How do I progress in my career as a maintenance engineer?

Given how technical and specialized a maintenance engineer’s tasks can be, the way forward will involve setting yourself apart as an expert in your field. The following tactics can help you achieve that.

Think — Reliability

One of your roles will be to make sure the plant’s equipment is in solid working order. As you implement preventive maintenance strategies and engage in specialized repair tasks, you’ll be able to improve the reliability of your plant, which is one of the steps toward advancing your career.

If you show that you can reduce downtime and optimize maintenance tasks, you’ll show that you are capable of achieving real results.

Be an Expert

Achieving those results will require a great deal of expertise, which is why you should never stop learning. Keep up with new methodologies, software developments, and technologies, and constantly find ways to implement them into your plant’s processes. Basically, don’t be content with the status quo—keep developing with your industry.

Learn Management Skills

Beyond the technical aspects of your occupation, you’ll want to learn management skills. In larger operations, maintenance engineers typically manage teams of technicians anyway, so if that’s your situation, you have the ideal setup to develop leadership skills such as:

  • Decision-making
  • Communication
  • Delegation
  • Confidence
  • Integrity
  • Creativity

If you’re working in a smaller operation, you can still practice these skills as you interact with others. Additionally, many organizations offer management training, so take advantage of that.

Get Certified

As you set yourself apart professionally, certification will take your efforts to the next level. One common certification for maintenance engineers is the CRE (Certified Reliability Engineer) designation from the American Society for Quality (ASQ). Applicants need to meet certain experience and education requirements while also possessing the knowledge needed to pass an exam.

You might also find other certifications specific to your industry. These in particular help you stand out in your field as you work to distinguish yourself from your competition.