When it comes to machinery, maintaining it properly can be even more important than buying the most high-tech equipment. You can’t entrust this job to just anyone because mistakes can cause costly breakdowns and, worse still, injuries and fatalities.
Thorough knowledge of the right type of machinery, practical experience with it, and the ability to follow instructions are essential for a good industrial maintenance technician.
There is a need for industrial maintenance technicians wherever machines are built, repaired, or maintained. Organizations typically hire them for manufacturing environments in critical industries such as construction, energy, and utilities.
Most industrial businesses rely on heavily mechanized processes. That’s why it’s important to hire highly qualified professionals to maintain the machinery you work with.
Read our guide to writing a great industrial maintenance technician job description to get some tips on how to optimize your hiring process.
Table of contents
- What is the role of an industrial maintenance technician?
- What skills should a maintenance technician have?
- How can you write a great industrial maintenance technician job description?
- How can you hire the perfect industrial maintenance technician?
- ✅ Get started for free to hire the right person effortlessly
What is the role of an industrial maintenance technician?
An industrial maintenance technician maintains and repairs power plants, factory equipment, conveying systems, and all sorts of manufacturing machinery.
Some of the key tasks that an industrial maintenance technician does are:
- Interpreting engineering blueprints
- Completing preventive and corrective maintenance requirements
- Installing industrial machinery
- Observing mechanical devices in operation to locate the sources of problems and ensure the proper functioning of the machines
- Running basic diagnostic tests to detect minor problems
- Troubleshooting engines, conveyors, pneumatic tools, and hydraulic and electrical equipment
- Disassembling machinery and equipment when needed
- Removing defective components and replacing them with new ones
- Adjusting and calibrating machinery to improve productivity
- Cleaning and lubricating the equipment and machinery
- Maintaining a safe and clean working environment for everyone
- Collecting and summarizing analyses, activity logs, and trends for maintenance reports
What skills should a maintenance technician have?
Now that you’re familiar with an industrial maintenance technician’s key responsibilities, it’s time to move to the next step.
Defining the crucial industrial maintenance technician skill set will help you write a precise and concise job description.
Here is a list of some skills that an industrial maintenance technician should excel at:
1. Fundamentals of electricity
Basic knowledge of electricity and electrical circuits is essential for every industrial maintenance technician. Think of it as the bare minimum for electricians, technicians, and maintenance people. Having a clear idea of how these things work enables technicians to operate them without making dangerous errors.
To evaluate your candidates’ basic knowledge of electricity, electrical circuits, digital logic, and electric power, use TestGorilla’s Fundamentals of Electricity test. If they perform well on this test, they will be able to work on most types of electrical equipment.
Do you need maintenance for household systems or industrial manufacturing machinery? Will your technician mostly work with laboratory equipment? A basic understanding of electricity will help industrial maintenance technicians maintain many kinds of systems.
2. Mechanical reasoning
Mechanical reasoning, or mechanical aptitude, is the ability to understand mechanical and physical concepts. It involves a variety of skills, such as spatial ability.
Any mechanical or manufacturing job requires a strong grasp of mechanical concepts. And this is not just for the sake of productivity – incorrectly installing even the tiniest component can not only cause machines to malfunction but also compromise operators’ safety.
It can be difficult to assess practical skills in mechanical reasoning, especially if the position you’re hiring for involves dealing with many complex machines.
This is where the Mechanical Reasoning test comes in handy. It evaluates candidates in the three main areas of mechanics:
- Force and movement
- Pulleys, gears, and wheels
The test consists of questions that present candidates with real-life situations and issues in the mechanical field. It evaluates applicants’ ability to understand mechanical concepts and apply their understanding in practice.
3. Attention to detail
There are many things to be aware of when you’re working with machinery. “The Devil is in the details” is a phrase that applies to every industrial maintenance technician’s job. Most machines have complicated mechanisms that contain various components. And one rogue part can make the whole system crumble.
An experienced and qualified industrial maintenance technician has highly developed observational skills.
The Attention to Detail (Visual) test can help you identify candidates who pay close attention to visual cues and handle them thoroughly. In this era of digitalization, we’re flooded with visual information, so filtering it and focusing on the important details is a vital skill.
4. Following instructions
Following instructions is crucial in the workplace. It can simplify tasks, increase effectiveness, save time, and guarantee a safer working process. Following procedure is the key to good results, regardless of the role.
Many factors influence your ability to follow instructions, such as your working memory capacity, societal rules, and self-regulatory behavior. Therefore, determining someone’s capability to follow instructions properly can be a complicated task.
The Following Instructions test offers you a quick and unbiased way to evaluate your candidates’ ability to understand and follow instructions. It presents them with questions that require them to process instructions and choose the right course of action.
5. Equipment maintenance
Handling and maintaining industrial equipment and machinery thoroughly and carefully is imperative for optimizing productivity. The cornerstone of effective maintenance is hiring technically skilled and experienced people who can maintain heavy machinery properly.
