What is a maintenance technician? | Institute of Medical and Business Careers

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What is a maintenance technician?

The proverbial ‘jack of all trades,’ maintenance technicians work hands-on in the various areas of equipment, electrical and HVAC systems, and building repair and maintenance. Not only do maintenance technicians provide preventative maintenance, they also perform emergency and non-emergency repairs. For example, if there are any areas of needed repair found within a home, school, or apartment complex, a maintenance technician could be called to troubleshoot and ultimately fix the issue(s). Therefore, maintenance technicians typically have a very broad set of skills. Let’s learn more about this exciting career.

What tasks do maintenance technicians perform?

Maintenance technicians perform many different tasks based on the service request they receive, their employer and the industry they work within. Initially, maintenance technicians will complete the tasks needed to maintain the systems and buildings where they work. This can include tasks like performing systems tests and cleaning of HVAC equipment, cleaning and maintaining wired sensors and electrical systems, and repairing doors, gates, and support structures. Tasks might also include installing smoke detectors, thermostats and lighting; repairing walls and building structures; and small plumbing tasks.

When systems or buildings need repairs, maintenance technicians can also provide those as well. These can be smaller repairs, such as to broken lights or a windows that will not open, or larger repairs, such as a broken staircase or railing, malfunctioning electrical components inside the home, or repairing a furnace.

Typically, maintenance technicians work independently, unless they encounter a task that requires the assistance of a systems specialist. No matter what tasks the maintenance technician is performing, they must always use the standard safety protocols for the type of work they are completing.

Where do maintenance technicians work?

Maintenance technicians work for many types of industries where building upkeep and repairs are needed regularly. For example, maintenance technicians work for apartment management companies, schools, hospitals, healthcare facilities, and home repair companies.

While some maintenance technicians report to the same location for work each day, others may be responsible for several buildings or locations, or work for a company that takes service requests for local homes and businesses. Ultimately, maintenance technicians can work almost anywhere, though they are typically in the field and do not spend much time inside an office.

How do I become a maintenance technician?

The biggest challenge to becoming a maintenance technician is learning the wide variety of tasks that you may be required to perform. A maintenance technician must be knowledgeable about everything from electrical systems, HVAC systems, simple welding, and basic building repair. In addition, knowing and utilizing all safety protocols for work on each of these systems is of the utmost importance. Enrolling in a certificate program will give you a solid foundation in all of these areas and ensure that safety protocols are also understood.

What is it like to be a maintenance technician?

As a maintenance technician, each day will start with checking for any requested repairs. After working first to assess the issue(s), then you’ll start on repairing broken systems or structures; the rest of the day can be dedicated to routine and preventative maintenance. Each day will include hands-on work, interacting with customers, troubleshooting and making needed repairs. However, each day will likely vary from the day before.

Maintenance technicians can work a traditional day schedule, or can seek employment for different shifts based on preference. Though preventative maintenance can be completed during a scheduled shift, some repairs may be considered emergencies and require after hours or on-call work. Many companies offer both part-time and full-time career opportunities. Some also offer overtime work for additional pay.

Becoming a maintenance technician is an excellent career for those that enjoy hands-on work that incorporates a wide range of systems and building needs. Maintenance technicians can work anywhere, though finding the right organization to work for may require relocation.