Supply Chain Salary & Employment Forecast Series – Maintenance Engineer

Hunter Campbell’s Supply Chain Salary & Employment Forecast Series profiles jobs within the Supply Chain job family including jobs in demand, salaries and employment prospects.

In our second instalment, the role of Maintenance Engineer is in the spotlight.

Purpose of the role

Maintenance Engineers ensure that machinery and equipment runs smoothly and reliably across a site, including reactive and planned repairs.  Value is added to the role by those who look into the optimisation of machinery by mitigating machinery failure and putting in place preventative maintenance plans.

It is critical that senior engineers are involved in the wider IBP / S&OP process to give clarity on planned maintenance and any forward impact on production capacity.

In larger manufacturing businesses, Maintenance Engineers will usually work set or rotating shifts, especially if the business is a 24/7 operation.

Most Maintenance Engineers have either an electrical or mechanical background.


There are several pathways that can be followed to gain the relevant qualifications, which will hold you in good stead but are not essential.

You need to be EWRB registered to be able to work as an Electrical Maintenance Engineer. For Mechanical Engineers, you can also go down the apprenticeship route with a Level 4 National Certificate or a Bachelor degree in Mechanical Engineering.

Key skills required

  • A mindset that is inquisitive and focused on problem solving.
  • The ability to work quickly under pressure in fast-paced environments.
  • Strong attention to detail and good organisational skills.
  • Excellent communication skills – Maintenance Engineers need to be able to explain ideas and designs to those who are not familiar with engineering or mechanical terms and systems.
  • Being able to work autonomously and in a team environment is highly regarded.

Career prospects

Though the career path can vary greatly across industries, predominantly Maintenance Engineers move into a Team Leader or supervisory role, then become an Engineering Manager or even a Head of Engineering in larger organisations.

There is the potential to develop further away from maintenance and move towards Reliability Engineering, Project Engineering or into a continuous or process improvement role.

Maintenance Engineers looking to develop their careers should look at expanding their skillset off the tools.

Recruitment forecast

Manufacturing is always going to be around and the need for specialists that can maintain machinery is always going to be in demand.

Covid-19 has highlighted the importance of the role. A lot of organisations, such as food manufacturers, were able to keep working at all levels and increased demand for product meant the need for keeping machinery operating optimally was critical.

The technological advancement of machinery and equipment is laying the foundation for a new breed of engineers. Both Mechanical and Electrical Maintenance Engineers are on the long-term skills shortage list from Immigration New Zealand, though there is uncertainty at the moment as to when talent from overseas will be able to enter New Zealand again.

Salary guide

  • Intermediate: $80,000 – $90,000
  • Advanced: $100,000 – $120,000
  • Leadership: $120,000+
  • Senior Leadership: $140, 000+

Due to the shift work nature of these roles, pay is usually quoted as an hourly rate with a shift allowance on top.

An intermediate Maintenance Engineer in a role with no people leadership can expect in the region of $40p/h to $52p/h plus a shift allowance if applicable.

Individuals moving into a team leadership or supervisory role can expect to move into a salaried role. Depending upon the size of the organisation and the maintenance team being led, the salary would be in the region of $120,000 to $130,000. As a Head of Engineering, you can expect to be looking at upwards of $140,000.

If you would like to find out more about the role of Maintenance Engineer, please contact Senior Consultant John Boyle. John specialises in the recruitment of Supply Chain, Procurement, Operations and Health and Safety roles. For more news and views visit our website by clicking here, see what opportunities we have available here or follow us on LinkedIn.

Supply Chain Salary & Employment Forecast Series

  1. Demand Planner
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