The Equipment Maintenance test will help you determine if candidates have the core knowledge and problem-solving skills necessary to maintain equipment correctly.
The test assesses four types of skills: mechanical skills, knowledge of pneumatics and hydraulics, electrical and electronic skills, and the ability to conduct inspections.
It consists of questions that focus on understanding, testing, and adjusting systems, running diagnostics, comprehending manuals, and failure analysis. The test also presents multiple diagrams and images of machines and tools that an intermediate industrial maintenance technician must be able to identify.
How can you write a great industrial maintenance technician job description?
Writing a great industrial maintenance technician job description can benefit your business in several ways. According to SHRM, job descriptions are a useful communication tool and can help you identify the right employee for your organization.
To write a great job description, follow these steps:
Define the key responsibilities and requirements of the role
Defining a concise list of the role’s responsibilities and requirements will attract the right candidates.
- Include all the critical duties of the job.
- Put them together in a bulleted list that ranges from everyday tasks to more general accountability.
- Break down the responsibilities into sections that focus on specific groups of tasks, especially if the job is complex.
- Start each line with a direct call to action. This will keep your candidates focused on the duties you expect them to perform.
- Don’t include more than eight responsibilities to make the list easily readable.
You can use the list of key tasks from this article as an example for your own manufacturing maintenance technician job description.
Do the same for the main requirements of the role. Clearly communicating the level and type of skills, education, and experience needed for the job will significantly reduce unqualified candidates.
- Start with the essential qualifications and then proceed to the optional ones.
- Use bulleted lists to improve readability.
- Keep it simple. Remember that many job boards are transferring to mobile apps.
Discuss them with the manager/team lead for the role
To make sure the job description is clear and effective, consult with the team managers or senior mechanics your hire will be reporting to.
That’s the best way to clarify which skills are indispensable and which are nice to have. It’s also a good idea to talk to current employees in the same or similar positions to get a realistic idea of what the job will entail.
Create a detailed job description
Put your findings together into an industrial maintenance technician job description.
- Start by summarizing the position’s purpose and responsibilities in a few sentences. There’s no need to go into detail here.
- Add a bulleted list of the employee’s responsibilities and tasks.
- Include a bulleted list of necessary qualifications, such as level of education and preferred certifications.
- Write a bulleted list of necessary skills for the job, including hard and soft skills.
Remodel the description into a job ad to post on job boards
Job ads and job descriptions are often used interchangeably, but there is a significant difference between the two.
A job description is usually used internally by human resources teams and employees as an overview of the position. It’s an informative document, as opposed to a job ad, which is a sales tool.
Try to make the job ad more interesting and less dry than the description. You don’t want to sound too official – the key here is to be engaging. Avoid internal jargon since it might not make sense outside of your company. The simpler the language, the better.
Pay attention to the point of view. Job descriptions are usually written in the third person, e.g., “The employee will run diagnostic tests.” In job ads, it’s best to address the candidates directly in the second person to engage them. Use the word “you.”
You also want to give potential applicants information about what they will receive if you hire them. List the role’s salary, perks, compensation, benefits, etc. Be clear so that the candidates know what to expect.
Post the job ads on relevant platforms. Remember, it’s not the quantity of platforms on which you post that matters but the quality.
How can you hire the perfect industrial maintenance technician?
- Write a job description: Summarize the responsibilities that your employee will have. Add the requirements you want them to meet and the skills they need for the job.
- Use it to create a job ad to post on job boards: Use the job description you create to make a job ad. Add a few sentences about salary, perks, and benefits. Post it on relevant job boards.
- Create a skills assessment of up to five tests: Skills assessments are an objective and unbiased way to build a data-based hiring process and recruit qualified candidates. Make a skills assessment of up to five tests that evaluate the abilities that the job requires.
- Administer the skills assessment to candidates: You can include the link for the skills assessment in the job ad or email it directly to the applicants.
- Analyze results: Check how every candidate did on the tests. Keep in mind that scoring low on one test doesn’t mean they’re not qualified for the job, especially if they can easily learn the skill through practice.
- Invite the best applicants to an interview: Select the most suitable candidates and invite them for further evaluation. Let the rest know you are grateful for their time.
- Conduct interviews: You can use the test results to create more individualized questions for the interview. Focus on the strengths and weaknesses that each applicant revealed when taking the skills assessment.
- Make a hiring decision: Use the data you collected via the skills assessment results and the interview to make an objective choice, and pick the best industrial maintenance technician for your company.
To find and hire the best maintenance technician, start with a well-crafted job description
The hiring process is complex, and there are many things that you need to take into account. A solid foundation makes it way easier to excel in the details.
Start with a well-crafted job description, and attract suitable candidates you can evaluate objectively with skills assessments. And remember to include relevant tests, such as TestGorilla’s Following Instructions test.
Get started for free to hire the right person effortlessly.