Appliance Service Technician

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Appliance Service Technician


Everything breaks down sooner or later. Our older generation often tells us that things are just not made the same way anymore. Once upon a time things were built to last. These days, the lifespan of many of our appliances is limited, yet technologists are working to combat this problem. In the meantime, when someone's fridge breaks down and they cannot figure out how to fix it, an appliance service technician will come to their house to do the maintenance work and try to save the milk, vegetables and meats from spoiling. Appliance service technicians install, service and repair household appliances, such as ranges, clothes washers, dryers, freezers, refrigerators, microwave ovens, dishwashers, vacuum cleaners, waste disposal units and waste compactors.

When they come onto a scene, keep in mind that they must tackle each problem head on. They will check for different problems like loose parts, electrical shortages, frayed electrical cords, unusual vibrations or noises. Working on various appliances involves different tests and checks for a microwave and washer do not run the same. Therefore, many appliance service technicians specialize in one particular appliance and become experts on say a range, or a blender.

Technicians often disassemble appliances and look inside for signs of wear and tear or corrosion problems. When they have found the problem, appliance service technicians estimate the time and cost of the repairs. With the customers approval, they replace and repair parts like motors, heating elements and switches. They use hand tools to do the majority of the repairs. Once complete, they clean up the appliances and tighten, align and lubricate parts where necessary.

When it comes to the bigger appliances like washers and dryers which are so heavy and hard to move, appliance service technicians do house calls. Often, one can incur more damage to a machine by trying to transport it to a shop. Some companies even have their own service and repair people that are specifically trained to fix Maytag or Frigidaire machines.

There will always be a need for these technicians, as things break down and average people do not know how to fix their washer and dryer. Nevertheless, advances in appliances are helping the lifespan of machines. Therefore, appliance service technicians must keep up-to-date with changes in today's appliances. For instance, repairing a range in the future may require the technician knowing how to replace the computer chip instead of the faulty wiring.
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  Average Earnings  
Lowest 10% of Earners:
Median Salary:
Highest 10% of Earners:

  Interests and Skills  
Interested in working as an appliance service technician? They need good hearing, eyesight and manual dexterity, as well as a mechanical aptitude. Most enjoy paying careful attention to details, and they like solving difficult problems on their own. They can work both individually or in a team and should always be open to suggestions. Finally, appliance service technicians should be interested in keeping up-to-date with changing technology and constantly learning as much as possible in their approach to each task they undertake.

  Typical Tasks  
  • Determine why an appliance is not working by getting a description of the problem from the customer, checking the appliance and troubleshooting for the most likely causes
  • Diagnose faults by checking controls, condensers, timer sequences, fans and other components using test equipment
  • Repair major and minor appliances in customer's homes during service calls or in a repair shop
  • Replace components and subcomponents and reassemble appliances using hand tools and other equipment
  • Consult manufacturers' service manuals and bulletins when the cause of the problem is not readily apparent, and use specialized tools and testing devices to locate the source of the problem
  • Disassemble the appliance, clean all internal parts, replace any faulty or worn parts, reassemble the appliance, and test it to be sure it is working properly
  • Answer customers' questions, give cost estimates, advise customers on correct appliance use and care, and demonstrate the proper operation of appliances
  • Prepare work orders, complete the necessary reports for billing, and maintain records for parts inventories and future service calls
  • A typical day for an appliance service technician varies since they are always working on different products. They often work alone with little supervision, either in people's houses or in a shop. Therefore, they may have to drive a truck with an inventory of parts and tools and travel to customers' homes. Most generally work about 40 hours per week, with longer hours consisting of emergencies or at busy times of the year. Physically, most are in good shape as installing and servicing large appliances may involve heavy lifting, stooping and reaching.

  Workplaces, Employers and Industries  
  • Appliance service technicians work for appliance dealers, independent appliance service companies, department stores, appliance manufacturers' service departments, and gas and electric utility companies.

  Long Term Career Potential  
What does the future hold for appliance service technicians? Those employed in larger organizations may become specialists, or they may advance to supervisory positions within that organization. Some may choose to start their own independent appliance service companies or appliance sales and service outlets. They may also become factory service representatives employed by manufacturers, supervising authorized repair depots in a particular region or working in sales. Some may choose to take their skills and apply them to related occupations, like electronic technician, or small engine repair.

  Educational Paths  
Appliance service technicians receive their training either through informal, on-the-job training or through an apprenticeship program. Trade certification can be obtained either through an apprenticeship program or after several years of work experience. While trade certification is not mandatory in all areas to become an appliance service technician, it can be a requirement for many employers and can also help secure employment.

Apprenticeship programs involve a combination of on-the-job training and classroom instruction. A pre-apprenticeship course may also be available which takes about five to six months to complete at a community college and is designed to help you get connected with a good company to apprentice with. It is important to apprentice with a reputable company as that is your education. While some apprenticeship programs may not require a high school diploma, it is important to note that employers generally prefer to hire high school graduates.

Apprenticeships can vary, however a typical apprenticeship lasts four to five years. The apprenticeship is a paid position, however wages are about 50 percent of what an employer pays the journeyperson, with yearly increases. After successfully completing the apprenticeship requirements, their industry training and apprenticeship office awards the appliance service technician a certificate of completion.

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition,
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, 2002,

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