Apartment Maintenance Technician
Tenants, managers and owners of apartment complexes count on apartment maintenance technicians to keep buildings, equipment and land associated with a complex in good repair. An apartment maintenance technician is responsible for tasks such as assembling machinery, fixing electrical switches and ordering supplies, among others.
Apartment maintenance technicians often complete varying job tasks each day and will do so throughout an apartment complex or building. The job is physically demanding. Technicians must make repairs while working in uncomfortable positions, on top of ladders or even in the dark. There is risk of injury while working with tools, water and electrical systems and heavy objects. The majority of repairers are employed on a full-time basis and may need to be asked to stay on call for emergency situations within the apartment complex.
Getting into this career requires a high school diploma and entry-level experience. More complex tasks may require licensure. Voluntary certifications, such as the Certified Maintenance and Reliability Professional (CMRP) and the Certificate for Apartment Maintenance Technicians (CAMT) designations, are available. The key skills for apartment maintenance technicians include dexterity, customer service and troubleshooting skills; familiarity with industrial control software, spreadsheet software and facilities management software; and the ability to operate tools like tube cutters, pullers and power saws. In 2016, the median annual wage of apartment maintenance technicians was $32,270, according to Payscale.com.
Steps to Getting Into this Career
Now let's take a look at the career steps that you can take to get into this career.
Step 1: Meet the Educational Requirements
Employers generally prefer individuals who have earned at least a high school diploma. Classes or experience in woodworking, science, computers, mathematics and mechanical drawing can be beneficial for students interested in becoming apartment maintenance technicians. High school shop education classes, vocational schools and community colleges may provide aspiring maintenance technicians with basic skills and techniques needed in the field.
To really succeed in this step, learn computer skills. Many new building complexes rely on computers to control their facilities. Aspiring maintenance technicians need to know how to perform basic computer tasks, such as how to navigate through a series of menus.
Step 2: Complete Job Training
After being hired, an apartment maintenance technician generally has to learn the specifics of the trade on the job. Initially, he or she is likely to work in an assistant role. By watching and learning from other skilled maintenance workers, a new apartment maintenance technician learns to perform simple jobs, such as fixing leaky faucets. Later, an apartment maintenance technician might be allowed to work on his or her own, fixing machinery or unclogging drains.
You may want to consider becoming licensed. If an apartment manager expects an apartment maintenance technician to perform plumbing or electrical work, a state license might be required.
Step 3: Earn Certification
Certification is available to apartment maintenance technicians who are seeking advancement opportunities or looking to demonstrate their skills to current or potential employers. Candidates who complete a program and pass an exam can qualify for the CMRP designation. This certification is offered by the Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals (SMRP). The CAMT is another available certification available through the National Apartment Association. Candidates may qualify for this certification by completing training courses, obtaining a certain amount of work experience and passing an exam.
Additionally, remember to keep certification current. CMRPs are required to recertify every three years. To maintain certification, they must participate in at least 50 hours of ongoing skills development.
With the required education and training, as well as possibly certification, apartment maintenance technicians can earn about $32,000 to keep buildings, equipment and land associated with a complex in good repair.