Individuals interested in property maintenance can find apprenticeship and certificate programs that provide the skills required for entry-level positions. After completing a training program, individuals may go on to earn property maintenance certification, enhancing employability.
Depending on the area of expertise - such as air conditioning repair or electrical work - a property maintenance professional may need to be licensed. In addition, there are a number of optional certifications available through many professional organizations in the field.
Many apprenticeship programs require that applicants are at least 18 years old. Admissions to certificate programs often require a high school diploma or GED and may require possible math and science placement tests. Certificate programs are commonly available online.
Apprenticeship Programs in Property Maintenance
Using hand tools and power tools, property maintenance workers repair and maintain buildings, including factories, apartment homes and office buildings, as well as their fixtures. Property maintenance apprenticeships can be completed in 1-2 years and include on-the-job training and classroom instruction. In apprenticeship programs, individuals learn the fundamentals of property maintenance, including commercial property. These programs may cover basic maintenance codes, millwork, plumbing, carpentry, hardware usage and bricklaying. Individuals may be able to earn a community college or technical school certificate while completing apprenticeship programs.
Individuals interested in a career in property maintenance may consider completing carpentry, electrical, science and mathematics courses throughout high school.
Apprenticeship programs may require up to 300 hours of technical instruction per year. Through classroom instruction, students can acquire basic safety skills and learn to read blueprints, in addition to learning about general maintenance practices. Common topics include:
- Power tool use
- Roofs and gutters
Certificate Programs in Property Maintenance
Certificate programs provide hands-on training in property maintenance and may be completed in 1-2 years. Some programs allow students to develop skills in both residential and commercial building maintenance. Many property maintenance certificate programs offer training in wiring, plumbing and carpentry and may also teach computer, math or communication skills.
Coursework may cover current industry standards and basic troubleshooting methods. Some programs may offer internships or self-paced course completion options. Courses can include:
- Safety methods
- Appliance repair
- Air conditioning and refrigeration
Popular Career Options
Upon completion of an apprenticeship program, individuals may seek jobs in the private sector or with local governments and school districts. Individuals may seek entry-level employment as a general maintenance worker as well. Career options can include:
- Cost estimator
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
Employment of general maintenance and repair workers was expected to grow 6% from 2014 to 2024, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which also reported that jobs may become available as workers retire or switch careers (www.bls.gov). Property maintenance professionals who pursue heating, air conditioning and refrigeration careers may find faster-than-average growth in employment, according to the BLS, which reported a 14% increase in the field for the same time period.
The BLS reported that general maintenance and repair workers earned a mean annual salary of $38,950 in May 2015, while heating, air conditioning and refrigeration technicians earned a mean annual salary of $47,380 for the same time period.
Continuing Education Information
Property maintenance certification is voluntary; however, acquiring certification is indicative of professionalism, substantiating the technical knowledge learned. Certification is available through several organizations, including the American Association of Code Enforcement (AACE), the Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals and the International Maintenance Institute.
Certification processes may consist of examinations that test property maintenance standards and practices, as well as knowledge of building codes. For example, the AACE offers certification as a Certified Property Maintenance and Housing Inspector to individuals who successfully complete an exam covering fire and light safety, plumbing and property conditions.
Some careers in the field of property maintenance may require state licensure. Heating and air conditioning technicians must acquire a state license and be certified in the proper use of refrigerant. Plumbers and electricians may also be required to be licensed by the state where they work. Associate degree programs are available for certificate-holders who want to continue their education. These programs may provide advanced training in mechanical systems, troubleshooting and equipment repair.
Training in property maintenance is readily available at the certificate and apprenticeship levels and prepares students for jobs with schools, government agencies and private companies. Some fields in the industry, such as heating and air conditioning, require that maintenance workers be certified by the state in order to work professionally.