Shift Engineer Job Description
Shift engineers report to a chief engineer or an assistant manager engineer. They are responsible for supporting a company’s engineering and maintenance operations. Candidates who have a mechanical aptitude, good communication skills, and the ability to work both independently and within a team are best suited for this position. Shift engineers work in fast-paced, deadline-driven environments, typically industrial ones. Flexibility is required because work shifts are normally eight to 10 hours and may include mornings, afternoons, evenings, and even weekends.
Shift Engineer Duties and Responsibilities
Shift engineers are employed in various industries and their duties can vary accordingly. We’ve researched job listings and compiled a list of core duties that apply to this position regardless of industry:
Shift engineers delegate tasks to subordinate technicians and operators and oversee their performance. They also take charge of all aspects of operations during their assigned shift.
Perform Preventative Maintenance
They ensure work equipment is functioning properly and is in compliance with safety standards by performing scheduled maintenance in a timely manner.
Complete Maintenance Work Orders
To maximize production efforts, shift engineers handle multiple work orders from various departments, fixing broken or malfunctioning machines as quickly as possible.
During their shift, shift engineers record and keep a logbook of the work completed. They are responsible for maintaining complete and accurate operational records in order to document performance.
Shift engineers monitor and track maintenance supplies and parts, replenishing inventory as needed.
Shift Engineer Skills and Qualifications
When hiring candidates for shift engineer positions, employers prefer the following skills and abilities:
- Decision-making – shift engineers receive competing maintenance issues and must be able to determine the best order of priority
- Communication skills – they must effectively communicate with subordinates, supervisors, and other shift engineers to coordinate and delegate tasks and devise process improvements
- Troubleshooting – to help keep production running smoothly, shift engineers have to quickly assess and identify equipment malfunctions
- Time management – work assigned to shift engineers must be completed before the next shift starts, which requires strong time management
- Mechanical knowledge – shift engineers utilize several different machines and equipment and must be able to do so safely and correctly. They must also be competent in maintaining these machines and equipment
Shift Engineer Education and Training
Employers seek shift engineers who have bachelor’s degrees in engineering fields such as mechanical or chemical, related scientific fields (chemistry or physics), or computer science. Two or more years of experience in manufacturing or maintenance is preferred, and those with a high school diploma may be considered if they have at least five years of manufacturing or maintenance experience.
Shift Engineer Salary and Outlook
A shift engineer’s salary varies based on the employing industry and geographic location. The average salary for this position is $52,000 and ranges from a low of $26,000 to a high of $131,000. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a faster-than-average growth rate for shift engineers. The field is expected to increase 10 percent through 2026, increasing the number of workers to 283,000.
We have researched and listed a few resources that will be helpful in your journey to becoming a shift engineer:
Association for Facilities Engineering – AFE was established in 1915 as a membership organization for facilities management professionals. It is regarded as the “leading technical education and credentialing resource” in the industry. Members receive invaluable networking, certification, professional and personal development, and employment opportunities
National Society of Professional Engineers – established in New York City in 1934, NSPE is the only national organization whose primary purpose is to address licensed engineers’ professional issues. With a membership base of over 31,000, NSPE serves as an industry leader in licensure, ethics, and professional practice. NSPE aids industry professionals by offering professional development credit hours, publishing an industry magazine, offering a job board and career center, and hosting a professional engineers conference
World Class Maintenance Management: The 12 Disciplines – author Rolly Angeles uses real-life stories and experiences to illustrate the day-to-day activities and issues that maintenance management professionals handle. Every chapter of the book covers a specific maintenance discipline. Some of the topics covered include best maintenance improvement strategies; top preventive maintenance issues; root cause failure analysis; patterns, types, and classification of failures; and life cycle management
Maintenance Engineering Handbook – R. Keith Mobley provides maintenance engineering professionals a tool that will help them “successfully reduce excessive downtime and high maintenance costs by detecting and mitigating repetitive failures”
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