Building maintenance workers perform general maintenance work on a regular basis. This may include fixing electrical switches, performing preventative maintenance, and general cleaning. Many employers provide on-the-job training, and some states require licensing.
Those who work in building maintenance must possess many skills to deal with the problems that can arise within habitable buildings. There are several kinds of education and training programs in building maintenance that provide students with the 'tools' to become effective and handy members of property management teams. Local and state laws may require maintenance workers to be licensed. People wishing to enter this field can do so without any formal training, but training in a specialty, such as plumbing or HVAC, can help improve employment opportunities.
|Required Education||On-the-job training|
|Other Requirements||May need to be licensed|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)||6%* (General maintenance and repair workers)|
|Annual Median Salary (2015)||$36,630* (General maintenance and repair workers)|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
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Building Maintenance Education Requirements
Building maintenance workers can find jobs without formal training, but education and training in areas such as plumbing, drywalling, electrical wiring and flooring can be helpful when seeking comprehensive 'handymen' jobs. A balanced combination of classroom learning and hands-on experience gives aspiring maintenance workers the knowledge needed to handle various structural, electrical and HVAC (heating, ventilating and air conditioning) issues that can arise in buildings.
At least some training in basic wiring and plumbing installation and repair is needed for building maintenance jobs. Additional coursework in HVAC systems, mechanical principles, carpentry, refrigeration systems, tool maintenance and welding is recommended to round out one's knowledge of this field. Classes in mathematics, general construction and safety are also useful. Many of these skills are taught individually within certificate or diploma programs, but can be learned collectively in through a degree program.
Degree Program Information
Associate's degree programs are most common in the building maintenance discipline; there are no bachelor's degree or graduate-level programs available for this specific field. Associate-level programs prepare students to acquire general maintenance jobs in multiple trades by providing instruction in HVAC principles, electrical systems and general maintenance. Enrollees learn to troubleshoot failures in electrical and mechanical systems, provide temporary solutions to small, manageable issues, and assess methods for permanent solutions. Aspiring technicians also learn to perform preventive maintenance to minimize occurrence of future problems.
Completion of an associate's degree program typically takes two years. Graduates are prepared to fill positions as skilled technicians in such buildings as apartment complexes, manufacturing facilities, government offices, hospitals and office buildings.
Typical coursework in a building maintenance associate's degree programs covers:
- Electrical fundamentals and wiring
- Cooling and heating technologies
- Blueprint reading
- Plumbing principles
- Refrigeration systems
- Mechanical principles
Building maintenance workers help ensure buildings are habitable through regular preventative maintenance. In some cases, their work may include plumbing, electrical wiring, and HVAC maintenance. Specialized training can improve employment opportunities.