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Maintenance and Repair Workers, General Job Description, Career as a Maintenance and Repair Workers, General, Salary, Employment

Definition and Nature of the Work, Education and Training Requirements, Getting the Job

Education and Training: High School Graduate

Salary: Median— $15.34 per hour

Employment Outlook: Fair

General maintenance and repair workers, as their name suggests, are employed in the repair and maintenance of a variety of items or installations. This “jack-of-all-trades” position can require workers to repair industrial machinery and household equipment, as well as maintain commercial buildings. They may also help in repair and maintenance work related to housing, schools, and hospitals.

General maintenance and repair workers, when called upon, first perform inspections to identify the problem. They then determine the best possible way to rectify the problem. In the process of their work, they often have to refer to blueprints and repair manuals. Depending upon the nature of their work, they may also need to acquire relevant parts from respective dealers.

The working instruments employed by general maintenance and repair workers can range from simple tools such as screwdrivers to specialized devices and electronic testing instruments. Those having a basic knowledge of plumbing, carpentry, and electrical wiring, can fix a host of problems. They can fix faulty switches, repair refrigerators, replace faulty plumbing, and rewire office and houses &emdash; whatever the job requires.

Depending upon their employer, maintenance and repair workers can be delegated responsibility of entire facility, or may have specialized areas of work.

Education and Training Requirements

Employers recruiting general maintenance and repair workers usually look for a high school diploma holder. Depending upon the job for which they are hiring, some employers may also prefer candidates with a vocational training degree. Candidates who have taken courses in woodworking, mechanical drawing, and other related areas, are highly preferred. Maintenance workers should be mechanically inclined; a working knowledge of the applications of engineering technology and mathematics is a plus.

Entry level workers receive hands-on training from more experienced professionals. Though licenses or certifications are generally not required, rules may vary according to state regulations. Some states may require a worker to obtain a license before starting professional work. Apprenticeship or training experience in areas such as mechanics or construction technology is recommended to augment career prospects.

A general maintenance and repair technician must be in good physical condition and posses manual dexterity. A candidate having good mechanical and mathematical aptitude is always preferred by employers. Other necessary skills include the ability to solve problems, understand manuals and blueprints, and use computers.

Getting the Job

Job openings for general maintenance and repair workers are usually advertised in the classified section of daily newspapers. Organizations needing such workers often put vacancy listings in employment journals and Internet employment portals. Interested candidates should also ask their friends, family, and acquaintances about any possible openings, and may even wish to inquire at local apartment complexes, warehouses, or other facilities that may be in need of maintenance technicians.

Advancement Possibilities and Employment Outlook

Advancement possibilities for general maintenance and repair workers vary from one organization to another. Those working in large organizations can move on to specialized jobs in the field of maintenance and repair. However, the chance for advancement in smaller organizations is limited.

Employment rate for general maintenance and repair workers is expected to increase by 10% in the next decade. The need to replace workers leaving this occupation will also result in a number of job openings. People with prior experience in this field stand to have the best job opportunities.

Working Conditions

Since general maintenance workers are capable of fixing problems in varied areas, they generally have to carry out different tasks in a single day. They may also be required to travel to various locations. The workers usually work alone without supervision. Small teams may also be formed depending upon the magnitude of the job.

The work of general maintenance and repair workers usually involves physical exertion. Based on the repair work they need to perform, a worker may spend long hours exposed to various weather conditions. Workers dealing with the repair of industrial machines can be exposed to hazards from electrical shocks, hot steam, and moving machine parts. Protective equipment is always necessary in such cases.

A general maintenance and repair worker usually has a 40-hour work schedule per week. However, some workers may have to work in different shifts, and may be called upon to respond to emergency repair or maintenance situations.

Where to Go for More Information

American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees
AFL-CIO, 1625 L Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20036-5687

U.S. Department of Labor
Frances Perkins Building
200 Constitution Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20210

Earnings and Benefits

The median hourly salary of general maintenance and repair workers was $15.34, as per the records of May 2006. A worker can expect to earn in the range of $11.66 to $19.90 per hour. It is generally seen that those employed by local government agencies earn a higher hourly salary.

General maintenance and repair workers employed by local or state government are usually part of unions such as Municipal Employees. These unions ensure that workers get adequate pay and all relevant benefits from employers.

Additional topics

Job Descriptions and Careers, Career and Job Opportunities, Career Search, and Career Choices and ProfilesEngineering, Science, Technology, and Social Sciences