Become an Appliance Technician: Career and Training Information

Apr 27, 2020

Learn how to become an appliance technician. Research the education requirements, licensure, and experience you will need to start a career in appliance repair.

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Could I Be an Appliance Technician?

Appliance technicians usually work in consumers' homes or places of business to install and repair appliances. Others work in shops to repair smaller appliances that are easily transported. These technicians visit client sites by appointment to diagnose and repair problems with washers, dryers, refrigerators, freezers, televisions, air conditioning units, and other household appliances. Travel is often required, and working in uncomfortable positions or temperatures is common.

Career Requirements

Degree Level High school diploma or GED; formal or on-the-job vocational training
Licensure and/or Certification Driver's license, clean driving record, clean background check, the ability to pass random drug tests
Key Skills High mechanical aptitude; strong verbal and written communication skills; expertise in customer service, organization, and troubleshooting; work adeptly with repair tools and machinery; handle heavy lifting when it is required
Salary (2019) $40,260 (Median annual salary for home appliance repairers, which include appliance technicians)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Steps to Be an Appliance Technician

What steps do I need to take to be an appliance technician?

Step 1: Seek Vocational or Technical Training

The BLS reports that while many people learn the necessary skills on the job, training from a vocational school, technical school, or community college can be attractive to employers. Courses in training programs introduce students to the tools used in the trade, as well as training them in electrical wiring, combustion, and refrigeration. Programs may also include studies on plumbing and carpentry.

Step 2: Obtain Certification

Appliance technicians who work directly with refrigeration systems must be certified. This is due to the strict federal laws involving the safe handling of refrigerants containing chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). Such certification is overseen by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and it requires the passing of an exam that covers topics such as ozone depletion and refrigeration leak repair. Other certifications aren't mandatory for employment, but they do demonstrate competence and professionalism in the field. One such optional certification is the National Appliance Service Technician Certification from the International Society of Certified Electronics Technicians.

You will want to maintain a clean driving record and lifestyle. Many appliance repair employers require technicians to drive a company vehicle to client sites. Appliance technicians often must submit to a background check, driver's license check, and random drug tests as a condition of employment.

Step 3: Look for a Job

Many appliance technicians are trained on the job. In this scenario, workers gain hands-on experience learning to repair stoves, washers, dryers, refrigerators, and more. Available jobs include those with small repair businesses and the maintenance divisions of larger companies. In some cases, a technical school that offers appliance technician training may assist students with job placement.

Step 4: Pursue Continuing Education

Since appliances change as technology evolves, it is important for technicians to take continuing education to keep skills updated. Continuing education is also a requirement for some appliance repair certifications.

Appliance technicians install and repair appliances, they have job-related training, and use repair tools and machinery with ease, and they earn a median annual salary of $40,260.

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