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Performing regular maintenance practices on property and equipment reduces the occurrence of workplace accidents and lengthens the lifespan of the property and equipment. Organizations typically hire maintenance officers to conduct maintenance and repair work on these assets, as well as to keep accurate records of all maintenance practices. Although most maintenance officers work for property management firms, others may work as resident officers in educational institutions, business firms, local authorities and government agencies.
Using the Necessary Skills
Strong practical and technical skills are integral to the effectiveness of maintenance officers. When inspecting whether a maintenance contractor has done an excellent job on repairing a faulty machine, these officers usually rely on their practical and technical abilities to inspect and test the machine or diagnose other malfunctions. Maintenance officers also need good analytical skills to assess various properties and equipment and detect potential safety hazards. They may also require complex problem-solving skills to address challenges such as contractor incompetence. Other useful skills include decision-making, critical thinking and time-management.
The main role of maintenance officers is to repair machinery, equipment and building systems. Equipment maintenance officers working in a factory, for example, conduct regular inspections to identify faulty equipment and perform repairs. This typically involves disassembling equipment to diagnose faulty parts, cleaning and lubricating gears, adjusting bearings and shafts and replacing worn-out parts, and finally, reassembling the equipment. On the other hand, building maintenance officers may inspect a building’s plumbing, electrical and ventilation systems and conduct maintenance and repair work wherever necessary.
Maintenance officers typically have a duty to keep records of equipment manuals and user guides, as well as maintenance practices and repair work done on all facilities and equipment. They use these records to schedule future maintenance practices and detect repeat malfunctions. When organizations want to undertake certain projects, such as installation of new pipe systems in a building, they often ask their maintenance officers for advice. In this role, maintenance officers use their practical experience to estimate project costs and recommend the quality of pipes suitable for the job. Maintenance officers working in residential buildings also provide technical advice to tenants.
To qualify for employment as a maintenance officer, you typically need to hold a high school diploma. Employers often provide on-the-job training to help new hires learn essential job skills. Beginning maintenance officers usually start with simple tasks, such as changing bulbs, which increase in complexity with an increase in experience. Career progression opportunities are available for highly skilled maintenance officers and those who pursue specialist courses in areas such as plumbing or electricity. With experience, you could eventually become a plumber or electrician. With vast knowledge and experience, you can even strive to be a maintenance supervisor or manager. You could also pursue a bachelor's degree in construction management to eventually become a construction manager if desired.
Based in New York City, Alison Green has been writing professionally on career topics for more than a decade. Her work has appeared in “U.S. News Weekly” magazine, “The Career” magazine and “Human Resources Journal.” Green holds a master's degree in finance from New York University.