How to become a Maintenance Engineer


estimated salary
What do they do?

Feel like your career’s stopped working? You should call become a Maintenance Engineer…

Maintenance Engineers oversee, manage and maintain industrial machinery, ensuring that all equipment is reliable and continues to run smoothly.

Their role could involve anything from diagnosing faults and ordering parts, to carrying out regular maintenance and dealing with budgeting. Aside from fixing equipment, Maintenance Engineers are also often responsible for the ongoing improvement of procedures and methods.

Although their specific duties will depend on whether they’re a technician or a fitter (or working in preventative or emergency maintenance), a Maintenance Engineer’s job is always based around ensuring all devices are functioning safely – and continue to work without interruption.

Key duties for a Maintenance Engineer could include:

  • Carrying out routine maintenance checks
  • Responding to and investigating breakdowns
  • Fixing machinery or scheduling repairs
  • Replacing or upgrading equipment if necessary
  • Allocating manual work to the rest of the team
  • Keeping records of stats and finances
  • Managing supplies and ordering stock
Is it right for me?

Excellent practical ability, combined with relevant technical knowledge, is absolutely essential for anyone looking to become a Maintenance Engineer.

Because of the risks involved with working with heavy machinery (and the importance of reinforcing proper procedures in an environment like this), a solid understanding of health and safety protocol is equally vital.

But maintenance engineering doesn’t just rely on your practical expertise – you’ll also need to be able to demonstrate good business skills in order to liaise with suppliers and manage budgets.

You’ll also need to be:

  • A good motivator
  • An excellent problem solver
  • Able to work well under pressure
  • Capable of managing a team effectively
  • Technically minded
  • Patient
Career Progression

Junior Maintenance Engineer

Up to £22,000

Maintenance Engineer

Up to £30,000

Maintenance Manager

Up to £40,000

What's it really like?

I’ve always been interested in making things work – starting from electronic train sets and remote control planes, and building my way up to car and motorbike repairs in my teenage years. I knew I wanted to do something similar in my job – so I started an apprenticeship as a technician straight after school and have now worked my way up to becoming a Maintenance Engineer. I love the mix of practical and technical work, and although not everything always works in the way you hope (machines aren’t perfect), I often find that spotting a fault and fixing it is just as rewarding as having a problem-free day. Some might say I’m a control freak, but someone has to be – right?

Get qualified

A degree (ideally in engineering) is usually essential to become a Maintenance Engineer. Those without a degree can still get involved, although they may have to start working as a technician in order to progress upwards in the industry. Any relevant work experience or related qualifications will also help you to stand out from the crowd.

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