Coin, amusement and vending machines have become extremely common today and are situated in a variety of different locations including casinos, convenience shops, arcades and other businesses. These coins, which are activated by coins, provide an array of services such as entertainment, food and drink and lottery tickets. Servicers are responsible for installing, repairing and stocking these machines. A vending machine servicer may also be known as a route driver and is responsible for caring for and stocking the machine. Job duties may also include collecting money and replacing product labels. They are also responsible for ensuring the machine remains clean and attractive.
Coin, Vending and Amusement Machine Service and Repair Job Responsibilities
Workers who repair such machines may also be known as mechanics or technicians. They are responsible for ensuring the machine functions effectively. Some complex machines may be more complex and involve electronic and electrical components. When working on these machines, technicians must exercise extreme care. While installing vending, amusement and coin machines workers must also frequently make sure that electricity and water are properly connected. Job responsibilities also include ensuring that all components work in accordance with local electrical and plumbing regulations. As many machines contain drink or food, technicians must also make sure they follow all local and state sanitation and health guidelines.
Arcade game machines such as video games, pinball machines and slot machines are frequently serviced by those servicers specializing in those specific types of machines. They must make sure that all machine parts are properly functioning, which can include levers, joysticks and buttons. They must also make certain that all games are played in a fair manner. They may need to repair or replace worn parts, make certain selections are kept up to date and possibly rebuild the machine in some instances. Those workers who handle machines that dispense lottery tickets as well as those who work on slot machines must ensure they comply with state and federal regulations related to the gaming industry.
When checking machines for malfunctions, a technician will usually first check for the most common problems such as wires that are disconnected or problems related to the bill/coin acceptor. Hand held devices may be used to identify the source of problems. In some cases a new circuit board may need to be installed. In the event a problem cannot be easily identified, the technician may need to rely on technical manuals or test the equipment.
A small business will commonly utilize the same worker to stock and service vending machines. They may be responsible for collecting money, stocking the machine and performing repairs as needed. In some cases administrative duties may also be necessary, such as completing cost estimates related to the parts that are necessary for repair and ordering parts as needed. Tracking inventory on a daily basis may also be required along with accounting for money collected.
Employment in this field is expected to increase through the year 2012, due to the increase expected in the use of these types of machines. Other positions will become available as the industry grows and workers either retire or leave the industry voluntarily. Growth in the industry will be further spurred by an increase in the number of machines that will be installed in hospitals, factories, schools and stores in order to keep pace with the demand from the public for fast, inexpensive snacks. The variety for the type of products that is distributed by such machines is also expected to continue expanding. Arcades, amusement centers and casinos are also growing in popularity for placement of these machines as is the use of coin operated devices for dispensing lottery tickets.
Coin, Vending and Amusement Machine Service and Repair Training and Education Requirements
Individuals who are interested in entering this career field can usually do so by learning the trade through work experience. Entry-level workers commonly gain hands-on experience by working under the supervision of an experienced worker. Most employers look for candidates who have a high school diploma. Vocational or high school courses in refrigeration, electricity and machine repair can be helpful. Employers may test candidates to determine mechanical skill levels.
Honesty is considered to be an extremely important characteristic in this industry as workers may need to handle and collect hundreds or even thousands of dollars in cash and inventory. Workers must also be able to interact politely with customers. A clean driving record and valid driver’s license is required for workers who will have a route. In some cases servicers may need to be bonded.
Coin, Vending and Amusement Machine Service and Repair Salary and Wages
The average wage in 2002 for machinery mechanics was $18.26 per hour. Type of employer, geographic location, experience and education can impact earnings.*
*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/
Coin, Vending and Amusement Machine Service and Repair Certifications
The National Automatic Merchandising Association offers an independent study program for entry into this field. Upon completion of the program, candidates must take a written exam in order to obtain certification as a journeyman.
Professional associations for this industry may include unions that extend to mechanics.