Maintenance and Repair Careers

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Since most items mechanical in nature or which use electricity must be installed, maintenance or repaired, skilled installation, maintenance and repair technicians have plenty of work opportunities.

Maintenance technicians play an important role in the repair and upkeep of equipment, machines and buildings. Their work environment depends on their specialization and employer. Maintenance technicians are also known as machinery maintenance workers, industrial machinery mechanics and electro-mechanical technicians.

There's an array of installation, maintenance and repair careers to choose from. These careers are available in a variety of settings. Some installation, maintenance and repair careers require on-the-job training, whereas some of these careers require the completion of a formal training program.

This section provides pertinent, reliable information about a variety of installation, maintenance and repair careers. TheBestSchools provides detailed information about installation, maintenance and repair careers such as employment outlook, salary, training, education and much more.

After you read through this page on Maintenance and Repair Careers keep browsing our website's extensive career guide for more information on job options, education requirements and salaries.

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Aircraft and Avionics Equipment Mechanics and Technicians

Education and Certifications Aircraft and Avionics Equipment Mechanics and Technicians Need

An aviation career, such as an aircraft mechanic, avionics equipment mechanic, aircraft technician, or an avionics equipment technician, may begin with graduating from an FAA-approved Aviation Maintenance Technical School. Some of these schools offer associate degrees, while other offer a Bachelor of Avionics, Aviation Technology, or Aviation Maintenance Management. Many employers prefer candidates with a bachelor's degree.

Aircraft mechanics, avionics equipment mechanics, aircraft technicians, and avionics equipment technicians need certification from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Although separate certifications are available for airframe mechanics and engine mechanics, employers prefer hiring individuals with a combined Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) certificate.

In order to maintain their certification, aircraft mechanics must inspect or repair aircraft every 90 days and attend a refresher course every two years.

What They Do

How many little kids dream of growing up and working on airplanes? Their dream can become a reality as an aircraft mechanic, avionics equipment mechanic, aircraft technician, or an avionics equipment technician. These individuals keep airplanes and helicopters running properly and safely, performing regular scheduled maintenance and FAA-required inspections.

Anyone who has ever successfully ridden on a plane owes a thank you to the aircraft mechanic, whose job it is to examine the plane's frame and parts for defects, determine if any parts are becoming worn out, and determine any mechanical or electrical problems.

Aircraft mechanics repair everything from wings to breaks to electrical systems. Aviation mechanic careers include replacing small parts with hand tools and test gauges and diagnostic equipment.

Aircraft mechanics may either work on a variety of aircrafts or specialize in one part of a specific type of aircraft, such as the engine, hydraulics, or electrical system.

Like aircraft mechanics, avionics equipment technicians also look for potential issues with aircraft. Avionics equipment technician careers include testing an aircraft's technical instruments, using everything from small hand tools to circuit testers, oscilloscopes, and voltmeters.

An aircraft technician career involves interpreting flight data, searching for possible malfunctions or performance problems.

An avionic equipment technician career includes assembling components, installing instruments, and repairing any malfunctioning instruments.

Aircraft mechanics and avionics equipment technicians keep scrupulous records of all tests and maintenance performed.

Career Advancement Opportunities

With experience, aircraft mechanics may advance in their career to a lead mechanic, lead inspector, or shop supervisor position. Aviation mechanics often advance from general aviation jobs to airline jobs. Individuals with an aircraft inspector's authorization and a bachelor's degree have the best career advancement opportunities.

Other advanced position aircraft or avionics mechanics and technicians may become an inspector for the FAA or open their own maintenance shop.

Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $61,260
2016 number of jobs 149,500
Employment growth forecast, 2016 - 26 5%
Entry-level education requirements Trade school certificate or on-the-job training
2017, wage of lowest 10 percent $36,030
2017, wage of the highest 10 percent $92,080

 

Automotive Body and Glass Repairers

Education and Certifications Automotive Body and Glass Repairers Need

An automotive body repairer career or automotive glass repairer career can begin with a high school degree and then on-the-job training, but employers are increasingly hiring individuals with a formal training in automotive body repair or refinishing, which may be obtained through high school courses, community college courses, or through a trade and technical school.

Trade or technical school training lasts between six month to a year and results in a certificate. Community college programs typically last two years.

