Office machine service engineers install, maintain and repair machines which are normally used in the office, such as photocopiers, facsimile machines, word processors, personal computers and projectors.
When an item of equipment goes wrong, service engineers have to identify and rectify the fault. They use small hand tools and electronic test equipment such as meters. They may refer to manufacturers’ handbooks or other technical manuals.
They talk to customers about the circumstances in which the fault occurred. They may cost the work needed to repair the machine and provide an estimate to the customer. They also order appropriate parts using manufacturers’ tables or computer systems.
They usually carry out the necessary repairs on the spot, by making adjustments or by replacing a unit of the machine. In some cases the machine or a unit may need to be taken to a workshop for further work with specialist tools.
Service engineers work a 37 to 40 hour week during office hours. Some may be on call or have to work weekends. Overtime may be available.
Service engineers visit customers in their offices, travelling by car or van. Some office machine engineers are based in workshops.
They have to bend and kneel, lift and carry, and often dismantle machines in confined spaces. The machines may be dirty or greasy. Engineers meeting the public must be presentable. Uniforms or overalls are often provided.
Good colour vision is essential. Analytical skills are required to identify faults. A pleasant manner and the ability to communicate with a variety of people is important.
Basic numerical skills are required for ordering parts and preparing estimates. The ability to read technical drawings is needed. Service engineers should be physically fit and able to work quickly and accurately under pressure. A responsible attitude towards safety is essential.
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