MRO Magazine

Role and responsibilities of the maintenance technician

By Peter Phillips   

Facilities Maintenance Machinery and Equipment Maintenance Preventative Maintenance Manufacturing editor pick equipment reliability inspection list maintenance technician technician technician responsibility

When maintenance work orders are scheduled and assigned it is the technician’s job to execute the work. Although this seems like a relatively simple task, we know there is more to their jobs than completing assigned work.

Photo: Peter Phillips.

Routine maintenance and repair are primary duties of the technician since they play an important role in improvement of equipment reliability. For example, when carrying out assigned preventive maintenance tasks, instead of simply checking off items on the inspection list, technicians would benefit from making note of updates that need to be made to the
PM instructions.

In turn the planner can update the PM details and procedures in the CMMS. This way the PM becomes a living document and is continually updated to reflect the changes in the equipment.
As equipment ages, more detailed inspections and repairs are required. Recording the repair and parts used during maintenance is an important part of equipment history. The information is used to update PM instructions, procedures, adjust task frequencies and identify parts to be stocked and replenished. It is critical for technicians to understand the information that must be recorded on the work order.

Photo: Peter Phillips.

To give technicians an opportunity to plan and organize assigned work they should receive their work order in advance, generally, at least 24 hours in advance. This provides time to check what parts are needed, which tools are available and review the work package provided by the planner and storekeeper.

With the on-set of Industry 4.0 and beyond, the role of the craftsperson is growing more technical and analytic. Machine data gives a real time picture of equipment health. Technicians need to be able to analyze and interpret machine data, diagnose, and prescribe the corrective action to prevent failure.


Photo: Peter Phillips.

Although technician responsibilities are evolving, maintenance fundamentals are still essential. Providing high quality work in a professional manner is an important role of the maintenance department. Maintenance departments work with maintenance teams to develop a vision and goal. This is important so that every person on the team understands the mission and their role in the project.

An important element of a professional maintenance department is cleanliness and organization of technicians’ personal and team workspace. The 5s and other programs have reenergized the maintenance workspace as seen in the photographs. The personal workspaces and workshop look professional and contribute to the technicians’ work habits when they are performing maintenance out on the production floor.

Becoming a maintenance technician requires years of training, experience, and dedication to professional trade designation. Technicians are like family doctors. They visit the equipment, diagnose the problem, and prescribe a solution. MRO
Peter Phillips is the owner of Trailwalk Holdings Ltd., a Nova Scotia-based maintenance consulting and training company. Peter has over 40 years of industrial maintenance experience. He travels throughout North America working with maintenance departments and speaking at conferences. Reach him at 902-798-3601 or


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