Growth Trends for Related Jobs
The number of general maintenance and repair workers in the United States is expected to grow 11 percent between 2008 and 2018, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. In order to become a maintenance worker for a business, manufacturer or even government agency, having the right skills is extremely helpful and, in some cases, a requirement.
Much of the work performed in the maintenance field is learned from on-the-job training or by working as an apprentice. Most employers have educational requirements that they seek in job applicants, which may include a high school diploma or equivalent, courses in blueprint reading, mechanical drawing, electricity or woodworking. Other helpful courses to consider taking are basic computer operation, computer design applications and general math and science courses.
Maintenance workers must be able to perform their duties under a variety of working conditions. Some positions may be strictly indoors or outdoors. A maintenance worker may have to tolerate extreme heat or cold, work in small, cramped spaces, perform tasks in high places such as on a roof or tall ladder or stand for long periods at a time. The duties performed by maintenance workers can be physically demanding and stressful at times. You may have to carry heavy equipment during your work day. Exposure to the elements and the physical standards of a particular job may demand that you are in good physical condition.
Maintenance workers repair and maintain a variety of things. It may be plumbing, electrical systems, carpentry, construction or mechanical components. In order to be successful in your work, a good mechanical aptitude is a must. While you will learn a great deal from on-the-job training and classes, you will need the mental capacity to troubleshoot problems and determine the best solutions to those problems.
Most maintenance workers work independently to perform their duties. You should be able to work on your own without direct supervision and instruction for long periods at a time. Maintenance workers also should also be able to work with the public as their position will most likely require them to perform duties inside residences, public buildings and businesses. Courtesy and good manners are a definite plus for a maintenance employee.
Licensing and Certification
Depending on the duties your job involves, and the location you work in, you could be required to have certain permits or certifications. Plumbing and electrical work are two maintenance categories that may require these certifications. There are also manufacturing companies and government agencies that have their own training and certification programs that you may need to participate in. Your employer can tell you more about its own specific licensing and certification requirements.
Loren Estes became a licensed wildlife rehabilitation professional for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife in 1998. She cares for wildlife native to Kentucky. In her spare time, Estes also lectures and volunteers for various nonprofit organizations involved in animal care and adoption.