What is the salary of a maintenance technician?
If you are interested in becoming a maintenance technician, you can expect to see average pay rates around $19.50 an hour, or $40,000 annually.
The high-side of this job’s pay range is about $59,000 a year (or $28.00 per hour). The low-side can dip towards $26,000 annually ($12.50 per hour).
This pay scale is so wide because maintenance technicians can have such a wide range of skills, expertise and experiences. For example, if you only have a few months of prior experience and are applying for a maintenance tech position, you may receive pay on the low-side of the spectrum.
As another example, you might make less if you apply at an apartment complex as a licensed electrician but you do not have a licensed plumber. A company like this would need you to know both plumbing and electricity. So, if you are missing one of these specialties, you may be offered a lower pay rate that someone who has experience with both plumbing and electricity.
As with any job, having past experience and lots of knowledge of the job will always help your chances of getting the job and getting the best pay rate.
What is the job description of a maintenance technician?
If you are on the hunt for a maintenance technician job, you may come across a job posting similar to the one below. While this is not the standard for job posts in this career, it can provide you with some expectations on what you may see and that a company may expect
We are in search of a maintenance technician to help manage our facility and its upkeep. Candidates are encouraged to apply if they have experience with electrical, plumbing and HVAC work. The Facilities Manager will be responsible for the repair, upkeep and upgrades of our main office space. All work done must be tracked, completed safely and done in a timely and efficient manner.
- Weekly observation of the entire facility for any new work that needs to be done
- Communication with department heads to complete requested work
- Upkeep up company entrances and exits with both safety and beautification in mind
- Perform upkeep or repair of building HVAC, plumbing or electrical
- Complete general repairs or cosmetic upgrades
- Track and report all repairs completed
What kind of education is needed to become a maintenance technician?
While there is no required education for a maintenance technician, there are an array of certifications that make someone desirable as a maintenance tech. These certifications will vary by state (as far as a requirement to be licensed/certified). That said, simply having knowledge in the following areas is great for a maintenance technician career:
- General Handyman Repairs
- Engine Repair
This position is similar to a facilities manager but will often include the grounds of the property. Thus, you may see the job listed as “Groundskeeper.” It’s worth noting that this job title may come more often with residential type spaces rather than commercial. This means you will most likely have more residential-style tasks like painting, carpet replacement, or repairing a hole in the wall.
Electrical Maintenance Technician
This is one example of a very specific job you may see in this field. Other organizations may want an HVAC Tech or Plumbing Tech depending on their need. Ultimately, the company will be on the lookout for someone with very specific knowledge and skill set. These can often be found with larger organizations who will then dispatch the tech to different locations to complete their specialized work.
What are the common types of maintenance technician positions?
Given the various responsibilities of the job, there are several common positions you may encounter if you are looking for a career as a maintenance technician.
The “Fleet Maintenance” job can also be called “Maintenance Mechanic.” Regardless of the job title, the job duties are typically the same. This tech would be responsible for the upkeep of company vehicles. This can include cars and trucks along with golf carts, boats, heavy equipment or bikes.
This position comes with many different names but ultimately requires the tech to take care of the building(s) the company owns. This is often an all-encompassing job that includes the lighting, parking lot, machinery, furniture, plumbing and just about anything else inside the building.
What kind of hours does a maintenance technician work?
This type of job will often work around a set schedule that may mimic a normal 9-5 workday. The caveat is that if something major occurs, the maintenance technician is considered to be on-call. This makes traveling difficult if you are the only tech available for your company, but these call-outs may not happen very often if you can keep up with general maintenance during your usual hours.
How long does it take to become a maintenance technician?
There is no set number of years of experience or education that determine who will hire you or your pay. This is largely because a maintenance technician can have various skills and certifications that are listed above but doesn’t have to have them all to do the job. Technically, you can become a tech with no formal education or past experience at all — it just may be difficult to do so. There are no set-in-stone requirements to become a maintenance technician.
Another reason there isn’t a requirement to become a tech is that certifications and license requirements can vary from state to state. For example, some states require anyone doing commercial plumbing work to be licensed.
