General maintenance and repair workers are diversely trained in a number of different areas. They can maintain and repair a variety of machinery, plumbing, electrical and heating and air systems. They can also work in carpentry and handle work for a variety of businesses such as hospitals, schools, factories and stores. On the job, they may do general woodwork, such as building partitions and repair work for doors, floors, railings and windowsills. Electrical problems may require this worker to do work on air-conditioners, working with malfunctioning electrical switches and dealing with computer technology that controls the building’s heating and air system. Being organized and willing to continually learn are essential to this job as the worker may have to deal with changing technology in new machinery on a regular basis.
General Maintenance and Repair Job Responsibilities
In order to do the vast amount of repair work required, general maintenance and repair workers have to consult manuals, blueprints and order parts from catalogs. The tools they use in their work can vary from simple hand tools, such as screwdrivers and hammers, up to power tools that include drills and tablesaws. Part of the job as well is keeping accurate records of repairs done, routine maintenance procedures completed and items that required the work. The work environment requires a lot of standing for extended periods of time, working on ladders, in small spaces and in places that may be hot or cold to a greater degree. Physical stamina and strength are essentials as its individual may have to do a lot of heavy lifting and moving of various objects.
These workers also need to have strong mechanical and technical skills. Being able to problem solve on a daily basis in a variety of situations is required for the diverse number of problems that this individual will have to deal with. Working without constant supervision may occur in certain positions, so the worker will need to be able to complete tasks in a timely manner and stay focused on the job.
General Maintenance and Repair Training and Education Requirements
Training for this position is normally done while working as an assistant in an informal setting. As they began work, the worker is given very basic tasks to do, such as working with a faucet that is leaking, changing out light bulbs and over time are given more responsibility. Many workers can become diversified in their knowledge and skills by serving as an assistant in various trades, including construction, electrical work and plumbing. It can take anywhere from a few months to a full year before the individual is able to work in this position. Someone wanting to work in this field can start to prepare during high school will by taking classes in math, computers, electricity and woodworking. Another option is to attend a vocational school or a technical program at a local community college that offers classes in these areas.
General Maintenance and Repair Salary and Wages
Job opportunities for general maintenance and repair workers, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, has a probable growth of at least 11% by the year 2018. Many positions will become open as older workers retire or when others leave the profession. Those with the best chances for employment are those who pursue certification and diverse training. The average hourly pay is at $16.21, with the highest at or above $25.94 and the lowest at or below $9.78. Some of the highest paying positions can be found in local government jobs.*
*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/
Workers can advance to higher positions with training and certification to be supervisors or specialists in areas such as plumbing, heating and air or to work as an electrician. Certification can open the past two higher pay, better positions and advancement.
General Maintenance and Repair Certifications
Workers can receive certification from the International Management Institute, who offers certifications in three different areas: Certified Maintenance Technician, Certified Maintenance Professional and Certified Maintenance Manager. Going from basic to highest level, these certifications cover areas including electricity, skills in problem solving, math and blueprint reading. To gain one of these levels, the worker has to meet certain requirements and pass a written test.
Certain positions, such as those requiring plumbing tasks, may require licensure by the state or local area that the individual works in. The worker should check for the legal requirements where they work to make sure that they are carrying the correct license.
General Maintenance and Repair Professional Associations
The International Maintenance Institute offers certification opportunities to workers in the field. The Society for Maintenance and Reliability of Professionals, which is located in McLean, Virginia. This organization also supports its members by offering certification opportunities, educational resources and various publications. Workers can join at seven different levels, and take advantage of the many opportunities that they offer. There is even a scholarship provided to members for training.