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Discuss As a Maintenance Engineer were should i go from here ? in the Electrical Engineering Chat area at ElectriciansForums.net

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I Have my level 3 in Engineering and have worked in maintenance (Fitter,mechanical,PPMs) for 3 years however, i have been planning to change careers for a while now.

Due to the recent "Pandemic" it has allowed me to deliberate the path i want to take as i do not see a long career working night shifts in dark warehouses.

I have looked into Becoming an electrician. Why an electrician ? Well the freedom an electrician has is very attractive and the ability to open more doors when combining my electrical and mechanical skills. Obviously, to become an electrician i would need training and qualifications. What would the quickest way be to do this without coming out the other side as a cowboy.

Secondly,I have been accepted onto a HND in mechanical engineering hoping to gain a deeper knowledge in my field hoping to boost my earnings. However this route still seems restrictive in prospects. Could someone please tell me what prospects are out there for someone with my skills and a added HND.

Lastly, I have an interest in the markets and helping others understand them. I would also love to have a career which is rewarding. Which is why i have applied to CII Level 4 Regulated Financial planning which would allow me to gain a position in a insurance or investment firm advising clients on the markets and potentially building a client base and becoming Independent.

The main question is what are my options and what are your experiences ?? Thanks guys

Context (20 years old in living in the south west)
 
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James

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Mentor
Arms
Supporter
Esteemed
One of the routes you could take is one similar to me.

I have a strong mechanical engineering background both academic and on the job trained.

I went down the electrical maintenance and control systems route.

Having a strong mech. Background allows me to understand systems and machines as a whole, whilst focusing on the electrical control systems.

See if your company will allow you time to train in electrical maintenance or fund a course for you.
Being multi skilled makes you more employable and able to demand a better pay rate.

Moving forward your options of becoming office based and designing controls or programming systems is a route that you could take.

P.s. a top level plc programmer / electrical engineer will charge themselves out to a customer on a day rate of around £1000
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #4
One of the routes you could take is one similar to me.

I have a strong mechanical engineering background both academic and on the job trained.

I went down the electrical maintenance and control systems route.

Having a strong mech. Background allows me to understand systems and machines as a whole, whilst focusing on the electrical control systems.

See if your company will allow you time to train in electrical maintenance or fund a course for you.
Being multi skilled makes you more employable and able to demand a better pay rate.

Moving forward your options of becoming office based and designing controls or programming systems is a route that you could take.

P.s. a top level plc programmer / electrical engineer will charge themselves out to a customer on a day rate of around £1000
Thank you for getting back to me.

The issue is that iv now left my work due to the "rona" and yes i understand contracting work modernizing and commissioning with PLC knowledge is very lucrative. However i am not with a company that is going to train me. Is there a way that i can learn from home or do you know of a way of getting into a company to re train and develop my skills.
 
One of the routes you could take is one similar to me.

I have a strong mechanical engineering background both academic and on the job trained.

I went down the electrical maintenance and control systems route.

Having a strong mech. Background allows me to understand systems and machines as a whole, whilst focusing on the electrical control systems.

See if your company will allow you time to train in electrical maintenance or fund a course for you.
Being multi skilled makes you more employable and able to demand a better pay rate.

Moving forward your options of becoming office based and designing controls or programming systems is a route that you could take.

P.s. a top level plc programmer / electrical engineer will charge themselves out to a customer on a day rate of around £1000
I specialise in SCADA and DCS systems as a contractor, strong PLC skills, Siemens PCS7, WinCC, Step5/7/TIA, in pharma and other process industries....not many customers willing to pay £1K a day.
 
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  • #6
I specialise in SCADA and DCS systems as a contractor, strong PLC skills, Siemens PCS7, WinCC, Step5/7/TIA, in pharma and other process industries....not many customers willing to pay £1K a day.
So what is your week look like ?
What is the pay like ?

Thanks
 

David Prosser

-
Arms
Esteemed
£400 to £500 generally is what we pay, that's for a day, don't care how long it takes you (could be 14hrs could be 2) and don't give a 5h1t were you've travelled from.You may get a bit more but that the going rate. The only people I've seen payed day rate around £1K are HV protection specialist.