Despite the state laws, certifications, licenses and specialized training can only cover some of the various skills a maintenance tech must possess. Your resume must speak to the rest of your skills that can’t be certified such as general repairs or customer service skills.
What kind of skills do you need to become a maintenance technician?
Maintenance technicians must have a variety of skills that span across the physical and technical. On the physical side of things, a tech must have the strength and stamina to complete labor-intensive work. Techs often have to lift heavy supplies such as wood, bags of cement, metal signs or machinery. Sometimes a technician will be responsible for digging a hole, painting a large room or even walking the premise of a site to see if anything requires maintenance. All these tasks require strength and stamina. Also, these tasks may take place in a cold warehouse or outside in the dog days of summer. These extreme conditions also require a maintenance technician to be prepared physically to fulfill the job.
On the technical side of the job, there are numerous skills a tech needs. Since we have touched on the exact trades a tech is likely to possess earlier in the article, we will turn our focus to skills you often can’t be taught in a program.
Maintenance technicians must be able to spot potential hazards and deal with them accordingly. These can include old or faulty wiring, a pothole in the parking lot, an out of date first aid kit or even a shelf that is top-heavy. Being able to identify and fix these hazards is invaluable to the company and the safety of all its employees.
Technicians must also be able to identify when preventative maintenance needs to be done and keep up with doing it. Company vehicles have tires that need rotated; buildings have fire extinguishers that need to be replaced; an office needs to upgrade to LED lighting. Having all of these aspects help a company to run smoothly, which is why it is so important for maintenance technicians to have an eye for upgrades or replacements before the need arises.
One other great skill a maintenance technician should possess is record keeping. Being a maintenance technician is certainly is no desk-job, but it does require someone who can accurately keep track of the supplies that are used or needed. Likewise, the costs associated with each task need to be accurately reported back to the company so that they can properly bill, pay for or report these repairs to whatever entity may ask. Someone lacking in organization or diligence should not apply because a maintenance technician will need all these skills.
What kind of tools does a maintenance technician use?
Given all of the possible work a maintenance tech can be doing from day-to-day, the number of tools that a technician can expect to use is vast. Each job is likely to require common hand tools and power tools such as drills, saws, screwdrivers, ratchets, hammers or sanders.
There may be some other specialized machinery or supplies a tech needs to use for specialized tasks. These could include a cement mixer, chemicals or motorized equipment (mowers, pressure washers, etc.).
While general hand tools or power tools will be the most common tools of the trade, other tools, equipment or supplies will vary based on the industry or task at hand. For a maintenance technician, it’s just a matter of what needs to be done that dictates what tools they will use.
It’s important to remember that a maintenance technician can expect to work with a computer at some point to record their work or to reorder new parts. Techs may also have a company vehicle that can assist in covering a large property and carrying the necessary tools and supplies to each job site.
What kind of test does a maintenance technician have to pass?
As we discussed earlier, there is no industry or state-mandated test to become a maintenance technician. Employers, on the other hand, may administer tests of their own based on the skill set they require for the job.
For example, a company that will have you completing a lot of groundskeeping work may test you on your knowledge of seasonal plants or how to use a large mower. Some companies may use more standardized tests to see if you have a working knowledge of power tools or a particular billing system they use.
The only other tests you can expect to see when trying to find a job as a maintenance technician would be any state-required test to be licensed or certified in a particular trade, such as electrical work or plumbing. These would be administered by the state, and you would have a document to show your completion to present to any employers.
What kind of companies hire maintenance technicians?
Given the various jobs a maintenance tech is responsible for covering, there is no set industry that hires technicians. As long as there are repairs and upgrades to be made, a tech is needed. Some of the industries you may see maintenance technician jobs for are:
- Apartment Complexes
- Office Buildings
- Theme Parks & Zoos
- City Governments
Within a small organization may be hard to advance since their need is limited, but working with a larger organization means management opportunities. You can also specialize to take your skills to another position with higher pay. For instance, you could gain specialized knowledge such as HVAC or electrical, field service technician, or even special repair refrigerators, golf carts, etc.