A maintenance helper provides assistance to more skilled workers. Often a maintenance helper is learning the necessary skills to become a full-fledged maintenance repair worker. These helper positions serve as a steppingstone toward more responsibility and higher pay.
What They Do
Maintenance helpers assist maintenance technicians in installing, maintaining and repairing equipment and machinery and in repairing vehicles. Their duties include: handing tools, supplies and materials to other workers; preparing the work area; and cleaning the work area or equipment. Some of the tools maintenance helpers learn to use include hammers, hoists, pneumatic hammers, front-end loaders and screw drivers.
Where They Work
Maintenance helpers work both indoors and outdoors. They may assist a maintenance technician in a single building or work in many buildings, such as an apartment complex. Helpers sometimes have to work in extreme heat or cold or in awkward or uncomfortable positions.
How THey Qualify
Applicants for maintenance helper jobs often aspire to advance to maintenance worker after learning the necessary skills. Employers typically require a high school diploma for helpers and provide short-term on-the-job training. For example, helpers begin by performing simple tasks, such as replacing light bulbs or fixing leaky faucets. They gradually progress to more complex tasks, such as building walls. After several months of learning the necessary skills, a successful trainee can advance to fully-qualified maintenance technician.
What They Earn
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, installation, maintenance and repair helpers overall earned a mean hourly wage of $13.04 and a mean annual wage of $27,120 as of May 2013. The industries that employed the most maintenance helpers were automotive repair, paying a mean annual wage of $22,720; building equipment contractors, $26,240; automobile dealers, $24,480; local government, $34,720; and commercial and industrial machinery and equipment repair and maintenance, $27,180. The average annual income of full-fledged repair workers came to $37,710 in 2013.
Employment for installation, maintenance and repair workers is expected to increase at 8 to 14 percent between 2012 and 2022, according to the BLS as cited by the Occupational Information Network. The exact rate of growth depends on the particular industry. By way of comparison, the BLS predicts an 11 percent increase in employment for all occupations combined.
2016 Salary Information for General Maintenance and Repair Workers
General maintenance and repair workers earned a median annual salary of $36,940 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, general maintenance and repair workers earned a 25th percentile salary of $28,180, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $48,520, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 1,432,600 people were employed in the U.S. as general maintenance and repair workers.