Maintenance and Diagnostics


A maintenance and diagnostics engineer makes, fits and repairs parts for machines and related equipment used in places such as factories, farms, mining sites and oil refineries.

Tasks and Duties:

  • studies and interprets engineering drawings
  • decides on suitable materials and working methods
  • measures and marks out metals for cutting
  • sets and operates machines
  • cuts and shapes metals
  • checks work for accuracy
  • joins metal pieces by welding
  • repairs machines and their parts
  • carries out maintenance checks on machines
  • cleans and installs equipment and machinery


Maintenance and diagnostics engineers need practical mechanical engineering and technical skills, and the ability to make calculations, interpret drawings and follow instructions. They should have an eye for detail and should be attentive to mechanical sounds. They also need good communication skills.


Maintenance and diagnostics engineers must know about engineering drawings, metals, electronics, basic maths, and machines. They should also know about different welding processes, up-to-date methods, products and tools.

Personal Qualities:

Maintenance and diagnostics engineers should be practical and accurate, and able to make good judgements of how equipment is being used on production lines. They should be safety-conscious, patient and careful, and comfortable working in teams.

Physical Requirements:

Maintenance and diagnostics engineers need to be fit, healthy and strong, as heavy lifting may be required in some workplaces. They should also have good hand-eye co-ordination and steady hands.

Educational Requirements:

NCEA Level 1 in English, maths, science, graphics and workshop technology

Entry Requirements:

Preference may be given to those students who have successfully completed a relevant pre apprenticeship engineering course at a polytechnic.

A drivers license is generally required.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for a maintenance and diagnostics engineer includes work using hand tools, and work with metals and machines.

Training on the job

Maintenance and diagnostics engineers gain skills on the job. They usually begin as apprentices, and study towards a National Certificate in Maintenance and Diagnostics in Mechanical Engineering.

Work Places

Maintenance and diagnostics engineers work in factories or workshops, oilrigs and mining sites.


Maintenance and diagnostics engineers usually earn between about $30,000 and $50,000, depending on experience, skills and qualifications.

Further Information

Employment opportunities in this occupation are growing in Southland and there is currently a shortage of trained Maintenance and Diagnostic engineers. Staff turnover is low in most workplaces. This overall picture is not expected to change in the next five years.

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