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General Maintenance and Repair Careers, Jobs and Training Information

Career and Job Highlights for General Repair and Maintenance Professionals

  • Most industries employ maintenance and repair workers of some kind.
  • The majority of workers receive on the job training, learning by assisting experienced workers like carpenters, electricians, and machinery repairers.
  • A big turnover is expected, so there should be plenty of job opportunities.

General Maintenance and Repair Career Overview

The majority of people find an area of specialization, like plumbing and carpentry. There are other craft workers, known as general maintenance and repair workers, who possess a wide array of skills. Workers carry out maintenance on mechanical equipment, buildings as well as do other work on plumbing, electrical, air-conditioning and heating systems. They perform a variety of tasks, like building partitions, repairing drywalls, painting or repairing roofs, windows, doors, floors and other sections of buildings. They also perform maintenance and repairs on special devices located in hospitals, Laundromats, production facilities, stores and so on. Routine tasks involve diagnosing and repairing bad electrical switches, fixing air-conditioning motors, and cleaning out drains. Some newer structures also have computerized systems, necessitating workers possessing fundamental computer skills. For instance, modern air-conditioning units can be run from centralized computer hubs. Additionally, other devices like lights can be run be run by electronic systems and come on and off on a schedule.

General workers will perform inspections and diagnostic tests to identify problems and then they will utilize blueprints, repair manuals, and component catalogs to fix the problems. Workers will get parts directly from distributors or from stockrooms. Workers also utilize basic tools like drills, hammers, and wrenches in conjunction with special devices and electronic testing equipment to find and replace faulty components or adjust parts or machines which are operating incorrectly.

General maintenance and repair workers take time to ensure that all machinery is operating as intended, that the systems within the buildings are running with efficiency, and that there is no deterioration in the physical state of the building. They also carry out inspections of drives, belts, and motors while observing fluid levels, replacing filters, and maintaining various other parts. These workers must track and record the maintenance and service they provide to machinery and the building.

In smaller facilities, where there may be just one lone maintenance worker, all the repairs required will be carried out by this worker except in the event of big or extremely hard jobs. Workers in large facilities may work generally in maintenance of everything or be assigned to service a specific area.
These workers typically perform several different duties in the course of one day, in a variety of places. For instance, workers may perform all their work in just one building, or they may work in many different buildings. Conditions of the job may be difficult, as work might have to be done outside in warm or cold weather, standing up for a length of time, lifting and moving heavy machinery, or in small tight spaces or on ladders requiring one to work in unnatural positions. Workers might experience burns and falls on the job, receive cuts and bruises or even be electrically shocked. The majority work 40 hours in any given week. Some must be on call for emergencies, or work shifts during the weekend, nights, or the evening.

Typically workers of small firms are supervised minimally by superiors. However, workers for large firms are constantly being supervised by workers with more experience.

General Maintenance and Repair Career Training and Job Qualifications

A lot workers gain experience and training on the job. Entry level workers begin as helpers, observing maintenance workers with more experience. Their beginning tasks are easy, like repairing faucets that leak, putting in new light bulbs, and then eventually taking on harder assignments like an overhaul of machinery or the construction of a wall. A few workers acquire skills and experience by first being employed as assistants to workers like carpenters, electricians, and machinery repairers.

Many skills are taught in shop classes found in high schools as well as postsecondary trade and vocational schools. To meet qualification standards, real work experience and/or training and classroom instruction of one to four years is typically needed. Newer structures have an increased reliance on computerized systems which allow users to control a variety of aspects of the buildings system. As a result of this movement to more technological buildings, workers must also have a good understanding of computers, like how to log on and sift through menus to get to the desired option. Typically, firms with computerized equipment will train employees on the job how to use these systems.

Typically a high school diploma is needed to enter this labor force. A variety of different secondary education classes are helpful, including classes in science, computers, mathematics, mechanical drawing, electricity, woodworking, and blueprint reading. Some important attributes are good hands, skills in applying shop mathematics, and a working mechanical ability. One should be healthy and physically fit as workers must walk from place to place, stand a lot, reach for things, and lift heavy objects. Some of the harder tasks call for a skilled problem solver, an lot of jobs involve working with any immediate supervision.

Some general workers fill supervisory roles in larger firms or they may become specialists as electricians, heating and air-conditioning mechanics, or plumbers. Workers in smaller firms will have fewer opportunities for advancement.