Maintenance Technician

Did you know?*

Maintenance Technicians learn in apprenticeship programs, informally on the job, in vocational high schools, and in community or technical colleges.

Maintenance Technicians work in various manufacturing industries, including paper and wood mills, food processing, breweries, metal fabrication, and more.

Job opportunities are expected to be good due to increasing demand for the occupation.

* Information retrieved from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

What Does a Maintenance Technician Do?

Maintenance Technicians are highly skilled individuals who safely perform mechanical and electrical duties to keep machines, equipment, or the structure of a facility in repair. They perform preventative and predictive maintenance functions on motors, generators, air compressors and conveyors; starters and motor control centers; programmable logic controllers, computer-based controls, control panels and electrical control systems; and fluid power systems.

Additional duties may include servicing high voltage electrical systems; aligning and balancing new equipment; and performing repair welding, pipefitting and machining tasks.

With all duties, Maintenance Technicians perform their work in accordance with relevant codes.


Before they perform a task, Maintenance Technicians must carefully plan and prepare for the work. They review electronic or written blueprints or specifications for a job. Next, they determine which tools and material are needed. Last, they plan the sequence of work.

The sequence of work typically includes one or more of the following categories:

After the work is completed, Maintenance Technicians use both simple and highly sophisticated tools to check the accuracy of their work against blueprints.

Because technology is changing rapidly, Maintenance Technicians must continuously learn a wide range of machines.

What Are the Working Conditions?

Today, most modern industrial facilities are relatively clean, well lit, and ventilated. Maintenance Technicians are typically not limited to a specific work area; rather, they are highly mobile and active throughoutthe facility, going wherever their skills are needed. However, they must be able to stand for long periods of time and work in cramped or uncomfortable positions and on ladders and lifts. They often work with their hands above their heads, in confined spaces and in a variety of conditions and temperatures, both hot and cold.

Working around machines and equipment and with high voltage presents certain dangers. Maintenance Technicians must vigilantly follow safety precautions, and wear personal protective equipment, such as high-voltage suits and gloves, safety belts, protective glasses and/or hard hats, to avoid common hazards.

Maintenance Technicians typically work a 40-hour week, and overtime is common.

Knowledge & Training

Persons interested in becoming Maintenance Technicians should be mechanically inclined,have good problem-solving abilities, be able to work independently, and be able to do highly accurate work that requires concentration and physical effort.

Maintenance Technicians train in apprenticeship programs, informally on the job, and in technical colleges. Regardless of the training setting, Maintenance Technicians must possess or gain the following knowledge:

High school or vocational school courses in algebra, geomtery and blueprint reading are highly recommended.

Apprenticeship programs consist of on-the-job learning and related classroom instruction lasting up to 5 years. During on-the-job learning, apprentices work almost full time, and are supervised by an experienced Maintenance Technician. Classroom instruction includes motors and generators, AC and DC electricity, safety blueprint reading, and more. Apprenticeship classes are often taught in cooperation with local community or vocational colleges.

A growing number of Maintenance Technicians learn the trade through 2-year associate degree programs at community or technical colleges. Graduates of these programs still need significant on-the-job experience before they are fully qualified.

What Does the Apprenticeship Program Require?

What are the Application Requirements?

What Skills and Abilities Should I Possess?

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Additional Resources

The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics maintains information on all occupations. For more information on the Maintenance Technician trade in the United States, visit:

Sources: Bureau of Apprenticeship Standards Position Descriptions,
Apprenticeship in Wisconsin Handbook

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