Is becoming a maintenance worker right for me?

The first step to choosing a career is to make sure you are actually willing to commit to pursuing the career. You don’t want to waste your time doing something you don’t want to do. If you’re new here, you should read about:

What do maintenance workers do?
Career Satisfaction
Are maintenance workers happy with their careers?
What are maintenance workers like?

Still unsure if becoming a maintenance worker is the right career path? to find out if this career is right for you. Perhaps you are well-suited to become a maintenance worker or another similar career!

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How to become a Maintenance Worker

To become a maintenance worker, you can follow these general steps:

  • Obtain a High School Diploma or Equivalent: Most entry-level maintenance positions require a high school diploma or GED. Focus on subjects such as math, science, and technical courses that can provide a foundation for understanding basic maintenance principles.
  • Gain Hands-on Experience: Look for opportunities to gain practical experience in maintenance-related tasks. This can include volunteering, internships, or part-time jobs in maintenance roles. Seek positions that allow you to learn and practice skills such as basic repairs, equipment maintenance, or building systems.
  • Acquire Relevant Skills and Knowledge: Develop a broad range of maintenance skills that can include basic carpentry, electrical work, plumbing, painting, and general repairs. Familiarize yourself with tools, equipment, and safety protocols. You can gain knowledge through trade schools, vocational programs, online courses, or apprenticeships.
  • Pursue Certifications or Licenses: Depending on the specific area of maintenance you're interested in, there may be certifications or licenses available that can enhance your credentials. Examples include HVAC certification, electrical licenses, or plumbing certifications. Research the requirements in your region and pursue any relevant certifications.
  • Build a Professional Network: Connect with professionals already working in the maintenance field. Attend industry events, join trade organizations, and engage in online forums or social media groups related to maintenance. Networking can provide valuable insights, advice, and potential job opportunities.
  • Tailor Your Resume: Create a well-structured resume that highlights your relevant skills, experience, and certifications. Include any maintenance-related projects, internships, or volunteer work you have completed. Emphasize your ability to troubleshoot problems, work independently, and collaborate with others.
  • Search for Job Opportunities: Look for entry-level maintenance positions in various industries, including property management companies, manufacturing plants, healthcare facilities, schools, or local government agencies. Check online job boards, company websites, or community job postings. Consider contacting maintenance staffing agencies for additional job leads.
  • Prepare for Interviews: Research the company or organization you are applying to and prepare for common maintenance-related interview questions. Showcase your technical skills, ability to work under pressure, problem-solving capabilities, and commitment to safety protocols. Provide specific examples from your experience that demonstrate your abilities.
  • Start in an Entry-Level Position: Accept an entry-level maintenance role to gain practical experience and continue learning on the job. This can be a stepping stone to more advanced positions as you build your skills, experience, and reputation within the maintenance field.
  • Seek Continuous Learning and Growth: Stay updated on industry trends, new technologies, and advancements in maintenance practices. Seek opportunities for professional development, attend workshops or seminars, and consider pursuing further education or certifications to expand your knowledge and advance your career.

There are several certifications available for maintenance workers. Here are a few examples:

  • Certified Maintenance & Reliability Technician (CMRT): Offered by the Society for Maintenance & Reliability Professionals (SMRP), the CMRT certification validates the knowledge and skills required to perform maintenance and reliability tasks effectively. It covers areas such as preventive and predictive maintenance, equipment troubleshooting, and work planning.
  • Certified Maintenance Manager (CMM): The CMM certification, also provided by SMRP, is designed for maintenance professionals in supervisory or management roles. It demonstrates competency in strategic planning, maintenance management practices, leadership, and team development.
  • Building Operator Certification (BOC): The BOC program, offered by the Northwest Energy Efficiency Council, focuses on building systems and energy efficiency. It covers topics such as HVAC systems, lighting, controls, and energy management. The BOC certification is beneficial for maintenance workers involved in facility management and energy conservation.
  • Electrical Certifications: Various organizations offer electrical certifications for maintenance workers, such as the Certified Electrical Technician (CET) certification provided by the International Society of Certified Electronics Technicians (ISCET) and the Certified Maintenance Electrician (CME) certification offered by the Society for Maintenance & Reliability Professionals (SMRP).
  • HVAC Certifications: The HVAC Excellence certification program provides certifications for maintenance workers in the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) field. Certifications include HVAC Excellence Technician, HVAC Electrical, and HVACR Technician. These certifications validate competence in HVAC systems installation, maintenance, and repair.
  • Welding Certifications: The American Welding Society (AWS) offers several welding certifications that can be relevant for maintenance workers involved in welding repairs or fabrications. Certifications include Certified Welding Inspector (CWI), Certified Welding Supervisor (CWS), and Certified Welder (CW).