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Author: Kieron Mayers

Published date: 2019/06


Responsible for the essential checking and repairing of systems, machinery, and infrastructure, Maintenance Engineers require a specific set of skills to ensure work is completed to the highest level so that everything continues to run smoothly and effectively.

Maintenance Engineers who possess the right skills will often enjoy accelerated career progression, with the opportunity to move into managerial positions or related fields such as plant or production engineering.

In this post, the PRS team answers some of your top questions regarding the crucial skills required to become a successful Maintenance Engineer with real prospects.

What Are The Top Three Skills Needed?

There are numerous skills required to become a great Maintenance Engineer. PRS has identified the top three as:

Communication skills

One of the key elements of the role is creating and implementing procedures and ensuring that an organisation’s wider teams remain informed and compliant around systems/machinery. As such, engineers will need to communicate procedures and instructions clearly and have the confidence to reinforce rules to ensure they are followed at all times.

Problem-solving ability

This is a non-negotiable skill for Maintenance Engineers as solving issues is a crucial element of the role. You are likely to be questioned about your problem-solving ability when you interview for a position in this field, with a potential employer enquiring about a time when you identified a problem and the steps you took to solve it.


While it goes without saying that technical expertise is crucial, you will also be expected to be clued up on the industry you are looking to work within. Maintenance Engineers are in-demand across a broad range of industries, whether that is utilities, construction, manufacturing or the armed forces. Each industry has its own requirements, procedures, and legislation that must be adhered to, and you will be expected to possess this relevant knowledge when you apply for a particular role.

Which Professional Qualifications Do I Need?

Today’s Maintenance Engineering candidates are typically trained to degree-level, and it is becoming more common that candidates are coming into the job with post-graduate level qualifications. In particular, chartered CEng status with the Engineering Council can help to demonstrate your knowledge, professionalism, and commitment to your field.

However, such qualifications are not a prerequisite for career success as learning on the job has been the main route for many of today’s Maintenance Engineers, with apprenticeships also available for those taking their first steps into the profession.

Are There Any Skills That Are Becoming More Sought After?

A robust understanding of new digital systems is becoming increasingly desired for Maintenance Engineers. Now, more than ever, employers want candidates to show a clear grasp of technological innovations and the changing legislation in line with such developments. Additionally, health and safety procedures have become even more of a focus in the past decade across all industries.

Which Are The Critical ‘Softer’ Skills That Maintenance Engineers Require?

Whether it’s product development, a production line, or a maintenance team, effective teamwork is the basis for most modern technical operations. That is why teamwork skills are vital for Maintenance Engineers. You need to be flexible enough to work cooperatively and liaise with stakeholders at all levels. The key to achieving this is through being supportive, positive and encouraging in all that you do.  

Also, excellent organisational skills are crucial for Maintenance Engineers. The role is underpinned with processes and best practice, with little to no margin for error. It is therefore essential that professionals in this field remain organised as they often have to work under pressure, with best-laid plans having to be changed on-the-spot in line with the demands of the equipment/machinery.

Essential Skills

To summarise, here are the top seven skills requires to become a successful Maintenance Engineer:

  1. Communication skills.

  2. Problem-solving ability.

  3. Relevant technical and industry knowledge and experience.

  4. Professional qualifications or desire to learn.

  5. Willingness to learn new systems and legislation impacting the job.

  6. Great team working skills.

  7. Excellent organisational skills.

Are you a Maintenance Engineer or recruiting for one? PRS works with talented Maintenance Engineers to match them with their ideal permanent or contract roles in the UK. Get in touch with us to find out more about what we can do for you. And be sure to download our official Guide to Maintenance Engineering Job Descriptions.