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Understanding a Career in Maintenance Engineering

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Covering multiple sub-disciplines, maintenance engineers play a key role in keeping facilities running and resolving technical issues as they emerge. It takes both technical proficiency and organisational and team leadership skills to become a competent maintenance engineer.

Engineers are heavily involved in all aspects of industrial and institutional project management. Beyond focusing on development, design, and construction, engineers are also responsible for the upkeep of the facility, ensuring that the systems are all fully functioning while ensuring that further operations are within regulatory standards. Moreover, engineering professionals also work on further improvements to on-site facilities, which can improve productivity and reduce operations and utility costs once fully implemented.

Maintenance engineers are typically employed on an ongoing basis by companies in the manufacturing and utility industry, government agencies and military divisions, local governing authorities, and consultancies and research facilities. Most maintenance engineers can expect full-time work, with contract and consultancy careers open for more seasoned individuals with years of experience.

Scope of Responsibility

Maintenance engineering jobs encompass a host of responsibilities related to the field they specialise in, ranging from a planning scheduled maintenance to diagnosing faults and responding to breakdowns and other emergencies. They are also responsible for ensuring that all repair and maintenance duties are accomplished economically.

Electrical maintenance engineers, for instance, are charged with ensuring that the electrical systems used in a facility are not only up to code but also operating in optimal condition. Electrical maintenance jobs are a critical component in the smooth operation of any facility. An engineer and a team of dedicated specialists should be on call to ensure that any interruptions of power and problematic circuitry are resolved before they can cause large-scale disruptions within the facility.

In general, maintenance engineers can expect starting salaries between £20,000 and £25,000, which can soar up to £40,000 and higher for experienced engineers, depending on the field, subspecialty, and industry.


engineers inspecting machineriesTypical engineers working in maintenance roles would clock in on average of about 40 hours a week, at least according to standard business hours. Some companies and organisations may employ engineers and other workers on flexible schedules, allowing them to clock in their hours as they see appropriate. Maintenance engineers, however, can expect to work night shifts and in unsociable hours to coordinate with technicians round the clock.

Moreover, because of the vital role played by maintenance staff, maintenance engineering jobs are among those on call 24-7. By being always on standby, they assure the stability and dependability of the system throughout operations, ready to assist the on-site staff in the event of complications and breakdown emergencies.

Job Expectations

A typical maintenance engineer’s job is concerned with observing computerised systems that display vital data on the performance of each of the machines in the facility. This is punctuated by planning and executing key improvements to reduce the frequency of adverse events within the facility, which can contribute toward the reduction of overall operational costs. A skilled maintenance engineer must not only have an understanding of the needs of the system but also be innovative enough to develop new and better strategies to ensure safer and more reliable operations.

Regardless of their subspecialty, maintenance engineers as a whole need more than just technical proficiency to be effective in their chosen field. They are expected to extensively with other professionals from across multiple domains. To succeed, maintenance engineers must be skilled in coordinating large groups of specialists to execute plans and solve problems quickly and effectively.

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