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Become A General Maintenance Worker

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Working As A General Maintenance Worker

  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material
  • Handling and Moving Objects
  • Performing General Physical Activities
  • Getting Information
  • Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment
  • $36,630

    Average Salary

What Does A General Maintenance Worker Do

General maintenance and repair workers fix and maintain machines, mechanical equipment, and buildings. They paint, repair flooring, and work on plumbing, electrical, and air-conditioning and heating systems.

Duties

General maintenance and repair workers typically do the following:

  • Maintain and repair machines, mechanical equipment, and buildings
  • Fix or replace faulty electrical switches, outlets, and circuit breakers
  • Inspect and diagnose problems and figure out the best way to correct them
  • Perform routine preventive maintenance to ensure that machines continue to run smoothly
  • Assemble and set up machinery or equipment
  • Plan repair work using blueprints or diagrams
  • Do general cleaning and upkeep of buildings and properties
  • Order supplies from catalogs and storerooms
  • Meet with clients to estimate repairs and costs
  • Keep detailed records of their work

General maintenance and repair workers are hired for maintenance and repair tasks that are not complex enough to need the specialized training of a licensed tradesperson, such as a plumber or electrician.

These workers are also responsible for recognizing when a job is above their skill level and requires the expertise of an electrician; a carpenter; a heating, air-conditioning, and refrigeration mechanic or installer; or a plumber, pipefitter, or steamfitter.

General maintenance and repair workers may fix plaster or drywall. They may fix or paint roofs, windows, doors, floors, woodwork, and other parts of buildings.

They also maintain and repair specialized equipment and machinery in cafeterias, laundries, hospitals, stores, offices, and factories.

General maintenance and repair workers get supplies and repair parts from distributors or storerooms to fix problems. They use common hand and power tools, such as screwdrivers, saws, drills, wrenches, and hammers to fix, replace, or repair equipment and parts of buildings.

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How To Become A General Maintenance Worker

Jobs in this field typically do not require any formal education beyond high school. General maintenance and repair workers often learn their skills on the job. They start by doing simple tasks and watching and learning from skilled maintenance workers.

Education

Many maintenance and repair workers learn some basic skills in high school shop or technical education classes, postsecondary trade or vocational schools, or community colleges.

Courses in mechanical drawing, electricity, woodworking, blueprint reading, mathematics, and computers are useful. Maintenance and repair workers often do work that involves electrical, plumbing, heating, and air-conditioning systems or painting and roofing tasks. Workers need a good working knowledge of many repair and maintenance tasks.

Practical training, available at many adult education centers and community colleges, is another option for workers to learn tasks such as drywall repair and basic plumbing.

Training

General maintenance and repair workers usually start by watching and learning from skilled maintenance workers. They begin by doing simple tasks, such as fixing leaky faucets and replacing lightbulbs. After gaining experience, general maintenance and repair workers move on to more difficult tasks, such as overhauling machinery or building walls.

Some general maintenance and repair workers learn their skills by assisting other types of repair or construction workers, including machinery repairers, carpenters, or electricians.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Licensing requirements vary by state and locality. For more complex tasks, workers may need to be licensed in a particular specialty, such as electrical or plumbing work.

Advancement

Some maintenance and repair workers decide to train in one specific craft and become craftworkers, such as electricians, heating and air-conditioning mechanics, or plumbers.

Other maintenance workers eventually open their own repair or contracting business. However, those who want to become a project manager or own their own business may need some postsecondary education or a degree in construction management. For more information, see the profile on construction managers.

Within small organizations, promotion opportunities may be limited.

Important Qualities

Customer-service skills. These workers interact with customers on a regular basis. They need to be friendly and able to address customers’ questions.

Dexterity. Many repair and maintenance tasks, such as repairing small devices, connecting or attaching components, and using hand tools, require a steady hand and good hand–eye coordination.

Troubleshooting skills. Workers find, diagnose, and repair problems. They perform tests to figure out the cause of problems before fixing equipment.

