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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
  • $43,808

    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 Jobs

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Maintenance Operator Career Paths

Maintenance Operator
Maintenance Supervisor Project Manager
Construction Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Delivery Driver Electrician Foreman
Construction Superintendent
9 Yearsyrs
Service Technician Maintenance Supervisor Facilities Manager
Director Of Facilities
12 Yearsyrs
Mechanic Maintenance Manager Plant Manager
Director Of Plant Operations
14 Yearsyrs
Service Technician Maintenance Technician Chief Engineer
Engineering Director
13 Yearsyrs
Equipment Operator Maintenance Technician Engineer
Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Delivery Driver Field Service Technician Project Engineer
Engineering Supervisor
7 Yearsyrs
Driver Delivery Driver Maintenance Supervisor
Engineering/Maintenance Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Driver Instructor Assistant Director
Environmental Services Director
10 Yearsyrs
Foreman Service Technician Maintenance Manager
Facilities Maintenance Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Supervisor Operations Manager General Manager
Facilities Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Mechanic Operations Manager Facilities Maintenance Manager
Facilities Project Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Foreman Driver Dispatcher
Fleet Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Technician Production Supervisor Warehouse Manager
Logistics Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Technician Maintenance Supervisor
Maintenance Director
11 Yearsyrs
Equipment Operator Technician Production Supervisor
Manufacturing Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Technician Maintenance Manager Operations Manager
Plant Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Technician Foreman
Project Superintendent
10 Yearsyrs
Millwright General Contractor Adjuster
Property Management Specialist
7 Yearsyrs
Installer Sales Consultant Leasing Consultant
Resident Manager
5 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 2.8 years
Operator 2.8 years
Maintenance Aide 1.7 years
Top Employers Before
Operator 12.3%
Welder 7.6%
Supervisor 5.6%
Technician 4.1%
Mechanic 3.4%
Manager 3.4%
Owner 3.2%
Top Employers After
Operator 7.6%
Supervisor 4.9%
Technician 4.9%
Driver 4.7%
Foreman 4.4%
Welder 4.2%
Mechanic 3.5%
Millwright 3.3%
Manager 3.1%

Do you work as a Maintenance Operator?

Maintenance Operator Demographics

Gender

Male

91.8%

Female

7.5%

Unknown

0.7%
Ethnicity

White

63.8%

Hispanic or Latino

14.9%

Black or African American

11.1%

Asian

6.7%

Unknown

3.5%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

52.5%

French

12.5%

Arabic

7.5%

Carrier

5.0%

Dakota

5.0%

Berber

2.5%

Portuguese

2.5%

German

2.5%

Hmong

2.5%

Dutch

2.5%

Polish

2.5%

Shan

2.5%
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Maintenance Operator Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

13.8%

Community College of the Air Force

8.0%

University of Alabama

6.9%

Vincennes University

5.7%

Southern Illinois University Carbondale

5.7%

Southern New Hampshire University

5.7%

Calhoun Community College

5.7%

Columbia Southern University

4.6%

Murray State University

4.6%

Northern Michigan University

4.6%

Prince George's Community College

3.4%

West Virginia University Institute of Technology

3.4%

Trident Technical College

3.4%

University of Toledo

3.4%

West Georgia Technical College

3.4%

Glendale Community College

3.4%

Ashford University

3.4%

Saginaw Valley State University

3.4%

Auburn University

3.4%

California State University - Fresno

3.4%
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Majors

Business

17.2%

Industrial Technology

8.6%

Electrical Engineering Technology

8.2%

Electrical Engineering

7.8%

Mechanical Engineering

6.4%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

6.2%

Precision Metal Working

5.8%

Criminal Justice

5.6%

Automotive Technology

4.6%

General Studies

4.4%

Heating And Air Conditioning

4.4%

Computer Science

3.6%

Management

3.0%

Education

2.8%

Communication

2.4%

Engineering

2.0%

Psychology

1.8%

Computer Information Systems

1.8%

Accounting

1.8%

Engineering Technology

1.6%
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Degrees

Other

45.2%

Bachelors

23.7%

Associate

15.4%

Certificate

7.3%

Masters

4.5%

Diploma

3.0%

License

0.5%

Doctorate

0.4%
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Top Skills for A Maintenance Operator

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  1. Preventative Maintenance
  2. Safety Procedures
  3. Facility
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Established a computerized maintenance management program performing preventative maintenance on all equipment used to operate municipal water plants and distribution systems.
  • Assure that all work is performed in accordance with sound safety procedures, practices and using the required personal protective equipment.
  • Maintained and performed custodial/facility improvement operations.
  • Operated and maintained heavy equipment.
  • Maintained dump trucks, loaders, excavators, and plant equipment.

How Would You Rate Working As a Maintenance Operator?

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Top Maintenance Operator Employers

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Jobs From Top Maintenance Operator Employers

Maintenance Operator Videos

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Building Maintenance Operator | ISEEK

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