Industrial maintenance jobs range from equipment repair to electrical maintenance and repair positions. Every type of manufacturing and automated system — from conveyor belts and hydraulic systems to steam systems — have specific types of industrial maintenance jobs to maintain their proper operation. Heating and cooling maintenance, welding and lighting maintenance positions are all offered on an industrial level. Many of the jobs are no different than the types that focus on the private sector, albeit on a much larger scale. Many maintenance positions require a repairman to posses knowledge in several different fields of repair.
Many of the highly skilled industrial maintenance jobs require a worker to complete a journeyman or apprenticeship position prior to becoming a certified employee. The electrical and plumbing type industrial maintenance jobs are commonly known for the apprenticeships. It is not uncommon for an employee to operate as an apprentice for years prior to working unsupervised. Other industrial maintenance jobs, such as custodial positions, are often filled by employees who are left unsupervised within the first few hours of employment. Many of the industrial maintenance jobs can be extremely dangerous, so intense training is required prior to beginning the actual job.
Equipment repair often requires the repair person to work inside of an actual machine, such as presses and stamping machines. Proper training is essential, as one wrong move could lead to the press coming down and killing the worker. The electrical repair and maintenance positions also involve working conditions that are very dangerous. Extremely high voltage is commonly used in industrial plants, creating a potentially lethal condition. This is the reason for extended apprenticeships, hands-on training and extensive testing with these types of industrial maintenance jobs.
Hydraulic-based industrial maintenance jobs can also be dangerous due to the extreme pressures and heat involved with hydraulic systems. Burns are common work hazards for those working with hydraulic systems. Some types of industrial maintenance jobs require not only the specific certificate or license for the repair position, but an additional certificate, such as a forklift operator's license, if the position might involve the operation of a forklift. Other positions, such as a machine repairman, may involve several different specialties such as welding, electronics and hydraulics to work on a single machine. Some of the larger industrial factories will often have several repairmen, with each specialized in a particular area, while a smaller plant will commonly have a limited number of repairmen capable of working in several fields of repair.