A career as a facilities maintenance technician can be pursued with an associate's degree or an apprenticeship. Training in electrical theory, plumbing installation, door and window installation and basic building maintenance is important for these professionals. Some facilities maintenance technicians also have their HVAC certification.
Facilities maintenance technology is a combined discipline that involves many different trades, such as electrical, carpentry, plumbing, painting and heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC). Training in the field is available through associate's degree programs, apprenticeships or on-the-job training.
|Required Education||Associate's degree in the desired specialty, apprenticeship program through a labor union or on-the-job training|
|Certification/Licensure||Licensure varies by state and locality; plumbing and electrical licensing required for certain positions; multiple optional HVAC certifications are available|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)*||6% for general maintenance and repair workers|
|Average Annual Salary (2015)*||$38,950 for general maintenance and repair workers|
Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Facilities Maintenance Technician Job Duties
Individuals employed in this position oversee all aspects of a building maintenance. Technicians handle the fabrication of walls, installation of doors and windows, paint selection and preparation, basic plumbing installation and troubleshooting and the regulation of air quality, temperature and humidity in building interiors. Technicians also need to have an understanding of basic electrical theory, motor theory and wiring.
Technicians are generally trained to do both installation and maintenance and repair; however, they generally specialize in one or the other. A tech may specialize further in solar panels, pneumatics, hydronics or commercial refrigeration.
Facilities Maintenance Technician Outlook
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov), the number of openings in the general maintenance and repair field is expected to grow 6% from 2014-2024, which is about average. The average annual salary as of May 2015 for these professionals was $38,950. The BLS reported that there were almost 1.3 million jobs in this industry in 2015. The majority worked in real estate, government, manufacturing, educational services and health care.
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Facilities Maintenance Technician Requirements
This career requires good mechanical aptitude, analytical skills and the ability to work with one's hands. Skills in mathematics and technical writing are important. Oral communication skills are vital; working directly with customers comes into play. Computer skills are important and key to a technician's advancement in the field.
Educational options include earning an associate degree at a technical school or apprenticed training, although some technicians still learn entirely on the job. Apprenticeships are offered through many of the unions, such as:
- Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors - National Association
- Mechanical Contractors Association of America
- Air-Conditioning Contractors of America
- Sheet Metal Workers' International Association
- United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipefitting Industry of the U.S. and Canada
- Associated Builders and Contractors
- National Association of Home Builders
Licensure and Certifications
Licensing requirements vary by state and locality. More advanced jobs may require licensure as an electrician or plumber.
There are three HVAC certification programs: HVAC Excellence, the National Center for Construction Education and Research and the Partnership for Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Accreditation. These certifications may aid with advancement, including raises or promotion to supervisory, management or marketing positions. Other advancement options include building superintendents, cost managers or testing specialists. Individuals sufficiently advanced may teach others.
Facilities maintenance technicians maintain systems in a building and make repairs as needed. Some states require facilities maintenance technicians to be licensed.