Maintenance Worker Job Description

Maintenance worker job descriptionPop-quiz. When something breaks do you:

A) Get a new one
B) Kick it
C) Call someone
D) Take it apart and fix it yourself.

If you answered A-C, you're 95% of the world's population. If you answered D, you need to be a maintenance worker, and you're probably on speed dial for those who answered C.

  • On average, maintenance workers make around $16.50 per hour
  • Maintenance workers are often required to be on call for nights and weekends
  • You'll need to start out as a helper or apprentice to learn the job

Maintenance workers are responsible for maintenance and repair work for buildings and job sites like offices, apartment complexes, government agencies and schools. They keep things running smoothly and the wheels greased (literally). Being a maintenance worker requires light trouble shooting abilities for a variety of different types of machinery and equipment like HVAC, electricity, plumbing and occasionally janitorial or lawn maintenance.

You'll need to be able to respond quickly, sometimes 24 hours a day, and troubleshoot using instruction manuals, blue prints and necessary tools. The job requires both indoor and outdoor work, and sometimes lifting heavy loads, so you'll need to be reasonably fit and agile.

How much do maintenance workers make?

The average salary for all maintenance workers is about $16.50 per hour. Experienced maintenance workers at high-end retailers can earn up to $26 per hour. Most maintenance workers have jobs in local governments and schools, which typically pay higher hourly wages than in the private sector.

Education requirements

Most maintenance workers need only a high school diploma or GED to qualify for maintenance positions. The real deal breaker is in experience. You'll probably have to start as a maintenance helper, apprentice or intern and work your way up. There are a lot of different skills and tasks you'll need to learn how to perform to be successful, and most are best mastered with real world experience.

Career paths for maintenance workers

Lots of people who go into maintenance work choose to specialize in a particular area, such as plumbing or landscaping, and pursue a career in it. If you choose to stick with maintenance, there are opportunities in supervisory roles and certification by the International Management Institute (IMI) for different levels of competency in maintenance professions.

The future of maintenance workers

The BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) expects average growth in maintenance positions over the 2008-2018 decade. The need for maintenance workers is directly related to how many buildings like offices and apartments exist. As the number of these types of buildings increases, so will the need for people to maintain them.