When equipment or machinery breaks down it holds up production, which is bad for business. Maintenance engineers prevent breakdowns. We take a look at this important role.
Maintenance engineers or engineering maintenance technicians keep machinery and equipment running. They deal with regular equipment maintenance and they respond to equipment breakdowns and faults.
What would the job of maintenance engineer be like?
Much of the work of a maintenance engineer is based on-site at a factory or production plant and you’ll be wearing protective clothing. The kind of day-to-day tasks that you could expect to do include:
- Organising and conducting routine servicing tasks
- Fitting new parts and replacing old parts
- Inspecting equipment and machinery
- Responding to equipment breakdowns, diagnosing and fixing faults
Maintenance engineers need to have good practical and technical skills. They need to be able to understand technical drawings and have good problem-solving skills as well as an ability in maths, science and IT.
All of the following study areas are relevant to this job:
- electrical and electronic engineering
- manufacturing engineering
- mechanical engineering
- production engineering
There are no set entry requirements for the role but you would probably need GCSEs at grades 9 – 4 in maths and English. Grade A* – C in science or design technology would also be useful.
There are lots of vocational qualification routes into engineering and also apprenticeship options at several levels. Progression routes are also good in engineering and there will be opportunities to gain experience in the workplace as well as to develop your skills and qualifications – often sponsored by your employer.
How much you earn will depend on the company that you work for, the qualification level that you achieve and how good you are at your job. However, starting salaries for maintenance engineers are, on average, between £20,000 and £24,000 and salaries can rise to between £27,000 and £40,000 with experience.