What does a maintenance engineer do?

Arc welding may be required when performing industrial maintenance.

Maintenance engineers ensure that equipment and machines operate efficiently and work to support the day-to-day operations of your facility. They work in a variety of environments such as hospitals, hotels, aircraft hangars, chemical companies, factories or food companies. Some work strictly indoors, while others work mostly outdoors or a mixture of both. It is not uncommon for maintenance engineers to be exposed to loud noise, electrical circuits, moving parts or hazardous chemicals.

Many maintenance engineers participate in public works projects such as bridge maintenance.

Opportunities exist for maintenance engineers on public works for local or state government. These positions often require an understanding of state and federal regulations. A public works maintenance engineer often repairs bridges, roads, and transportation management systems such as traffic lights. They may also work with outside vendors and installation contractors or with emergency response systems such as fire, police or ambulance services.

Maintenance engineers often study designs to ensure that designs follow their original intent.

Regardless of your location, maintenance engineers provide preventive and emergency maintenance. Typical duties of a maintenance engineer might include scheduling routine service, distributing work orders to a team of technicians, calibrating instruments, performing quality control inspections, and responding to equipment failures. They should also communicate with managers or supervisors and their team members about work progress, project completion delays, and other issues that may arise. Their job duties require them to be responsible for their own safety as well as the safety of others.

Maintenance engineers may need to know how to run a series of diagnostic and calibration tests.

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Maintenance engineers often have advanced technical skills and enjoy working with their hands. They are also likely to be good at math and science – especially physical science and possibly chemistry – depending on their location and work environment. Maintenance engineers tend to be able to work quickly under pressure and have above-average problem-solving skills.

In some cases, a maintenance engineer can play a key role in designing and equipping a facility before it opens.

The maintenance engineer career is similar in most industrialized countries. Different terminology exists in the US and UK, but the requirements are very similar. Individuals who wish to become a maintenance engineer often enter an apprenticeship stage where they work as technicians under the guidance of a more experienced senior-level maintenance engineer.

Maintenance engineers must communicate with supervisors and team members about work progress and delays.

Vocational training is offered and encouraged in most countries and can often be completed during the internship. Certificate and diploma programs are available in a variety of areas such as service and maintenance, computer applications, food technology, and air conditioning and refrigeration. Individuals looking to enter management or become a senior-level maintenance engineer may consider an advanced degree. Concentrations include chemical engineering, which generally focuses on polymer technology; Computer Science and Engineering; electronics and communications; food Technology; and manufacturing principles.

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