Maintenance workers are essential members of many businesses. They take care of the general maintenance of machines and mechanical equipment. You can find them working in real estate or performing general building maintenance.
The job is often easy to get into, requiring little experience and education. Many maintenance workers learn on the job.
In this article, we’ll look at what a maintenance worker does day-to-day, how to become one, and what kind of salary to expect in this job.
A maintenance worker is also called a repair worker, maintenance technician, or building maintenance worker. These different job titles lead to similar careers.
You’ll find maintenance workers keeping buildings, equipment, and machines clean and working properly.
Maintenance workers are hired in apartment buildings, universities, offices, hotels, and other public spaces to keep things running smoothly. Their responsibilities overlap somewhat with janitors, who sometimes perform minor repairs and maintenance tasks.
People in this position also often work on-call, as emergencies may arise on evenings and weekends. Maintenance workers must be available whenever problems arise, so prospective workers should have a flexible schedule.
As a maintenance worker, your job responsibilities will differ depending on where you work. With that said, here are some common job responsibilities that maintenance and repair workers have:
Maintain and repair buildings, equipment, and machines with hand tools and power tools
Inspect buildings and machines
Diagnose and figure out how to solve problems
Fix circuit breakers, outlets, and electrical systems
Assemble and prepare equipment and machinery for use
Troubleshoot issues and perform routine maintenance of equipment
Performing routine cleaning, like sweeping and mopping floors
Order general supplies for storerooms
Keep detailed records of completed work
Provide estimates of new equipment and repair costs
While general maintenance workers are responsible for the repair and general maintenance of equipment and buildings, they do not necessarily have the specialized training required for certain tasks.
When a plumber, electrician, or another specialized individual is needed, the repair worker should recognize this and report it.
Maintenance workers aren’t usually trained to do extensive repairs on buildings, but they are often required to paint and patch up walls, doors, floors, roofs, and other parts of buildings.
If there is specialized equipment in the workplace they are at, they may be required to maintain and repair it. For example, laundry machines at hotels or apartment buildings would fall under this category.
To get started in this field, you are not usually required to have any formal education beyond a high school diploma or GED, though having completed shop classes is a plus.
Most job skills are learned on the job. When starting out, maintenance workers learn from more experienced workers who teach them the necessary skills to work on their own.
While no formal education is required, courses in electricity, mechanical drawing, mathematics, and blueprint reading go a long way toward preparing maintenance workers for the field.
Because maintenance workers often work on minor tasks involving plumbing, heating and air conditioning systems (HVAC), and roofing repairs, any knowledge of these fields is beneficial.
To advance, a maintenance worker can train in a craft. They could become certified electricians, plumbers, or carpenters. They could even move into becoming a maintenance manager.
Maintenance workers should have important soft skills, including manual dexterity, time management, and communication skills. In this job, you will interact with customers regularly.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, general maintenance and repair workers earn a median salary of $40,850 per year or $19.64 per hour.
Maintenance workers employed in manufacturing earn substantially more than average, earning $47,580 per year. The top 10% of earners earned $65,590 annually.
The job field will continue to grow, as there will always be a need for maintenance work. The BLS expects a 4% job growth, which is average, between 2019–2029.
Crafting a resume that will stand out can help you show hiring managers that you are the best candidate for the job. Let’s look at five tips to help you put your best foot forward:
Keep the experience on your resume as relevant as possible. Hiring managers want to see how your past experience has prepared you for the job.
List any maintenance or janitorial work you may have done, and tailor your past experience to the job description.
Recruiters tend to skim resumes. An unnecessarily long resume may be overlooked. Try to edit your resume down to one page.
Read the job description carefully and use that information to customize your resume and cover letter.
Include keywords found on the job description, as it could help your application get through automated systems.
Proofread and edit your resume, cover letter, and application. In a sea of applicants, one typo could be enough to disqualify you from the job.
Take a look at other successful resumes to get an idea of what to include and how to best format your resume.
Let’s take a look at where you can find maintenance worker jobs that are open right now.
There are hundreds of building maintenance worker jobs hiring across the country. These workers specialize in the upkeep and maintenance of buildings.
You can also find general maintenance worker jobs hiring near you. In addition to office buildings, you can find jobs working in settings such as restaurants, hotels, and factories.
If you prefer working on your feet rather than at a desk and enjoy working with your hands, a career as a maintenance worker could be the perfect fit for you.
You can land a position with no formal education — however, taking courses in things like electricity and mechanical drawing can help set you apart from other candidates.
A job as a maintenance worker is a great opportunity on its own, but it is also a stepping stone toward trade certification. Many maintenance workers go on to work as electricians, plumbers, or in a number of other careers.
You can find more tips for job seekers looking to get into the maintenance field by visiting Jobcase’s Getting Hired Resource Center.