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Be a Maintenance Director: Career Guide

Find out how to become a maintenance director. Research the education and training requirements and learn about the experience you need to advance your career in maintenance and repair. View article »

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  • 0:01 Become a Maintenance Director
  • 0:55 Step 1: Gain…
  • 1:47 Step 2: Seek Certification
  • 2:21 Step 3: Advance Your Career

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Video Transcript

Become a Maintenance Director

Education Level High school or equivalent
Licensure/Certification Industry-related certification preferred; voluntary manager certification available
Experience Previous work experience required
Key Skills Detail-oriented; leadership, organization, communication, and problem-solving skills; ability to use enterprise resource planning, spreadsheet, and product management software; ability to conduct training in maintenance techniques or equipment use; criminal background and motor vehicle records check
Salary (2016) $54,864 (median salary for all maintenance directors)

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employer Job Postings (2012), Stark State College, International Maintenance Institute (IMI), O*NET Online, PayScale.com

Maintenance directors supervise and manage the duties and schedules of maintenance workers. Additional job duties include performing inspections, ensuring property is well-maintained, adhering to budget guidelines, complying with management policies and managing turnkey operations.

The job conditions for maintenance directors include standing for long periods of time and lifting heavy objects while assisting with maintenance duties. These workers typically work full-time, which may include evenings, weekends and on-call hours.

So, how much do these professionals earn? According to Payscale.com, maintenance directors earned a median salary of $54,864 per year, as of January 2016.

Now let's look at the steps required for a career as a maintenance director.

Step 1: Gain Entry-Level Experience

The first step to becoming a maintenance director is to gain entry level experience as a maintenance worker. Maintenance workers perform repair and maintenance tasks for buildings, facilities and other grounds. New maintenance workers typically learn by observing more skilled maintenance workers and execute small tasks, such as light-bulb replacement and faucet repair. With time, maintenance workers may go on to perform more complicated tasks, such as repairing machines, as well as projects involving carpentry and basic electricity.

Take Post-Secondary Courses

Consider taking post-secondary courses to hone your maintenance skills. While formal education is not required beyond high school, maintenance workers can benefit from taking industry-related postsecondary courses. Some maintenance related courses include electricity, plumbing, woodworking, and HVAC.

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Step 2: Seek Certification

One way to improve your job opportunities is to obtain additional certification. According to a job posting from 2016, employers tend to prefer maintenance directors who have HVAC certification and some may favor those who hold pest control licensure.

General maintenance worker certification can also lead to better job prospects. The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals (SMRP) is the major certifying body for the industry and it offers the Certified Maintenance and Reliability Professional designation to those who qualify.

Step 3: Advance Your Career

As a maintenance worker, you might earn a promotion within your current work place or pursue management positions with other employers. Employers usually prefer maintenance directors who have at least two years of experience and have obtained some level of industry certification. Keep in mind that employers also tend to seek out applicants who are responsible, detail-oriented, efficient and organized.

Earn Management-Related Certification

As you gain employment as a maintenance director and advance your career, you might find it beneficial to earn management-related certification.

The International Maintenance Institute (IMI) offers the Certified Maintenance Manager (CMM) designation. This certification requires that applicants pass an exam and provide documentation of experience, education and previous certifications. In addition, continuing education courses are required for recertification.

Maintenance directors generally start out at entry-level positions as maintenance workers and then advance to a director position, though post-secondary training and certification can improve job prospects.

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