What’s it all about then?
You’ll be one of your company’s maintenance team responsible for making sure all of the machinery and equipment runs smoothly and doesn’t break down.
This team is responsible for all of the repair work and preventive maintenance activities within the production department of the food company.
So you’re likely to be a fitter or an electrician or possibly a combination of both of these, known as a multi-skilled technician.
What might I be doing?
You’ll have a variety of tasks which include:
- Servicing and preventive maintenance of offline equipment and machinery
- Responding immediately to production related breakdowns
- Repairing faults or arranging replacements if needed
- Diagnosing faults quickly for repair
- Keeping production staff and managers updated on progress
- Working safely and effectively to get the job done
- Working as part of a team of maintenance specialists
- Working past the end of the shift if necessary to finish off breakdown repairs
What will be expected of me?
Although you’re part of a team, some of your time will be spent working on your own so be ready for this and the fact that at least some of the work will be physical so you’ll be expected to have enough stamina to deal with this.
You’ll be expected to be able to locate and fix problems quickly and effectively and work to extremely tight deadlines; you’ll also need to be able to make expert decisions quickly, for instance whether or not to make a repair online or offline. This is also important when you have more than one job to fix and you need to be able to prioritise your work.
You’ll be expected to know all about health and safety because it’s vital you can work safely and also make repairs to machinery which leaves things safe for operators to use.
What can I expect?
You can expect to be shift based in this job as you’ll be covering production; as well as this, a lot of preventive maintenance is done at weekends or holidays so be prepared to work extra hours if required.
Of course you can expect to get your hands dirty in this role and you’ll spend a lot of time in the factory so if solving practical problems and working with your hands is appealing, then this could be the job for you.
Also bear in mind that protective clothing will be the order of the day because most of your time will be spent in the factory; this is not a job for someone who likes to wear a shirt and tie to work!
What about the pay?
Maintenance Technicians often start off as apprentices so you will be earning a rate commensurate with current apprentice pay scales.
When qualified you’ll be looking at £15,000 to £20,000 a year depending on the exact nature of your work.
With experience you will earn up to £30,000 a year and don’t forget you’ll be paid for extra hours so this will help as well.
What qualifications do I need to get in?
You may have commenced your job as a Maintenance Technician with an Apprenticeship in an engineering related subject such as electrical engineering or mechanical engineering.
Or perhaps you’ll have attended college after GCSEs for a couple of years and studied on a full time basis for qualifications such as BTEC diplomas and certificates.
What about further training?
There are loads of different qualifications and training options available to you and your employer will encourage you to study as much as possible.
As well as the above you might want to consider a suitable foundation degree available through local FE and HE providers and there are lots of engineering qualifications you can study for at graduate level.
Anything else I might need to know?
This is a rewarding type of job if you like practical problem solving work and don’t mind getting your hands dirty.
There are loads of opportunities to progress your career and maintenance staff will be in continual demand in food companies so don’t worry about getting a job.