Appliance repair technicians tend to have a knack for fixing things. Read on to find out about the training programs available in this field.
As an appliance repair technician, you might work with anything from dishwashers and refrigerators to heating and air conditioning systems, stoves, microwave ovens, washers and dryers. In addition to repairs, you may do installation and maintenance. For work with large appliances, you'd probably travel to customers' homes and do repairs there; portable appliance repairs are often done in service centers.
In both situations, you'd need knowledge of electricity and electronics, mechanical systems and tools. Along with hands-on appliance work, you might also be responsible for business tasks, such as inventory, invoicing and record keeping. Working in appliance repair, you'd deal with people on a regular basis, perhaps in their homes, so good communication skills are a must.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment opportunities were expected to be limited for home appliance repair technicians (www.bls.gov). Employment was projected to increase only one percent from 2012-2022. The BLS also reported that in May 2013, appliance repair technicians earned an average annual salary of $37,220.
Academic offerings include certificate and diploma programs; less common are bachelor's and associate's degree programs. Training is most typically found at technical and community colleges. An online program in appliance repair or online appliance repair courses might also be available.
Hands-on practice in a training program would prepare you for tasks with controls, transmitters, regulators and electrical systems for a broad array of appliances. You'd also study appliance power systems. Other courses focus on technical writing, computers and human relations.
If you wish, you could decide to specialize in certain tasks, such as installation or troubleshooting, or in working with a particular appliance, such as microwave ovens or heating systems. If you want to become a refrigerator mechanic, you must pass a written test to become certified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Refrigerator mechanics must know how to safely handle and keep records of the refrigerants they use, including chlorofluorocarbon and hydrochlorofluorocarbon, which are regulated by the EPA.