Diploma programs are the most common training option for appliance repair technicians. Some appliance technology diploma programs allow students to specialize in the equipment of specific manufacturers, while associate's degree programs cover many different brands. Associate's degree programs also include more general education classes and take roughly two years to complete. Applicants will need a high school diploma for admission to either program type.
Appliance Technology Diploma
Prospective technicians learn skills related to mechanics, electrical hardware, basic math and structural organization, allowing them to work on a variety of complex appliances. Some appliance repair diploma programs cover general appliance maintenance, while others specialize in a particular area. Additionally, some programs are authorized to instruct in maintenance techniques for specific brands. Most programs give students the opportunity to work on current appliances during their studies. Topics commonly covered in a diploma program include the following:
- Appliance motor repair
- Electrical currents
- Microwave oven repair
- Microcomputer fundamentals
Associate of Applied Science in Appliance Technology
While the majority of appliance repair technicians earn diplomas, a few technical schools and community colleges offer Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) programs in appliance technology. These programs combine classroom and hands-on repair instruction with significant general education coursework. The classes in appliance technology associate's degree programs emphasize technological knowledge and practical skills used to perform preventive maintenance and repairs on common appliances. Students usually learn about the following topics:
- Solid-state electronic devices
- Appliance diagnostics
- Natural gas appliances
- Environmental aspects of repair
- Thermodynamic fundamentals
Job Outlook and Salary Information
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov) predicted that job opportunities for HVACR mechanics and installers would increase by 14% from 2014 and 2024, while employment opportunities for general maintenance and repair workers would increase by 6%. The BLS noted that home appliance repairers made an average hourly wage of $18.66 as of May 2015.
Licensure and Certification Information
Appliance repair technicians aren't required to hold a license unless they work with refrigeration technology. Refrigeration technicians must pass a written exam administered by the Environmental Protection Agency. The International Society of Certified Electronics Technicians offers optional National Appliance Service Technician Certification (NASTeC) to professionals who prove their diagnostic and repair skills.
Diploma and associate's degree programs are available in appliance technology and cover various topics, from electrical currents to appliance diagnostics. Upon completion, repair technicians working with refrigerants will be required to pass an exam from the EPA, and appliance repair technicians can pursue optional certification.