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What does a maintenance technician do?

A maintenance technician in front of machinery holding a tablet
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As the saying goes, prevention is the best medicine.

And this applies not only to us but also to the many tools, equipment, and utilities we use in our everyday lives and at work.

Today, we’re talking about the “doctors” of the technical world – maintenance technicians.

In this article, we’ll discuss the maintenance technician’s job description, necessary skillset, employment and career growth, salary, and more.

Maintenance technician job description

An explanation of what does a maintenance technician do

So, what does a maintenance technician do? Maintenance technicians oversee the upkeep of facilities by performing proactive asset maintenance, reactive asset maintenance, and emergency maintenance.

In general, the responsibilities of a maintenance technician include:

However, their specific responsibilities depend on their employer’s industry, company size, and budget.

Based on these factors, maintenance technicians in small companies tend to be “jacks-of-all-trades”, while their colleagues working in mid-to-big size companies typically specialize in specific aspects of the facility (electricians, plumbers, etc.)

Depending on their place of employment, maintenance technicians can be divided into several types:

An infographic of types of maintenance technicians

1. Plant maintenance technicians

Specialize in manufacturing plants and other industrial locations. They need to be well acquainted with the unique plant systems and assets (manufacturing lines, motors, conveyor belts, etc.).

2. Building maintenance technicians

Specialize in private accommodations like skyscrapers and apartment complexes. They need to have a wide knowledge of associated property utilities (HVAC, plumbing, electricity, etc.).

3. Facilities maintenance technicians

Specialize in commercial facilities such as restaurants, hotels, hospitals, schools, and offices. They need to be comfortable with both general utilities (HVAC, plumbing, electricity, etc.) and specialized assets.

4. Public works maintenance technicians

Typically employed by organizations within the public sector like governments, municipalities, and so on. They tend to work on public areas such as roads, sidewalks, and official buildings. To do so, they need to have a thorough understanding of both general utilities, as well landscaping, and the use of heavy machinery and tools.

Maintenance technician necessary skills

As mentioned above, maintenance technicians share some basic responsibilities, regardless of their industry and place of employment. To account for this, they need to have a basic set of skills, including:

  • A basic understanding of utilities (HVAC, plumbing, electricity, etc.)
  • General knowledge of common maintenance techniques and best practices
  • The ability to work with standard maintenance tools, equipment, and light machineryProblem-solving and the ability to think on their feet
  • General physical fitness and good health
  • Communication skills necessary to work with their supervisors and colleagues
  • The ability to follow direct commands
  • Self-sustainability for when there are no direct commands
  • A good grasp of standard health and safety principles
  • Basic computer skills to create and submit work orders or reports
  • Teamwork

Requirements to become a maintenance technician

Besides the skills outlined in the section above, there are only a few other requirements to become a maintenance technician.

Typically, there is no need for higher education, apart from a high-school diploma.

Employees and contractors tend to receive all additional necessary training on the job.

However, there are a few things a person can do to improve their career outlook in this position.

Certifications

A list of certificates that are suitable for maintenance technician

Certifications are in no way necessary to become a maintenance technician. However, they can help you land a job in a specific industry and improve your salary options.

Recommended certifications include:

  • Certified Maintenance Technician (CMT)
  • Certified Maintenance Manager (CMM)
  • Master Certified Electronics Technician (CETma)
  • Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)
  • Certified Maintenance and Reliability Technician (CMRT)
  • Certificate for Apartment Maintenance Technicians (CMAT)
  • Electrical Technician Certification (ETC)
  • Certified Technical Professional (CTP)
  • Master Engine Machinist (MEM)
  • Air Conditioning Service Certification (ACSC)

The question then is, how much can you expect to make in the industry?

Maintenance technician career outlook

The average maintenance technician can expect to make around $40,850 per annum in the US. Certified and experienced technicians can see their yearly salary go up to $53,150, while those just starting out will bring home around $32,020.

Meanwhile, in Europe, the rates vary wildly. In the UK, an average maintenance technician will make £30,332, in Ireland €45,000, and in Luxembourg €31,859.

How to make the maintenance technician career work easier

Make no mistake, the work of a maintenance technician is no easy thing. Yet, there are tools out there that can make the job easier – and no, we’re not talking about screwdrivers and power drills. Hands-on professions like maintenance technicians have long overlooked digital solutions. It’s time to change that.

Maintenance software allows technicians to create work orders and fill out reports on the fly. Solutions like these also play an important role in onboarding new technicians, as they allow maintenance managers to remotely offer step-by-step instructions, digital checklists, and best practices.

And there’s no better place to learn how to make these solutions work for you than our ebook Frontline Workers in the Digital Age.

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