Maintenance mechanics are responsible for the overall performance of power equipment and vehicles, and routine maintenance as assigned. The job description for a maintenance mechanic varies based on the company type and the equipment available, such as power tools, vehicles, boats, aircrafts and motorized recreational equipment. Advancements in technology have changed the job of a mechanic drastically since most diagnostic tasks are completed with specialized computer software.
Nature of Work
The work environment for maintenance mechanics varies. Maintenance mechanics who perform repair work on small engines, such as motorized sporting devices, boats, power tools and outdoor power equipment typically work in a machine shop setting or service center. Maintenance mechanics who specialize in automotive service may travel to several locations to perform repairs. All maintenance mechanics will need to interact with customers to diagnose problems with the equipment.
A job description for a maintenance mechanic includes not only repair work, but also diagnosing the source of a problem with a vehicle, power tool or heavy machinery. Maintenance mechanics inspect the product, diagnose the problem and then perform the necessary repairs. Preventative maintenance and routine repairs are also primary responsibilities of maintenance mechanics. These tasks include, but are not limited to, brake repairs, hose replacements, belt changes and oil changes.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, maintenance mechanic jobs are obtainable with a high school education. However, most employers prefer certification, prior experience or postsecondary training in mechanics or automotive repair. The job of a maintenance mechanic does require that applicants possess strong verbal and math skills, as well as effective communication and customer service skills.
Maintenance mechanic salaries vary based on the geographic location, type of business and years of experience the employee possesses. According to Salary.com, the annual salary of a maintenance mechanic technician ranges from approximately $29,000 to $47,000 as of 2010. The BLS reports that, in 2008, the average hourly wage of automotive maintenance mechanics was $16.88, while mechanics specializing in small engines averaged $15 per hour.
The job prospects for mechanics is varied due to the fluctuating economy and buyer trends. Advanced technology has also affected this job market. Overall, the BLS predicts that maintenance mechanic jobs will experience average growth from 2008 to 2018. Small engine maintenance mechanic positions will experience 7 percent growth while auto mechanic positions will grow by 5 percent, according to the BLS. Applicants with postsecondary training or certifications will have an advantage in the job market.
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