When a home appliance, such as a washing machine, oven or dishwasher breaks down, people call an appliance repairman to fix it. Appliance repairmen also work on air conditioning units. By visiting a person’s home, the repairman will have an opportunity to look at the appliance, make a diagnosis and perform the repair, if need be. These professionals are important to consumers, saving them from buying new appliances each time one breaks down.
Most appliance repairmen are paid on an hourly wage basis. Rate of pay varies depending on the repairman’s experience, education, location and type of equipment being repaired. Repairmen who work in retail locations often receive a commission bonus in addition to wages, encouraging them to produce maximum efficiency of work each day. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics reported in 2008 that appliance repairmen earned an average hourly wage of $16.30. Of the sampled group, the median 50% earned between $12.87 and $20.29 per hour, while the lowest 10% earned less than $9.98. The top 90% of this sampled group earned more than $25.92 per hour. These hourly salary projections were based on both wages and commission. Repairmen employed by large electronics and appliance stores earned an average hourly salary of $15.05, while those employed in household repair earned an average of $17.58 per hour. While some private companies and repairmen who are self-employed may not receive benefit packages, those employed by larger companies often enjoy good benefits.*
*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/
Job Description and Outlook
When working in a home repair position, appliance repairmen must have a great deal of professionalism. When entering a person’s home, repairmen must respect their property and take care to avoid damaging anything. It is customary for these professionals to carry either their driver’s license or a company identification badge with a photo, which will ensure customers that they are who they claim to be. The repairman has a responsibility to inform homeowners of pet allergies, if any, since many owners allow their pets to run free. Repairmen must listen to the customer as they describe what is wrong with their appliance, then they must look at it. Using the appropriate tools or diagnostic equipment, the appliance must be partially or completely disassembled in the area it is needed. After making a diagnosis of the problem, the repairman must then replace or fix any parts that require attention. When putting an appliance back together, these professionals must exercise care in placing parts in the right location and properly tightening screws and bolts.
Some appliance repairmen work in a store instead of visiting homes. Companies that buy used appliances, refurbish them and then resell them will usually hire repairmen. In such a setting, the repairman will likely be replacing more than one part. Specific standards for each appliance will determine what must be replaced or serviced in order to resell the item for a profit. Most appliance repairmen, whether working in homes or stores, will usually work a 40-hour week. Some jobs require weekend work or a rotating “on call” weekend once per month. Many repair companies also require one or more repairmen to be on call during holidays.
Training and Education Requirements
Not every position requires a degree; in fact, most positions do not. Entry level jobs are gained by expressing existing basic knowledge of appliance repair, as well as demonstrating a desire to learn the trade. Several private companies hire individuals who have their high school diploma or GED to work as an apprentice. After gaining several years of experience, repairmen often move on to a higher-paying job or begin their own business. Larger companies will usually provide on-the-job training in addition to formal classes. Community colleges and vocational schools offer Associate degree or certificate programs in this field. Certificate programs generally require about one year to finish, while an Associate degree will require two, assuming the student is enrolled full-time.
There are two ways to obtain certification in the appliance repair field. A certificate offered by the National Appliance Service Technician Certification program is offered, being the most common choice. This certification program has a mandatory exam relating to diagnostics, repair and servicing. Another program offered is that of the Professional Service Association. This certification is awarded after successfully passing tests in several areas of concentration. After completing these tests, a repairman will earn a Master Certified Appliance Professional certification. Repairmen must renew this type of certification every year. Some companies may require both certifications, one or none.
The most well-known and established professional association for repairmen is the Professional Service Association, commonly referred to as the PSA. This association offers its members information about continuing education opportunities, connections to other professionals and valuable advice. As technology progresses, appliances also do. To keep up with this, repairmen often join this association for its valuable updates on such matters. Membership to this association will also be an attractive feature on a resume. In order to join the PSA, repairmen must fill out a membership application and submit a required fee. Some companies will pay for their repairmen’s annual membership.