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Career profile Maintenance Technician

Also known as Lubricator, Machine Repairer, Maintainer, Maintenance Man, Maintenance Technician, Maintenance Worker, Oiler, Overhauler

Maintenance Technician

Also known as Lubricator, Machine Repairer, Maintainer

Interests Profile
  • Realistic
  • Conventional
  • Investigative
Pay Range
$32,170 - $75,800 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Operations Monitoring
  • Equipment Maintenance
  • Repairing
Knowledge Areas
  • Mechanical
  • Mathematics
  • Design
Core tasks
  • Start machines and observe mechanical operation to determine efficiency and to detect problems.
  • Read work orders and specifications to determine machines and equipment requiring repair or maintenance.
  • Inspect or test damaged machine parts, and mark defective areas or advise supervisors of repair needs.
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What does a Maintenance Technician do?

Maintenance Technicians lubricate machinery, change parts, or perform other routine machinery maintenance.

What kind of tasks does a Maintenance Technician perform regularly?

Maintenance Technicians are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Start machines and observe mechanical operation to determine efficiency and to detect problems.
  • Read work orders and specifications to determine machines and equipment requiring repair or maintenance.
  • Inspect or test damaged machine parts, and mark defective areas or advise supervisors of repair needs.
  • Reassemble machines after the completion of repair or maintenance work.
  • Dismantle machines and remove parts for repair, using hand tools, chain falls, jacks, cranes, or hoists.
  • Install, replace, or change machine parts and attachments, according to production specifications.
  • Collaborate with other workers to repair or move machines, machine parts, or equipment.
  • Inventory and requisition machine parts, equipment, and other supplies so that stock can be maintained and replenished.
  • Record production, repair, and machine maintenance information.
  • Set up and operate machines, and adjust controls to regulate operations.
  • Lubricate or apply adhesives or other materials to machines, machine parts, or other equipment according to specified procedures.
  • Collect and discard worn machine parts and other refuse to maintain machinery and work areas.
  • Clean machines and machine parts, using cleaning solvents, cloths, air guns, hoses, vacuums, or other equipment.
  • Transport machine parts, tools, equipment, and other material between work areas and storage, using cranes, hoists, or dollies.
  • Replace, empty, or replenish machine and equipment containers such as gas tanks or boxes.
  • Replace or repair metal, wood, leather, glass, or other lining in machines, or in equipment compartments or containers.
  • Remove hardened material from machines or machine parts, using abrasives, power and hand tools, jackhammers, sledgehammers, or other equipment.

The above responsibilities are specific to Maintenance Technicians. More generally, Maintenance Technicians are involved in several broader types of activities:

Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment
Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials
Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Controlling Machines and Processes
Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings
Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.

What is a Maintenance Technician salary?

The median salary for a Maintenance Technician is $50,100, and the average salary is $51,960. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Maintenance Technician salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Maintenance Technicians earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Maintenance Technicians earn less than $32,170 per year, 25% earn less than $39,560, 75% earn less than $62,310, and 90% earn less than $75,800.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Maintenance Technicians is expected to change by 10.7%, and there should be roughly 6,800 open positions for Maintenance Technicians every year.

Median annual salary
$50,100
Typical salary range
$32,170 - $75,800
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
10.7%

What personality traits are common among Maintenance Technicians?

Interests

Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Maintenance Technician are usually higher in their Realistic and Conventional interests.

Maintenance Technicians typically have very strong Realistic interests. Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Also, Maintenance Technicians typically have strong Conventional interests. Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Values

People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a Maintenance Technician tend to value Support, Independence, and Relationships.

Most importantly, Maintenance Technicians strongly value Support. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees.

Second, Maintenance Technicians strongly value Independence. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.

Lastly, Maintenance Technicians moderately value Relationships. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Maintenance Technicians must consistently demonstrate qualities such as attention to detail, dependability, and initiative.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Maintenance Technicians, ranked by importance:

Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Initiative
Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Independence
Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
Cooperation
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.

What education and training do Maintenance Technicians need?

Maintenance Technicians often have training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.

Maintenance Technicians usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with this occupation.

Educational degrees among Maintenance Technicians

  • 10.1% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 46.5% completed high school or secondary school
  • 24.0% completed some college coursework
  • 10.5% earned a Associate's degree
  • 7.6% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 0.7% earned a Master's degree
  • 0.5% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Maintenance Technicians

Maintenance Technicians may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as mechanical, mathematics, or design knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Maintenance Technicians might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Mechanical
Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Mathematics
Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Design
Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
Engineering and Technology
Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
Administration and Management
Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.

Important Abilities needed by Maintenance Technicians

Maintenance Technicians must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Maintenance Technicians need abilities such as arm-hand steadiness, problem sensitivity, and near vision in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Maintenance Technicians, ranked by their relative importance.

Arm-Hand Steadiness
The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
Problem Sensitivity
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
Near Vision
The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Information Ordering
The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Visualization
The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.

Critical Skills needed by Maintenance Technicians

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Maintenance Technicians frequently use skills like operations monitoring, equipment maintenance, and repairing to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Maintenance Technicians, ranked by their relative importance.

Operations Monitoring
Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Equipment Maintenance
Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
Repairing
Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.
Troubleshooting
Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
Operation and Control
Controlling operations of equipment or systems.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

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