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Become A Maintenance Operator

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Working As A Maintenance Operator

  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material
  • Handling and Moving Objects
  • Performing General Physical Activities
  • Getting Information
  • Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment
  • $31,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Maintenance Operator 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 Maintenance Operator

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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Maintenance Operator Career Paths

Maintenance Operator
Maintenance Technician Foreman Superintendent
Project Superintendent
10 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Technician Electrician Maintenance Supervisor
Maintenance Director
11 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Technician Foreman Manager
Plant Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Mechanic Foreman Superintendent
Construction Superintendent
9 Yearsyrs
Mechanic Technician Maintenance Supervisor
Facilities Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Mechanic Electrician Maintenance Manager
Facilities Maintenance Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Driver Technician Lead Technician
Technical Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Driver Technician Engineer
Engineering Supervisor
6 Yearsyrs
Driver Coordinator Operation Supervisor
Fleet Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Equipment Operator Delivery Driver Field Service Technician
Technical Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Equipment Operator Electrician Warehouse Manager
Warehouse Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Equipment Operator Field Service Technician Maintenance Supervisor
Director Of Facilities
11 Yearsyrs
Delivery Driver Service Technician Hvac Technician
Maintenance Lead Technician
7 Yearsyrs
Delivery Driver Field Service Technician Maintenance Manager
Director Of Plant Operations
13 Yearsyrs
Service Technician Building Engineer Facilities Manager
Environmental Services Director
9 Yearsyrs
Service Technician Building Engineer Property Manager
Director Of Property Management
6 Yearsyrs
Millwright Maintenance Manager Facilities Maintenance Manager
Facilities Project Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Millwright Journeyman Maintenance Electrician
Senior Maintenance Technician
8 Yearsyrs
Millwright Journeyman Electrician Maintenance Technician Supervisor
Manager Of Maintenance Technology
7 Yearsyrs
Plant Operator Maintenance Engineer Maintenance Planner
Mechanical Maintenance Supervisor
7 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Maintenance Operator?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Maintenance Person 3.0 years
Operator 2.9 years
Top Careers Before Maintenance Operator
Operator 10.9%
Welder 6.4%
Supervisor 5.6%
Cashier 5.2%
Technician 5.0%
Owner 3.0%
Top Careers After Maintenance Operator
Operator 7.9%
Driver 5.9%
Technician 5.0%
Mechanic 4.8%
Supervisor 4.7%
Foreman 3.8%
Cashier 3.8%
Welder 3.8%
Owner 3.1%

Do you work as a Maintenance Operator?

Maintenance Operator Demographics

Gender

Male

82.7%

Unknown

10.0%

Female

7.3%
Ethnicity

White

62.9%

Hispanic or Latino

15.9%

Black or African American

11.5%

Asian

6.3%

Unknown

3.4%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

50.9%

French

12.3%

Arabic

7.0%

German

3.5%

Carrier

3.5%

Dakota

3.5%

Italian

3.5%

Swedish

1.8%

Berber

1.8%

Finnish

1.8%

Portuguese

1.8%

Dutch

1.8%

Hmong

1.8%

Polish

1.8%

Shan

1.8%

Korean

1.8%
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Maintenance Operator Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

17.3%

Community College of the Air Force

6.3%

Universal Technical Institute

5.5%

University of Toledo

4.7%

Murray State University

4.7%

The Academy

4.7%

Vincennes University

4.7%

Southern Illinois University Carbondale

4.7%

California State University - Sacramento

4.7%

Lee College

4.7%

University of Alabama

3.9%

Del Mar College

3.9%

Ashford University

3.9%

Kent State University

3.9%

Southern New Hampshire University

3.9%

Texas A&M University

3.9%

Washtenaw Community College

3.9%

Mississippi State University

3.9%

University of South Florida

3.1%

Trident Technical College

3.1%
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Majors

Business

16.4%

Electrical Engineering Technology

7.9%

Electrical Engineering

7.5%

Industrial Technology

6.6%

Precision Metal Working

6.2%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

6.1%

General Studies

5.8%

Mechanical Engineering

5.8%

Criminal Justice

5.2%

Automotive Technology

5.1%

Heating And Air Conditioning

4.3%

Computer Science

3.7%

Education

3.5%

Management

3.3%

Accounting

2.5%

Communication

2.1%

Psychology

2.1%

Engineering

2.0%

Computer Information Systems

1.9%

Graphic Design

1.8%
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Degrees

Other

42.7%

Bachelors

24.5%

Associate

15.9%

Certificate

7.7%

Masters

4.2%

Diploma

3.8%

License

0.8%

Doctorate

0.3%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$31,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$21,000
Min 10%
$31,000
Median 50%
$31,000
Median 50%
$31,000
Median 50%
$31,000
Median 50%
$31,000
Median 50%
$31,000
Median 50%
$31,000
Median 50%
$46,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
PruittHealth
Highest Paying City
Los Altos, CA
Highest Paying State
Alaska
Avg Experience Level
3.8 years
How much does a Maintenance Operator make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Maintenance Operator in the United States is $31,909 per year or $15 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $22,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $46,000.

How Would You Rate The Salary Of a Maintenance Operator?

Have you worked as a Maintenance Operator? Help other job seekers by rating your experience as a Maintenance Operator.

Top Skills for A Maintenance Operator

  1. Preventative Maintenance
  2. Safety Procedures
  3. Air Compressors
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Followed standard practices and procedures when conducting general maintenance and preventative maintenance.
  • Trained in Quality control and followed extensive safety procedures.
  • Repaired air compressors, chillers, heating units and exhaust fans.
  • Maintained and performed custodial/facility improvement operations.
  • Perform preventative maintenance on vehicles and heavy equipment.

How Would You Rate Working As a Maintenance Operator?

Are you working as a Maintenance Operator? Help us rate Maintenance Operator as a Career.

Top Maintenance Operator Employers

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Jobs From Top Maintenance Operator Employers

Maintenance Operator Videos

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