What’s it all about then
You’ll manage the maintenance function in your company which means looking after all the plant and equipment in the company or your part of it.
You’ll have responsibility for leading the maintenance team, preventive maintenance systems, spare parts and stores.
Your job will involve making sure that breakdowns leading to lost production are minimised and everything proceeds smoothly and on schedule.
This means planning, directing and coordinating activities on day to basis.
What might I be doing?
Depending on where you’re employed the following duties are likely:
- Leading and managing all aspects of the company maintenance department
- Constructing departmental and capital budgets as required and making sure that targets are achieved
- Managing implementation of engineering and process improvement projects
- Oversee and control levels of stock required for maintenance
- Managing all HR aspects of the maintenance department including training and development for staff
- Liaising with production and planning staff regarding preventative maintenance activity
- Meeting with equipment suppliers and ensuring all new equipment runs to specifications
- Making sure all quality standards are met
- Making sure improvements are implemented to reduce downtime and enhance company profitability
- Providing technical knowledge and expertise to get issues sorted
What will be expected of me?
A background in food manufacturing and the equipment used would be expected for this job.
As well as your proven technical expertise you’ll have to be a well organised person who is able to deal calmly with day-to-day breakdown issues whilst, at the same time, seeing the big picture and planning for new preventative maintenance activities and major projects.
You’ll be expected to be a good manager of people as well because you’re going to have to lead a team of staff and ensure that they do their jobs effectively.
On top of all this you’ll have to have some financial experience as well so that you can develop departmental budgets manage costs.
What can I expect?
You can expect to have a varied schedule which means working longer than standard hours from time to time and occassionally getting your hands dirty!
If you have a purchasing role then travel is likely as you source new plant and machinery for your company.
What about the pay?
Depending on your experience and the breadth of the role you should expect a salary of between £30,000 and £40,000 a year.
What qualifications do I need to get in?
This is not an entry level job in most instances and you will likely have to have some experience under your belt before you consider the role.
Engineering has loads of entry points from Apprenticeships through to postgraduate qualifications and you can study for these at both FE colleges and the local universities.
What about further training?
Again there are loads of qualifications and training options available to you as an engineer; you may take specialist courses which help you do your job better (such as those offered by equipment manufacturers) or you may want to consider masters level qualifications which might be related to your work, or which give you a broader base of management and leadership knowledge
The best way to research exactly what you need or want is to look at the various course finders for colleges and universities.
You could also consider membership of professional bodies, many of which have their own qualifications and all of which will help you with your continuous professional development (CPD).
An example would be the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.
Anything else I might need to know?
You can expect a lot of variation in the job because, no matter how well your preventative maintenance plans are working, occasionally there will be major breakdowns which will require your full attention.
However a background in engineering is a great career option!