What Is a Servicing Engineer? (Including Career Tips)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 8 November 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Engineering is a diverse field with a wide range of career options for people who thrive on solving real-world problems. Understanding the answer to the question 'what is a servicing engineer' can help you decide if you'd enjoy this engineering specialty. Many industries employ servicing engineers such as aerospace, construction, automotive, electronics and manufacturing. In this article, we define the servicing engineer job title, answer key questions about servicing engineers and offer tips for securing a maintenance engineer job.

What is a servicing engineer?

A servicing engineer is a specialty engineer responsible for servicing and maintaining mechanical or electronic equipment. Servicing engineers may have different clients or perform servicing tasks for a single business, such as a factory with an in-house engineer maintenance team. Some servicing engineers have permanent employers, such as maintenance firms or mechanical repairers. Others are self-employed contractors. Servicing engineers help individuals and businesses save money by increasing the life of their equipment and reducing downtime.

Servicing engineers are sometimes called service engineers or maintenance engineers. They may also have further specialty titles, such as plant servicing engineer and aircraft maintenance engineer.

Related: What Does an Engineer Do? (Plus 12 Types of Engineers)

What do servicing engineers do?

Servicing engineers make sure equipment runs reliably and safely for businesses. They also detect, repair or replace components or machines when there are minor concerns to save a company's money. They perform scheduled services to maintain good performance. They also do unplanned servicing when businesses notice problems with their equipment. The specific duties of servicing engineers depend on the equipment they support and their employer. Here are some common duties of servicing engineers:

  • estimating costs and providing quotes for services, repairs and installations

  • scheduling servicing appointments or getting appointment schedules from servicing manager

  • travelling to the homes or businesses of clients to perform services

  • inspecting equipment for faults or worn components

  • performing routine maintenance tasks, such as cleaning components, calibrating instruments and lubricating gears and motors

  • assessing failing equipment and diagnosing the problem and the best solution

  • sourcing new parts and replacement equipment for clients

  • replacing parts according to replacement schedule or because they shown signs of wear or damage

  • replacing and installing new equipment as needed

  • conducting safety checks on equipment

  • maintaining inventories of equipment required for servicing and repairs

  • writing detailed reports on all service tasks completed

  • reporting progress to maintenance or production manager

What are the working conditions of servicing engineers?

The working conditions of servicing engineers also depend on the equipment they service and their employer. Many servicing engineers travel off-site to service equipment in their client's homes and businesses. This arrangement is common for engineers working on fixed equipment, such as air conditioners, and engineers servicing many different pieces of equipment at once. Some service engineers, such as those who service cars and computers, may get clients to bring their equipment to a central servicing location.

Service engineers often work in factories and workshops. These environments can be loud and warm, especially during summer. As they may also contain dust and hazardous chemical substances, service engineers in these workplaces wear protective equipment and follow protocols to stay safe. Other service engineers, such as those who service computers, may have cleaner working environments as debris can impact electronic components. These servicing engineers often work at desks in offices.

What skills do servicing engineers use?

Advanced technical skills help service engineers accurately and efficiently perform services and maintenance tasks. Their soft skills help them collaborate with colleagues and build relationships with clients. Here are some of the skills that help servicing engineers succeed:

Mechanical and electronics knowledge and skills

Servicing engineers have a thorough knowledge of mechanics and electronics and their operation. This knowledge helps them diagnose problems and determine how to solve them. They can also read and interpret mechanical drawings which tell them about specific equipment. Their mechanical and electronics skills also help them use servicing and diagnostic software and tools and perform servicing tasks.

Problem solving

Servicing engineers apply their problem-solving skills to corrective servicing tasks. They use diagnostic tools and their own observations to discover why equipment is failing or performing unreliably. After diagnosing the fault, they decide how to solve the problem and restore functionality. This process involves assessing repair and replacement costs, the ease of repairs and the likelihood the equipment may have further issues. If they decide to repair the equipment, their problem-solving skills help them plan the most efficient strategy.

Related: Problem-Solving Skills: Definitions and Examples

Decision-making

When equipment fails, servicing engineers rely on their decision-making skills to diagnose the issue and restore function. Quickly making logical decisions and acting on them efficiently minimises downtime for clients and employers. Making the best decisions also increases the chance that equipment functions for some time after servicing.

Related: Decision-Making Skills: Definition with Tips

Physical fitness

Being a servicing engineer can be physically demanding. They spend a lot of time standing, sometimes in small spaces or uncomfortable positions. Having good physical fitness gives servicing engineers the stamina to work productively in those conditions. It also gives them the strength required to lift and manoeuvre heavy machinery or components.

Verbal and written communication

Servicing engineers use their communication skills to interact with their colleagues and clients. Strong verbal communication skills help them simplify complex mechanical information and explain equipment issues and their recommendations to clients. They apply their written communication skills to write thorough and precise service reports.

Related: The Main Components of the Communication Process

What qualifications do servicing engineers have?

Servicing engineers have at least a bachelor's degree in a relevant engineering discipline. A general Bachelor of Engineering is a common choice for a variety of servicing engineers. A servicing engineer who services computers may have a Bachelor of Engineering (Electronic and Computer Systems Engineering). A professional who services security systems may have a Bachelor of Engineering Technology (Electronic Systems and Security). Some servicing engineers also have a master's degrees in engineering. Postgraduate degrees can help experienced servicing engineers become servicing managers.

If you're in Queensland, apply to become a Registered Professional Engineer Queensland through the Board of Professional Engineers. This qualification lets all engineers in the state complete unsupervised duties. Other states and territories only require registration for engineers in the building sector. If you service equipment on construction sites, apply for the relevant registration via your location's engineering board.

What do servicing engineers earn?

The average salary of a servicing engineer is $92,096 per year. Salaries may increase with experience over time. A servicing engineer's employer, area of specialty and location can also impact their maintenance engineering salary.

Tips for becoming a servicing engineer

Here are some tips that can help you stand out from other candidates for maintenance engineer jobs:

Pursue further study

As most servicing engineers have a bachelor's degree, further study can distinguish your application. Holding a higher qualification shows your commitment to learning and developing as an engineer. Accept an invite to study honours at university if you are one of the top students in your graduating year. As this opportunity shows you have excellent maintenance engineering skills and knowledge, completing your honours year may help you separate yourself from other applicants.

Before applying for management roles most candidates consider a master's degree, but any servicing engineer can benefit from a postgraduate degree. This course of study provides a more in-depth education in your area of interest, so it can be a fantastic way to improve your knowledge.

Join the National Engineering Register

The National Engineering Register is a list of engineers who meet professional industry standards. Registration is optional, but it's an excellent way to prove your knowledge and skills. You can apply for the register with at least five years of professional engineering experience, including at least four years after graduating from university. Candidates generally require current professional indemnity insurance.

Aim to complete Engineers Australia's assessment process, which tests your knowledge of engineering, risk management, sustainability, safety and ethics. If you pass the assessment, Engineers Australia adds your name and details to the register.

Continue professional development

Businesses view applicants who show their commitment to improving themselves favourably. Take part in seminars, conferences and training programs to update your skills and learn more about your industry. For example, you may take a mechatronics course to understand new automated machines and industrial processes better. Engineers Australia coordinates several professional development opportunities for its members every year, so joining can be a great way to better yourself.

Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed. Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.

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