Maintenance Worker Training and Education Program Information

Training in building maintenance teaches students how to maintain and repair building systems. These programs are available at the certificate and associate's degree levels and are commonly available at technical schools.

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Essential Information

Maintenance workers provide repair and cleaning support in a variety of places, including commercial buildings, landscaped properties and construction sites. Many require only on-the-job training, but building maintenance workers may obtain technical training through certificate or associate's degree programs. Topics of study in these programs include how to perform basic maintenance duties, communication skills and math. If desired, maintenance certification is attainable by meeting certain prerequisites.

Building Maintenance Certificate

A certificate in building maintenance equips students with the trade skills necessary to provide all-around building maintenance support. These programs may provide basic training in a variety of building functions, including repairing leaking faucets, patching plasterboard walls and changing light bulbs. Graduates will be able to address basic electrical, plumbing, heating and air conditioning issues.

Certificate programs in building maintenance are generally offered through community colleges, trade schools or places of employment. Admissions requirements vary according to school and may include completion of a high school diploma or equivalency.

Both classroom and didactic training make up the building maintenance certificate curriculum. Topics include:

  • Electrical wiring
  • Plumbing maintenance
  • Brazing and welding
  • Heating systems
  • Applied math
  • Electrical applications

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Associate in Facilities Maintenance Technology

Students may pursue an associate's degree in building maintenance, which could lead to leadership roles and better job opportunities. These programs prepare students to manage various mechanical systems in large buildings and complexes. Students also learn troubleshooting and problem-solving skills.

Admissions requirements to community colleges and technical schools vary, but generally include completion of a high school diploma and potentially a placement test. Some schools may require completion of general college admissions examinations. Prior coursework in mechanics and physics may also be helpful.

An associate's degree program in maintenance includes general education requirements, in addition to technical training. Common areas of study are:

  • Electrical wiring
  • Heating and cooling
  • Industry mathematics
  • Communications
  • Plumbing
  • Brazing and welding

Popular Career Options

The scope of responsibilities for a maintenance worker generally depends upon the size of the organization for which they work. They may be responsible for multiple buildings or just one. Specific titles may include:

  • Facilities technician
  • Lead maintenance technician
  • Facilities plumber or electrician

Career Outlook and Salary Info

Maintenance workers are employed widely, and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that over 1.3 million people worked in the field in 2015 (www.bls.gov). Employment growth was expected to be average between 2014 and 2024, at 6%, and job opportunities were predicted to be good due to workers leaving the field. According to the BLS, general maintenance and repair workers could expect a mean annual wage of $38,950 as of May 2015.

Continuing Education

Certification options are available through the International Management Institute for entry-level workers, starting with the Certified Maintenance Technician, progressing to the Certified Maintenance Professional, and finally the Certified Maintenance Manager (www.imionline.org). Certification requires applicants to meet educational or professional prerequisites and complete a written exam.

Students enrolled in maintenance worker training at the certificate and associate's degree levels are prepared to enter the industry as lead maintenance technicians or facilities plumbers or electricians. Graduates can also pursue certifications through industry organizations as entry-level maintenance technicians or as more advanced maintenance managers.

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