All across America, industrial facilities, manufacturing plants and similar businesses work to keep the country’s economy moving. These are the companies that produce consumer goods, process chemicals for use in medications and create electronics that go into some of the most advanced technology in use today. Some facilities are complex and involve thousands of employees while others are smaller and may only employ a few dozen. Whatever the size, each industrial or manufacturing facility must be maintained, and this is where facilities maintenance technicians come in.
What Is A Facilities Maintenance Technician?
A facilities maintenance technician is a professional who specializes in handling various technical and mechanical tasks around an industrial or manufacturing facility. These tasks often involve maintaining and repairing complex systems that may include HVAC, electrical or plumbing components. Facilities maintenance technicians will also need to be concerned with monitoring safety and security threats while carrying out their daily duties.
Depending on the size and scope of maintenance and repair tasks, a facilities maintenance team may need to coordinate with local contractors. Vendors may also need to be brought on-site to supply tools, hardware components and other supplies needed to maintain and repair industrial systems. The facilities maintenance manager will usually coordinate these visits in collaboration with the facility manager and logistics team.
Facilities maintenance technicians are usually not responsible for general maintenance tasks like sweeping, trash removal or groundskeeping. An industrial or manufacturing facility will typically hire janitorial staff to handle these types of tasks or will contract out to a third-party service for general landscaping services. The facilities maintenance staff may, however, coordinate with the janitorial staff to handle the removal of hazardous waste in a safe and secure manner.
Where Do Facilities Maintenance Technicians Work?
Manufacturing facilities generally require facilities maintenance technicians to be on site to attend to tasks like system cleaning, repair and installation. Specialized equipment in a manufacturing facility also requires regular maintenance, so a facilities maintenance technician may also be tasked with inspecting equipment, creating reports, applying chemicals, replacing components and other tasks required to keep a facility’s systems working in peak condition.
Industrial processing facilities will also employ facilities maintenance technicians. These facilities may have specialized systems for things like ventilation, high-heat drying, chemical processing and wastewater removal. The facilities maintenance technician may be responsible for maintaining the equipment used in these systems, and if parts need to be repaired, replaced or installed, the facilities maintenance staff will usually be the team to call.
What Level Of Education Does A Facilities Maintenance Technician Need?
Education requirements for a facilities maintenance technician can vary. Different specializations may be required to maintain and repair different pieces of equipment and systems, and employers may have their own specific requirements.
In general, a facilities maintenance technician will need to possess a high school diploma, and many will benefit from having undergone training at a trade school. When seeking employment at a manufacturing or industrial facility that utilizes specialized equipment, a higher level of education is often required, so a select few facilities maintenance technicians may need to obtain a university degree.
How Much Can A Facilities Maintenance Technician Expect To Earn?
Salaries for facilities maintenance technicians often depend on the specialized level of service they provide. A general facilities maintenance technician may be able to expect a starting salary of around $50,000 annually, and this rate increases with experience and education. A facilities maintenance technician who takes on additional training to provide service for more complex systems can also expect to earn more over the course of their career.
Salaries for facilities maintenance technicians are also based on location. The rate of pay is usually commensurate with salaries for similar services in a given region. Additionally, employers are often willing to pay more for professionals who provide technical maintenance services for complex industrial equipment, and facilities maintenance technicians who can provide services for electronic and digital systems often get paid higher wages.