Do you enjoy fixing things and are comfortable meeting people? Are you mechanically inclined? If so, being an appliance repair technician may be the job for you.
We’re told that there are 700 million appliances in the US of which a third are serviced or repaired each year. There is also a critical shortage of technicians.
According to the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers, more than 52,000 new technicians could be needed in the next five years and that manufacturers, retailers, and service businesses are desperately seeking skilled technicians. This all makes appliance repair a career to consider for its income potential, job benefits and job security for years to come.
An appliance repair technician is someone who installs, maintains and repairs large appliances, whether refrigerators, dishwashers, ovens, ranges, washing machines or driers. If you’re interested in this type of job, you need to feel comfortable working with tools, understand mechanical and electrical systems, and be able to communicate well.
You’ll need to be a creative problem solver who can analyze what’s wrong with an appliance and figure out how to fix it. You’ll also need to take part in regular training programs to keep up to date with the latest technology that operates those appliances.
Although you don’t need to have a college degree, you should have a high school diploma or GED, as well as some basic science and math skills, and an understanding of basic computer programs.
Many appliance repair technicians specialize in one type of appliance or focus on products from a single manufacturer. They may travel to people’s homes or work on commercial equipment in hotels, restaurants, hospitals or other institutions.
If they run their own business, they’ll have to be proficient at record keeping, marketing, scheduling and other tasks related to self-employment or find someone to help with these responsibilities.
Pay for appliance repair technicians
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, what it classifies as home appliance repairers made between $25,000 and $65,640 per year, with the median wage $41,610 in 2020. Those who are self-employed can earn considerably more.
States where people who do this job receive the highest pay are Arizona, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Missouri. States with the most jobs available include Texas, Florida, California, Michigan and Georgia.
Learning the trade
The best way to learn how to be an appliance repair technician may be to attend a community college, where you’ll receive hundreds of hours of hands-on and classroom training. There are also online courses and private academies with two- or three-week programs. But with so few community college programs, many of those wanting to be appliance repair technicians must be trained elsewhere.
After completing training and gaining some experience, people may be interested in getting the National Appliance Service Technician Certification. This national certification program is for technicians who service major home appliances. To become certified candidates must pass a basic skills exam and at least one of three appliance specialty exams:
- Refrigeration and air conditioning
- Laundry and dishwashing
Exams can be scheduled on the International Society of Certified Electronics Technicians website.
Appliance repair training courses
We’ve included a few examples of the types of appliance repair training courses offered by private academies and community colleges around the country. You may want to look for a program close to where you live, if there’s not one on this list.
Dyer Appliance Repair Academy – Located in Richland Hills, Texas, a suburb of Fort Worth, Dyer Appliance Repair Academy offers two-week, hands-on training in general appliance repair for individuals and employees whose companies send them there. The training costs $1,999. Special rates for accommodation are available at nearby hotels. The academy’s website includes a list of job openings.
Fred’s Appliance Academy – The Cleveland area Fred’s Appliance Academy has offered its three-week hands-on program to students from across the U.S. and around the world. Classes begin every month. Tuition, priced at $5,200, includes accommodation in a two-bedroom furnished flat within a three-minute walking distance of the classroom and lab.
Master Samurai Tech – Those who prefer to try the online route may want to check out Master Samurai Tech. This online academy offers a core appliance repair training course, priced at $695, as well as a variety of advanced courses. These include refrigerator repair, oven and range repair, and washer and dryer repair. It also offers courses in business management and delivering professional service.
Nana Academy — Nana academy offers free online video training in basic appliance repair, with additional tutorials on laundry appliance, refrigerator and cooking appliance repair basics.
Community college programs:
East Arkansas Community College – At this Forrest City, Ark., college students can take a 32-credit major appliance service certificate program.
Manatee Technical College – Florida’s Manatee Technical College offers an 11-month major appliance and refrigeration technician program.
Miami Lakes Educational Center & Technical College – Students may enter this Miami area institution’s major appliance and refrigeration technician program any time during the school year. Completion takes 14 months full time.
Milwaukee Area Technical College – At this two-year public college in Milwaukee, Wis., students can take part in an appliance technician technical diploma program.
Renton Technical College – Located in Renton, Wash., this public college offers a certificate in major appliance and refrigeration technology
The College System of Tennessee – Tennessee’s community college system provides a variety of courses in major appliance repair technology. These include certificate courses for major appliance mechanic assistant, major appliance refrigeration unit repairer and major appliance repair laundry technician/major appliance repair kitchen technician. It also includes a diploma program for major appliance repair technician.
West Virginia Northern Community College – Among the programs at this Wheeling, WV, community college is a one-year undergraduate certificate in appliance repair.
Although these are the community college programs that we’re aware of, you may want to check with your local community college to see if it offers a similar program. You can also talk with a job counselor at the nearest American Job Center about appliance training opportunities. In addition, checking with local appliance repair organizations and directly with manufacturers themselves for training opportunities or referrals to programs can be a good place to start.