A company’s assets are its most valuable possessions as they are its revenue-generating machines. Without its machinery, inventory, and other assets, a company will likely collapse onto itself due to a lack of profits.
In modern times, large organizations, factories, and production lines operate innumerable machinery. With a lot of machinery comes a lot of problems like breakdowns, unforeseen shutdowns, and improper functioning. When such mishaps happen, the company can rely only on one hero – the maintenance mechanic!
Maintenance mechanics are the unsung heroes of an asset-intensive organization. Briefly, they keep the various systems in check, ensure their smooth operation, look out for any possible problems to diagnose and fix them before they get out of hand. So, without further ado, let’s dive into the nitty-gritty of the maintenance mechanic job.
What Does the Job of a Maintenance Mechanic Entail?
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A maintenance mechanic can be found working in any industry, from software to hardware. The job description of a maintenance mechanic is quite extensive and cannot be articulated in precise lists. However, there are some generic tasks that they take up.
A maintenance mechanic works to repair broken machinery, prevent breakdowns and shutdowns of assets, install relevant systems, diagnose assets, and maintain the company’s equipment’s overall health.
Maintenance mechanics also regularly monitor and upgrade the company’s systems by working under a maintenance manager or a maintenance supervisor.
Primary Responsibilities of Maintenance Mechanics
The primary responsibilities of most maintenance mechanics include:
- Repairing damaged or unserviceable equipment
- Installing required mechanical systems
- Keeping up the safety standards
- Enforcing protocols and regulations
- Diagnose and detect malfunctions
- Replacing faulty machine parts by disassembling
- Collaborating with other divisions and personnel
- Cooperating with third party professionals like electricians and carpenters
- Cleaning the machinery
- Lubricating mechanical parts to reduce friction and energy losses
Where Are Maintenance Mechanics Required the Most?
Although maintenance mechanics are required in almost every industry and sector, there is an obvious higher demand in one industry than another. For example, a maintenance mechanics would be of greater value in an automobile production line of a large company than a medium scale information technology (IT) company.
So, here are five industries that most maintenance mechanics are making their way into.
- Additive Manufacturing
- Plastic Molding
- Production Lines
- Electrical and Electronics
1. Additive Manufacturing
We are at the brink of a technological paradigm shift – Industry 4.0. The fourth industrial revolution is dubbed ‘Industry 4.0’.
Industry 1.0 was the era of steam-powered engines and highly mechanical machinery. As technology advanced, humans made their way into industry 2.0 and 3.0, which include mass production of products in assembly lines, automation of certain menial tasks using computers, and more. Industry 4.0 is the industrial revolution where people are moving from physical systems to cyber-physical systems, where the line between what is real and what is virtual is blurry!
Additive manufacturing, also commonly known as 3D printing, is the most popular example. Additive manufacturing businesses are highly asset-intensive, and since the technology is still improving and far from perfect, many maintenance practices are carried out regularly.
Moreover, 3D printers require personnel with great technical knowledge. Hence, it provides maintenance mechanics with immense opportunities, and because of the high demand, the maintenance mechanic salary is also appreciable.
2. Plastic Molding
The plastic molding industry is similar to the additive manufacturing industry. The difference is that it has been developed much more, and since it belongs to the era of industry 2.0, the automation is very minimal.
The plastic molding industry needs people to constantly keep an eye on the machines to ensure no mishaps occur.
In this industry, the machines are largely mechanical and are also very big in terms of size. On top of that, their parts have to be aligned with millimeter precision to produce the desired result. Hence, regular diagnosis, evaluation, and maintenance procedures need to be carried out, which come under a maintenance mechanic’s job description.
3. Production Lines
Production lines and assembly lines, especially in the automobile industry, are a great place for many maintenance mechanics. The technical knowledge of maintenance mechanics in engineering and science can be put to good use in this industry.
Production lines are usually a part of a large-scale business, which means that the business likely has numerous assets to manage and maintain. Thus, it creates many job opportunities for maintenance mechanics.
The Aerospace industry is a lucrative niche. Since this sector is closely tied in with the defense sector, it is not easy to get hired here.
However, on the brighter side, the aerospace industry requires more maintenance practices than other industries like the automobile. Frequent checkups are to be carried out, and preventive maintenance is an integral part.
The maintenance teams in the aerospace and aviation sector are massive. Therefore, they create numerous jobs. Although it is relatively difficult to land jobs here, the opportunities are endless.
5. Electrical and Electronics
The electrical and electronics industry is extremely vast. This industry has made its way into almost every other sector. We see electronics used in pretty much all the devices around us, from a simple toaster to an off-road vehicle!
Electrical and electronics components function in unison with mechanical components; thus, they require top-notch maintenance procedures to be carried out by expert maintenance mechanics. Given the scale and expanse of this sector, there is a very low hindrance for maintenance mechanics to make their way in.
Are Maintenance Mechanics Paid Well?
In the United States of America (USA), the industrial maintenance mechanic salary falls in the range of USD 41,779 and USD 70,180.
As of September 2020, the average salary of an industrial maintenance mechanic was USD 48,959, which is close to the average American salary in the US.
The job of a maintenance mechanic is a highly dignified one. With regular practice and skill development, you can surely climb up the ladder of success quickly in this field.
Keep an eye out for job postings for maintenance mechanics in companies that are of interest to you. Networking with professionals through social media and other channels is also a good approach.