New automotive body repairers shadow a more experienced automotive body repairer for one to four years – although three to four years is most common – gradually receiving more complex tasks and increased autonomy. New automotive glass repairers and installers typically shadow a more experienced automotive glass repairer and installer for one year before working on projects alone.

Due to the constant technical advances in the automotive industry, professional automotive body repairers and automotive glass repairers typically take continuing education courses, read technical manuals, and attend seminars throughout their career to stay updated on the newest automotive technology.

Certification is not required of automotive body repairers and automotive glass repairers, although it is highly recommended, as certification is rapidly becoming more of an industry standard and employer preference.

The National Institute of Automotive Excellence provides the most common certification for automotive body repairers and automotive glass repairers, with further certification available through the Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair. Additionally, some vehicle and paint manufacturers offer certification programs in specific technologies and repair methods.

What They Do

People who love working with their hands and seeing a physical outcome of their hard work may enjoy working as an automotive body repairer or an automotive glass repairer. Automotive body repairers and automotive glass repairers fix or replace vehicle body sections, frames, windshields and window glass breathing new life into a damaged vehicle.

Automotive body repairers and automotive glass repairers review damage reports and prepare cost estimates for customers. When customers wish to proceed, automotive body repairers do anything from pounding out small dents to realigning care frames to repairing structural damage. They remove all damaged body parts, then fit and reattach replacement parts, including weatherproofed windows. Automotive body repairers and automotive glass repairers make the vehicle beautiful again through grinding, sanding, buffing, prime refurbishing, or painting the areas they worked on.

The varied work of an automotive body repairer and automotive glass repairer involves tools ranging from simple hand tools such as pliers, wrenches, hammers, and screwdrivers to more involved tools such as metal-cutting guns, plasma cutters, and hydraulic jacks and hammers.

Depending on the size of the shop they work at and the size of the project, automotive body repairers and automotive glass repairers may work on a job alone or as part of a group.

See also: What can I do with an Automotive Technology degree?

Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $40,580
2016 number of jobs 14,900
Employment growth forecast, 2016 - 26 8%
Entry-level education requirements High school diploma or equivalent
2017, wage of lowest 10 percent $25,470
2017, wage of the highest 10 percent $70,670

 

Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics

Education and Certifications Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics Need

A vocational or postsecondary training program in automotive service technology is the new standard for automotive technician and automotive mechanic entry-level jobs. Automotive service technology programs typically last six months to one year, although some schools offer a two-year Associate in Automotive Service Technology degree program. Automotive manufacturers and dealers sponsor many of the associate degree programs.

An automotive service technician career typically begins with on-the-job training, working under the instruction of an experienced technician for two to five years before being considered a fully qualified service technician. Automotive service technicians generally work another one to two years before becoming familiar with all types of repairs.

Automotive service technicians working with refrigerant are required by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to obtain a license in proper refrigerant handling.

A majority of employers require automotive service technicians to become certified from the National Institute of Automotive Service Excellence. Automotive service technicians can become certified in any of the following: automatic transmission/transaxle, brakes, electrical/electronic systems, engine performance, engine repair, heating and air conditioning, manual drive train and axles, or suspension and steering. A Master Automotive Technician has certification in all eight areas.

What They Do

When your vehicle breaks down, leaving you feeling frustrated and lost, it is usually the automotive service technician or automotive service mechanic who saves the day and gets your vehicle running well once again.

Automotive service technicians and automotive service mechanics perform a wide variety of jobs on cars and light trucks, keeping them well maintained and correcting any existing problems.

Typical responsibilities of an automotive service technician and automotive service mechanic include testing parts and systems of vehicles and using diagnostic equipment when working on mechanical issues.

Automotive service technicians and mechanics conduct regular maintenance on vehicles, including oil changes, lubricating the engine, tune-ups, tire rotations and replacing parts such as brake pads and wheel bearings. The test all work performed to ensure full safety.

As automotive technology advances, automotive service technicians and mechanics must also learn to work on vehicles with numerous electronic parts and systems as well as vehicles running on alternative energy sources.

An automotive service technician career involves speaking directly with customers, explaining the work they performed and any issues they may have found.

Automotive service technicians may also chose to specialize as automotive air-conditioning repairers, break repairers, front-end mechanics, transmission technicians and rebuilders, or tune-up technicians.

Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $39,550
2016 number of jobs 749,900
Employment growth forecast, 2016 - 26 6%
Entry-level education requirements Postsecondary nondegree award
2017, wage of lowest 10 percent $22,610
2017, wage of the highest 10 percent $65,430

 

Computer, ATM, and Office Machine Repairers

Education and Certifications Computer, ATM, and Office Machine Repairers Need

A computer repair technician career or office machine repair career begins with a postsecondary degree or certificate and technical experience. Some computer or machine repairers gain their experience through the military or vocational school.

Some schools offer an Associate in Electronics and Computer Technology degree, an Electronics Computer Technology diploma, an Electronics Technician diploma or a Basic Electronics diploma.

Although many employers expect computer repair techs and ATM, and office machine repairers to have knowledge of electronics, employers also provide on-the-job training, as these workers use various tools depending on their specialty.

Computer repair technicians and ATM, and office machine repairers attend classes periodically when new tools and technology pertaining to their job becomes available.

Computer, ATM, and office machine repairers can obtain certification through a variety of organization and certification for numerous electronic specialties for varying levels of competence. Obtaining certifications is highly recommended, as it makes a repairer far more competitive when seeking a job.

What They Do

There are a few essential machines people use daily and may not even think about how devastating it would be if they suddenly stopped working; computer repairers, office machine repairers, and ATM repairers keep those machines working properly.

Computer repair technicians, office machine repairers, and ATM repairers travel to the location of the broken machine and speak directly with customers to get a sense of the problem. These professionals use tools such as a multimeter to make a diagnosis. Computer, ATM and office machine repairer careers include replacing broken or malfunctioning parts and providing preventative maintenance.

Whenever work is performed on a machine, computer repair technicians, office machine repairers, and ATM repairers, test the new parts to ensure they are working properly; they also complete a work order and explain to customers the work they performed.

A computer repair tech career involves working on computer parts, network connections and computer equipment. An office machine repairer career involves fixing general office equipment, such as printers and copiers, which break down from normal wear and tear.

Career Advancement Opportunities

Computer repair technicians and ATM, and office machine repairers may train entry-level repairers or move into a management position.

Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $37,710
2016 number of jobs 100,580
Employment growth forecast, 2016 - 26 N/A
Entry-level education requirements N/A
2017, wage of lowest 10 percent $23,590
2017, wage of the highest 10 percent $61,060

 

Diesel Service Technicians and Mechanics

Education and Certifications Diesel Service Technicians and Mechanics Need

A diesel mechanic career or diesel technician career begins with at least a high school diploma, but most employers seek diesel technicians and diesel mechanics with an Associate of Diesel Engine Repair degree or a Diesel Engine Repair certificate. Many community colleges and trade and vocational schools provide diesel engine repair programs which take from six months to two years to complete.

Some employers may hire individuals without a postsecondary degree; they learn through three to four years of on-the-job training.

Diesel mechanics and diesel technicians frequently attend special training classes conducted by manufacturers and vendors to keep up on changing technologies.

Diesel mechanics and diesel technicians don't need certification, although it is highly recommended. Certification is a recognized industry credential. Diesel mechanics and diesel technicians receive certification through the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence. Diesel mechanics may obtain certification in specific areas, such as drive trains, electronic systems, or preventative maintenance and inspection. Certification must be renewed through massing one or more ASD exams every five years.

A diesel mechanic must obtain a commercial driver's license to test-drive buses or large trucks.

What They Do

Diesel technicians and diesel mechanics are the superheroes of the mechanic world – there is little these individuals can't do; they keep the nation's powerful machines, trucks, and buses running.

Diesel technicians and diesel mechanics inspect and repair any machine with a diesel engine, whether it's a car, truck, bus, bulldozer or crane.

To diagnose problems diesel technicians interpret data from a variety of tools, including dials, gauges, and computer equipment. Diesel technicians and diesel mechanics increasingly use computerized diagnostic equipment such as microprocessors and laptop computers to help diagnose problems.

Diesel technicians and diesel mechanics perform tasks as simple as changing oil, checking batteries, and lubricating parts to complex tasks such as inspecting brake systems, transmissions, and engines. It is also common for diesel technicians and diesel mechanics to disassemble and reassemble parts or equipment. They also help retrofit engines to meet new emissions standards.

See also: What can I do with an Automotive Technology degree?

Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $46,360
2016 number of jobs 278,800
Employment growth forecast, 2016 - 26 9%
Entry-level education requirements High school diploma or equivalent
2017, wage of lowest 10 percent $30,400
2017, wage of the highest 10 percent $69,870

 

Electrical and Electronic Installers and Repairers

Education and Certifications Electrical and Electronic Installers and Repairers Need

Electrical and electronic repairers and installers must obtain specialized training at a technical school or obtain an Associates of Applied Science in Electronics Engineering Technology degree from a community college.

Entry-level positions require a solid understanding of electrical equipment and electronics. Often, new electrical and electronic repairers or installers receive training from experienced technicians and gradually gain more independence.

Although certification for electrical and electronic installers and repairers is voluntary, certification is helpful. A variety of organizations offer certification; the Electronics Technicians Association International offers more than 50 certification programs and the International Society of Certified Electronics Technicians offers certification for different competence levels.

What They Do

If complex electric systems interest, rather than intimidate, you, and you want to work with a variety of industries, consider an electrical and electronic repairer and installer career.

Electrical and electronic repairer and installer careers include working on a variety of electronic equipment in telecommunication, transportation, utilities, and other industries.

Electrical and electronic repairers and installers work with increasingly complex automated electronic control systems, for which they use software and other technical tools such as advanced multimeters, signal generators, and oscilloscopes.

Electrical and electronic repairer and installer careers include using basic hand tools, such as screwdrivers, pliers, soldering irons, and wrenches to adjust equipment or remove and replace broken parts, such as motors, fuses, or gaskets.

Prior to performing work, electrical and electronic repairers and installers prepare cost estimates for clients. Electrical and electronic repairer and installer careers involve maintaining meticulous records of work done, parts used, and hours worked in order to create an accurate final cost. Electrical and electronic repairers also regularly refer to service guides, schematics, and manufacturer specifications when working on a project.

Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $57,210
2016 number of jobs 135,000
Employment growth forecast, 2016 - 26 1%
Entry-level education requirements High school diploma plus on-the-job training
2017, wage of lowest 10 percent $31,940
2017, wage of the highest 10 percent $90,590

 

General Maintenance and Repair Workers

Education and Certifications General Maintenance and Repair Workers Need

Many entry-level general maintenance and repair worker positions require a high school diploma. Typically, individuals hired as general maintenance and repair workers shadow a more experienced worker, learning skills through on-the-job training. Skills used in this position may also be learned through classes as an adult education center or community college. Some general maintenance and repair workers take technical education classes, or receive postsecondary trade or vocational education.

General maintenance and repair workers are not required to have certification, however certification provides an advantage during job hunting and it demonstrates a dedication to the trade. The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals provides a Certified Maintenance and Reliability Professional certification.

Licensing for general maintenance and repair workers varies by state and locality; it may be required for more technical repair jobs, such as electrical or plumbing work.

What They Do

When you're younger, it seems like your parents know how to fix everything, but how'd you like a career where you actually can fix pretty much anything? General maintenance and repair workers maintain and fix machines, mechanical equipment and buildings, which range from fixing a faulty electrical outlet to replacing drywall to painting.

A large part of a general maintenance and repair worker's job is studying a problem, cross-checking blueprints, and reading repair manuals and parts catalogs, to diagnose the issue and determine how to fix it.

A maintenance technician career includes creating a repair plan and providing a quote to the customer prior to executing the plan.

General maintenance and repair workers order parts and disassemble and reassemble objects as necessary. General maintenance and repair workers often clean and provide upkeep on buildings.

General maintenance and repair workers must keep diligent records of their work; both as a future reference and if there are any disputes from customers over the final cost.

See also: What can I do with an Automotive Technology degree?

Career Advancement Opportunities

If maintenance technicians train in a specific craft, they may advance to a craft worker position, such as an electrician, plumber, or air-conditioning mechanic.

Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $35,210
2016 number of jobs 1,230,270
Employment growth forecast, 2016 - 26 11 percent
Entry-level education requirements High school diploma or equivalent
2017, wage of lowest 10 percent $45,740
2017, wage of the highest 10 percent $26,720

 

Heating, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers

Education and Certifications Heating, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers Need

Heating, air conditioning and refrigeration mechanics and installers typically need a postsecondary non-degree award from a technical or trade school and complete a formal apprenticeship to begin a Heating, air conditioning and refrigeration mechanic and installer career.

