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Become A Mechanical Handyman

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Working As A Mechanical Handyman

  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material
  • Handling and Moving Objects
  • Performing General Physical Activities
  • Getting Information
  • Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment
  • $63,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Mechanical Handyman 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 Mechanical Handyman

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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Mechanical Handyman Typical Career Paths

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Mechanical Handyman Demographics

Gender

Male

91.5%

Unknown

6.7%

Female

1.8%
Ethnicity

White

62.0%

Hispanic or Latino

20.1%

Black or African American

8.7%

Asian

5.8%

Unknown

3.4%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

100.0%

Mechanical Handyman Education

Schools

Middle Tennessee State University

9.1%

The Academy

9.1%

Miracosta College

4.5%

Pierce College at Puyallup

4.5%

Hawkeye Community College

4.5%

ITT Technical Institute-Tampa

4.5%

Dakota County Technical College

4.5%

Southern Maine Community College

4.5%

Allan Hancock College

4.5%

Miami Dade College

4.5%

Amarillo College

4.5%

University of Akron

4.5%

Bucks County Community College

4.5%

Eastern Connecticut State University

4.5%

Carl Sandburg College

4.5%

College of Lake County

4.5%

Santiago Canyon College

4.5%

Western Kentucky University

4.5%

Chabot College

4.5%

San Joaquin Valley College

4.5%
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Majors

Automotive Technology

20.4%

Electrical Engineering Technology

9.3%

Business

9.3%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

7.4%

Electrical Engineering

7.4%

Mechanical Engineering Technology

5.6%

Computer Science

5.6%

Marketing

3.7%

Heavy/Industrial Equipment Maintenance Technologies

3.7%

Heating And Air Conditioning

3.7%

Aviation

3.7%

Kinesiology

3.7%

Criminal Justice

3.7%

Apparel And Textiles

1.9%

Philosophy

1.9%

Psychology

1.9%

Drafting And Design

1.9%

Nursing Assistants

1.9%

Forestry

1.9%

Computer Information Systems

1.9%
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Degrees

Other

32.9%

Associate

23.7%

Bachelors

19.7%

Certificate

17.1%

Diploma

3.9%

Masters

1.3%

Doctorate

1.3%
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