How to Become an Appliance Repair Technician: Definitive Guide + Step-by-Step Instructions

If you’re poking around in the appliance repair technician field to try to determine if it might be the right career for you, we’ve got good news — you’ve come to the right place.

In this article, we’ll dive into the ins and outs of what goes into being an appliance technician, discuss employment information, tell you all about the duties of an appliance technician, and even give you a step-by-step guide for becoming the ultimate, in-demand appliance technician you’ve always dreamed of.

As an appliance repair technician, you’ll work with anything from dishwasher to air conditioning systems to microwaves to dryers — in other words, you’ll need to be fairly knowledgeable about large appliances, portable appliances, mechanical work, as well as electrical work.

You’ll deal with more than just appliances, though, as a repair technician, you’ll have to deal with people, too.

There are several requirements that you’ll need to ensure that you’re meeting, too.

For example, appliance repair technicians must have a driver’s license, a clean driving record, a clean background check, and the ability to pass random drug tests.

Appliance repair technicians must also have skills in high mechanical aptitude, have impeccable written and verbal communication skills, work adeptly with repair tools, be okay with lifting heavy machinery, and of course, be incredibly skilled in troubleshooting problems.

As an appliance repair technician, you’ll need to be prepared to travel often, deal with ornery customers, work in uncomfortable positions and temperatures, and likely keep strange hours, too.

You’ll likely need a good bit of training, a dollop of hard work instilled in your work ethic, and some educational courses in order to be come an appliance repair technician.

If none of those requirements scared you away,  it’s time to ask the ultimate question:

Are you prepared to start your journey toward becoming an appliance technician?

We hope so!

Check out our article below for answers to all the appliance technician questions you might have!

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What Does an Appliance Repair Technician Do?

As an appliance repair technician, you’ll be known as the man or woman who can fix practically anything.

If it’s  a broken appliance — whether it’s a microwave or a dishwasher or an air conditioner — you’ll be in charge of fixing it.

Typically, you’ll have to travel to the homes of your clients to fix their larger appliances (like refrigerators and washing machines), be familiar with mechanical and electrical systems, know the right tools for the right situation, and be comfortable working in service centers, too.

It’s possible that you’ll have to take on both hands-on work and business tasks such as inventory, record keeping, invoicing, and more.

As part of your job, you’ll have to deal with people on a regular basis, hone your communication skills, be comfortable visiting strangers’ homes, and be willing to participate in training and education to stay up-to-date on the latest technology.

Typically, workers are responsible for understanding, installing, maintaining, and fixing things like electric systems, heating, air conditioning, refrigerators, and other types of mechanical or electrical appliances.

Duties

  • working with large appliances, small appliances, portable appliances, and more
  • dealing with people on a regular basis
  • consistently communicating with clients and employees
  • training to stay up-to-date on the latest technology
  • installation of appliances
  • maintenance of appliances
  • fixing issues with appliances
  • creative problem solving for each appliance
  • fix or replace fault switches, outlets, circuit breakers
  • perform routine and preventative maintenance to ensure machines run smoothly
  • do general cleaning and upkeep of buildings, property, and appliances,
  • keep detailed records of work
  • order supplies from catalogs and storerooms
  • assemble and set up machinery or equipment
  • understanding tools and all kinds of mechanical and electrical systems

Appliance Repair Technician Salary

So far, the appliance repair technician career sounds pretty good, right?

You’ve read through the job description, and the idea of working with small and large appliances, traveling to customers’ homes, and being knowledgeable about different systems sounds thrilling.

But that leads you to the next question — what does it pay?

According to Salary.Com, repair technicians make a median base salary of about $49,411 with a range of $39,838-$60,042.

The median wage, for those who are not aware of the statistic, is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less than that amount.

The salary will vary from establishment to establishment and depend heavily on your certifications and experience.

For example, according the Bureau of Labor Statistics, manufacturing repair people are able to make about $44,260 while real estate and rental repair folks typically make about $35,000.

It all depends on the industry you find yourself in and how you can apply your repair skills.