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General Maintenance Worker Jobs

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General Maintenance Worker Career Paths

General Maintenance Worker
Delivery Driver Installation Technician Maintenance Technician
Assistant Maintenance Supervisor
5 Yearsyrs
Electronics Technician Technician Engineer
Chief Engineer
10 Yearsyrs
Hvac Technician Sheet Metal Mechanic Foreman
Construction Superintendent
9 Yearsyrs
Computer Operator Operation Supervisor Facilities Manager
Director Of Facilities
11 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Supervisor Facilities Manager
Facilities Maintenance Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Delivery Driver Service Technician Maintenance Supervisor
Facilities Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Electrician Journeyman Electrician Foreman
General Contractor
6 Yearsyrs
Computer Operator Operator Foreman
General Superintendent
11 Yearsyrs
Machine Operator Mechanic
Lead Mechanic
7 Yearsyrs
Electronics Technician Maintenance Technician
Maintenance Director
11 Yearsyrs
Warehouse Worker Forklift Operator Maintenance Technician
Maintenance Lead Person
6 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Supervisor General Manager Maintenance Technician
Maintenance Lead Technician
8 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Worker Delivery Driver Maintenance Technician
Maintenance Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Worker Maintenance Technician
Maintenance Supervisor
7 Yearsyrs
Machine Operator Technician Maintenance Technician
Maintenance Technician Supervisor
5 Yearsyrs
Hvac Technician Lead Technician Senior Technologist
Master Technician
6 Yearsyrs
Welder Service Technician Mechanical Technician
Mechanics Supervisor
6 Yearsyrs
Welder Operations Manager Realtor
Property Management Specialist
6 Yearsyrs
Warehouse Worker Delivery Driver Maintenance Technician
Senior Maintenance Technician
8 Yearsyrs
Electrician Foreman
Superintendent
9 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a General Maintenance Worker?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Maintenance Person 2.8 years
Maintenance Worker 2.3 years
Maintenance Helper 1.9 years
Top Employers Before
Supervisor 4.9%
Cashier 4.9%
Carpenter 4.5%
Driver 4.5%
Cook 4.2%
Technician 3.8%
Manager 3.4%
Top Employers After
Cashier 6.1%
Internship 5.4%
Technician 4.6%
Owner 3.4%
Plumber 3.1%
Carpenter 3.1%

Do you work as a General Maintenance Worker?

General Maintenance Worker Demographics

Gender

Male

88.3%

Female

10.8%

Unknown

1.0%
Ethnicity

White

61.8%

Hispanic or Latino

19.5%

Black or African American

10.0%

Asian

5.3%

Unknown

3.5%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

81.3%

French

12.5%

German

6.3%

General Maintenance Worker Education

Schools

Bemidji State University

10.8%

American InterContinental University

7.7%

Minnesota State University - Mankato

6.2%

Arizona Western College

6.2%

Winona State University

6.2%

Central Texas College

4.6%

Elizabethtown Community and Technical College

4.6%

New Mexico State University

4.6%

Kaplan University

4.6%

Iowa State University

4.6%

Cochise College

4.6%

IntelliTec College - Colorado Springs

4.6%

Colorado Technical University

4.6%

Ferris State University

4.6%

Michigan State University

4.6%

Saint Cloud State University

4.6%

Pima Community College

3.1%

Columbus State University

3.1%

Arizona State University

3.1%

Henderson State University

3.1%
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Majors

Business

15.8%

Criminal Justice

11.4%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

8.8%

General Studies

8.3%

Electrical Engineering Technology

6.6%

Psychology

5.7%

Heating And Air Conditioning

5.3%

Electrical Engineering

4.8%

Engineering

4.4%

Computer Science

3.5%

Precision Metal Working

3.1%

Automotive Technology

3.1%

Graphic Design

3.1%

Environmental Science

2.6%

History

2.6%

Drafting And Design

2.2%

Kinesiology

2.2%

Liberal Arts

2.2%

Management

2.2%

English

2.2%
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Degrees

Other

39.5%

Bachelors

27.3%

Associate

18.7%

Certificate

8.1%

Diploma

3.0%

Masters

2.5%

License

0.5%

Doctorate

0.3%
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Top Skills for A General Maintenance Worker

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  1. Drywall Repair
  2. Safety
  3. Windows XP
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Monitored all safety and sanitation within areas designated to me.
  • Ensured preventative maintenance was performed on facility equipment as required.
  • Conduct spot removal of vegetation affecting facility use and target visibility.
  • Repair or replace defective equipment parts, using hand tools, power tools, and welders to reassemble or re-fabricate equipment.
  • Performed scheduled maintenance services and unscheduled maintenance repairs on HVAC equipment to sustain operation of equipment.

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Top General Maintenance Worker Employers

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