What is an Industrial Maintenance Technician?

Did you know that in 9 months, you could become an industrial maintenance technician? Industrial maintenance technicians work in many different energy industries, from gas and nuclear to renewable energy. There are many different opportunities to become a power plant operator, industrial mechanic, or one of the many other careers in industrial maintenance. However, if you are wondering what an industrial maintenance technician is, you are not alone.

What is an Industrial Maintenance Technician?

Industrial maintenance technicians work in the energy industry and work for power plants, boiler operations, solar installations, and other energy facilities. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, an industrial maintenance technician maintains and repairs energy power plants, factory equipment, and other industrial machinery. These machinery components include conveying systems, production machinery, and packaging equipment. Industrial maintenance technicians typically do the following:

  • Install, inspect, maintain, and disassemble industrial machinery.
  • Read technical manuals to understand energy industry equipment and controls.
  • Disassemble machinery and equipment to solve a problem.
  • Perform basic maintenance and make repairs for broken or malfunctioning components.
  • Perform tests and run initial batches to make sure that machinery is running up to code.
  • Detect minor problems by performing basic diagnostic tests.
  • Test malfunctioning machinery to determine the repairs needed.
  • Adjust and calibrate equipment and machinery to optimal specifications.
  • Clean and lubricate equipment or machinery.

What Skills Do You Need to be a Successful Industrial Maintenance Technician?

There are many skills that will come in handy as an industrial maintenance technician. Some of the most important skills for success include physical ability/stamina, problem solving, attention to detail, adaptability, decision making, self-motivation, and work ethic.

Skill #1: Physical Ability/Stamina

Much of what an industrial maintenance technician does takes stamina. As an industrial maintenance technician, you will carry large objects, stand, crouch and kneel to fix and repair broken components. You will be on your feet for long periods of time walking around a facility and making sure machinery is running properly.

Skill #2: Problem Solving

There will be the inevitable problem that needs solving. Whether it is a broken component, malfunctioning machine, or problem that needs troubleshooting, it is important to have a methodical process to identify the problem, understand the many fixes, and take decisive action to fix the machinery in a timely manner.

Skill #3: Attention to Detail

Even the smallest error can shut down an entire industrial machine such as a malfunctioning part, pressure off by a degree, or a nut not tightened properly. These errors can be costly and cause downtime for many electricity customers. Using a checklist or creating a step-by-step process to double check your work and troubleshooting any problems will help you master an attention to detail.

Skill #4: Adaptability

Not every space in the factory or machine shop will be easy to access. You must adapt to your environment both physical and mentally. Something unexpected may occur, and it is up to you to adapt to this situation and do some troubleshooting and problem solving. Not every situation will be textbook, but every situation has a solution. It is up to you to identify that solution and adapt to your situation.

Skill #5: Decision Making

There are usually multiple solutions to any one problem. It is up to you to balance the cost, time, and customers in your decision-making calculations. Although you may save time picking a specific decision, it may cost too much money. Picking the right decision is about assessing the situation and identifying the next steps to take, rather than asking for guidance from superiors. This delegation of decision making is made when the supervisor trusts you to make good decisions that are in the best interest of the power plant.

Skill #6: Self-Motivation

As an industrial maintenance technician, much of what you do will be delegated to you, so it is important to be self-motivated. You will be responsible for completing your work and making sure the machinery is in good working order. Although you will have colleagues and superiors to ask for help when in a serious situation, it is up to you to prepare for your day and get the job down without oversight from a superior.

Skill #7: Work Ethic

As an industrial maintenance technician, you are in charge of the electrical grid and whether your neighbors will have electricity or not. It is important to show up on time, take responsibility for your job, and be reliable. Many people are counting on you to do your job, and it is important to have a good work ethic as an industrial maintenance technician.

Final Thoughts

The energy industry is growing. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states the projected growth of industrial maintenance technicians will be 13 percent in the coming decade, more than twice all other jobs. With the increase in energy production and need for renewable energy, there will be a growing need for more industrial maintenance technicians. Now is the time to start a career in energy and help power the world.

Ready to learn more about becoming an industrial maintenance technician? The Industrial Maintenance Technician Certificate/Diploma Program at MIAT College of Technology was created in response to the energy industry asking for more qualified industrial technicians. This program is a combination of classroom, hands-on assignments and outside work/homework. Our school’s curriculum covers power generation, power plant operations, compression technology and process systems.


To learn more about the Industrial Maintenance Technician Program and to explore if MIAT is right for you, fill out the form on this page. Contact us if you are interested in becoming an aircraft mechanic today.