What does a reliability engineer do? How is a reliability engineer different than a maintenance engineer?
1. The task of a reliability engineer is to prevent failures—this is a strategic task.
2. The task of a maintenance engineer is to quickly restore the failure to an operable condition—this is a tactical task (often driven by adrenalin for timely restoration).
Both jobs have elements of each other. Each must know about each others tools to adequately perform the task. An analogy exists between tasks in most fire departments around the world when you consider the preventive tasks of the fire marshal and the tactical tasks of the fire fighter.
1. Reliability Engineers are to the Fire Marshal as Maintenance Engineers are to the Fire Fighters.
Think of the reliability engineering tasks as clean hands jobs. Think of the maintenance engineering tasks as in the plant jobs. Download copies of both the reliability engineer and the maintenance engineer descriptions for three levels of jobs.
© Barringer & Associates, Inc., 2003