Informally trained mechanics learn basic repair skills such as cleaning furnaces, whereas formally trained technicians perform complex tasks such as checking electrical circuits.

Committees representing various organizations, such as the Air Conditioning Contractors of America, operate apprenticeship programs to train students how to read blueprints, use tools and follow safety regulations.

Technical training in HVACR repair consists of passing competency tests. Each competency exam allows a mechanic to become specialized in specific heating, cooling or refrigerant systems.

Some states require HVACR technicians to obtain a license. Organizations such as the Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute offer appropriate exams.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also requires heating, air conditioning and refrigeration mechanics and installers to receive certification in environmental and safety practices. Trade and technical schools usually offer these exams to prepare students to deal with issues such as refrigerant handling.

What They Do

A heating, air conditioning and refrigeration mechanic and installer career appeals to mechanically inclined, detail oriented people.

Heating, air conditioning and refrigeration mechanics and installers set up, diagnose, service and repair equipment such as refrigerators, air conditioners and heating units.

A typical workday for a heating, air conditioning and refrigeration technician consists of travelling to customer homes and worksites, reading and following schematics to setup inspect, mount, and repair HVACR (Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration) units, testing individual equipment and replace or repair defective parts, connecting units to air ducts, water lines and other components, installing wiring between controls and equipment and performing general maintenance such as cleaning and oiling components.

They comply with all environmental standards and policies in relation to protecting the environment. Heating, air conditioning and refrigeration mechanics and installers also take care of paperwork and process work orders.

Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $37,670
2016 number of jobs 1,432,600
Employment growth forecast, 2016 - 26 8%
Entry-level education requirements High school diploma or equivalent
2017, wage of lowest 10 percent $22,820
2017, wage of the highest 10 percent $61,720

 

Heavy Vehicle and Mobile Equipment Service Technicians

Education and Certifications Heavy Vehicle and Mobile Equipment Service Technicians Need

Heavy vehicle and mobile equipment service technicians typically need a high school diploma and informal on-the-job training to begin a career in the field. However, employers look favorably upon candidates who completed a diesel technology program or a heavy equipment mechanics program offered through trade schools and equipment manufacturers that last from 1 to 2 years.

During training, a mobile heavy equipment mechanic works with experienced mechanics to learn basic tasks. In time, trainees learn to complete more difficult tasks, such as engine overhauls. This whole process can take from several months to four years. Although not required, certification demonstrates competency in specific areas of mechanical service.

What They Do

A heavy vehicle service technician career appeals to people interested in mechanics, construction and farming equipment and diagnosing and repairing heavy vehicles. It's a physically demanding career.

Mobile equipment service technicians diagnose, overhaul and repair mobile hydraulic, mechanical, and pneumatic equipment such as bulldozers and cranes.

A typical workday for a mobile heavy equipment mechanic involves travelling to different worksites to inspect, overhaul and repair large equipment such as bulldozers. They review operating schematics, drawings, and manuals.

Mobile heavy equipment mechanics maintain equipment by cleaning and oiling parts, identifying malfunctions, repairing worn parts such as gears and bearings, inspecting and overhauling large components such as engines and electrical equipment as well as ensuring the safety of brakes, transmissions and other parts.

Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $49,440
2016 number of jobs 192,100
Employment growth forecast, 2016 - 26 8%
Entry-level education requirements High school diploma or equivalent
2017, wage of lowest 10 percent $31,450
2017, wage of the highest 10 percent $74,200

 

Home Appliance Repairers

Education and Certifications Home Appliance Repairers Need

Home appliance repairers typically need a high school diploma and significant on-the-job training to begin a home appliance repairer career. However, employers also look favorably upon postsecondary training from a vocational school in electronics or appliance repair. Some schools offer an Appliance Repair diploma program.

When training with an employer, home appliance repair technicians work with experienced technicians to learn tasks such as working with electronics. Some manufacturers may require trainees to attain further education through seminars to obtain certification for warranty work.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency requires home appliance repairers to have a license to handle refrigerants when buying or fixing refrigerators.

Further technical training in appliance repair consists of acquiring certification. To become certified, a home appliance repair technician must pass competency tests such as the National Appliance Service Technician Certification exam.

What They Do

A home appliance repairer is a uniquely skilled occupation for people interested in working with small machinery parts. A home appliance repairer career involves installing, diagnosing, servicing and repairing appliances such as refrigerators, air conditioners and ovens.

