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Become A Plant Technician

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Working As A Plant Technician

  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material
  • Handling and Moving Objects
  • Performing General Physical Activities
  • Getting Information
  • Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment
  • $36,630

    Average Salary

What Does A Plant Technician Do

General maintenance and repair workers fix and maintain machines, mechanical equipment, and buildings. They paint, repair flooring, and work on plumbing, electrical, and air-conditioning and heating systems.

Duties

General maintenance and repair workers typically do the following:

  • Maintain and repair machines, mechanical equipment, and buildings
  • Fix or replace faulty electrical switches, outlets, and circuit breakers
  • Inspect and diagnose problems and figure out the best way to correct them
  • Perform routine preventive maintenance to ensure that machines continue to run smoothly
  • Assemble and set up machinery or equipment
  • Plan repair work using blueprints or diagrams
  • Do general cleaning and upkeep of buildings and properties
  • Order supplies from catalogs and storerooms
  • Meet with clients to estimate repairs and costs
  • Keep detailed records of their work

General maintenance and repair workers are hired for maintenance and repair tasks that are not complex enough to need the specialized training of a licensed tradesperson, such as a plumber or electrician.

These workers are also responsible for recognizing when a job is above their skill level and requires the expertise of an electrician; a carpenter; a heating, air-conditioning, and refrigeration mechanic or installer; or a plumber, pipefitter, or steamfitter.

General maintenance and repair workers may fix plaster or drywall. They may fix or paint roofs, windows, doors, floors, woodwork, and other parts of buildings.

They also maintain and repair specialized equipment and machinery in cafeterias, laundries, hospitals, stores, offices, and factories.

General maintenance and repair workers get supplies and repair parts from distributors or storerooms to fix problems. They use common hand and power tools, such as screwdrivers, saws, drills, wrenches, and hammers to fix, replace, or repair equipment and parts of buildings.

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How To Become A Plant Technician

Jobs in this field typically do not require any formal education beyond high school. General maintenance and repair workers often learn their skills on the job. They start by doing simple tasks and watching and learning from skilled maintenance workers.

Education

Many maintenance and repair workers learn some basic skills in high school shop or technical education classes, postsecondary trade or vocational schools, or community colleges.

Courses in mechanical drawing, electricity, woodworking, blueprint reading, mathematics, and computers are useful. Maintenance and repair workers often do work that involves electrical, plumbing, heating, and air-conditioning systems or painting and roofing tasks. Workers need a good working knowledge of many repair and maintenance tasks.

Practical training, available at many adult education centers and community colleges, is another option for workers to learn tasks such as drywall repair and basic plumbing.

Training

General maintenance and repair workers usually start by watching and learning from skilled maintenance workers. They begin by doing simple tasks, such as fixing leaky faucets and replacing lightbulbs. After gaining experience, general maintenance and repair workers move on to more difficult tasks, such as overhauling machinery or building walls.

Some general maintenance and repair workers learn their skills by assisting other types of repair or construction workers, including machinery repairers, carpenters, or electricians.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Licensing requirements vary by state and locality. For more complex tasks, workers may need to be licensed in a particular specialty, such as electrical or plumbing work.

Advancement

Some maintenance and repair workers decide to train in one specific craft and become craftworkers, such as electricians, heating and air-conditioning mechanics, or plumbers.

Other maintenance workers eventually open their own repair or contracting business. However, those who want to become a project manager or own their own business may need some postsecondary education or a degree in construction management. For more information, see the profile on construction managers.

Within small organizations, promotion opportunities may be limited.

Important Qualities

Customer-service skills. These workers interact with customers on a regular basis. They need to be friendly and able to address customers’ questions.

Dexterity. Many repair and maintenance tasks, such as repairing small devices, connecting or attaching components, and using hand tools, require a steady hand and good hand–eye coordination.

Troubleshooting skills. Workers find, diagnose, and repair problems. They perform tests to figure out the cause of problems before fixing equipment.

