Maintenance Workers, Machinery
Lubricate machinery, change parts, or perform other routine machinery maintenance.
Sample of reported job titles: Lubricator, Machine Repairer, Maintainer, Maintenance Man, Maintenance Technician, Maintenance Worker, Oiler, Overhauler
Tasks | Technology Skills | Tools Used | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- Start machines and observe mechanical operation to determine efficiency and to detect problems.
- Read work orders and specifications to determine machines and equipment requiring repair or maintenance.
- Inspect or test damaged machine parts, and mark defective areas or advise supervisors of repair needs.
- Reassemble machines after the completion of repair or maintenance work.
- Dismantle machines and remove parts for repair, using hand tools, chain falls, jacks, cranes, or hoists.
- Install, replace, or change machine parts and attachments, according to production specifications.
- Collaborate with other workers to repair or move machines, machine parts, or equipment.
- Inventory and requisition machine parts, equipment, and other supplies so that stock can be maintained and replenished.
- Record production, repair, and machine maintenance information.
- Set up and operate machines, and adjust controls to regulate operations.
- Lubricate or apply adhesives or other materials to machines, machine parts, or other equipment according to specified procedures.
- Collect and discard worn machine parts and other refuse to maintain machinery and work areas.
- Clean machines and machine parts, using cleaning solvents, cloths, air guns, hoses, vacuums, or other equipment.
- Transport machine parts, tools, equipment, and other material between work areas and storage, using cranes, hoists, or dollies.
- Replace, empty, or replenish machine and equipment containers such as gas tanks or boxes.
- Replace or repair metal, wood, leather, glass, or other lining in machines, or in equipment compartments or containers.
- Remove hardened material from machines or machine parts, using abrasives, power and hand tools, jackhammers, sledgehammers, or other equipment.
- Measure, mix, prepare, and test chemical solutions used to clean or repair machinery and equipment.
Find occupations related to multiple tasks
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- Calendar and scheduling software — Scheduling software
- Data base user interface and query software — Database software
- Electronic mail software — Microsoft Outlook
- Enterprise resource planning ERP software — SAP
- Facilities management software — Computerized maintenance management system software CMMS
- Internet browser software — Web browser software
- Office suite software — Microsoft Office
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
- Word processing software — Microsoft Word
Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.
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- Mechanical — Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
- Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
- Design — Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Engineering and Technology — Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
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- Equipment Maintenance — Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
- Operations Monitoring — Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
- Repairing — Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.
- Troubleshooting — Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
- Operation and Control — Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
- Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
- Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Quality Control Analysis — Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
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- Arm-Hand Steadiness — The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
- Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Control Precision — The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Manual Dexterity — The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Finger Dexterity — The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Extent Flexibility — The ability to bend, stretch, twist, or reach with your body, arms, and/or legs.
- Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Multilimb Coordination — The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
- Perceptual Speed — The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
- Static Strength — The ability to exert maximum muscle force to lift, push, pull, or carry objects.
- Trunk Strength — The ability to use your abdominal and lower back muscles to support part of the body repeatedly or continuously over time without “giving out” or fatiguing.
- Visual Color Discrimination — The ability to match or detect differences between colors, including shades of color and brightness.
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- Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment — Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.
- Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
- Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling materials.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment — Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or watercraft.
- Repairing and Maintaining Electronic Equipment — Servicing, repairing, calibrating, regulating, fine-tuning, or testing machines, devices, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of electrical or electronic (not mechanical) principles.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
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Detailed Work Activities
- Observe equipment in operation to detect potential problems.
- Communicate with coworkers to coordinate installations or repairs.
- Inspect mechanical equipment to locate damage, defects, or wear.
- Read work orders or descriptions of problems to determine repairs or modifications needed.
- Reassemble equipment after repair.
- Test mechanical equipment to ensure proper functioning.
- Disassemble equipment for maintenance or repair.
- Confer with coworkers to resolve equipment problems.
- Install machine or equipment replacement parts.
- Maintain inventories of materials, equipment, or products.
- Order materials, supplies, or equipment.
- Adjust equipment to ensure optimal performance.
- Maintain repair or maintenance records.
- Lubricate equipment to allow proper functioning.
- Clean work areas.
- Clean equipment, parts, or tools to repair or maintain them in good working order.
- Operate cranes, hoists, or other moving or lifting equipment.
- Position containers to receive materials or workpieces.
- Repair worn, damaged, or defective mechanical parts.
- Replace worn, damaged, or defective mechanical parts.
- Prepare compounds or solutions to be used for repairs.
- Test fluids to identify contamination or other problems.
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- Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 95% responded “Every day.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 67% responded “Every day.”
- Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 70% responded “Every day.”
- Exposed to Hazardous Equipment — 65% responded “Every day.”
- Contact With Others — 49% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 48% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Spend Time Standing — 42% responded “More than half the time.”
- Exposed to Contaminants — 59% responded “Every day.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 49% responded “Very important.”
- Time Pressure — 43% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 38% responded “Very important.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 49% responded “Some freedom.”
- Physical Proximity — 56% responded “Moderately close (at arm’s length).”
- Indoors, Not Environmentally Controlled — 54% responded “Every day.”
- Responsible for Others’ Health and Safety — 39% responded “Moderate responsibility.”
- Consequence of Error — 41% responded “Extremely serious.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week — 47% responded “More than 40 hours.”
- Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings — 48% responded “Every day.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 57% responded “Some freedom.”
- Spend Time Walking and Running — 40% responded “More than half the time.”
- Cramped Work Space, Awkward Positions — 30% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
- Exposed to High Places — 38% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Pace Determined by Speed of Equipment — 42% responded “Very important.”
- Exposed to Hazardous Conditions — 27% responded “Every day.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 26% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 31% responded “Important results.”
- Very Hot or Cold Temperatures — 29% responded “Once a year or more but not every month.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 34% responded “Very important.”
- Spend Time Bending or Twisting the Body — 46% responded “About half the time.”
- Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 35% responded “Very important.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 41% responded “Every day.”
- Outdoors, Exposed to Weather — 25% responded “Every day.”
- Level of Competition — 35% responded “Highly competitive.”
- Extremely Bright or Inadequate Lighting — 23% responded “Every day.”
- Telephone — 39% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
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|Title||Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed|
|Education||Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate’s degree.|
|Related Experience||Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.|
|Job Training||Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.|
|Job Zone Examples||These occupations usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include hydroelectric production managers, travel guides, electricians, agricultural technicians, barbers, court reporters, and medical assistants.|
|SVP Range||(6.0 to < 7.0)|
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Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
|39||High school diploma or equivalent
|25||Some college, no degree|
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Interest code: RCI Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
- Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
- Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
- Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
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- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Independence — Job requires developing one’s own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Self-Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others’ needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
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- Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
- Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
- Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
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Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2020)||$24.08 hourly, $50,100 annual|
|Employment (2020)||65,600 employees|
|Projected growth (2020-2030)||Faster than average (10% to 15%)|
|Projected job openings (2020-2030)||6,800|
|Top industries (2020)||
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2020 wage data and 2020-2030 employment projections . “Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2020-2030). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.
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Job Openings on the Web
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Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
- American Welding Society
- International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers
- International Brotherhood of Boilermakers
- International Brotherhood of Teamsters
- International Union of Operating Engineers
- International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America
- Occupational Outlook Handbook: Industrial machinery mechanics, machinery maintenance workers, and millwrights
- Precision Machined Products Association
- Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals
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