenance engineer will differ from industry to industry, the core activities include:
- Carrying out periodic maintenance checks.
- The planning and implementation of equipment upgrades and modification of machinery.
- The identifying of faults
- Investigating breakdowns of equipments and monitoring its performance after repairs have been carried out.
As a maintenance engineer, you might also be in charge of the procurement of new parts for already existing equipment, or changing the whole set of machines after the stipulated period of usage is completed.
SEE ALSO: Top 15 Apps to help you with your career
Maintenance engineers function in multi-disciplinary teams, these teams include plant and production personnel, design engineers, manufacturing engineers, and other technical professionals, to guarantee efficient, uninterrupted, and quality-driven production or plant operations.
In organizations that are smaller, the job functions of the maintenance engineer could be merged with that of a manufacturing engineer.
Salary & benefits
The average annual salary for a maintenance engineer at the entry-level of their career ranges between £20,000 and £30,000, while as they progress with more experience, they can earn from around £35,000 to £48,000 annually.
The work schedules for maintenance engineers is planned around a system of structured shifts in a factory-based environment, although weekend and holiday period work are rare. This is due to the fact that lower-level maintenance technicians are mostly the ones on-call whenever there’s a breakdown.
Factually, the senior maintenance engineers are only called in when the breakdowns that occur is deemed serious.
Maintenance engineers are based primarily on site, like manufacturing plants or production facilities.
A degree in any engineering field with a minimum CGPA of 2:2 is the basic entry requirement into this profession, it is important to note that a degree in mechanical engineering, electrical engineering or production engineering is preferred by most employers.
On the flip side, you could gain entrance into this line of work as a lower-level maintenance technician using the apprenticeship programme route, or with a vocational qualification relevant to the field.
Obtaining prior work experience via vocational schemes and industrial training programmes would also be crucial for increasing your possibility of finding employment.
Training & progression
Most of the major employers in this industry currently offer graduate development schemes to aid the development of new talent. A vital component of these programmes is aiding the entry-level employees to fully complete all the necessary requirements needed for becoming a chartered engineer, which includes obtaining membership of the relevant professional organizations, like the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE).
Attaining the incorporated or chartered engineer status is also very important for gaining recognition and initiating an upward career progression.
Maintenance engineers most times choose to move laterally into different engineering functions like designing or technical sales. But, some choose to take on managerial responsibilities, which might involve the management of a large team of technicians and trainee engineers.