Should I Become a Vending Machine Technician?
Vending machine technicians, also known as vending machine repairers, maintain, troubleshoot and repair soda and snack dispensers. They may also work with arcade or specialty games that offer stuffed animals or other products. The work might be physically demanding, with sometimes having to move machines and often standing for prolonged periods of time.
There are no education requirements, but a degree in electronics or formal training may be helpful. Voluntary certification is available and experience in repair field often preferred. Key skills include critical thinking, active listening, time management, problem solving, control precision, ability to perform equipment maintenance, machine repair and operation monitoring. As of 2015, the median annual salary for coin vending and amusement machine services was $32,700 (source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics).
Steps to Becoming a Vending Machine Technician
Step One: Gain a Formal Education
Although a certificate or degree is not required to work in this field, completing formal training in electronics can help prospective technicians learn more about the technical requirements of the position. Programs like the Associate of Applied Science in Electrical Construction and Maintenance or an electrical certificate are primarily offered at vocational schools and community colleges. In these programs, students can expect courses in areas like electrical fundamentals theory and electrical safety. Programs with lab or field experience components can also help students gain hands-on training.
Step Two: Complete On-the-Job Training
Many vending machine technicians acquire most of their skills on the job. During their training, they typically work with an experienced technician and learn how to complete tasks that include providing customer service and stocking machines. They also learn how to clean and restock machines, eventually taking on progressively more challenging assignments until they are ready to work as independent technicians.
Consider Industry Certification
The National Automatic Merchandising Association (NAMA) offers the NAMA Certified Executive (NCE) certification to technicians with at least eight years of experience in the field. Obtaining the NCE credentials also requires passing an exam as well as meeting leadership and education requirements. NAMA also offers vending technician certification.
Step 3: Advance Your Career
With experience, education and certification, those wishing to advance their careers in the field may seek employment as managers and supervisors. Managers and supervisors of repair and service technicians are responsible for coordinating and overseeing the work of mechanics, installers and repairers. The tradeoff for increased salary might include a much higher level of stress and accountability.
Vending machine technicians can earn a median annual salary of $32,700 with optional but recommended formal training in electronics and on-the-job training.