Coin, Vending and Amusement Machine Service and Repair Salary

The job of the coin, vending, and amusement machine servicer and repairer is to properly service and maintain vending machines, coin machines, and amusement machines to ensure that they function correctly and do not go out of service. They must make sure that inventory is stocked and that the moving parts of the machines are maintained correctly.

Salary Overview

In 2008, the median income for a coin, vending and amusement machine service and repair professional was $29,930. Unlike many industries in which there is a variance in salary due to the degrees of work being performed or the reputation of the firm hiring the professional, there is very little difference in the type of work a vending machine professional does from one company to the next. As the work is similar in each company, so is the salary.*

*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/

Job Description and Outlook

The primary task of the coin, vending, and amusement machine service and repair professional is to ensure that the various machines trusted in their care are available for use by customers as much as possible. This is referred to as “uptime,” and the more uptime a vending or amusement machine has, the more earnings potential the machine has for its owner. Conversely, when a machine is not able to be used, it is considered “downtime,” which means it can not earn any money for its owner. There are a number of reasons for downtime – a mechanical or electrical issue that doesn’t allow the machine to work properly, or a lack of inventory for a customer to purchase. The machine service and repair employee must ensure that these problems are resolved quickly.

These machines have a variety of moving parts. Even items like video game machines, that are mostly computers and static video displays, have moving controls such as joysticks, buttons, and coin return features. These controls and buttons must function correctly in order for a customer to play them. The number of moving parts increases when discussing vending machines, such as snack machines and soda can dispensers. In some cases, the vending machine may require a cooling mechanism to keep the products inside at a cooler temperature. This often requires water to be pumped into and out of the machine. The common feature of all of these components is that without preventative maintenance, the moving parts will eventually wear down and break. Once they are broken, the machine loses uptime and can not generate the revenue it is there to generate.

The repair professional is responsible for analyzing a machine, identifying parts that are nearing the end of their life cycle, and getting a replacement part ordered and in place before the part in question breaks and brings down the machine. The service professional is also responsible for delivering inventory to vending machines on a schedule based on the use of the machine by customers and replenishing its stock of whatever item is being sold. Depending on the number of vending machines owned by the service professional’s company, the employee may have a route of machines to replenish the stock of. This route may be run bi-weekly, weekly, semi-weekly, or even daily if the vending machines in question are in high traffic areas and see heavy usage.

The outlook for employees in this work is fairly strong, as vending machines are a fundamental part of our on-the-go lifestyle.*

*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/

Training and Education Requirements

There are no educational requirements to become a coin, vending and amusement machine service and repair professional, though most employers require at least a high school diploma. Most of the skills used by an employee are obtained through on the job training provided as a new employee is hired. It is beneficial to a job candidate if they have some knowledge of electrical work, refrigeration systems, and mechanical skills, to include the use of general tools such as wrenches and screwdrivers.

Certifications

There are no required certifications for this line of work. Successful completion of the employer’s training program is all that is needed for a person to begin work as a vending and amusement machine service and repair professional. An optional independent study program is available through the National Automatic Merchandiser’s Association that can be useful for new entrants into the field in gaining the specific skills they need to start a job in vending and coin machine repair. As most jobs in this field require transportation from site to site, a valid driver’s license is usually a requirement. Depending on the material being driven, a commercial driver’s license may be needed.

Professional Associations

Depending on the company hiring the vending and amusement machine service and repair professional, a requirement of employment may be membership in a trade union, especially if repairing malfunctioning equipment is part of the job. Another professional association is the previously mentioned National Automatic Merchandiser’s Association, or NAMA.

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