Summary of occupation
Maintenance planners ensure that the machinery used in manufacturing, refining and processing plants is in the best possible working order by undertaking a range of maintenance inspections and scheduling maintenance processes. They plan and organise preventative maintenance processes such as oil analysis, condition monitoring or vibration analysis, non-destructive testing, thermography, and ultra sound, as well as predictive maintenance processes like lubrication and sensory inspections, and periodic component replacement. They analyse the risk of process failure, ensure that correct spare parts are stocked, undertake performance measurement, and try to ensure that maintenance costs are kept as low as possible.
Develops maintenance planning strategies, and schedules, coordinates and monitors the maintenance of all plant equipment.
Maintenance Adviser, Maintenance Scheduler, Maintenance Supervisor, Shutdown Coordinator, Shutdown Planner
A maintenance planner needs:
- an interest in machinery
- technical, manual and practical skills
- problem solving skills
- to be able to undertake detailed work
- a methodical and accurate approach to their work
- to be safety conscious.
Maintenance planners work in factories, power and process plants, oil refineries, and manufacturing, engineering and mining facilities. Working conditions may be noisy, dirty or dangerous. They usually work regular hours, but may be required to work longer hours at times, and may be on call twenty four hours a day in case of emergencies. In some work environments, such as factories, mining facilities or oil refineries, maintenance planners may be required to work in shifts outside of regular working hours.
On average, maintenance planners can expect to earn between $1 731 and $2 596 per week ($90 000 and $135 000 per year), depending on the organisation they work for, and their level of experience.
Maintenance planners need to understand the specific components of the process machinery they are responsible for maintaining, as well as knowing the components used in them and other equipment used in conjunction with that machinery. The specific equipment they use is relevant to the type of equipment they maintain, but is usually diagnostic in nature. They also use computers and other office equipment.
To become a maintenance planner, you usually need to complete a formal qualification in mechanical engineering, engineering or a related area.
The Certificate IV in Engineering is offered at TAFE Colleges and other registered training organisations throughout Western Australia.
You can complete an apprenticeship. The plant mechanic, maintenance mechanic/motor mechanic and advanced mechanical maintenance technician apprenticeships usually take 48 months to complete and are available as school-based apprenticeships.
You can also complete a traineeship. The advanced engineering tradesperson – mechanical and maintenance technician traineeships usually take 24 months to complete.
Apprenticeships and traineeships
As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer. You spend most of your time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider of your choice. They will assess your skills and when you are competent in all areas, you will be awarded a nationally recognised qualification.
If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. You generally start your school based apprenticeship by attending school three days a week, spending one day at a registered training organisation and one day at work. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you get a full-time apprenticeship you can apply to leave school before reaching the school leaving age.
If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.
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If you think you already have some of the skills or competencies, obtained either through non-formal or informal learning, you may be able to gain credit through recognition of prior learning.