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Become A General Repair Mechanic

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Working As A General Repair Mechanic

  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material
  • Handling and Moving Objects
  • Performing General Physical Activities
  • Getting Information
  • Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment
  • $49,000

    Average Salary

What Does A General Repair Mechanic 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 Repair Mechanic

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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Average Length of Employment
Master Mechanic 5.9 years
Plant Mechanic 4.9 years
Equipment Mechanic 4.6 years
Generator Mechanic 3.9 years
Bus Mechanic 3.9 years
Diesel Mechanic 3.7 years
Mechanic 3.6 years
Truck Mechanic 3.5 years
Repair Specialist 3.5 years
Service Mechanic 3.4 years
Pump Mechanic 3.2 years
Junior Mechanic 2.4 years
Mechanic Helper 2.2 years
Top Careers Before General Repair Mechanic
Mechanic 24.6%
Technician 5.2%
Welder 4.3%
Painter 3.3%
Driver 2.8%
Helper 2.8%
Manager 2.8%
Cashier 2.8%
Top Careers After General Repair Mechanic
Mechanic 15.2%
Supervisor 5.6%
Welder 5.1%
Technician 4.5%
Operator 4.5%
Driver 3.5%

Do you work as a General Repair Mechanic?

General Repair Mechanic Demographics

Gender

Male

82.6%

Unknown

9.3%

Female

8.1%
Ethnicity

White

62.1%

Hispanic or Latino

15.8%

Black or African American

11.8%

Asian

7.3%

Unknown

3.0%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

85.7%

Korean

14.3%

General Repair Mechanic Education

Schools

Universal Technical Institute

12.2%

University of Phoenix

8.2%

Allied American University

6.1%

Central Texas College

6.1%

Community College of the Air Force

6.1%

Cerritos College

6.1%

Ashford University

6.1%

Pima Community College

4.1%

College of Lake County

4.1%

Rosedale Technical Institute

4.1%

University of Louisville

4.1%

Nassau Community College

4.1%

Henry Ford College

4.1%

Shelton State Community College

4.1%

Francis Marion University

4.1%

Saint Leo University

4.1%

Mississippi State University

4.1%

Wayne State University

4.1%

Chaffey College

2.0%

Dakota County Technical College

2.0%
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Majors

Automotive Technology

19.6%

Business

18.4%

General Studies

8.2%

Electrical Engineering Technology

5.1%

Aviation

5.1%

Electrical Engineering

5.1%

Precision Metal Working

3.8%

Mechanical Engineering

3.8%

Management

3.8%

Engineering

3.2%

Education

3.2%

Liberal Arts

3.2%

Mechanical Engineering Technology

2.5%

Computer Information Systems

2.5%

Industrial Technology

2.5%

Criminal Justice

2.5%

Biology

1.9%

Heating And Air Conditioning

1.9%

Electrical And Power Transmission Installers

1.9%

Accounting

1.9%
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Degrees

Other

46.0%

Associate

16.7%

Bachelors

15.1%

Certificate

10.0%

Diploma

5.9%

Masters

5.0%

License

1.3%
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Top Skills for A General Repair Mechanic

  1. Service Aircraft
  2. Mechanical Repair
  3. Recovery Vehicles
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Clean, refuel, and change oil on-line service aircraft.
  • General mechanical repair on classic cars
  • Performed extensive corrective and preventative maintenance work.
  • Performed functional testing and other checks to ensure safety.
  • Specialized in repair of automatic and manual transmissions as well as repair, realignment, and replacement of brake systems.

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Top General Repair Mechanic Employers

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