Maintenance engineers are the backbone of any company's operational upkeep. It's an important and relatively well-paying job that attracts a lot of hopefuls year-round. However, with all the compensatory flux in the job market, the maintenance engineer salary distribution has become a bit ambiguous.
It always helps to know the salary range of a maintenance engineer, regardless of whether you're an employer or a prospect.
In this article, we’ll go over the average maintenance engineer salary, as well as their responsibilities, as well as a general roadmap to becoming the ideal maintenance engineer employee.
Let’s get started.
What is a Maintenance Engineer? [Job Overview]
A maintenance engineer, as the job title suggests, is someone who applies engineering concepts to the regular maintenance, repair, upkeep, and replacement of mechanical equipment.
Also called equipment maintenance or mechanical maintenance engineers, these professionals are responsible for the consistent running of machinery and production equipment.
Engineers generally work under engineering managers and are directly involved in examining and repairing machines. They usually lead a team of maintenance technicians.
Different companies allocate multiple types of maintenance to engineers. Some examples of these are aircraft maintenance, building maintenance, as well as residential and production facilities maintenance.
The basic maintenance engineer job description includes:
- Planning and performing scheduled maintenance
- Responding to equipment malfunctions
- Supervising technical staff
- Developing maintenance procedures
- Managing inventories of replacement parts and machine components
Engineers can also function as maintenance managers and senior maintenance mechanics (in a mechanical engineering capacity), depending on their expertise.
Typical Duties and Responsibilities of a Maintenance Engineer
Since it's an all-encompassing job in terms of technical applications, the maintenance engineer could have various different responsibilities, depending on requirements.
Here are some of the fundamental responsibilities of a maintenance engineer:
- Inspecting a variety of equipment in several on and off-premises locations
- Examining, servicing, upgrading, and/or replacing broken or faulty equipment
- Troubleshooting machinery malfunctions and directly implementing repairs
- Disassembling old or damaged equipment and replacing parts or entire units, as needed
- Replacing infrastructure elements such as HVAC systems, lighting systems, and plumbing
- Create routine maintenance plans for junior mechanical engineers and technical staff
NOTE: Maintenance engineer jobs can vary a lot based on the prior experience and job preference of the individual. Jobseekers should set job alerts according to the specific areas of operation that candidates wish to work in.
Maintenance Engineer Salary in the United States
The US job market has diversified a lot within the past few years.
As a result, full-time maintenance positions (and related jobs) could have a wide salary range, even of individual capabilities and qualifications.
However, are some reliable sources for average salaries of standard maintenance engineers:
Glassdoor is a major professional platform and review aggregator that provides salary estimates and misc. professional details.
According to Glassdoor, the national average base salary for maintenance engineers is $65,480. The average pay ranges from $45k to $91k.
The platform calculates average salary estimates using reports and reviews from employees, official salaries posted by recruiters, and the pay demands of jobseekers.
Glassdoor also features salary averages and ranges, defined by a professional sector, industry, and company.
This allows candidates to select their preferred positions based on who the employer is and what they are offering in terms of a job package.
Indeed is a job search and posting platform that also functions as a salary average generator and benefits estimator.
According to Indeed, the average maintenance engineer makes around $59,856 a year, with overtime amounting to around $6,702.
Prospects have a lot of data they can look through, based on the position. This includes comparisons with related industry positions, regional jobs, and a feature that lets you see where engineers can earn more.
Indeed also features several filters that let users see salary information according to pay timing and categories within industries.
PayScale is a widely known salary estimator site that provides complete salary, benefits, and additional compensation data.
The site also provides several helpful information such as the average cost of living in the region where a candidate wants to apply.
According to PayScale, the average salary for maintenance engineers is $69,177, at an average hourly rate of $17.41.
Additionally, maintenance engineers can make up to $2,920 as a bonus and up to $2,034 in profit-sharing.
The total compensation range for maintenance engineers is from $42k to $100k.
What’s the Roadmap to Becoming a Maintenance Engineer?
Maintenance engineers play a significant role in company-wide upkeep. This results in the position demanding advanced qualifications and experience.
Here's the ideal roadmap for anyone interested in becoming a maintenance engineer:
- Get a master's degree in a relevant principle, or a bachelor's degree and 4-5 years of experience in a relevant discipline.
- Receive a vocational or trade diploma with directly applicable experience in a specific type of maintenance activities (building maintenance, mechanical maintenance, etc.).
- Complete an online course and get certified in applied engineering.
- Get hands-on training under a senior engineer during an apprenticeship.
- Either continue working post-apprenticeship or look for a position that best suits your abilities.
Technical skills are an obvious requirement for any engineer. However, maintenance engineers are often responsible for a team of technicians. This results in a requirement for a variety of soft skills specific to the position.
Skills including excellent communication skills, subject matter expertise, attention to detail, and intuitive problem-solving are all invaluable assets for maintenance engineers.
Engineers who have successfully gained several years of experience in the position can move on to a senior engineer or general maintenance management position.
There are multiple factors, such as technology, economic conditions, and a generally unstable job market that are a source of doubt for many prospective engineers.
However, highly-skilled professionals still have the chance to become successful as engineers and maintenance department heads.
All that's required is that the individual upskills themselves as much as possible, and plays to their technical strengths.
Josh is a partner at Maintenance Manager HQ.