Appliance Service Technicians
Approximately 41,000 appliance technicians are employed throughout the United States in service centers, appliance manufacturers, retail dealerships, and utility companies. They may also be self-employed in independent repair shops or work at companies that service specific types of appliances, such as coin-operated laundry equipment and dry-cleaning machines.
One way of entering this occupation is to become a helper in a service center where the employer provides on-the-job training to qualified workers. To find a helper's job, prospective technicians should apply directly to local service centers or appliance dealerships. They also can search employment Web sites and newspaper classified sections for entry-level jobs in appliance service and repair.
For those who have graduated from a technical or vocational program, their schools' career services offices may also prove helpful.
Advancement possibilities for appliance service technicians depend primarily on their place of employment. In a small service center of three to five people, advancement to a supervisory position will likely be slow, because the owner usually performs most of the supervisory and administrative tasks. However, pay incentives do exist in smaller service centers that encourage technicians to assume a greater share of the management load. Technicians working for large retailers, factory service centers, or gas or electric utility companies may be able to progress to supervisor, assistant service manager, or service manager.
Another advancement route leads to teaching at a factory service training school. A technician who knows the factory's product, works with proficiency, and speaks effectively to groups can conduct classes to train other technicians. Technical and vocational schools that offer courses in appliance repair work may also hire experienced repairers to teach classes.
Some service technicians aspire to open an independent repair business or service center. This step usually requires knowledge of business management and marketing and a significant investment in tools, parts, vehicles, and other equipment.
Some technicians who work for appliance manufacturers move into positions where they write service manuals, sell appliances, or act as manufacturers' service representatives to independent service centers.
Tips for Entry
Visit the following Web sites for job listings:
Become certified in order to show employers that you have met the highest standards established by your industry.
Conduct information interviews with appliance service technicians and ask them for advice on preparing for and entering the field.