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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