Maintenance Q&As

How much does a reliability engineer make per hour?

Answered April 18 2019

While the exact answer to that depends on your experience level, industry, and certifications, the average wage for a reliability engineer is about $35 per hour.

Do I start off at $35 per hour?

Someone just starting out probably won’t earn that amount right away. Experience is a massive factor here, with entry-level positions starting out at about $20, and late-career veterans earning as much as $55 per hour.

From a facilities management perspective, this wide range makes sense. The hourly wage paid to any employee represents an investment, and companies will be less willing to invest in an untested novice than they would in a proven veteran. As they make that investment, they want it to pay off.

It usually does so as you fulfill your duties, such as:

  • Creating and implementing equipment reliability plans
  • Improving the safety and cost efficiency of assets
  • Tracking metrics related to maintenance and quality
  • Collaborating with maintenance teams to make sure all manufacturing processes are top quality

The end result of fulfilling these tasks is improved system reliability, which then yields a return for the company.

How can I get skilled-up to earn a higher wage?

As a reliability engineer works with maintenance supervisors to plan maintenance tasks and implement new strategies, the investment in their hourly wages yields a return as work orders decrease and maintenance costs decrease.

Now, you don’t always have to take the lowest offer available starting out. Specialized training and certifications can help you prove that you’re worth the company’s investment.

You might, for example, try taking the CMRP exam from the SMRP. Putting that on a resume lets employers know that you possess the skills needed to improve the quality of their systems. That certification can also benefit more established engineers.

One other way companies might evaluate the hourly worth of a reliability engineer is through CMMS software. A software system that tracks maintenance and reliability data offers two benefits:

  1. It shows what reliability professionals have been doing to benefit the facility.
  2. It provides metrics that help facilities management personnel plan for future improvements.

Naturally, that data helps the company assess the value of its investment in its reliability engineers while giving their professionals tools to make further improvements. The better the results, the more the engineer might be worth in terms of wages.

Tip: UpKeep is one of the many CMMS softwares for maintenance and facilities looking to start a predictive maintenance program. If you’re interested in starting a free trial, click here.

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