Certified Maintenance Technician: Certification & Career Info

Find out how to become a certified maintenance technician. Research the education and training requirements and learn about the experience you need to advance your career in the maintenance and repair field.

Do I Want to Be a Certified Maintenance Technician?

Certified maintenance technicians are responsible for the upkeep and continued functioning of their employer's property, whether it's a building, machine or mechanical system. Some of their duties include performing seasonal maintenance, cleaning the common living areas and repairing equipment. The work is often physically demanding, and some tasks may need to be accomplished outdoors in various types of weather conditions.

Job Requirements

Maintenance technicians generally have a high school diploma and receive on-the-job training. Tasks related to plumbing or electricity might require licensing. Optional certifications are available. The following table contains essential requirements needed to become a certified maintenance technician:

Common Requirements
Degree Level High school diploma*
Licensure/Certification More complex tasks may require licensure;* certification is available from organizations such as the International Maintenance Institute**
Experience Several years of maintenance experience is required**
Key Skills Dexterity, customer service and trouble shooting skills*
Computer Skills Industrial control, word processing, spreadsheet and facilities management software***
Technical Skills The ability to operate equipment such as tube cutters, pullers and power saws***

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **International Maintenance Institute, ***O*NET OnLine.

Step 1: Meet the Educational Requirements

Although the field generally does not have formal education requirements, most employers prefer to hire high school graduates. While in high school, future technicians may take electives that prepare them for their career. For instance, shop class teaches the skills and tools applicable for maintenance jobs, while computer courses allow students to become acquainted with technology their employers may use.

Some maintenance technicians may need to undertake tasks that are more complex such as with plumbing, electrical, heating and air conditioning systems. These skills can be learned at trade schools or community colleges. Maintenance technician certificate programs often address technical math, blueprint reading and fundamental computer use, along with training on basic wiring and plumbing.

Step 2: Gain Experience as a Maintenance Worker's Helper

Many maintenance technicians begin their careers as assistants to other, more experienced workers. They may also help specialized craftsmen like electricians, carpenters or construction laborers. Helpers start out performing simple tasks and advance to more difficult jobs as they gain knowledge and experience.

Step 3: Obtain Licensure if Necessary

Some states and local areas require maintenance workers to secure a license before they can practice their craft. This is especially true of maintenance professionals who work in the fields of plumbing or electricity. Requirements vary by state and may include meeting minimum experience requirements and passing an examination.

Step 4: Earn Certification

While voluntary, certification may help candidates advance in their career and stand out from other applicants. Maintenance workers can obtain professional certification from the International Maintenance Institute (IMI). Certified Maintenance Technician (CMT) status comes in three levels and is the most basic form of certification offered by the IMI. To receive it, maintenance workers must satisfy educational and experiential requirements and pass examinations administered by the IMI.

Success Tip:

  • Keep certification current. All CMTs must recertify every two years. Recertification requires documentation of professional growth or continued education in one's field.

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