Your in a good position knowledge wise to get started but it will be a step back for two steps forward if you start to train as an electrician. WPD, Wessex Water, Bristol Water, Wisemans/Muller are often looking for people around your area. These bigger companies are more likely to have money for training. Good luck mate as you've already made a wise choice in trying to not be a fitter !!
 
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  • #8
£400 to £500 generally is what we pay, that's for a day, don't care how long it takes you (could be 14hrs could be 2) and don't give a 5h1t were you've travelled from.You may get a bit more but that the going rate. The only people I've seen payed day rate around £1K are HV protection specialist.

Your in a good position knowledge wise to get started but it will be a step back for two steps forward if you start to train as an electrician. WPD, Wessex Water, Bristol Water, Wisemans/Muller are often looking for people around your area. These bigger companies are more likely to have money for training. Good luck mate as you've already made a wise choice in trying to not be a fitter !!
oo okay i understand yh thats some chunky money. Ill go ahead and contact a few of those company's now. So would you need a van and tools to get into contracting work once competent. and thanks alot let me know if you know anything else about getting into this type of work.

Thanks again
 

David Prosser

-
Arms
Esteemed
To be on that money you don't use tools.

The way in is to get a job with decent experience and training 4-5 years at least, the bigger employers local to Bristol I mentioned in first post are ones I know off, I don't live in Bristol so you may know of others. Through experience I have found that these types of companies have training teams and budgets to help you on your way, you could be lucky and get a smaller team who are also good with training. Then look at manufacturers web sites for jobs ABB, Siemens, Alan Bradley, the all encompassing Schneider etc. But you need to get a job with decent general training first, at 20 you could easily get in on apprenticeships schemes, that depends on your personal circumstances.

What I would say is I've never seen maintenance fitters get the opportunity to move up or on with anywhere near the opportunity good electricians/Instrument tech will get. I work/worked with some really top notch tool makers and mechanical guys. They options for moving up just don't appear to be there. I guess it because a gearbox is unlikely to evolve at the speed a PLC is.
 
Electrical fault finding is way harder (in my opinion) than mechanical stuff.
I´m Engineering Manager at a factory, I´ve just seen your only 20, so yes go on some courses if you think you can do it, can you tag along with the electrical people at your factory? The opinion I have always heard is "if you are electrical biased then you can work out mechanical, if you are mechanical biased then will likely struggle with electrical". Having said that, we have some pneumatic machines that are almost entirely working on pneumatic valves, they are a nightmare!
You need to have the correct thinking, if you say "that´s not my job" about things then you won´t do well.

If you do well in maintenance then you will be chased by companies for life. last week I had two agencies phoning me even though I´m not looking for work. Most I´ve had in a day is 12!
After experience, you can do become a supervisor or do a management course (I´ve never done one, but been self-employed), then you get Project Management, Programming PLC´s HMI,s, Scada etc.

Everyday is different, for example:
Unlock factory as per procedure, turn on air compressors, bus bars, chillers, check for faults.
Follow monday morning check sheet, which involves checking stock of important items, chiller water levels, all services are functioning, cleaning of various filter, checking PPE stocks.
Find out about any breakdowns that will need fixing first.
Factory walk, checking for oil leaks, water leaks, drainage systems are clear.
Order PPE.
Project Work, building an automated cutting machine, build chassis, control panel, PLC program, HMI design and tags. Design machine parts to be laser cut which will then bolt together, saving time, machine some parts in the tool room, design and build pneumatic system.
Walk from office to far side of factory to reset an emergency stop which "it definately isn´t"
Empty waste oil tray.
Empty water tank and clean.
Meetings.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #11
Electrical fault finding is way harder (in my opinion) than mechanical stuff.
I´m Engineering Manager at a factory, I´ve just seen your only 20, so yes go on some courses if you think you can do it, can you tag along with the electrical people at your factory? The opinion I have always heard is "if you are electrical biased then you can work out mechanical, if you are mechanical biased then will likely struggle with electrical". Having said that, we have some pneumatic machines that are almost entirely working on pneumatic valves, they are a nightmare!
You need to have the correct thinking, if you say "that´s not my job" about things then you won´t do well.

