What Type of Training Do Appliance Repair Technicians Get?
You probably hardly ever think about your appliances unless they break down, much less about your appliance repair technician. However, when our appliances do conk out, these underrated technicians suddenly become our saviors. When the oven stops working and we need to whip up a healthy meal or if the washing machines suddenly decides to die when we’ve got piles of dirty laundry, the first call you make is to a repair technician.
However, have you ever thought about what it takes to become a certified appliance repair technician? What type of training do they get and how do they get experience? You might be thinking, “Why should I know this, when all I want is for someone to fix my dryer?” Well, you should definitely care. This information can help you when hiring a technician.
When you’re looking for an appliance repair technician in your area, you want to make sure that person has the right knowledge and enough experience to diagnose and fix your broken appliances. By learning about what it takes to become a technician, you can have a better idea of why they charge certain rates and figure out if your technician will be able to fix your appliances.
Appliance Repair Certification: Overview
People who want to learn appliance repair have two choices: they can obtain a certification or pursue an associate’s degree.
Like any type of training or certification, a program in appliance repair will teach students the basics of the trade, including (but not limited to): the necessary tools to perform repairs, maintenance of various appliances, troubleshooting, and of course, repair of a wide range of machines. Most schools and centers teach more or less the same content, but those pursuing an associate’s degree also need some general education classes.
Whether getting a certificate or degree, students must go through both classroom and laboratory work. They learn the theories through reading material and lectures, but they must also perform hands-on repairs so they can get real practice performing repairs. They must learn how to diagnose, service, and repair the most common household appliances, like dryers, washers, ovens, stovetops, etc. Of course, they might want to apply for special certifications, such as those covering commercial appliances.
Aside from taking general education courses, another thing that sets associate’s degree programs from certifications is the addition of HVAC courses. Most degrees also cover the business side or things, as well as more advanced subjects like thermodynamics, industrial math, troubleshooting central heating and cooling systems, and water heater repair.
Where They Get Training
There are many centers and schools that offer training. Associate’s degrees are offered at accredited colleges, and many have general repair courses or more specialized ones. Trade schools and centers also offer training, often specializing in just appliance repair or other technical courses. Students can then opt to take tests for certificates from certain trade associations to prove their competence.
Training and schooling takes anywhere between one to two years, though two years is minimum for associate’s degrees. Also, by completing additional course requirements, students may be able to get enough credit to turn their associate’s degrees into a bachelor’s degree. Why do this? Well, someone who wants to own his or her own business, get an engineering degree, or maybe move into a managerial position might want to get their bachelor’s degree and pursue further education.
Of course, there is one alternative to going to school – an apprenticeship. An apprenticeship is when someone who wants to learn appliance repair works with someone who is already certified or has their degree, hoping to learn the trade. In fact, many home appliance repairers might have gotten their start or became interested in learning this trade by working under someone more knowledgeable and experienced. Some technicians offer informal and formal apprenticeship programs, and the trainee might be able to use this knowledge to take certification exams or pursue further education.
Licenses and Certifications
Technically, people don’t actually need a certification or degree that says they are allowed to perform repairs on appliances. However, an employer looking to hire technicians will probably require this. Also, if someone want to start their own repair firm, they will most likely need to show their certifications, licenses, and/or degrees to get a loan from the bank to start their business or get a business license. Plus, customers will want to know how a technician was able to obtain their knowledge and experience. Of course, there may be some people who just learned from apprenticeships or even from their parents and while experience can be the best teacher, those starting out should consider getting their licenses, even if it’s only voluntary.
However, there is one type of certification that is required by law, and this is the EPA Section 608 Technician Certification. This certification deals with refrigerant handling, and a technician could be violating the Clean Air Act of 1990 if they attempt to add refrigerant, connect gauges or repair any refrigeration appliance without first obtaining this certification.
Training and Certification: Deciding on an Appliance Repair Technician
As a potential customer, then, what do you need to know about hiring an appliance repair tech? Now that you know about what it takes to become a technician, you should carefully screen any repair person you want to hire. Ask them about their education, background, experience and certifications. Also, don’t forget to ask for references and call them up – ask previous clients what they thought of their repair tech or what they liked and didn’t liked. Do your own research – check out reviews on websites and social media channels.
Finding a technician doesn’t have to be like finding a needle in a haystack. If you know what to look for and what to ask, then you’ll never have to worry about hiring a reliable repair tech.