Becoming a general maintenance and repair worker is an excellent career path for those that are young and strong. General maintenance and repair workers usually make about $16.70 per hour, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. They usually require only a high school diploma or GED, and they usually receive on-the-job training in regards to their tasks. The job outlook for this industry is fairly bright, with about 142,000 new jobs expected to be created over the next decade. In addition to this, no prior work experience within the industry is usually necessary for those that are interested in moving into this field.
What is a General Maintenance & Repair Worker?
High School or GED
A general maintenance and repair worker encompasses a fairly broad spectrum of skills and specializations. These workers usually repair machinery and mechanical equipment, and they will often work on the general repairs throughout a building. These workers may also work on electrical systems, HVAC system and plumbing systems as necessary. Occasionally, a worker may be required to get additional licensing or to work under a licensed contractor to perform specialty work such as electrical work.
If a worker becomes specialized in this field, they may be able to switch careers. As an example, a repair worker that becomes licensed in electrical work could potentially become an electrician after the proper training and education. Much of the work that a general maintenance or repair worker does will be in buildings such as apartment complexes. However, some maintenance or repair workers may become self-employed and bill themselves as “handymen.”
How to Become a General Maintenance & Repair Worker
General maintenance and repair workers do not require any specific educational background or industry background. Instead, these workers are usually trained on-the-job rather than being put through any specific certification or training program. Being hired by a company that performs maintenance and repair is usually the foremost way to break into this career path.
As the worker learns more and gains more seniority, their pay rate will increase and they will usually be given a preferable position over other workers. Eventually, a worker may be able to become supervisor of other workers. Some workers may find themselves aided by trade or vocational schools, in addition to selected programs such as those found in community colleges. There are many individual courses that could become useful for someone within this trade, such as blueprint reading or mechanical drawing. Overall, an education may increase the success of someone in this field but it is not necessary and does not replace practical knowledge.
Advancement as a General Maintenance & Repair Worker
A general maintenance and repair worker may consider getting certification or licensing in their field. This can increase their rate of pay and show that they have the basic knowledge required to perform some tasks. Maintenance and repair workers can also specialize in different fields or obtain an education or training in related fields, such as plumbing or HVAC repair. According to O*Net Online, plumbing is one of the related fields with the brightest outlooks.
Those that would prefer to remain a maintenance and repair worker can consider starting their own company, with the appropriate licensing, or working under self-employment. Maintenance and repair workers can also become supervisors or managers for maintenance and repair companies, if they desire. To excel as a maintenance and repair worker, an employee will need to have excellent people skills, mechanical skills and problem-solving skills. Many of the issues that a worker will encounter from day-to-day will require a critical eye to be able to determine exactly what is wrong and how to fix it. Those that find that they excel in these points will likely find success within the industry, and may be able to advance on this basis alone.