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What Is a Maintenance Mechanic and How to Become One

What Do Maintenance Mechanics Do?

Maintenance mechanics can do a wide variety of tasks depending on their chosen niche. If you work in construction, you should know how to maintain and repair a variety of structures from roofing, concrete work, framing, cabinets, windows, and doors, to general construction practices, carpentry, and more. Duties may require plumbing knowledge, so you should have an understanding of pipework, quality standards, design, and how to read blueprints and technical plans. Qualifications for this career can include experience with many kinds of equipment and power tools. Strong mechanical aptitude and an understanding of different motor types, HVAC systems, and utility or industrial equipment are also crucial for this job.

How to Become a Maintenance Mechanic

The qualifications needed to become a maintenance mechanic primarily revolve around experience in the industry and mechanical skills. To enter this field, you should choose a niche to specialize in that suits your background best, such as aircraft, appliances, vehicles, construction, electronics, or energy. You should acquire hands-on experience with preventative maintenance. You should also spend time with a more experienced mechanic and learn how they maintain equipment, troubleshoot problems, and solve them efficiently. While an apprenticeship is not always necessary, it could help you gain the required skills. Advancement in this field usually requires certifications and advanced training.

What Is the Difference Between a Maintenance Mechanic and a Maintenance Technician?

While maintenance mechanics and maintenance technicians are very similar roles with similar responsibilities, there are some subtle differences. Both positions include repairing and maintaining various types of machinery. However, a technician is more likely able to tell you exactly why a certain part of that piece of equipment broke or required fixing, whereas the mechanic may not be able to explain it. The technician may possess more knowledge in the problem diagnosing department. For example, an auto technician is trained to use the vehicle’s computer system to fully understand and identify the issues, whereas a mechanic may just be trained to fix the problem.

What Are Traits of a Successful Maintenance Mechanic?

To be a successful maintenance mechanic, you should possess detailed knowledge of construction practices, carpentry, and more, depending on your field. You should be highly organized, keeping your tools and work area clean. You also need to be quick on your feet. Take the initiative to make repairs without supervision or detailed directions. Flexibility is necessary, as your work requirements may change at a moment’s notice. You should also be able to read MSDS and various other technical documents, understand when an environment is unsafe and how to handle it, be able to listen and follow directions, have an understanding of basic math, and be physically fit.