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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
  • $36,630

    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 Manager Operations Manager General Manager
Area Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Driver Delivery Driver Maintenance Technician
Chief Engineer
10 Yearsyrs
Delivery Driver Electrician Foreman
Construction Superintendent
9 Yearsyrs
Operations Manager Property Manager Facilities Manager
Director Of Facilities
11 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Product Manager Plant Manager
Director Of Plant Operations
14 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Manager Facilities Manager Operations Manager
Division Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Owner Maintenance Manager
Environmental Services Director
9 Yearsyrs
Operations Manager General Manager Maintenance Technician
Facilities Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Service Technician Driver Dispatcher
Fleet Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Delivery Driver Repair Technician Electrician
General Contractor
6 Yearsyrs
Service Technician Correction Officer Foreman
General Superintendent
11 Yearsyrs
Equipment Operator Maintenance Technician
Maintenance Director
11 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Technician Maintenance Supervisor
Maintenance Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Equipment Operator Delivery Driver Maintenance Technician
Maintenance Supervisor
7 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Supervisor Maintenance Manager Operations Manager
Operations Director
9 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Technician Field Service Technician Service Manager
Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Supervisor Operations Manager
Plant Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Foreman Maintenance Technician Production Supervisor
Production Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Foreman Technician Quality Control Inspector
Quality Control Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Driver Operation Supervisor Production Manager
Warehouse Manager
5 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Repair Operator 4.5 years
Utility Operator 4.0 years
Plant Operator 3.9 years
Maintenance Person 3.0 years
Operator 2.8 years
Maintenance Worker 2.3 years
Maintenance Helper 1.9 years
Maintenance Aide 1.7 years
Operator Trainee 1.4 years
Top Employers Before
Operator 9.7%
Supervisor 6.2%
Welder 5.5%
Crew Chief 4.6%
Manager 4.4%
Mechanic 4.3%
Technician 3.8%
Owner 3.6%
Top Employers After
Operator 6.2%
Supervisor 4.6%
Driver 4.6%
Manager 4.4%
Technician 4.4%
Owner 4.3%
Foreman 4.1%

Maintenance Operator Demographics

Gender

Male

89.7%

Female

9.4%

Unknown

0.9%
Ethnicity

White

80.5%

Hispanic or Latino

10.8%

Asian

6.5%

Unknown

1.6%

Black or African American

0.6%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

56.6%

French

9.4%

Arabic

7.5%

German

5.7%

Carrier

5.7%

Dakota

3.8%

Berber

1.9%

Portuguese

1.9%

Hmong

1.9%

Dutch

1.9%

Polish

1.9%

Shan

1.9%
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Maintenance Operator Education

Schools

Community College of the Air Force

24.5%

University of Phoenix

12.7%

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University - Daytona Beach

6.6%

The Academy

4.7%

Columbia Southern University

4.2%

Park University

4.2%

Grantham University

4.2%

University of Alabama

3.8%

Vincennes University

3.8%

Webster University

3.8%

Southern Illinois University Carbondale

3.3%

Calhoun Community College

3.3%

Southern New Hampshire University

3.3%

Arizona State University

2.8%

Wayland Baptist University

2.8%

Villanova University

2.4%

Murray State University

2.4%

Glendale Community College

2.4%

Ashford University

2.4%

Auburn University

2.4%
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Majors

Business

26.1%

Mechanical Engineering

6.2%

Electrical Engineering

6.0%

Electrical Engineering Technology

5.8%

Aviation

5.3%

Industrial Technology

5.1%

Management

4.9%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

4.5%

Automotive Technology

4.3%

Criminal Justice

4.3%

General Studies

3.9%

Precision Metal Working

3.8%

Education

3.2%

Computer Science

2.9%

Heating And Air Conditioning

2.8%

Psychology

2.5%

Aerospace Engineering

2.3%

Information Technology

2.2%

Accounting

2.0%

Mechanical Engineering Technology

1.9%
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Degrees

Other

36.7%

Bachelors

29.2%

Associate

15.1%

Masters

10.0%

Certificate

6.3%

Diploma

1.9%

Doctorate

0.5%

License

0.4%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills for A Maintenance Operator

SafetyProceduresMaintenanceProceduresFacilityMaintenancePreventativeMaintenanceMaintenanceOperationsISOEmergencyHeavyEquipmentHvacAircraftMaintenanceCustomerServiceTroubleShootingOshaGeneralMaintenanceDailyOperationsDumpTruckBoilersHandToolsEquipmentMaintenanceMaintenancePersonnel

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Top Maintenance Operator Skills

  1. Safety Procedures
  2. Maintenance Procedures
  3. Facility Maintenance
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Assure that all work is performed in accordance with sound safety procedures, practices and using the required personal protective equipment.
  • Completed preventive maintenance procedures on building mechanical equipment on a scheduled basis along with a daily, weekly and monthly checklists.
  • Assisted in facility maintenance operations.
  • Teach maintenance techniques and duties to interns and demonstrate preventative maintenance planning.
  • Advised and informed Maintenance Operations Officer on matters pertaining to planning, organizing and coordinating use of command maintenance resources.

Top Maintenance Operator Employers

Maintenance Operator Videos

BOILER OPERATIONS PT1.

Building Maintenance Operator | ISEEK

A day in the life of a Perisher Lift Operator- extended version

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