A typical day for a home appliance repair technician involves travelling to customer's homes to discuss appliance failures, finding problems and organizing maintenance service plans.

A home appliance repair technician repairs and replaces broken or worn parts for electrical and gas items such as washers and dryers, they also install a variety of home appliances.

Home appliance repairers also bill clients, maintain service records, collect payments, record parts used and teach clients how to use their appliances as well as how to keep them properly maintained.

A home appliance repairer career can vary in terms of jobs performed and can range from fairly straightforward repairs to detailed service issues.

Federal regulations require home appliance repair technicians to conserve and recycle chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) and hydro fluorocarbon (HCFC) refrigerants used in cooling systems.

Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $38,160
2016 number of jobs 32,250
Employment growth forecast, 2016 - 26 N/A
Entry-level education requirements N/A
2017, wage of lowest 10 percent $23,170
2017, wage of the highest 10 percent $61,660

 

Industrial Machinery Mechanics and Machinery Maintenance Workers

Education and Certifications Industrial Machinery Mechanics and Machinery Maintenance Workers Need

Industrial machinery mechanics and machinery maintenance workers typically need a high school diploma and informal on-the-job training to begin a career in the field. However, industrial machinery mechanics need in-depth training and various post secondary courses in areas such as electronics from a technical or vocational school to begin employment. Some industrial machinery mechanics obtain an Associate in Industrial Maintenance degree. Conversely, maintenance workers usually need only a few months of on-the-job training to begin work.

What They Do

Industrial machinery mechanics and machinery maintenance workers play vital roles in the manufacturing process. These careers appeal to people with an interest in electronics, technology and maintaining and repairing industrial machinery. Industrial machinery mechanics and machinery maintenance workers repair and maintain industrial production and machinery systems.

An industrial machinery mechanic career involves reviewing technical manuals to learn information necessary to handle equipment and controls, taking apart machinery to evaluate equipment issues, fixing or replacing malfunctioning equipment and performing tests to make sure all systems run efficiently. Industrial machinery mechanics also clean and lubricate machinery in order to prevent future malfunctions.

Machinery maintenance workers main responsibilities include performing diagnostic tests and repairing any equipment issues, checking overall machinery performance, cleaning and lubricating equipment as well as resetting sensors and controls.

Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $50,440
2016 number of jobs 476,100
Employment growth forecast, 2016 - 26 7%
Entry-level education requirements High school diploma or equivalent
2017, wage of lowest 10 percent $32,280
2017, wage of the highest 10 percent $76,940

 

Line Installers and Repairers

Education and Certifications Line Installers and Repairers Need

Line installers and repairers typically need a high school diploma and significant on-the-job training or apprenticeships to begin a career in the field. However, employers also look favorably upon training in electrical utilities or telecommunications from a vocational school or military service.

Electrical and telecommunication line workers spend a significant amount of time in on-the-job training, sometimes up to 5 years, through unions or manufacturing industry programs. Though not required, certification programs are available for both telecommunication and electrical line workers.

What They Do

A line installer and repairer, a physically demanding occupation, appeals to people interested in electrical work and not afraid of heights and enjoy servicing and repairing power systems. Line installers and repairers install and repair power cables and wires as well as fiber optics.

A typical day for a line installer and repairer involves monitoring electrical power system failures through climbing poles or using trucks with mounted buckets, finding defective parts such as transformers and fuses and inspecting auxiliary equipment. Line installers and repairers also place electrical lines between poles, identify and fix incorrect connections and following safety rules and standards.

Telecommunication lines installers and electrical linemen have very similar tasks, however, telecommunication line workers deal with fiber optic lines and telecommunications equipment and spend most of their time laying cables underground.

Career Advancement Opportunities

After several years of work experience and training, line installers and repairers can advance in their career into higher positions until they reach journey levels. At journey levels, they no longer need supervision and they can work as line trainers and supervisors.

Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $64,190
2016 number of jobs 227,000
Employment growth forecast, 2016 - 26 8%
Entry-level education requirements High school diploma or equivalent
2017, wage of lowest 10 percent $37,600
2017, wage of the highest 10 percent $9,860

 

Medical Appliance Technicians

Education and Certifications Medical Appliance Technicians Need

No formal education requirements exist for people seeking a medical appliance technician career, as most medical appliance technicians learn their trade through on-the job training. Although some technical or vocational schools offer programs for medical appliance technicians, these programs are uncommon.

