Should I Become a Vending Machine Operator?
Vending machine operators maintain vending machines at particular locations or on delivery routes. These vending machines typically contain items such as soft drinks, snacks, and other convenience foods. Some operators focus only on stocking the machines and keeping inventory logs, but many also repair faulty devices and equipment as needed. Vending machine operators frequently work unsupervised and need strong time management skills. Most spend their time traveling from one machine to the next in order to restock, retrieve money, and make routine repairs. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported a mean annual salary of $34,260 for coin, vending, and amusement machine servicers and repairers in May 2015.
|Degree Level||No degree required, though some postsecondary courses could be beneficial|
|Degree Field||Electronics or electrical maintenance|
|Experience||Not required; typically earned through on-the-job training|
|Key Skills||Able to work independently, motivated, good attitude|
|Additional Requirements||Valid driver's license, clean driving record, able to pass background & drug testing|
Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Online job posts (December 2012)
Steps to Become a Vending Machine Operator
Step 1: Complete High School or the Equivalent
Employers typically require a high school diploma or the equivalent for vending machine operators. Some employers also prefer to hire applicants who possess certain technical skills; elective courses in electronics and technology during high school may prove useful. Courses that focus on reading comprehension can prepare you to follow maintenance instructions. Participation in activities that cover blueprint reading or schematics could also provide you with the technical background needed for this career.
Maintain a clean driving record and avoid drugs. Because the majority of vending machine operator positions require a clean driving record and valid driver's license, you should attempt to maintain a clean driving record throughout high school and following graduation. Since drug testing is also a common practice among employers, you should refrain from drug use.
Step 2: Consider Postsecondary Education
Although postsecondary education is not required for vending machine operators, some individuals might choose to pursue training from college courses or vocational schools while working. Certificate programs in electrical or electronics maintenance, for example, provide relevant training for vending machine repairmen and can be completed in one to two years. Coursework includes fundamental and advanced classes covering circuitry, electrical wiring, and mechanical motors. Some programs offer courses in computerized mechanisms, including fiber optics, control panels, and digital electronics. Specific training on vending machine repair may not be provided by all certificate programs. By completing postsecondary training, you may increase your odds of advancement.
Step 3: Obtain a Vending Machine Operator Position
Rather than requiring previous experience, most employers provide new workers with on-the-job training, which gives you the specialized experience you need to become successful in the field. Many entry-level vending machine operators begin their careers by assisting more experienced staff members with stocking and logging inventory. Workers then advance to training in basic maintenance skills, such as routinely cleaning machinery and lubricating moving parts. You'll learn how to fix other problems, including products getting wedged in place or money getting stuck inside the machine. Some repairs cannot be completed on-site, and you must decide based on experience whether a machine needs to be sent in for special maintenance.
To become a vending machine operator, you'll need a high school diploma and on-the-job training, but courses in electrical or electronics maintenance may help provide you with advancement opportunities.