How to Become a Maintenance and Repair Worker

How to Become a Maintenance and Repair Worker

When you analyse various jobs, three advantages stand out: security, variety and autonomy. Are you after a job that allows you to generate your own hours and adhere to a less than conventional schedule? This is what you will get if you pursue a career as a maintenance and repair worker. These professionals are responsible for the repair and maintenance work for dwellings, and various job sites such as apartments, offices, schools and government agencies.

What Do Maintenance and Repair Workers Do?

Maintenance and repair workers are employed in almost each industry. They might work inside a single structure or in a variety of them. They might spend long hours standing, lifting heavy objects and working in uncomfortable environments. They use various tools such as hoists, hammers, wrenches, drills and saws. Their duties include but are not limited to:

  • Inspecting, operating or testing equipment or machinery for diagnosis of malfunctions
  • Diagnosing mechanical problems and determining the best way to correct them
  • Assembling, installing or repairing wiring electrical and electronic components, machinery, plumbing and piping systems
  • Cleaning or lubricating shafts gears, bearings, and various other parts of machinery
  • Repairing or replacing defective damaged equipment parts by the help of power tools and hand tools and reassembling equipment
  • Adjusting functional parts of devices and control instruments using straightedges, levels, hand tools or plumb bobs
  • Performing continuous preventive maintenance to ensure the smooth running of machines
  • Recording the nature and cost of repair and maintenance work.


This jack-of-all-trades type of these workers translates to an average income. In 2012, their annual median salary was $35,210 while the highest paid worker earned approximately $57,260 with the lowest earning around $20,920. Below are the earnings of the maintenance and repair workers in the best paying cities.



Annual Median Earnings

San Francisco


San Jose, California


Kennewick, Washington


Napa, California




Source: usnews


What Qualifications are Needed?

A large number of repair and maintenance workers learn their skills through on-the-job training. They might begin as helpers keeping a keen aye on experts and learning the skills. They then begin performing simple tasks such as replacing light bulbs and fixing leaky faucets then continue to intricate tasks such as building walls and overhauling machinery. These tasks need them to possess the following skills and qualities:

  • Manual dexterity to move hands quickly when grasping, manipulating and assembling objects
  • Near vision to be able to see details at closer range
  • Information and ordering in order to arrange components in definite patterns an orders
  • Arm-hand steadiness, which is very important when moving arms or holding them in one position
  • Problem sensitivity to be capable of telling when there is something wrong
  • Finger dexterity for the grasping, manipulation and fixing of very small objects
  • Ability to visualise how something will appear when some components are move or arranged in a certain manner
  • deductive and inductive reasoning to apply general rules in resolution of various problems and combination of these pieces of information to arrive at a definite conclusion

Professional Training

The entry level for this job is a high school diploma or its equivalent. Even though requirements vary by state, it is mandatory that the worker should secure the required certification. It takes an approximate of 1-4 years on vocational or on-the-job training or a combo of both to gain the required qualifications. This training is obtained in post-secondary trade schools and community colleges.

The repair and maintenance worker coursework involves woodworking, electricity, drawing, mathematics, blueprint reading and computer training. Those willing to advance their career can pursue various degree programs with various specialties to hold senior position in the repair and maintenance field.

Career Prospects

Job opportunities for these professionals are favorable especially for those with a vast experience in maintenance or its related specialties. This is an occupation with a huge turnover. There is a projection of more maintenance workers retiring in the next two decades hence a chance for more job openings. According to BLS, jobs for repair and maintenance workers are estimated to increase 9% from 2012-2022.

Jobs are bound to increase due to a rise in real estate ventures. An increase in home sales with a need for remodeling and redesigning is also a plus for the repair and maintenance workers since they will be required to carry out the upgrading and renovation tasks.