Average National Salary: $49,411

$39K
10%
$42K
25%
$49K
50%
$55K
75%
$61K
90%
*Salary information last updated 2018

Average Annual Salary by State

State Avg. Annual Salary
Alabama $46,083
Alaska $55,127
Arizona $48,537
Arkansas $45,526
California $55,399
Colorado $49,537
Connecticut $52,977
Delaware $52,324
Florida $47,745
Georgia $48,243
Hawaii $51,070
Idaho $46,475
Illinois $46,789
Indiana $47,626
Iowa $47,073
Kansas $47,171
Kentucky $46,191
Louisiana $48,628
Maine $48,934
Maryland $50,355
Massachusetts $55,718
Michigan $50,188
Minnesota $52,167
Mississippi $43,590
Missouri $48,148
Montana $46,910
Nebraska $46,000
Nevada $50,943
New Hampshire $51,726
New Jersey $55,939
New Mexico $45,750
New York $59,270
North Carolina $47,983
North Dakota $45,760
Ohio $47,901
Oklahoma $46,451
Oregon $51,001
Pennsylvania $52,706
Rhode Island $51,873
South Carolina $46,232
South Dakota $42,929
Tennessee $45,393
Texas $50,208
Utah $46,459
Vermont $48,346
Virginia $49,106
Washington $53,752
West Virginia $44,619
Wisconsin $48,562
Wyoming $44,438

How to Become an Appliance Repair Technicinan

Step 1Do Your Research

Depending on the state that you’re in and planning to become an appliance repair technician in, you might have different requirements.

While there’s no national standard for appliance repair technicians, each state, as well as individual employers, will have specific qualifications for working as a technician.

Ensure that you’re doing all the research necessary when you’re looking to become an appliance repair technician.

Step 2Get Your Education Requirements Straightened Out

While some establishments will require just a high school diploma or GED equivalent for employment (and then provide on the job training), many places will require that you receive applied technician training.

Depending on the type of appliances you plan to work with, you’ll likely need education and training that includes coursework at a local college or a vocational program.

You might also need to take additional training and participate in seminars regularly in order to stay up-to-date on the latest appliance technology.

Taking specific courses on mechanical drawing, electricity, woodworking, blueprint reading, mathematics, computer systems and more will, more often than not, make you more of an in-demand worker than other appliance repair folks, too.

There is also practical training available at tons of adult education centers, vocational schools, and community colleges.

Perhaps even consider off-the-wall courses to help set yourself apart from other workers, such as drywall and basic plumbing.

Step 3Specializations and Certifications

If you’d like to become an even more in-demand technician, consider getting certifications and specializations in particular appliances.

For example, if you’re hoping to become a refrigerator-certified mechanic, consider passing the written test to become certified by the Environmental Protection Agency — that way, you can use chlorofluorocarbon which is regulated by the EPA.

In addition to these requirements, qualified appliance repair technicians will be required to have a driver’s license, a relatively clean driving record, a clean background check, and the ability to pass random drug tests.

Step 4Gain Experience

Apprenticeships and on-the-job training are going to be a vital part of the appliance repair technician job.

If you’re unable to find employment as a technician where you can learn on the job training, consider seeking out an internship or apprenticeship first.

Read up on appliance manuals, attend seminars, and keep up to date on the latest appliance trends on your own in order to remain an in-demand technician.

Training is going to be one of the most important factors in furthering your career.

General maintenance and appliance repair workers can learn by watching skilled maintenance workers and fixing simple projects on their own (leaky faucets, replacing bulbs, etc.) before moving on to more sophisticated work.

The more training you push yourself through, the more specializations you’ll be able to get, furthering your career and moving toward broader career options like electricians, mechanics, or plumbers.


Education Required to be an Appliance Repair Technician

While some appliance technicians are only required to have their high school diploma or GED equivalent, there are some establishments and state requirements that might demand more education.

For example, some places might require that you receive training at a community college, secondary school, or vocational program in order to qualify for a position as an appliance repair technician.