Medical appliance technicians don't need certification; however certification certainly helps in job competition, as it demonstrates mastery and professionalism to potential employers. The American Board for Certification in Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics provides certification to medical appliance technicians.

What They Do

Thanks to the work of medical appliance technicians individuals who lost limbs due to disease, aging, birth defects, amputation, or other reasons have the option of wearing medical supportive devices, such as prosthetic limbs, arch supports, facial parts, and foot and leg braces.

Medical appliance technicians create their devices based on work order and specifications from podiatrists, orthotists, prosthetists, and other healthcare professionals. Medical appliance technicians determine what materials and tools to use for a specific job. They create a pattern and form the fabric or material into the appropriate shape.

A medical appliance technician career includes using a variety of hand tools or power tools when shaping and finishing or polishing the devices they create. A medical appliance technician career also includes repairing broken medical supportive devices.

Orthotic and prosthetic technicians make orthoses and prostheses.

Career Advancement Opportunities

Some medical appliance technicians who complete additional formal education advance in their career to become an orthotist or a prosthetist.

Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $37,190
2016 number of jobs 13,640
Employment growth forecast, 2016 - 26 N/A
Entry-level education requirements N/A
2017, wage of lowest 10 percent $23,460
2017, wage of the highest 10 percent $61,170

 

Medical Equipment Repairers

Education and Certifications Medical Equipment Repairers Need

People typically need an Associate in Biomedical Technology degree, An Associate in Biomedical Equipment Technology or an Associate in Engineering to begin a medical equipment repairer career. For purposes of advancement and working with more complex medical equipment, some medical equipment technicians need a bachelor's degree.

Medical equipment repair technicians train under supervision for three to six months. During this time medical equipment repair technicians learn a different piece of medical equipment one at a time and over a period of a few months. They learn to work more independently without supervision.

Medical equipment repairers typically receive continuing education in new advances in biomedical technology.

The Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) provides medical equipment repair certification in different areas. Medical equipment repair certification is not mandatory.

What They Do

A medical equipment repairer career involves repairing and servicing biomedical, electro-medical technology and various types of medical systems. A medical equipment repairer career may involve testing, maintaining, repairing and adjusting biomedical and electro-medical systems.

A typical day for a medical equipment repairer involves testing and calibrating components using power tools and measuring devices, finding defective parts and replacing them, inspecting equipment using analysis equipment, recording maintenance and repairs.

Medical equipment repair technicians participate in the latest in medical technology training. Some medical equipment repairers educate personnel on the correct use of medical devices.

Medical equipment repairer careers include examining medical devices and structural environments to check for correct handling of equipment to protect patients and medical personnel from mechanical hazards.

Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $48,820
2016 number of jobs 47,100
Employment growth forecast, 2016 - 26 4%
Entry-level education requirements Associate degree
2017, wage of lowest 10 percent $29,570
2017, wage of the highest 10 percent $80,460

 

Millwrights

Education and Certifications Millwrights Need

People interested in a millwright career need a high school diploma or equivalent. Some Millwrights have an Associate in Industrial Maintenance degree. In addition, millwrights receive training through an apprenticeship which lasts 3 or 4 years and for each year; apprentices must have at least 144 hours of technical training as well as 2,000 hours of paid onsite training.

To qualify for a millwright apprenticeship an individual must be at least 18 years of age, have a high school diploma and be physically able to handle the work. When onsite, millwrights learn to organize, clean, repair, and operate machinery. Technical instruction involves learning how to read schematics, weld, math, electronics, and how to use air pressure as well as computer training.

What They Do

A millwright is a very hands-on, labor-intensive job for someone interested in manipulating various mechanical parts, using technology and has a steady hand and physical stamina. Millwrights move, breakdown, repair and install machinery and other equipment in a precise and consistent manner according to blue prints and schematics in areas such as construction sites or factories.

A millwright career consists of highly skilled tasks such as dismantling complex equipment, reading technical blueprints and schematics on machinery, aligning moving parts, repairing machinery by removing defective parts, and categorizing and packing parts for shipping.

Millwright careers include using many precision-measuring tools, such as lasers, squares, levels and micrometers. Millwrights use other equipment for cutting and brazing. For bigger jobs, cranes and trucks are commonly used. Millwrights bring parts to the location for a particular machine using cranes, dollies, hoists and other equipment.

Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $53,980
2016 number of jobs 41,360
Employment growth forecast, 2016 - 26 N/A
Entry-level education requirements N/A
2017, wage of lowest 10 percent $33,350
2017, wage of the highest 10 percent $80,090

 

Small Engine Mechanics

Education and Certifications Small Engine Mechanics Need

People typically need a high school diploma and on-the-job training to begin a small engine mechanic career. However, employers also look favorably upon postsecondary training in small engine repair and automobile mechanics.

When in training, small engine mechanics work with experienced mechanics to learn basic tasks, such as taking apart engine components. In time, trainees learn to complete more difficult tasks, such as engine overhauls. The training process can take from several months to three years. Actual training courses, run by different manufacturers such as motorcycle dealers, can take up to two weeks.

What They Do

A small engine mechanic career includes working with small machinery parts, selling equipment and parts, and repairing machines. Small engine mechanics diagnose, adjust and repair motorized power equipment and often specialize in one area such as recreational sports equipment, chainsaws or motorcycles.

A typical day for a small engine mechanic involves meeting with customers to discuss equipment failures, finding the issues whether fuel, mechanical or electrical and organizing maintenance plans going forward. Small engines mechanics also replace broken and worn parts, perform routine maintenance such as cleaning and oiling machinery, perform inspections, and record test results and time spent on work.

A small engine mechanic career can vary in terms of jobs performed and can range from fairly straightforward repairs to extremely complex operations. These mechanics can solve any kind of small engine problem from routine inspections and minor part replacements to diagnosing issues with computerized equipment in order to fix large machines such as motorcycles and motorboats. For larger jobs, they use major tools such as computerized engine analyzers and pneumatic power tools. These kinds of tools are a big investment for small engine mechanics as most workers buy their own equipment collections.

Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $35,990
2016 number of jobs 79,300
Employment growth forecast, 2016 - 26 5%
Entry-level education requirements High school diploma plus on-the-job training
2017, wage of lowest 10 percent $22,810
2017, wage of the highest 10 percent $58,050

 

Telecommunications Equipment Installers and Repairers

Education and Certifications Telecommunications Equipment Installers and Repairers Need

Telecommunications equipment installers and repairers typically need a postsecondary education in electronics and computer technology to begin a career in the field. However, complex jobs may require a four-year degree. Some schools provide an Associate in Electronics Repair degree program.

Some employers prefer technicians with a postsecondary education, some informal hands-on training, computer knowledge or an advanced four-year degree. In addition, many employers and industry organizations offer specialized training programs in specific areas to help keep employees up-to-date on the latest technology and telecommunication trends and procedures.

Telecommunications equipment installers and repairers working in commercial communications are expected to attain a Bachelor in Telecommunications degree. However, station installers only need to fulfill general requirements to complete their training.

Some telecommunications technicians must obtain certification to handle and operate specific equipment. The Society of Cable and Telecommunications Engineers and the Telecommunications Industry Association offer certifications for technicians.

What They Do

A telecommunications equipment installer and repairer career appeals to people interested in communications equipment, have a steady hand and excellent dexterity and people get satisfaction from servicing and repairing telecommunication systems which connect people all over the globe.

Telecommunications equipment installers and repairers set-up, install, test and repair equipment which sends signals, activates and connects telephone lines and services and accesses the Internet.

A telecommunications technician career often involves installing telecommunications equipment in different locations such as offices and residential homes, setting up and replacing dialing and routing equipment, inspecting wiring and other parts to ensure proper functioning and monitoring telecommunications equipment failures and repairing parts.

A telecommunications technician career includes performing tests on repaired equipment. They also explain the use of telecommunications devices to customers, respond to complaints and follow safety rules and standards.

Career Advancement Opportunities

After several years of work experience and training, telecommunication equipment installers and repairers can advance in their career into higher positions and can become specialists and troubleshooters to aid other technicians with complex problems. They can also advance into manufacturing sales and central office positions.

Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $53,380
2016 number of jobs 237,600
Employment growth forecast, 2016 - 26 -8%
Entry-level education requirements Postsecondary nondegree award
2017, wage of lowest 10 percent $31,100
2017, wage of the highest 10 percent $80,530

* Salary, number of jobs and employment growth provided by
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