As industries employ increasingly more automated and sophisticated machinery, it is crucial to ensure that it is maintained properly, to avoid malfunctions and disrupted production. Maintenance planners are responsible for planning and scheduling all of the tasks and the workers needed to keep things up and running.
The maintenance planner determines how the job will be performed and who will perform which activities. He is responsible for facilitating communication between production departments and maintenance departments. He needs to be able to keep equipment maintained while slowing down production minimally, if at all, while also considering budget, environment and safety. The maintenance planner is often required to keep track of maintenance supplies, too.
Adverse Working Conditions
Maintenance employees sometimes work under direct supervision of the maintenance planner, especially when being trained. The maintenance planner is exposed to all of the same dangers that the maintenance workers can encounter, including exposed wires and adverse weather conditions. They also have to stand for long periods of time.
Project Management Skills
Many companies are willing to hire maintenance planners who have less experience but more advanced education in engineering, industrial technology or engineering technology. Maintenance planners also need to have experience with the types of technology used by their employer. Interpersonal and communication skills are needed since the maintenance planner works with a team of repairmen and must be able to delegate tasks clearly. Problem-solving and project-management skills are also vital since the maintenance planner is responsible for coming up with better ways to perform maintenance, and must often prioritize many tasks.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the need for maintenance workers is expected to grow by 9 percent through 2022. This growth is driven by technological advances that create new products that will need to be repaired. However, advances in technology will also make automated equipment more resistant to damage, somewhat slowing the growth.
According to the jobs website Indeed,, the average annual salary of maintenance planners is $61,000, as of July 2014. A planner in New York City averaged $84,000 in the same period, and one in Omaha, Nebraska, earned $48,000.
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