As a Maintenance Engineer, you'll make sure that the equipment used in manufacturing and processing works properly. This includes diagnosing and repairing faults, and also carrying out regular servicing and overhauls.
Also known as
- Engineering Fitter, Maintenance
- Fitter, Maintenance
- Multi-Skilled Engineer
- Mechanical Maintenance Technician
Video: - Johnnie: Maintenance Fitter
When a piece of machinery or equipment goes wrong, it will be down to you to repair it. You will look at technical diagrams of the machinery to work out the problem, or follow written instructions on a call-out sheet.
You might have to take the machinery or piece of equipment apart to find the fault, using hand tools such as spanners, wrenches and screwdrivers. You could also use electric tools and skills like welding or soldering.
Sometimes you'll replace worn parts, and then clean, oil and adjust the machinery or equipment before putting it back together.
As a Maintenance Engineer, you will need to be skilled in lots of different areas. For example, you may work with electronic, pneumatic and hydraulic equipment.
You might also be responsible for installing new equipment, and then helping to train operatives in how to use it.
Being able to read, write and speak Welsh may be an advantage when you’re looking for work in Wales.
Personal Qualities and Skills
To become a Maintenance Engineer, you'll need:
- good practical skills
- an interest in understanding how machines work
- to understand technical information and diagrams
- to be able to write reports of completed repairs
- to understand and follow health and safety regulations - you could be dealing with dangerous machinery, toxic gas or chemicals, or high voltage equipment
- the ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines
Pay and Opportunities
The pay rates given below are approximate.
- Starting: £22,000 - £25,000
- With experience: £28,000 - £34,500
- Senior Maintenance Engineers earn £38,000 - £42,500
Hours of work
Maintenance Engineers usually work up to 39 hours a week, Monday to Friday. However, shift work, night and weekend work may be required. You may also be 'called out' if an essential piece of equipment breaks down.
Where could I work?
Employers are a broad range of manufacturing companies, public utilities and organisations such as hospitals or universities that may have a lot of technical equipment.
Opportunities for Maintenance Technicians occur with employers in towns and cities throughout the UK.
Where are vacancies advertised?
Vacancies are advertised in local/national newspapers, on recruitment and employers' websites, and on Find a Job (www.gov.uk/jobsearch).
Social media websites, such as LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook, are a great way to network, find vacancies and get in contact with possible employers. Make sure that your profile presents you in a professional manner that will appeal to potential employers.
Take a look at our General Information Article
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Entry Routes and Training
After completing your A levels you could get a lower level job as a Maintenance Assistant and train on-the-job. You might be able to get onto a Higher Level Apprenticeship in a relevant area.
You do not need to do a degree in order to get into this career. However, some employers require you to have a HND or HNC before you become a Maintenance Engineer. HNDs and HNCs in relevant subjects are available at many universities. In order to get onto a HND or HNC course you will usually need at least two A levels. .
Maintenance Engineers can progress to specialist posts or to Team Leader/Supervisor positions after further training and experience.
Previous experience working as a Machine Operator would be really useful for this career.
To get onto an Intermediate or Advanced Level Apprenticeship, you’ll usually need five GCSEs at grade C/4 or above, possibly including English and maths.
It is illegal for any organisation to set age limits for entry to employment, education or training, unless they can show there is a real need to have these limits.
Practical skills gained, for example, as a machine operator, are an advantage.
Some employers take on adults who have completed a relevant City & Guilds qualification or Edexcel (BTEC) level 3 National qualification at college.
Many adult entrants transfer or re-train from similar positions in production maintenance, perhaps through completion of relevant work-based qualifications.
Apprenticeships: Get In. Go Far
National Apprenticeship Service (NAS)
Tel: 0800 015 0400
Skills Development Scotland - Modern Apprenticeships
Tel: 0800 9178000
Careers Wales - Welsh Apprenticeships
Tel: 0800 028 4844