An associate's degree in building maintenance is typically not offered online due to the hands-on training required to earn it. A good alternative may be an online certificate program in heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC). These programs offer many of the same courses. Additionally, students may be able to transfer the credits to an on-campus associate's degree building maintenance program later on.
Some maintenance workers are required to be licensed. It is important to know that licensing requirements vary by location. Students should do their research before enrolling in any maintenance-type program to make sure it can help them get licensed if need be.
|Online Availability||Degree programs in building maintenance are NOT offered online; however, related programs--such as HVAC certificate programs--are available online.|
|Program Requirements||Online certificate programs and campus-based degree programs both require students to purchase their own tools.|
|Important Prerequisites||Some associate's programs require prior repair experience.|
Information and Requirements
A high school diploma or GED is generally required for enrollment into an online HVAC certificate program. Students will also need their own set of maintenance tools for hands-on practice and homework assignments. The program generally takes about one year to complete.
HVAC certificate courses revolve around four main topics - heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration. Some common courses are described below.
Students learn combustion basics by repairing gas heated devices found in residential buildings.
This class focuses on cooling, compression, and condensation as related to both commercial and residential refrigeration devices.
HVAC Workplace Safety
Students discuss safety as it pertains to electrical wiring, fire danger, ladder usage, and hazardous materials.
Associate's Degree in Building Maintenance
Building maintenance workers are expected to fix a variety of problems in the workplace. As such, associate's degree programs challenge students to learn many trades in a short span of time. Depending upon the school, students may earn either an Associate of Science or an Associate of Applied Science degree. These are not offered online because of the hands-on nature of the field. Students must gain the necessary repair experience under the supervision of a teacher.
Program Information and Requirements
A high school diploma or GED is generally required for admittance into an associate's degree program. Some programs further require students to demonstrate knowledge in repair work before beginning coursework. As is the case with online certificate programs, students are expected to have and use their own tools as needed for assignments. Students can usually complete the program in two years.
A building maintenance associate's degree program is designed to equip students with a wide variety of maintenance skills. They'll learn basic repairs; plumbing; carpentry; tiling; air conditioning; heating; refrigeration; and welding. Some common courses are listed below.
Basic Mechanics and Machinery
Lessons cover proper safety and application of various machineries, such as grinders, mills and gauge blocks. The course also emphasizes the correct use of mechanical tools, conveyers and other automated systems used in building construction and maintenance.
The mechanics of various heating systems, including heaters and boilers, are discussed in this class. Applied mathematics help students understand how to diagnose maintenance problems in furnaces as well as repair them.
The course begins with an overview of how to use electricity safely. Students also learn to measure electrical consumption in residential and commercial areas and maintain basic electrical systems and circuits.
Waste and drainage systems are reviewed in this class. Students also gain hands-on experience in repairing and replacing parts on existing plumbing systems.
According the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), general maintenance and repair workers earned a median salary of $36,170 as of May 2014 (www.bls.gov). Positions are expected to grow at a rate of 9%, about as fast as the average for all occupations, from 2012-2022, reported the BLS.
Certification with the International Maintenance Institute (IMI) can give building maintenance workers an advantage in their career. There are a couple of different ways to qualify for this credential. Students are advised to explore the certification requirements before beginning any educational program.