Household appliances bring our lives such comfort and convenience, it’s hard to imagine a world without them.
Most of the self-contained electric and gas-powered appliances that we rely on each day were invented in just the last century. They have done wonders to increase our recreation time and make our lives so much easier.
Many people don’t think much about their home appliances until something goes wrong, and they have to call an expert for repairs. Faulty appliances can create higher energy consumption or even become dangerous.
Service professionals make the necessary repairs to give your appliances their maximum life, so they can run efficiently, effectively, and safely. If you enjoy working with your hands and are good at solving problems, there are rewarding careers available in the appliance technician trade.
Read on to learn about the similarities and differences between two great career paths: Domestic Appliance Technician and Appliance Service Technician.
What do Appliance Service Technicians do?
Appliance service technicians repair, maintain and install various types of appliances and other household products. These include:
- Washing machines and dryers
- Ovens, ranges and other cooking units
- Refrigerators and freezers
They may be self-employed or work for service companies, appliance sales companies, apartment complexes or wholesalers. House calls are often a part of the job, which means making a thorough inspection of the problem and using your expertise to quickly figure out how to fix it.
Servicing larger appliances takes a certain amount of physical strength and stamina, because you may have to move equipment out from the wall or work in cramped spaces.
A good attitude and communication skills are essential for house calls. Quickly and effectively doing your job while maintaining a pleasant manner will help to ensure repeat business and referrals.
Installing and fixing major appliances often involves interpreting electrical schematics (like blueprints) and product manuals, understanding the different components needed to make devices work, and ordering replacement parts.
You may have to take measurements and test equipment using various tools, or do some soldering, brazing and welding if the job calls for it.
In appliance technician training, students learn about the electrical, electronic and plumbing aspects related to the job, and acquire thorough safety and power-tools instruction.
How Domestic Appliance Technicians Differ from Appliance Repair Technicians
Although these job titles may sound very similar, domestic appliance technicians have a very different focus than appliance service technicians.
The major difference is that the domestic appliance technicians work primarily with gas-fired appliances like furnaces, hot water heaters, boilers and some types of refrigerators.
These professionals understand the fundamentals of heating, ventilation, electrical and air handling systems. Like appliance service technicians, they are usually tasked with servicing equipment in clients’ houses, but work with appliances that are generally less understood by their owners.
Although newer gas ranges and other appliances use innovative electric parts and sensors to make them much safer and more efficient than older models, they are still relatively complex to repair.
Because of the potential risks resulting from gas-fired appliances that are incorrectly installed or are malfunctioning, comprehensive safety training is especially important in this trade.
In pre-apprenticeship domestic appliance repair training, you’ll learn all electrical and mechanical safety requirements, and safe workplace procedures with propane, acetylene torches and other tools.
Important: To work on residential or commercial gas-fired appliances as a domestic appliance technician, you must first be certified by the Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA).
If you choose this training path, you will learn piping, appliance venting and relevant business practices based on the TSSA’s curriculum. You’ll be prepared with the necessary knowledge to pass the certification exam at the end of the course.
If you’re interested in pursuing a career as a gas appliance service technician, you can choose to continue your training and pursue your Gas Technician 2 certification. This course involves advanced piping and tubing study, and more in-depth electricity, venting, air handling and hydronic heating system training.
Choosing the Combined Training Program to Work in Either Field
Can’t decide which kind of appliance technician training you should pursue? Why not do both!
Some trades schools offer a combined program, where you can study both trades at the same time, and double your employment opportunities.
Combined training offers you more job options, makes you more attractive to potential employers, and brings you more flexibility in choosing the working conditions that you really want. You may also be able to earn a higher salary.
In a combined appliance training/domestic repair program, you’ll learn how to repair all the appliances mentioned above, including gas-fired units.
You’ll be well prepared to complete the TSSA certification so you can become a licensed technician by the end of the program.
Then you will be qualified to install, inspect, purge, activate, repair, service or remove a natural gas or propane appliance unsupervised – as well as the equipment and accessories that go along with it.
What kind of appliance repair training would you choose?
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