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How to Become a Maintenance Worker – Career Sidekick

Maintenance Worker 5 Steps to Career

Becoming a maintenance worker typically involves a combination of education, training, and practical experience. Here are the general steps to pursue a career as a maintenance worker.

Obtain a High School Diploma or Equivalent

A high school diploma or equivalent is often the minimum educational requirement for entry-level maintenance positions. Focus on subjects like mathematics, physics, shop class, and technical courses that provide a foundation in relevant skills.

Can I Become a Maintenance Worker through Online Education?

While online education can be a valuable resource for gaining knowledge and skills, becoming a maintenance worker typically requires a combination of hands-on experience and practical training that may not be fully achievable through online education alone. However, online education can still play a role in certain aspects of your journey toward becoming a maintenance worker. Here’s how:

  • Theoretical Knowledge: Online education can provide a solid foundation of theoretical knowledge related to maintenance work. You can take online courses or enroll in distance learning programs that cover topics such as electrical systems, plumbing, HVAC, or general maintenance practices. These courses can help you develop a strong understanding of concepts and principles before applying them in a practical setting.
  • Certifications and Specializations: Many online platforms offer certifications and specialized training programs in specific areas of maintenance work. These certifications can demonstrate your competence in a particular skill or trade, such as electrical work, plumbing, or HVAC systems. Online programs can provide flexibility in earning these certifications, allowing you to study at your own pace.
  • Continuing Education: Online education is an excellent option for continuous learning and professional development in the maintenance field. You can take advantage of online resources, webinars, and virtual workshops to stay updated with industry advancements, new technologies, and best practices.

However, it’s important to note that hands-on experience and practical skills are crucial in the maintenance profession. While online education can provide a foundation of knowledge, it’s advisable to complement it with practical training and real-world experience. Seek opportunities for hands-on learning through apprenticeships, internships, part-time jobs, or volunteering with maintenance departments or organizations.

Combining online education with practical experience will provide a more comprehensive and well-rounded skill set, making you more competitive in the job market and better prepared for the demands of a maintenance worker role.

Acquire Relevant Skills

While in high school or after graduation, consider acquiring practical skills related to maintenance work. This can be achieved through vocational programs, community college courses, or apprenticeship opportunities. Develop skills in areas such as electrical work, plumbing, carpentry, or HVAC systems, depending on your interests and career goals. In addition to technical skills, cultivate soft skills that are valuable in the maintenance field. These include problem-solving abilities, attention to detail, communication skills, teamwork, and adaptability. Building these skills will make you more effective in your work and improve your overall professional growth.

What are some web resources to learn skills to become a Maintenance Worker?

There are several web resources available that can help you learn skills to become a maintenance worker. Here are some popular ones:

  • Trade-Specific Websites: Many trade-specific websites provide resources and educational materials for aspiring maintenance workers. For example, websites like,, or offer articles, forums, training materials, and even online courses dedicated to their respective trades.
  • Industry Forums and Discussion Boards: Engaging with industry-specific forums and discussion boards can be an excellent way to learn from experienced maintenance professionals. Websites like,, or allow you to ask questions, share experiences, and gain insights from experts in the field.
  • Online Communities and Social Media Groups: Joining online communities and social media groups related to maintenance work can provide opportunities for networking, knowledge sharing, and learning. Platforms like Reddit, Facebook Groups, and LinkedIn Groups often have communities dedicated to maintenance professionals where you can ask questions, participate in discussions, and access valuable resources.
  • Manufacturer Websites: Manufacturers of equipment and systems often provide resources and documentation on their websites. These resources can include user manuals, maintenance guides, troubleshooting tips, and sometimes even training materials. Visiting the websites of manufacturers relevant to your desired specialization can provide valuable insights and knowledge.
  • YouTube: Many skilled professionals and organizations share their expertise on YouTube, making it a valuable resource for visual learning. You can find tutorials on specific repairs, maintenance techniques, and demonstrations of various tasks related to electrical work, plumbing, HVAC systems, and more. Some popular channels include Skill Builder, Handyman Startup and Essential Craftsman.

Gain Hands-on Experience

Seek opportunities to gain hands-on experience in maintenance work. This can be through part-time jobs, internships, or volunteering with maintenance departments or organizations. Practical experience allows you to apply your skills, learn from experienced professionals, and gain a deeper understanding of the field.

