Appliance repair is a great career for people who are mechanically inclined, who enjoy disassembling and reassembling mechanics, and for those skilled at working with tools and appliances. Appliance repairmen install and repair home appliances, like refrigerators, dishwashers, washers and dryers, ranges, microwave ovens, and window air conditioning units. Most appliance repairmen, commonly referred to as home appliance repairers or home appliance repair technicians, work on site within a client’s home or business. A number of home appliance repairers service portable small appliances, like vacuums, kitchen appliances, and microwaves, within a centralized repair shop or store rather than within a client’s home.
Individuals interested in a career in appliance repair must possess manual dexterity, technical skills, and innate personality qualities like helpfulness, tactfulness, dependability, and courtesy toward others. Appliance repairmen also must possess a drivers license backed with a clean driving record. As many appliance repairmen establish their own businesses, sound business judgment and financial skills assist in maintaining self employment. Appliance repairmen who work for others may also be required to pass a drug test and background check.
Appliance repairmen perform a variety of services for clients. When appliance repairmen install large appliances, such as refrigerators, washing machines or dryers, or cooking apparatus, they not only connect and ensure gas and water lines are properly attached to the appliance but also instruct clients in proper usage and care of the appliance. Appliance repairmen also answer any questions customers pose regarding the appliance. Appliance repairmen resolve problems with any home appliances by inspecting the appliance and making any necessary repairs which impede the appliance’s function. Appliance repairmen determine the cause of any appliance operational failures, check for strange or unusual noises, source the cause of any excessive vibration or fluid leakage, and tighten any loose parts or apparatus. Appliance repairmen also evaluate internal parts an appliance for corrosion or wear. Appliance repairmen follow instructions within service manuals regarding diagnostic procedures. Appliance repairmen also use a variety of testing devices, like ammeters, voltmeters, and wattmeters to determine the source of electrical shorts and check for faulty electrical connections. Once appliance repairmen source problems, they replace or repair defective belts, motors, heating elements, switches, gears, and other mechanical parts.
As problems are found, appliance repairmen tighten, align, clean, and lubricate parts as needed. Appliance repairmen also use primarily common tools, like screwdrivers, wrenches, files, and pliers. Additionally, appliance repairmen use soldering guns and tools specifically designed for each appliance. As many appliances have electronic displays and other electrical components, appliance repairmen often must repair or replace circuit boards in addition to other services. Appliance repairmen who work with refrigerators and/or window air conditioning units are required by Federal regulations to conserve, recover, and recycle chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) and hydrochloroflurocarbon (HCFC) refrigerants used within the appliances. Appliance repairmen are must capture and properly dispose of the refrigerants as well as document the instances. Appliance repairmen also must perform bookkeeping, business management, billing, payment collection, and scheduling operations while keeping records of the parts involved in the repair and the number of hours worked. With appliances repaired under a manufacturer warranty, appliance repairmen must In addition to making repairs, technicians keep records of parts used and hours worked, prepare bills, and collect payments. If an appliance is under warranty, a technician may need to consult with the manufacturer to place claims and receive payment for work performed.
Appliance repairmen must obtain a high school diploma or complete a G.E.D. program in order to qualify for employment. Most appliance repairmen obtain hands on training by working closely with other, more experienced appliance repairmen. Many appliance repair companies offer employer sponsored training classes. Additionally, appliance manufacturers offer formalized training programs which involve shop classes, training sessions, home study programs, and/or supplemental instruction programs. Many employers and appliance manufacturers offer two or three week seminars offering trainees opportunities to work with demonstration appliances, learn authorization procedures for warranty repairs, and safety training. Organizations which repair portable appliances, like repair shops, offer trainees an apprenticeship experience allowing trainees to work on each appliance, like a vacuum cleaner, until mastering the repair process for each appliance. Trainees then advance to another appliance until they can repair all appliances within the repair shop.
Appliance repairmen often work a forty hour week with some weekend, early morning, or evening shifts as needed to cover on call emergencies with additional work and overtime as needed. Appliance repairmen often work with minimal supervision once qualified to work alone and spend the majority of their time driving to appointments and responding to emergency calls. Appliance repairmen often work in cramped areas in often uncomfortable positions, making repairs and replacing parts in hard to reach places within appliances. Appliance repair jobs are not generally hazardous as long as safety measures and necessary precautions are followed to avoid electrical shock, gas leaks, and injuries resulting from lifting or moving large appliances.
Many appliance repair employers prefer candidates with high school degrees and postsecondary vocational or technical training with electronics or appliance repair. Employers prefer to minimize the amount of on the job training required for entry level jobs and prefer candidates with vocational or technical training. Most postsecondary vocational or technical training programs involve a one to two year time investment, with courses based upon basic electricity, electronics, appliance repair, electrical appliance service, gas appliance service, small appliance repair, household appliance installation, and electric tool repair. Many appliance repairmen are required to participate in classes throughout their careers to fine tune their skills as technology and home appliances advance. As the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency requires all appliance repairmen and technicians to pass certification exams in order to purchase or work with refrigerants. Many EPA approved organizations, including trade schools, unions, and employer associations, as well as take home certification exams, allow repairmen to prepare for the exam with training programs allowing candidates to become certified in refrigerant handling.
Certification is available for appliance repairmen who voluntarily demonstrate their skills in one of many certification exams offered by several certification organizations. Certification is available through the National Appliance Service Technician Certification (NASTeC) and administered by the International Society of Certified Electronics Technicians (ISCET). Candidates are required to pass comprehensive exams focused on the diagnosis, repair, and maintenance of home appliances. The Professional Service Association (PSA) also offers certification exams based upon the industry of appliance repair which are updated yearly. Successful completion of the PSA grants individuals the Master Certified Appliance Professional designation.
Job prospects for individuals interested in appliance repair are predicted to be excellent, particularly in metropolitan areas, as many businesses outsource repair work to shops specializing in maintenance and repair. As the demand for appliance repair services is constant, the field is expected to offer steady employment. Advancement in the field of appliance repair is also expected to be excellent, with many opportunities for promotions within large shops or service centers. Many appliance repairmen advance to supervisor, assistant service manager, or service manager within repair shops. Experienced repairmen often establish their own repair shops after earning funds and the knowledge necessary to operate a small business.