13 Maintenance Technician Skills That Helps In Career Growth

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 4 May 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Modern industrial and manufacturing facilities depend on maintenance technicians to run the latest machinery. While maintenance technician is a rewarding career, these professionals require various specific skills to work productively in an industrial facility. If you have an interest in becoming a maintenance technician, knowing more about the transferable and specialised skills required for the role can help you make an informed decision. In this article, we discuss what technician skills are, examine some of the most popular skills and understand ways to improve your skills.

What are maintenance technician skills?

There are two types of maintenance technician skills, including transferable and specialised skills. Specialised skills include the knowledge necessary to ensure the proper working of machinery. Usually, a maintenance technician learns this skill while working on the job. Also, many companies prefer hiring technicians with working knowledge of machinery or a specialised system. You can learn transferrable skills in schools, specialised educational courses and vocational training. Employers prefer candidates who can showcase their specialised and transferrable skills on their resumes and during the interview.

Related: What Are Career Opportunities And How To Choose The Right One

13 maintenance technician skills

Some critical skills to master for a rewarding and fulfilling career are:

1. Mechanical skills

A maintenance technician requires expertise in various tools, systems and equipment. Employers prefer candidates who can diagnose mechanical problems and perform troubleshooting and repair various power and hand tools. These professionals require proficiency in routine and emergency maintenance calls. A part of their job role involves inspecting air conditioners and refrigerators for proper speed, cleaning, temperature and adequate lubrication.

2. Technical expertise

Having knowledge of complex electrical systems and assembly lines can help develop a broad range of skills and help you be a practical technician. Often, for a maintenance technician role, it is essential to understand electrical engineering, mechanics and computer science. These skills help them fix unexpected problems and diagnose problems related to machinery. While many technicians specialise in a particular subset, having a broad technical knowledge can help in preventing major incidents. So, employers prefer candidates who have an aptitude for working and maintaining machines.

3. Familiarity with blueprints and equipment safety

As the job involves fixing machinery and systems, employers expect a candidate to read system schematics and blueprints. It helps fix certain types of systems and equipment, such as cooling and plumbing systems. Also, when handling machinery, a maintenance technician applies proper safety protocols and procedures. Proficiency in maintaining different systems while ensuring the safety of all individuals working in the workplace is desirable for this role.

4. Physical ability

Facilities maintenance is a physically demanding job and employers expect a physically fit candidate. Many vehicles and equipment used in industries require significant forces and require physically strong technicians. As these professionals climb ladders and roofs, they may go through the tiniest spaces. Also, they regularly lift and drag heavy appliances and machinery. Often, employers prefer candidates who can maintain strength conditioning because such candidates can have an easier time getting through the workday. Paying attention to your physical fitness can help you succeed in this role. Being physically fit helps in preventing injuries and performing job duties.

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5. Time management

Manufacturing plants and industrial facilities run on regimented schedules and these facilities require routine maintenance of tools and equipment. Ensuring that facilities keep operating as per expectation requires a technician to have excellent time management skills. Also, they require this skill set to accomplish critically important work.

6. Resource management

Resource management is an essential skill that helps technicians keep track of replacement parts and supplies necessary for running the tools and equipment. These technicians can order the correct part and ensure the facility works as expected by looking at the historical supply usage. This way, maintenance technicians can ensure that they do not run out of items or resources necessary to ensure smooth facility operations.

7. Attention to detail

A maintenance technician ensures machines can operate without breaking down. Paying attention and following exact procedures can prevent dangerous situations from recurring. Employees who give keen attention to details can follow a maintenance checklist that can help in extending the equipment's life. It can prevent accidents and breakdowns. Because of the technical nature of the job, catching minor errors can help prevent significant work delays and equipment malfunction in the future. Employers often prefer candidates who can pay close attention to details because it helps them learn a new process.

Related: Attention To Detail: Definition, Examples And Tips

8. Communication skills

Maintenance work involves coordination and collaboration with engineers and facility managers. The ability to communicate complex maintenance work is critical for achieving positive results in the workplace. Often, employers expect a candidate to have excellent writing skills. By communicating proactively in writing, maintenance technicians can help their colleagues and employees understand the history of devices or machines they are using. Also, these professionals require communication skills to ensure safety in a facility. Knowing how to communicate the technical specifications is essential for workplace success.

Related: 10 Ways To Improve Your English Communication Skills

9. Problem-solving skills

When maintaining large machinery, technicians can come across unexpected challenges. The ability to solve these issues by finding viable solutions promptly is essential for this role. It is common for maintenance technicians to face new problems that they have not experienced in their previous role or during their training. Knowing how to solve problems can help you become a reliable and trusted maintenance professional. Employers often prefer candidates who can develop creative solutions to potential workplace problems desirable for this role.

10. Versatility

The work duties of a maintenance technician can vary from day to day. One day these professionals may perform plumbing and the other day, they might be responsible for ventilation, heating and cooling. With such a varying nature of the job, employers prefer versatile candidates and can perform a wide range of duties. Usually, these professionals have mastery over various maintenance jobs. Moving from one job to the next quickly and efficiently is essential for this job role.

11. Proactive

Being proactive is essential for this role and employers prefer candidates who can carry out checks and routine inspections. The ability to see potential issues, understand the corrective measures to take and anticipate the requirement for the facility is essential for this role. Also, employers prefer candidates who keep a stock of spare parts and replace them as necessary. This ensures that all machinery and systems work as expected.

12. Organisation skills

Establishing work priority is essential for conducting maintenance and repairs. The ability to prioritise tasks based on urgency is essential for this job role. When employees work with clear objectives, they ensure organisations meet their demands. They maintain an orderly workspace, communicate well with your team and meet deadlines using their organisational skills. Being organised means, you manage your energy, time and workspace well and can accomplish assigned tasks successfully.

Related: Organisational Skills: Definition And Examples

13. Ability to work under pressure

Working in a loud or stressful environment can cause extreme stress. These professionals can work and maintain a healthy and productive work environment by practising empathy and self-control. Being calm under pressure help these employees become more productive and efficient. Employees who maintain their emotional equilibrium can complete their work-related duties, improve safety and reduce the risk of injury. When you pay attention to your job and showcase empathy, you can prevent the costly breakdown of equipment.

Tips for improving your maintenance technician knowledge

You can improve your skill using the following tips:

  • Overcome your fears. Fear can prevent you from progressing and growing in your field. If you are afraid of using complex machinery and systems, find a mentor or professional who can help you make excellent decisions and help you learn new skills.

  • Read online tutorials. To enhance your technical expertise on different machinery and systems, it is essential to read online tutorials regarding the usage and maintenance of machinery. Reading can increase your technical skills, making you more adept at solving repair and maintenance work.

  • Build a relationship with your colleagues. You can learn new skills when you build positive relationships with colleagues. For instance, if you know how to use one machine, you can exchange it with another colleague.

  • Shadow other technicians. Observing experienced maintenance technicians working in a proper environment can provide you with some context for using these skills. You can learn new skills and techniques from watching technicians and applying them to your work.

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