The appliance trade is big right now. The older generation of technicians is retiring, leaving a huge gap in the workforce. Major companies like Whirlpool Canada can’t find enough skilled people to fill vacant jobs—but it seems new students aren’t aware of these opportunities.
Somehow, appliance repair flies under the radar. When people talk about demand for skilled trades, the focus is usually on fields like plumbing, electrical, and HVAC.
Appliance technician is actually an excellent alternative to these compulsory skilled trades, which require up to 5 years for certification as a journeyperson.
You don’t need an apprenticeship or Certificate of Qualification to become an appliance service technician. Training is quick, reasonably affordable, and companies are hiring graduates straight out of training programs.
We’ve already had several graduates signed on with Whirlpool Canada, and the company has agreed to keep hiring students who do well in our Appliance Service Technician program.
Bottom line? This is a really good time to start your career in the appliance trade. Herzing isn’t the only college in Ontario offering appliance service technician training.
So, what’s makes our program unique? What can you expect in class? Here’s everything you need to know about Herzing’s Appliance Service Technician program.
Who teaches the Appliance Service Technician Program at Herzing?
Herzing’s Appliance program is taught by seasoned veteran, Michael Burkrinsky. Michael has been working in the appliance field for the past decade. He’s been a technician, worked in advanced diagnostics support, and has previous experience as an instructor.
“I’ve worked 10 years as an appliance technician, including providing level 2 support to other technicians. I have experience with both hands-on and remote troubleshooting, working for companies like ARS (Appliance Repair Service) and the Appliance Technical Institute of Canada. I know this trade inside and out.”
Michael says his goal is to deliver a totally comprehensive appliance program that teaches a complete skillset you can’t find anywhere else.
He focuses on theory, combined with a lot of hands-on training in the Herzing workshop, so grads are fully prepared for real-world challenges.
“This is a very dynamic technology field. Students need sharp skills and a strong drive to learn if they want to succeed in the appliance trade. This is what we deliver in this program”
What are the most important skills you’ll learn in class?
Students in this program learn how to install, troubleshoot, take apart and reassemble all the major home appliances. Every student gets hands-on experience working with the latest machines and diagnostics tools.
Our students always say this is their favourite part of training, and the most valuable skill they walk away with.
“For me, the best part of the Appliance Service Technician program was getting to troubleshoot all the different types of appliances. I also really enjoyed dissecting the units, and learning how all the major appliances we use every day actually work.” -Isaac Thomas, 2019 Appliance Service Technician graduate
Practical skills taught in this program include:
- Troubleshooting all major home appliances
- Understanding how to install and maintain all major home appliances
- Learning the electrical, electronics and plumbing aspects related to servicing appliances
- How to read and understand electrical and electronic schematics and charts
- How to look up and identify parts needed to service appliances
- Soldering and brazing
- Job safety training
Instructor Michael says his students also learn essential communication and business skills that help them get hired after graduation.
Companies want the whole package. They’re not just looking for good repair technique—they want technicians who understand customer service and how to act professionally.
“In addition to installation and repair skills, we encourage a thirst for knowledge and willingness to learn. These traits are essential for success in this fast-changing industry. We also teach students how to deal with clients, how to make money, and how to present themselves professionally to companies.
We’ve developed a unique and up-to-date program you just can’t find anywhere else. That’s what gives our grads a competitive edge.”
What’s the toughest part of this program?
We asked Michael what he considers the hardest part of the Appliance Service Technician program. Where do students tend to struggle?
Without hesitation, he said the hands-on lab portion is always the toughest. This is where students face the kind of diagnostic and repair scenarios real technicians see on calls.
“I set up real-world appliance challenges in the workshop. Students have to apply everything they’ve learned in class to solve these challenges. It’s tough, but I always say, if you can survive me you’ll have an easy time at your first job!”
Which appliances will you work on in class?
Herzing’s Appliance Service Technician program includes hands-on training on all major household appliances. Students learn how to assemble, disassemble, install, and troubleshoot:
- Counter cook top units
Herzing College is an official partner of Whirlpool Canada. Whirlpool supplies our students with the latest units and diagnostics tools, so they have up-to-date skills upon graduation.
The shortage of appliance service technicians has a lot to do with technology. This industry has changed dramatically over the last 20 years. Appliances are more technologically advanced than ever, but technicians have not evolved along with them.
Companies like Whirlpool can’t find appliance technicians with the right skills to service newer models. That’s why they’ve partnered with Herzing—to help train the next generation of tech savvy technicians.
Where can you work after graduation?
Many of our graduates are hired straight out of the Appliance Service Technician program by Whirlpool Canada.
Because we’re an official training partner of Whirlpool, our students are very familiar with their products, diagnostics techniques, and customer service standards.
However, there are other options besides working for Whirlpool. Employment opportunities include:
- Major appliance sales companies
- Large apartment owners
- Small independent service companies
- Commercial restaurant equipment industry
We’ve had appliances grads hired by other leading companies like Trans Global Service and Groves Appliance. Michael points out that the appliance trade offers several different career paths, depending on your interests and ambitions.
“Obviously, our graduates are qualified to become appliance repair technicians. But they can also work as triage operators, appliance parts specialists, or start their own repair business. This training is also a great starting point to earning an HVAC license or Domestic Appliance certification.”
Herzing’s Appliance Service Technician program had a 100% graduate employment rate in 2019 (based on most recent available data).
Are you a good fit for the Appliance Service Technician program?
When we interviewed recent grads and spoke with the instructor, everyone mentioned the same 2-3 skills that are necessary for success in this career.
To become a successful appliance service technician, you must be:
- Analytical and detail-oriented
- Independent problem-solver
- Good communicator
Herzing graduate, Samantha Barrette (who now works at Trans Global Service), sums it up best:
“Problem-solving and customer service are the two essentials. The technician needs good problem-solving skills to diagnose properly what is wrong with an appliance.
It is crucial for when the work is not covered under warranty, or it may cost the customer or the business a lot of money. Therefore, diagnosing it right the first time is ideal.
Customer service is also very important. On every call I do, customer service comes into play. Sometimes things go wrong, such as the wrong part is delivered, the part is faulty, or the part is damaged.
In situations like these, you need the ability to calm down a frustrated customer, professionally and politely.”
Final words of advice…
If you have the right attitude and aptitude, appliance repair can be an ideal trades career. Training takes just 24 weeks and many companies are hiring right now.
The work is interesting, the tech is always evolving, and there’s always something new to learn. There are ways to build on your training (HVAC, Gas Technician, DA certification), and several different job options to choose from.
Instructor Michael boils it down to this:
“Working as an appliance technician sharpens your thinking and technical skills, and makes you a more analytical person. You can make a nice income, or easily start your own business with very little upfront investment.”
Sound like the right fit for you? Interested in learning more about the program? Click below to explore Herzing’s 24-week Appliance Service Technician program.
Chat online with an Admissions Advisor to learn about class schedules, tuition, financial aid, and how to apply. We’re here to help!
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