Seven Traits Needed to Work in Industrial Maintenance


When you think of high-paying careers, Industrial Maintenance might not be the first thing you think of… but it should. These positions are highly skilled positions and can offer an amazing salaries and benefits, depending on the company you work for. Working in industrial maintenance is a challenging and rewarding career choice that requires a combination of technical and interpersonal skills. Whether you are just starting out or looking to advance in the field, it’s important to have a clear understanding of the skills you will need to be successful in an industrial maintenance position.

  1. Technical Knowledge: Industrial maintenance technicians must have a solid understanding of mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems. This includes the ability to diagnose problems, repair or replace components, and perform preventative maintenance to keep equipment running smoothly. Technicians should also have experience with various tools and technologies, including hand tools, power tools, electrical test equipment, and computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS).
  2. Troubleshooting Skills: One of the most important skills for an industrial maintenance technician is the ability to diagnose and resolve problems quickly and efficiently. This requires a methodical approach to problem-solving, including the ability to analyze data, understand cause-and-effect relationships, and use logical reasoning to find solutions. Technicians should also be familiar with common maintenance practices, such as root cause analysis and predictive maintenance, to help them stay ahead of potential problems.
  3. Communication Skills: In addition to technical skills, industrial maintenance technicians must have strong communication skills to be effective in their roles. This includes the ability to explain complex technical concepts to non-technical stakeholders, communicate effectively with co-workers, and provide clear instructions to team members. Communication skills are also essential when working with outside vendors and contractors, such as electrical engineers or plumbing contractors.
  4. Attention to Detail: Industrial maintenance technicians must have strong attention to detail to ensure that equipment is functioning correctly and to prevent potential safety hazards. This requires following procedures and protocols, performing inspections and audits, and documenting equipment conditions and maintenance activities. Technicians should also be able to identify when equipment may be functioning outside of normal parameters and take corrective action when necessary.
  5. Physical Ability: Industrial maintenance technicians must be physically able to perform their job duties, which can be physically demanding. This includes the ability to lift heavy objects, work in confined spaces, and perform tasks that require manual dexterity. Technicians should also be able to work in a variety of conditions, including extreme temperatures and environments that are noisy, dirty, and hazardous.
  6. Adaptability: The industrial maintenance field is constantly changing, and technicians must be able to adapt to new technologies, processes, and procedures. This requires a willingness to learn and a desire to continuously improve one’s skills and knowledge. Technicians should also be able to work well under pressure and be comfortable working in a fast-paced environment where priorities can change quickly.
  7. Safety Awareness: Safety is a top priority in industrial maintenance, and technicians must have a strong understanding of safety protocols and procedures. This includes the ability to recognize and avoid potential hazards, such as electrical shock, fire, and chemical exposure, and to respond appropriately in an emergency. Technicians should also be familiar with safety equipment and personal protective equipment, and be able to follow safety procedures and protocols to ensure the safety of themselves and their co-workers.

Working in industrial maintenance requires a combination of technical, interpersonal, and practical skills. At Iowa Valley, we can help you develop these skills. Business and Community Solutions can help you gain the technical skills necessary to work in Industrial Maintenance. If you are looking to earn your Associates Degree, you can do that at Marshalltown Community College. If you are considering working in this challenging and rewarding field, start here!