Briefly stated, mechanical maintenance engineering technicians ensure that machinery and equipment operate as they were designed. Should the equipment encounter problems, these technicians have the knowledge and techniques to troubleshoot the issues and repair the malfunctioning machinery.
To establish a frame of reference, totaljobs.com offers these common job duties for mechanical maintenance engineering technicians:
- Establish routine servicing tasks and schedules
- Delegate appropriate tasks to other qualified staff
- Check for accurate calibration of instruments
- Fit new or replacement parts as needed
- Perform quality inspections
- Respond to equipment malfunctions quickly
- Fix machine faults in a timely manner
- Inform production managers of conditions, breakdowns and progress on projects
- Create teams to provide coverage on a 24-hour basis
- Serve as a fitter of a wide array of diverse parts needed for machinery repairs
Normal workweeks range from 37 to 40 hours, not counting emergency troubleshooting and repair time. Typical work environments are factories and production plants. While normally working indoors, mechanical maintenance engineering technicians may also work outdoors at new building construction sites.
Since employers normally prefer technicians with broad training and experience, many chose to obtain a degree from a vocational training school in order to enhance their chances of finding employment in the industry. The Refrigeration School, for example, offers an Associate’s degree to students in Mechanical Maintenance Engineering. Training covers a broad spectrum of topics, from the HVAC and refrigeration sector to the electric power and solar energy industry.
In-class and online courses cover principles and applications of air, motors and applications, predictive maintenance and piping systems, electrical systems and heat pumps, cooling towers and maintenance, fundamentals of chillers and boilers, boilers and boiler systems, preventative maintenance and planning, computer applications and decision making, and even entrepreneurship. Graduates from RSI’s mechanical maintenance engineering program are prepared to service and maintain a large range of complex systems. Learning material and technology aim to help new graduates compete in ever-evolving industries.
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Technicians specializing in mechanical maintenance engineering may enjoy a variety of career options due to the wide spectrum of knowledge and experience they typically accumulate over time. New graduates normally qualify for entry-level positions in industrial and/or institutional engineering maintenance jobs. These are some of the career paths a mechanical maintenance engineering technician may choose:
- Facilities Maintenance Engineer
- HVAC/R Service Technician
- HVAC/R Installation Technician
- Refrigeration Service Specialist
- Refrigeration Installation Specialist
- Low Temperature Field Technician
- Restaurant and Retail Refrigeration Technician
- Commercial Refrigeration Technician
- Solar Panel Technician
- Solar Panel Installer
- Solar Systems Troubleshooter
- Solar Thermal Repair Technician
- Power Plant Field Technician
- Facilities Maintenance Technician
- Maintenance Electrician
- Boiler Operator