Maintenance employees work for various types of repair companies or organizations and provide maintenance services. While specifics vary by industry or employer, maintenance workers may work on machines or equipment, interior and exterior building surfaces, electrical systems, plumbing and heating and cooling systems. Most maintenance employees need a number of basic skills.
Maintenance workers are sometimes referred to as mechanically inclined. In reality, they possess critical thinking skills that enable them to troubleshoot problems with various types of equipment and machinery. When something breaks down, a maintenance worker first looks over the situation or equipment. In some cases, he can quickly detect the problem. Other times, he must run tests or do more thorough inspections to uncover the necessary repairs.
Physical Strength and Dexterity
Specific physical demands vary, but most maintenance workers need some combination of physical strength and manual dexterity. In some cases, the worker might have to move heavy pieces of machinery, equipment, tools or supplies. Most maintenance workers need dexterity to manipulate hand tools and small devices used in completing repairs. Hammering nails, drilling or hand-turning screws, turning knobs and removing or placing parts are common physical actions requiring dexterity.
Though much of a maintenance worker's job involves independent repairs, he does need some basic communication skills to interact with company leaders or clients. A self-employed or independent maintenance worker is a service professional who must show basic courtesy and friendliness when interacting with clients. Within an organization, the maintenance worker must update supervisors on progress. In some cases, he must send out written memos or emails to alert all workers to hazards and repair progress.
Dependability is another basic soft skill for maintenance workers. Whether working for clients or an employer, a maintenance worker is valuable to the extent that he consistently gets the job done in a timely manner. Additionally, some maintenance workers need basic computer skills and the ability to work with technology. A school maintenance worker might have to use car battery testers and other such devices to check for needed repairs of school vehicles, for instance.