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Industrial Maintenance Mechanic Duties and Responsibilities

While industrial maintenance mechanics can work in a variety of manufacturing settings, most share several core responsibilities:

Conduct Regular Maintenance Activities The primary duty of an industrial maintenance mechanic is conducting routine and scheduled maintenance on complex machinery. This can involve periodic service inspections and services in which the mechanic ensures that machinery works as expected, is properly lubricated and calibrated, and operating within safe limits for heat and speed. In this aspect of the role, the industrial maintenance mechanic may follow the manufacturer's suggested maintenance schedule to keep equipment running efficiently.

Provide Emergency Repair Services Industrial maintenance mechanics also conduct emergency repairs with limited downtime to prevent damage to the machinery or injuries to personnel. This may involve replacing defective parts or, in some cases, replacing the entire machine. Since industrial machinery has grown increasingly complex, this may involve working with electronic components and using a variety of hand and power tools to make repairs.

Identify Mechanical Issues In this role, industrial maintenance mechanics also troubleshoot and identify mechanical issues or areas of potential failure. This typically involves the use of several diagnostic tools, along with visual inspections and tests to eliminate possible causes of mechanical or electrical issues. Industrial maintenance mechanics may also determine that certain issues are under the manufacturer's warranty and prepare paperwork to submit the warranty claim.

Prepare Work Orders Many industrial maintenance mechanics work with teams of technicians and mechanics. To ensure that work is completed on time and according to the most urgent needs, they prepare and administer work orders. These work orders typically outline the issues or required maintenance tasks, as well as the team members responsible for resolving these issues. Industrial maintenance mechanics then submit these work orders to supervisors or team members, who assign projects to the proper teams.

Complete Maintenance Reports Finally, industrial maintenance workers support maintenance activities by preparing reports related to their actions. These reports can range from diagnostic reports that outline tests and observations to reports of repairs and their results. Industrial maintenance mechanics may maintain these reports in their own files or submit them to plant managers and other decision-makers, who keep them on hand in case of insurance claims or other investigations into machine-related incidents.


Industrial Maintenance Mechanic Skills and Qualifications

Industrial maintenance mechanics ensure that complex machinery works safely and reliably. Most workers in this role have at least one year of postsecondary training and the following skills:
  • Mechanical skills - industrial maintenance mechanics should be comfortable using hand and power tools to perform repair and maintenance tasks on a variety of industrial machines
  • Troubleshooting - this role requires excellent troubleshooting skills, and industrial maintenance mechanics should be able to follow steps to isolate and address mechanical issues
  • Physical stamina and dexterity - industrial maintenance mechanics need to be dexterous enough to maneuver around large pieces of machinery and should have the physical stamina needed to spend long shifts on their feet
  • Problem-solving skills - problem-solving skills are central in this role, since industrial maintenance mechanics need to devise solutions to keep machinery working safely without impacting efficiency
  • Communication skills - industrial maintenance workers should also possess solid written and verbal communication skills to interact with factory or plant leadership and prepare maintenance reports

Industrial Maintenance Mechanic Education and Training

Generally, industrial maintenance mechanics need at least a high school diploma and one year of additional training through a vocational school or community college. Some schools offer two-year associate's degree programs in industrial maintenance, which can greatly improve employment prospects and prepare mechanics to work in a number of industries. There is also a significant amount of on-the-job training provided in this role.

Industrial Maintenance Mechanic Salary and Outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) found that industrial maintenance mechanics earn a median annual salary of $50,440. The highest-paid 10 percent of workers in this role earn more than $76,940, while the lowest-paid industrial maintenance mechanics earn less than $32,280. The BLS expects employment in this field to grow at an average pace of 7 percent through 2026.

Helpful Resources

If you'd like to learn more about working as an industrial maintenance mechanic, we found many resources on the web for further reading and information:

Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals - industrial maintenance mechanics can join SMRP to access professional development resources, achieve certifications, and connect with their peers

Industrial Maintenance - this book provides an overview of both routine maintenance and troubleshooting for complex industrial machinery, including information on predictive maintenance and safety practices

Industrial Maintenance and Plant Operation - this magazine features articles on developments in a number of manufacturing and industrial sectors, along with videos and resources for industrial maintenance professionals

Industrial Maintenance Mechanic: Level One Trainee Guide - this book provides an introduction to the central topics, core competencies, and tools and techniques that an industrial maintenance mechanic needs on the job

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