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Plant Technician Jobs

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Plant Technician Career Paths

Plant Technician
Laboratory Technician Technician Specialist
Account Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Control Room Operator Operation Supervisor General Manager
Area Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Worker Delivery Driver Maintenance Technician
Chief Engineer
10 Yearsyrs
Laboratory Technician Research Associate Project Manager
Construction Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Planting Supervisor Service Technician Field Supervisor
Construction Superintendent
9 Yearsyrs
Driver Operation Supervisor Facilities Manager
Director Of Facilities
11 Yearsyrs
Operations Manager Plant Manager
Director Of Plant Operations
14 Yearsyrs
Driver Instructor Program Manager
Engineering Director
13 Yearsyrs
Operations Manager Assistant Director
Environmental Services Director
9 Yearsyrs
Planting Supervisor Production Supervisor Safety Manager
General Superintendent
11 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Worker Maintenance Technician Production Supervisor
Manufacturing Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Plant Operator Plant Manager General Manager
Operations Director
9 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Technician Field Service Technician Service Manager
Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Construction Manager Operations Manager
Plant Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Technician Engineering Technician Project Manager
Program Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Material Handler Operator Foreman
Project Superintendent
10 Yearsyrs
Plant Operator Technician Operations Manager
Purchasing Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Material Handler Quality Control Inspector
Quality Control Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Program Manager
Senior Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Control Room Operator Maintenance Technician Production Supervisor
Warehouse Manager
5 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Plant Technician?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Plant Mechanic 4.7 years
Plant Operator 3.9 years
Utility Technician 3.2 years
IC Technician 3.2 years
Plant Technician 3.0 years
Plant Worker 2.1 years
Top Employers Before
Technician 13.8%
Internship 7.0%
Cashier 6.3%
Supervisor 5.5%
Operator 4.8%
Volunteer 3.9%
Mechanic 3.7%
Manager 3.5%
Teller 3.5%
Top Employers After
Technician 11.2%
Supervisor 5.3%
Internship 5.1%
Manager 4.3%
Mechanic 3.2%
Specialist 3.2%

Do you work as a Plant Technician?

Plant Technician Demographics

Gender

Male

73.3%

Female

24.7%

Unknown

2.0%
Ethnicity

White

81.0%

Hispanic or Latino

11.1%

Asian

5.6%

Unknown

1.6%

Black or African American

0.6%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

66.7%

French

5.6%

Russian

5.6%

Carrier

5.6%

Chinese

2.8%

Ukrainian

2.8%

German

2.8%

Dakota

2.8%

Mandarin

2.8%

Croatian

2.8%
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Plant Technician Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

14.6%

Bismarck State College

9.0%

West Virginia University

5.6%

University of Missouri - Columbia

5.6%

University of Texas at El Paso

5.6%

Colorado State University

5.6%

University of Idaho

4.5%

Vincennes University

4.5%

Delgado Community College

4.5%

Northwestern State University of Louisiana

4.5%

Capella University

4.5%

Long Beach City College

4.5%

Brigham Young University

3.4%

University of Toledo

3.4%

Tri-County Technical College

3.4%

Southwestern Illinois College

3.4%

Michigan State University

3.4%

Glendale Community College

3.4%

Southern Illinois University Carbondale

3.4%

Texas Tech University

3.4%
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Majors

Business

18.0%

Electrical Engineering

10.2%

Electrical Engineering Technology

7.2%

Plant Sciences

6.3%

Environmental Science

6.3%

Biology

6.1%

General Studies

4.8%

Management

4.8%

Criminal Justice

4.3%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

4.3%

Computer Science

3.9%

Engineering

3.5%

Psychology

3.0%

Automotive Technology

2.8%

Chemistry

2.8%

Computer Information Systems

2.6%

Chemical Engineering

2.4%

Information Technology

2.4%

Industrial Technology

2.2%

Education

2.0%
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Degrees

Other

34.3%

Bachelors

31.3%

Associate

15.9%

Masters

8.3%

Certificate

5.4%

Diploma

3.0%

Doctorate

1.4%

License

0.3%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

How Would You Rate The Salary Of a Plant Technician?

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Top Skills for A Plant Technician

SafeOperationProceduresFacilityPreventiveMaintenanceTechnicalSupportCustomerServiceTroubleshootPlantEquipmentControlSystemFiberEmergencyPHRawMaterialsQualityChecksWaterTreatmentAdjustOshaPLCControlRoomPlantMaintenance

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  1. Safe Operation
  2. Procedures
  3. Facility
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Analyzed reports and made necessary adjustment to correct water chemistry for safe operation of plant boilers.
  • Assist production of plant operational procedures.
  • Operate, monitor and service plant systems and equipment during facility operations.
  • Established safety criteria and developed preventive maintenance schedules.
  • Provide press side technical support.

How Would You Rate Working As a Plant Technician?

Are you working as a Plant Technician? Help us rate Plant Technician as a Career.

Top Plant Technician Employers

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Plant Technician Videos

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Plant Technician Job Preview