Video About The Career


What Certifications are Required?

While no certifications are required in order to be a general appliance technician, you’ll need to gain certifications for specific appliances, such as refrigerators.

Becoming certified in several different large appliances via vocational programs, specific brands, and other types of training will only make you a more in-demand and knowledgeable technician.

Certification Example:

appliance repair technician certificate example

Average Training Program Duration: 0-6 Months

Popular Degree Programs


Job Outlook for an Appliance Repair Technician

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the appliance repair technician industry is growing as fast as the average for all occupations in the United States.

In other words, it’s not making any giant leaps or bounds in the growth department.

It’s possible that employment will rise as the increasing home prices and sales drive demand for remodeling and maintenance work, but this is not a projected guarantee.

According to BLS, this industry is projected to grow by 8 percent from 2016 to 2026.

Employment Growth Projection: 8%

1,432,600
2016
1,545,100
2026

That's a higher than average projected growth of 112,500 jobs.

Appliance Repair Technician: Interest Over Time


Should You Become an Appliance Repair Technician?

Overall Satisfaction

Overall Satisfaction: Medium

So, taking a look at the overall career path of an appliance repair technician, are you able to deduce if you’d like to become one?

The satisfaction rate, overall, is rated at a moderate score of medium.

The work involved certainly requires training and education, a well as staying up-to-date constantly with the growing technology.

More than that, the BLS lists this as an average growth job with a low ceiling, so the opportunities might not be plentiful.

The salary is quite average by national standards as well, but the work proves rewarding for those who enjoy a challenge.

Average Salary

Average Salary: Medium

The average salary of an appliance repair technician is listed as $49,411, which is quite normal compared to the national average.

Job Growth Outlook

Job Growth Outlook: Medium

The job growth outlook for this career is considered low with a projected rate of just 8 percent growth by 2026.

Education Duration

Education Duration: 0-6 Months

The education duration of this career might only require a high school diploma or a GED equivalent, but the actual training and education is rather lengthy if you’re required to get a vocational education or take training through a community college or seminar.

Personal Skills Needed

Personal Skills Needed

As an appliance repair technician, you’ll need these personal skills

  • creative problem solving
  • patience
  • personable
  • communicative
  • challenge-oriented


Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How Much Can a Self-Employed Appliance Technician Make?

A self-employed technician will likely make an average salary of $49,411.

That being said, it’s likely that you could make a salary ranging from $22,800 to about $61,000.

Your salary will always depend on the line of work you’re planning to specialize in, the state you’re in, the demand of your work, your experience and your specializations.

Q. What Does an Appliance Technician Do?

An appliance repair technician is responsible or installing, maintaining, and fixing large and small appliances.

They are responsible for installing ,fixing, and maintaining machines, mechanical equipment, and electrical equipment.

They will likely assemble and set up machinery or equipment, read and use blueprints and diagrams, do general cleaning and repair work, and meet with clients in order to estimate the work necessary and the kind of parts and supplies they’ll need.

Q. How Long Does it Take to be an Appliance Technician?

It depends on the state and establishment requirements.

For some, apprenticeship and on-the-job-training is enough, for others, you’ll need vocational education.

Some training programs require no more than a few weeks of training, but some educational programs will likely require about a year of courses.

Q. How Many Hours a Day do You Work as an Appliance Technician?

It varies.

Typically, if you work for yourself, you can set your own hours, but there are many appliance repair technicians that will set up inconvenient hours.

For example, if you choose to be an appliance repair person for an apartment complex, it’s likely that you’ll be on call for some of your shifts and might be required to fix appliances and other systems at all hours of the night.

It will simply depend on the establishment you work for and the nature of your specialization.

Q. What Skills Do You Need as An Appliance Technician?

As an appliance technician, you will need electrical and mechanical skills, people skills, and communication skills.

You will need excellent problem solving skills, creativity, and must have a knack for troubleshooting.

You will likely need to be technically and mechanically inclined, be a good sales person, have logical reasoning skills, and have excellent listening skills.


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