|Program Levels||Certificate programs, associate degree|
|Field(s) of Study||Appliance repair technology|
|Prerequisites||High school diploma or equivalent|
|Program Length||9-12 month for certificate programs, 2 years for associate's degrees|
|Licensure/Certification||Voluntary certification available|
|Job Outlook (2014-2024)||14% growth (for home appliance repairers)|
|Average Annual Salary (2015)||$45,110 (for home appliance repairers)|
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Programs in appliance repair teach students about the tools and basic mechanical knowledge needed to install, maintain and repair air conditioning units, refrigerators, dishwashers, washing machines and clothes dryers. The programs are similar in content, but degree programs usually call for a few general education courses.
The program levels offered in appliance repair include certificate programs and associate's degrees. Prerequisites include a high school diploma or equivalent. The program length may take nine to twelve months for certificate programs. Other requirements include laboratory experience.
Appliance Repair Technology Certificate
Using both classroom work and laboratory experience, students in this certificate program are given opportunities to troubleshoot, service and repair most large home appliances, such as refrigerators, air conditioning units, dishwashers and washing machines. Some certificate programs in appliance repair include courses specific to the kinds of tools needed and safety issues for a particular appliance. Students also learn about the theory and basics of refrigeration. Coursework often covers topics relating to the repair of:
- Automatic clothes driers
- Automatic clothes washers
- Domestic and commercial dishwashers, microwave ovens and stovetops
- Electricity basics and electrical appliances
- Gas appliances
Associate's Degree in Appliance Technology
Associate's degree programs generally cover all of the major appliance types and may also address HVAC repair. In many cases, appliance repair associate's degree programs are similar to the certificate programs, with the addition of general education core courses. Although coursework is much the same for associate's degree programs as for certificate programs, classes unique to the associate's level might include:
- Business procedures
- HVAC repair
- Industrial math
- Troubleshooting for central heating and cooling
- Water heating systems
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
Projections by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimated that growth of job numbers for those doing home appliance repair would increase by 14% from 2014-2024 (www.bls.gov). The BLS also reported that home appliance repairers earned an average annual wage of $45,110, as of May 2015.
Certificate programs prepare students for entry-level jobs in appliance service. Although individuals with training in appliance repair can usually work with any appliance, certain specializations may be followed, such as:
- Commercial appliance installers and repairers
- Domestic appliance installers and repairers
Certification for appliance repair workers is available through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA requires those who work with refrigeration systems to take a certification test regarding refrigerants. The tests are available for small appliances, high-pressure systems and low-pressure systems, with testing in core information included in each. Individuals who pass all three tests are given universal certification.
Optional certifications for appliance repair technicians are also offered through professional organizations. For example, the International Society of Certified Electronics Technicians (ISCET) offers the National Appliance Service Technician Certification (NASTeC). This certification requires passing an exam and is available at four levels, including refrigeration and air conditioning, laundry and dishwashing, cooking and universal.
The Professional Service Association (PSA) also offers six certifications relevant to appliance repairers. Each requires exams in consumer relation skills and core technical knowledge, plus one specific area of appliances, such as gas or electric cooking equipment, microwave cooking or refrigeration. Those who pass the tests in all of the areas are awarded the Master Technician certification.
Certificate programs and associate's degrees are available for aspiring appliance repair workers, who have a median annual average wage of $45,110.