Maintenance Technician

What does a maintenance technician do?

A maintenance technician performs general maintenance on assets and is responsible for the upkeep of a facility.

Depending on the size of the organization and maintenance budget, maintenance technicians have varying degrees of responsibility. For instance, a maintenance technician for a small apartment community is a “jack of all trades” while a maintenance technician within a world class manufacturing plant specializes in preventive, predictive, and emergency maintenance on specific types of equipment.

Maintenance technicians have different skill levels that are specified with roman numerals, usually I through IV. A lower numeral indicates less experience; a higher numeral indicates more experience. Each skill level has the same amount of responsibilities but, depending on the skill level, responsibilities require more or less technical aptitude and leadership.

In large organizations, a maintenance technician reports to a maintenance supervisor or manager. In smaller organizations, a maintenance technician reports to a facility or property manager.

Responsibilities

  • Performs different types of reactive and proactive maintenance
  • Disseminates site-specific knowledge to contractors
  • Performs QA on components manufactured in-house or purchased from vendors
  • Updates PMs and work orders in the CMMS
  • Works with other departments such as production support and manufacturing engineering to keep a facility and related equipment in good working order

Traits

  • Demonstrates the ability to follow a manufacturer's specifications and schematics
  • Demonstrates effective problem solving under limited supervision
  • Understands general mechanical and electrical principles
  • Comprehends OSHA standards in regards to performing work duties
  • Prioritizes safety by demonstrating safe work practices and promoting a safe work environments

Who should hire a maintenance technician?

Any organization that manages physical capital assets—equipment, machinery, vehicles, buildings, etc—should hire a maintenance technician to ensure assets remain in good working order during the entirety of their useful life.

Without a maintenance technician, an organization must spend money on outside contractors. For simple repairs, the hourly rate of these contractors is often 10 times more than that of an in-house technician. Therefore, if an organization requires numerous repairs per day, it makes financial sense to hire a maintenance technician.

Large organizations that must avoid the side-effects of reactive maintenance (i.e. unscheduled downtime) hire multiple in-house technicians. In addition to performing emergency maintenance, each technician is responsible for performing various types of proactive maintenance on assigned assets. Contractors are only called in for specialized repairs. This can save hundreds of thousands of dollars in a given year.

What are the different types of maintenance technicians?

  • Plant Maintenance Technician — Monitors and maintains the operation of plant systems and equipment including balers, conveyor belts, gearboxes, electrical motors, pulleys, shafts and bearings.
  • Building Maintenance Technician — Inspects buildings on a daily basis and performs routine maintenance. Maintains a detailed understanding of the property and tenants. Orders and maintains inventory of building materials and supplies.
  • Facilities Maintenance Technician — Solves problems and performs basic maintenance and engineering tasks. Carries out service and small projects related to mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire systems. Performs periodic inspections of building infrastructure and equipment.
  • Public Works Maintenance Technician — Updates inspection log for fleet vehicle safety, efficiency, and appearance. Performs construction, maintenance, and repair activities of city streets and sidewalks. Clears city right-of-ways of trees and shrubs.

You can see examples of other types of maintenance technicians by reviewing job postings for maintenance technicians on Indeed.

What certifications are available for maintenance technicians?

Hiring a technician with a recent certification, and requiring existing employees to get certified, helps you hire strong talent and strengthens your existing maintenance team. Today, there are different certifications available for different types of technicians and organizations.

  • Certified Maintenance & Reliability Technician (CMRT) — This certification is offered by The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals. It assesses the knowledge and skills of those responsible for preventive, predictive, and corrective maintenance.
  • Certificate for Apartment Maintenance Technicians — This certification is offered by the National Apartment Association and accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). It assesses a technician’s ability to perform electrical and mechanical maintenance while delighting tenants.

The International Maintenance Institute (IMI) also offers a variety of training and certifications for maintenance technicians.