Appliance service technician is a dynamic profession that generally provides a lot of independence, while letting you tinker with exciting new technologies.
With a constant stream of different types of appliances and models needing repairs, there are always new challenges to keep things interesting. Helping to fix the appliances that people rely on each day can bring real job fulfillment.
Is becoming an appliance service technician the right move for you? Here are four important things to consider before enrolling in appliance service training, and starting down this career path.
1. What Exactly is an Appliance Service Technician?
Appliance service technicians install, repair and service home and commercial appliances such as washers and dryers, refrigerators, dishwashers, air conditioners and ovens.
Some might specialize on smaller appliances like vacuum cleaners or microwaves, while others may work exclusively on larger equipment.
Many of these professionals work for service companies or are self-employed, often travelling to clients’ houses to determine why a certain appliance isn’t functioning properly and make the necessary corrections.
This might involve taking apart the appliance, cleaning internal components, consulting with a manufacturer’s service manual, and using specialized tools to fix the problem. Sometimes new parts have to be ordered to replace those that are faulty or worn out.
Before making repairs, you would normally provide customers with a cost estimate, including explanations for the work needed. You would also prepare work orders, billing reports, and inventories of parts used or ordered.
2. What Skills do you Learn in Appliance Technician Training?
A comprehensive appliance service technician program includes 480 hours of theory instruction and hands-on training from instructors with many years of experience in the field
In a quality pre-apprenticeship program, you will learn:
- Requirements and practices for safe workplaces
- Service and installation methods
- How to look up schematic diagrams and parts
- Troubleshooting and diagnostic techniques
- Common issues with major appliances and how to resolve them (including practice on the latest units)
- Employability skills (help preparing your resume, connecting with employers, preparing for interviews, etc.)
The program also gives you a solid foundation in the electronic and plumbing aspects of the job, and proper techniques for using hand and power tools. You’ll learn all about soldering and brazing, and installation procedures for various types of appliances.
Appliance technicians sometimes have to work with heavy equipment or in uncomfortable positions, where there can be risk of electric shock, burns or cuts. To minimize risk, health and safety is top priority in any appliance training course.
In appliance technician training, you will gain a thorough understanding of:
- Electrical and mechanical requirements of the Occupational Health and Safety Act
- Environmental refrigerant laws (ODP)
- Lock out and tag safety
- Working in confined spaces
- Mapp and acetylene torches, propane and hazardous materials
Students at the Pre-Apprenticeship Training (PAT) Institute also have the advantage of working directly with industry-leading equipment through our partnership with Whirlpool Canada.
You’ll work on the most current appliances, and gain access to Whirlpool’s training materials, tools and technologies.
3. What Career Options are Available After an Appliance Technician Program?
Appliance service technicians have a wide range of career options. They can work for appliance dealers, manufacturers, wholesalers, repair shops, gas and electric utility companies, large apartment buildings, or in the commercial restaurant equipment industry.
Employers also include hospitals, airports, and various food handling companies. Many technicians choose to specialize on particular appliances and may eventually transition into supervisory roles.
A fair number of appliance technician program graduates go on to become self-employed. According to the Government of Canada Job Bank, nearly 40% of all appliance repair professionals in Ontario manage their own business.
Self-employed technicians will need their own vehicle and tools to make house calls, as well as the appropriate business license and insurance. While it may be challenging to manage your own marketing, accounting and scheduling, it’s also a great feeling to be your own boss.
With more technologically advanced products changing the marketplace and numerous older technicians retiring, there are an increasing number of job openings in this industry.
4. Top Skills Necessary to Become an Appliance Service Technician
When you become an appliance service technician, people rely on your expertise to solve problems and get their appliances working again. This requires an analytical and detail-oriented mindset, to quickly determine where the problem lies and figure out the necessary steps to fix it.
Besides mechanical aptitude and manual dexterity, appliance service technicians need decent strength and stamina to occasionally lift and move heavy equipment.
Although you tend to work independently on the job, it’s always important to have good people skills when you’re visiting clients’ homes. Service should be done quickly and competently, tools handled with care, and the worksite left as clean as when you arrived.
Continued learning is another key requirement for people in this trade. Appliance technology is always advancing, so you’ll need to stay on top of new trends, and keep developing your skills.
Ready to take the next step to become an appliance service technician?
Click the link below to request free information about the program, and see if you’re a good fit for this trade. We’re here to help!
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