If you do well in maintenance then you will be chased by companies for life. last week I had two agencies phoning me even though I´m not looking for work. Most I´ve had in a day is 12!
After experience, you can do become a supervisor or do a management course (I´ve never done one, but been self-employed), then you get Project Management, Programming PLC´s HMI,s, Scada etc.

Everyday is different, for example:
Unlock factory as per procedure, turn on air compressors, bus bars, chillers, check for faults.
Follow monday morning check sheet, which involves checking stock of important items, chiller water levels, all services are functioning, cleaning of various filter, checking PPE stocks.
Find out about any breakdowns that will need fixing first.
Factory walk, checking for oil leaks, water leaks, drainage systems are clear.
Order PPE.
Project Work, building an automated cutting machine, build chassis, control panel, PLC program, HMI design and tags. Design machine parts to be laser cut which will then bolt together, saving time, machine some parts in the tool room, design and build pneumatic system.
Walk from office to far side of factory to reset an emergency stop which "it definately isn´t"
Empty waste oil tray.
Empty water tank and clean.
Meetings.
Thanks for getting in touch

This is literally what iv been doing minus the management and meetings. I have wired up a few 3 phase panels which isn't hard but i don't really understand it if i had to wire up a few different electrical systems on my own, I could probably work it out from my phone but i don't feel comfortable doing it basically.
Also i am now not working for the company i was at.
Would changing my offer from a Mechanical Engineering HND to a Electrical one help me out as i have so much time on my hands now, and i hate doing nothing playing video games and snap-chatting lol.
Post automatically merged:

To be on that money you don't use tools.

The way in is to get a job with decent experience and training 4-5 years at least, the bigger employers local to Bristol I mentioned in first post are ones I know off, I don't live in Bristol so you may know of others. Through experience I have found that these types of companies have training teams and budgets to help you on your way, you could be lucky and get a smaller team who are also good with training. Then look at manufacturers web sites for jobs ABB, Siemens, Alan Bradley, the all encompassing Schneider etc. But you need to get a job with decent general training first, at 20 you could easily get in on apprenticeships schemes, that depends on your personal circumstances.

What I would say is I've never seen maintenance fitters get the opportunity to move up or on with anywhere near the opportunity good electricians/Instrument tech will get. I work/worked with some really top notch tool makers and mechanical guys. They options for moving up just don't appear to be there. I guess it because a gearbox is unlikely to evolve at the speed a PLC is.
Yes that makes sense.

Yh the mechanical fitter way is very limiting for prospects unless you get out there and educate yourself.

Thankyou
 
So what is your week look like ?
What is the pay like ?

Thanks
As someone that's now mostly retired and been around the block a few times... Can I suggest that you spend less time thinking about the money and more time thinking about what you enjoy doing.

It's a common trait for many... chasing the highest paid job, switching directions, changing careers etc etc... but never being truly happy in what they do. I've learnt that if you enjoy doing something, you're far more likely to be successful at it... and that will lead to better money.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #13
As someone that's now mostly retired and been around the block a few times... Can I suggest that you spend less time thinking about the money and more time thinking about what you enjoy doing.

It's a common trait for many... chasing the highest paid job, switching directions, changing careers etc etc... but never being truly happy in what they do. I've learnt that if you enjoy doing something, you're far more likely to be successful at it... and that will lead to better money.
Thanks for getting in touch

I am only 20 so i don't know what work i like yet and this thread hasn't been about the money but feeling accomplished, valuable, fulfilled work and still being paid well and looking after my future family would be nice.

You cant pay for thinks in the currency of dreams and aspirations

Thanks, would be interested in hearing about the work you have done
Post automatically merged:

Thanks for getting in touch

I am only 20 so i don't know what work i like yet and this thread hasn't been about the money but feeling accomplished, valuable, fulfilled work and still being paid well and looking after my future family would be nice.

You cant pay for things in the currency of dreams and aspirations

Thanks, would be interested in hearing about the work you have done
 
Last edited:
Sorry, only just seen this.
Did you decide what to do?
 

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