Maintenance Engineering

Maintenance engineers keep New Zealand industries' plant and equipment up-and-running - 365 days a year.

Career information

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What does it involve?

Maintenance engineers maintain machinery so it is reliable on the production line (usually within a manufacturing environment). 

Maintenance engineers typically have a planned approach to maintenance, involving computerised maintenance systems and condition monitoring, where the work may require a broad variety of engineering skills and knowledge.

Typical day

Normally an 8-hour day; sometimes working longer may be required.

Work can include:

  • installing and maintaining machinery;
  • shutting down maintenance work (e.g. engineering, manufacturing, mining industries);
  • making adjustments to meet production requirements;
  • monitoring equipment condition; and
  • diagnosis and fault finding.

You will usually be working onsite at a production/manufacturing business.

Does this sound like you?

• English or Media or History

• Maths or Accounting or Economics

• Sciences or Workshop Technologies

• Computing/ICT/Information Management.

• Reasonable strength and fitness

• Confidence with IT, computers, technology

• Good organisational skills

• Good work habits/time management

• Good literacy and numeracy skills

• Strong eye for detail.

• Making or fixing things

• Working with machinery

• Working with computers

• Analysing, researching and problem solving.

• Inside (workshop or plant)

• Outside (outdoors)

• Different places from time to time.

Career pathway

Unit standards

Ideally NCEA Level 2 in:

• Maths

• Science (physics)

• Technology (metal work)

• English

Gateway programme available


» Maintenance Engineer

» Machine Building and

Installation Engineer

» Fluid Power Technician

Higher learning

• Specialist Fabricator

• Supervisor

• Leading Hand

• Workshop Supervisor

• Welding Supervisor

Higher learning

• Foreman

• Site Supervisor

• Business Manager

• Business Owner

Qualifications available

This qualification has been developed by leading New Zealand mechanical engineers to equip staff with the skills and knowledge to work productively and safely.

With technology and automation rapidly driving change in the engineering sector, this qualification is designed with the future in mind so your people can respond and adapt to change.

Most of the learning is practical work completed on-the-job. Apprentices are also required to complete eLearning via our online learning platform Canvas, and attend block courses for two to three weeks each year.

Speak to your training advisor or account manager for details on programme and resource pricing.

All graduates will be able to:

  • Understand relevant health and safety legislation and workplace safety culture
  • Interpret drawings and specifications and use the appropriate materials, processes, tools and equipment for the task 
  • Apply knowledge of relevant engineering principles and practices, and problem solving skills, to perform engineering tasks to industry standards
  • Use effective and efficient processes, principles and quality systems to produce components and provide services in a commercial mechanical engineering environment 
  • Communicate effectively within a team and the wider workplace 
  • Recognise the limits of their own ability and the importance of working with integrity and maintaining currency in the mechanical engineering field.

Graduates of the Maintenance Engineering strand will also be able to:

Apply knowledge of maintenance engineering strategies and practices to monitor, inspect, maintain and repair facilities or plant and equipment.


NZQA qualification overview

Graduates of this qualification will be able to:

  • Comprehend and apply detailed knowledge underpinning good practice as an engineering technician
  • Comprehend and apply detailed knowledge underpinning good practice as an engineering technician that is specific to the jurisdiction in which he/she practices
  • Be responsible for making decisions on part or all of one or more or more well-defined engineering activities
  • Manage part or all of one or more well-defined engineering activities in accordance with good engineering management practice
  • Communicate clearly with others in the course of his/her well defined engineering activities
  • Maintain the currency of engineering knowledge and skills
  • Exercise sound engineering judgement
  • Conduct engineering activities to an ethical standard at least equivalent to the relevant code of ethical conduct
  • Recognise the reasonably foreseeable social, cultural and environmental effects of well-defined engineering activities generally

Graduates of the Mechanical Engineering strand will also be able to:

  • Identify, state and analyse well-defined engineering problems in accordance with good practice for engineering
  • Design or develop solutions to well-defined engineering problems by applying accepted procedures and methodologies
  • Identify risk and apply risk management techniques to well-defined engineering problems

NZQA qualification overview

How much could I earn?

  • 3 – 5 years experience

    $57k- $77k