Maintenance engineers ensure that equipment and machinery are in good working order and that their facilities’ daily operations are supported. They work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, hotels, aircraft hangars, chemical companies, manufacturing plants, and food manufacturers. Some people work entirely indoors, while others prefer to work mostly outdoors or a combination of both. Maintenance engineers are frequently exposed to loud noises, electrical circuits, moving parts, and potentially hazardous chemicals.
Maintenance engineers can work for the local or state government in public works. These jobs frequently necessitate a thorough understanding of state and federal regulations. Bridges, roads, and transportation management systems such as traffic lights are frequently repaired a public works maintenance engineer. They may also collaborate with third-party vendors and installers, as well as emergency response systems like fire, police, and ambulance services.
Maintenance engineers provide both preventative and emergency maintenance, regardless of their location. Routine maintenance, distributing work orders to a team of technicians, calibrating instruments, performing quality control inspections, and responding to equipment failures are all common responsibilities of a maintenance engineer. They must also communicate with their managers or supervisors, as well as their team members, about work progress, project delays, and any other issues that may arise. They must be responsible for their own safety as well as the safety of others as part of their job responsibilities.
Maintenance engineers frequently have advanced technical skills and enjoy doing manual labor. Depending on their location and work environment, they are also likely to be good at math and science—particularly the physical sciences and, possibly, chemistry. Maintenance engineers are known for their ability to work quickly under pressure and for their superior problem-solving abilities.
In most industrialized countries, the path to becoming a maintenance engineer is similar. Although the United States and the United Kingdom use different terminology, the requirements are very similar. Individuals interested in pursuing a career as a maintenance engineer frequently enroll in an apprenticeship program, where they work as a technician under the supervision of a more experienced, senior-level maintenance engineer.
In most countries, vocational training is available and encouraged, and it is frequently completed during the apprenticeship. Service and maintenance, computer applications, food technology, and air conditioning and refrigeration are just some of the areas where certificate and diploma programs are available. Individuals who want to work in management or as a senior maintenance engineer should consider pursuing an advanced degree. Chemical engineering, which often focuses on polymer technology; computer science and engineering; electronics and communications; food technology; and manufacturing principles are some of the concentrations available.