Utility Maintenance Repairer
Utility maintenance repairers install, maintain, and repair buildings, factories, apartments, houses, schools, and hospitals, as well as industrial machinery and equipment. Their repair work is quite varied, and may include work on such things as refrigerators, office partitions, windows, doors, and electrical switches. They may paint walls and floors, lay bricks, install tiles, clear drains, replace plumbing, or repair heating and air conditioning equipment. They are skilled in a number of trades, including carpentry, electrical installation and repair, plumbing, painting, roofing, and mechanics. Rather than specializing in any one of these areas, they serve as repair generalists.
Utility maintenance repairers use a wide variety of power and hand tools, such as hammers, hoists, saws, drills, wrenches, precision measuring instruments, and electrical and electronic testing devices. They are often required to read and understand diagrams, drawings, blueprints, maintenance manuals, and schematic diagrams. In some companies, maintenance repairers order parts and supplies from industrial suppliers. They usually work in well lighted and ventilated areas, but may occasionally work in cold, damp, dark parts of buildings. They usually work both inside and outside of their buildings.
Utility maintenance repairers should have a strong mechanical aptitude. They need to have excellent manual dexterity, coordination, and balance. They should have normal or corrected vision, good hearing, and normal use of arms and legs. They need to be able to lift heavy objects and stand for long periods of time. They should be in good overall physical condition.
Utility maintenance repairers in entry-level positions can expect to earn between $7 and $24 per hour. Those who have substantial experience may earn up to $32 per hour. Those who have more than 3 years of experience may be able to earn $35 or more per hour. Many employers offer fringe benefits, such as health, life, and disability insurance plans; vacation, holiday, and sick leave; and pensions.
Training and Education
Most applicants for utility maintenance repairer positions are required to have a high school diploma or equivalent and classes in electricity, woodworking, mechanical drawing, blueprint reading, shop math, and science. Graduates of vocational school or community college programs may have an additional advantage in the hiring process. Some employers may decide to hire workers who have experience in related, less skilled trades, such as construction helpers or machinery repairers. Employees must have the ability to complete basic math problems and problem-solve independently.
Those who are familiar with computers may be able to secure positions in buildings or factories with computer control systems. Those who have exceptional and diverse skills may advance to become specialists in the more complicated diagnoses and repairs. Those with leadership skills may be able to advance to shop supervisor or service manager. Visit this page about trade schools for more information on related careers.
Between 2002 and 2012, employment of utility maintenance repairers is expected to increase faster than the average. This due to the overall growth of the economy and to the growth in the number of new office buildings, hospitals, hotels and motels, schools, apartment buildings, and manufacturing facilities. Some jobs will be created through normal occupational turnover. Opportunities will be best in larger metropolitan areas and in newly developing industrial areas.