Internship Opportunities for a Maintenance Worker

While the availability of internships may vary depending on location and industry, here are some potential avenues to explore:

  • Facilities Management Companies: Companies specializing in facilities management often offer internship programs where interns can gain exposure to various maintenance tasks, such as equipment repairs, preventive maintenance, and facility inspections. These companies may manage maintenance operations for multiple clients in sectors like commercial real estate, healthcare, or hospitality.
  • Property Management Companies: Property management companies, particularly those that oversee residential or commercial properties, may offer maintenance internships. Interns can assist with tasks like conducting inspections, handling tenant requests, and learning about the maintenance needs of different property types.
  • Manufacturing and Industrial Facilities: Interning with manufacturing or industrial companies can provide valuable experience in maintenance within a specific industry. These internships may involve working alongside maintenance technicians to perform equipment repairs, conduct preventive maintenance, or assist with troubleshooting production machinery.
  • Government Agencies: Local government agencies, such as municipal buildings, schools, or public facilities, may offer maintenance internships. Interns can gain experience in maintaining and repairing public infrastructure, learning from skilled maintenance professionals in areas such as electrical systems, plumbing, or HVAC.
  • Trade Unions and Apprenticeship Programs: In some cases, trade unions or apprenticeship programs associated with maintenance trades, such as electrical or plumbing, may offer internships to individuals seeking hands-on experience. These programs often combine classroom learning with on-the-job training, providing a comprehensive learning experience.

When searching for maintenance internships, consider reaching out to local businesses, contacting industry associations, checking job boards, and utilizing career services at educational institutions. Networking and connecting with professionals in the field can also help uncover potential internship opportunities.

Obtain Certifications

Consider obtaining relevant certifications to demonstrate your competency and enhance your employability. Examples include certifications in electrical work, plumbing, HVAC, or occupational health and safety. Certifications vary depending on your location and specialization, so research the certifications that align with your career path. However, here are some popular choices to consider:

  • Certified Maintenance & Reliability Technician (CMRT): Offered by the Society for Maintenance & Reliability Professionals (SMRP), this certification validates a maintenance technician’s knowledge in preventive and predictive maintenance techniques, reliability, and troubleshooting.
  • Certified Maintenance Manager (CMM): Also provided by SMRP, the CMM certification is designed for maintenance managers and supervisors. It covers leadership, maintenance strategy, planning, and management principles.
  • Certified Production Technician (CPT): This certification, offered by Manufacturing Skill Standards Council (MSSC), is focused on manufacturing processes and maintenance skills, providing a foundation for maintenance workers in manufacturing industries.
  • Electronics Technicians Association (ETA) Certifications: ETA offers certifications for electronics technicians, which can be valuable for maintenance workers dealing with electronic and electrical equipment.

Seek Employment Opportunities

Start your job search by looking for entry-level maintenance positions in various industries. Networking, online job boards, and contacting local maintenance companies can help you discover job openings.

Top Industries That Hire Maintenance Workers

Maintenance workers have a world of exciting career opportunities across a diverse range of industries. Let’s explore some of the top industries that eagerly seek the skills and expertise of maintenance workers:

  • Real Estate and Property Management: Step into the dynamic world of real estate, where maintenance workers play a vital role in preserving the integrity and functionality of residential, commercial, and mixed-use properties. From luxurious high-rises to cozy apartment complexes, you’ll be ensuring that buildings are in pristine condition.
  • Manufacturing and Industrial: Immerse yourself in the heart of manufacturing and industry, where maintenance workers keep the machinery humming and the production lines flowing smoothly. From massive factories to cutting-edge plants, you’ll be the wizard who troubleshoots, repairs, and performs preventive maintenance to optimize efficiency and keep operations running like clockwork.
  • Hospitality and Tourism: Imagine yourself in the captivating world of hospitality, where maintenance workers create memorable experiences for guests. As part of hotel and resort teams, you’ll ensure that rooms are pristine, facilities are in top shape, and mechanical systems work flawlessly, making every guest’s stay a delightful one.
  • Healthcare: Enter the realm of healthcare, where maintenance workers are the unsung heroes behind the scenes, maintaining critical systems that keep hospitals and medical facilities operating smoothly. From maintaining electrical systems to ensuring medical equipment is in top condition, you’ll play a pivotal role in the care and safety of patients.
  • Educational Institutions: Step onto the vibrant campuses of schools, colleges, and universities, where maintenance workers create an optimal learning environment. From maintaining classrooms and laboratories to keeping grounds pristine, you’ll contribute to shaping the educational experience of students, faculty, and staff.
  • Government and Public Facilities: Picture yourself in the heart of the community, where maintenance workers maintain government buildings, public parks, transportation systems, and other vital infrastructure. You’ll ensure that these public spaces are safe, functional, and welcoming for all.
  • Facilities Management: Join a team of maintenance professionals in facilities management companies, where you’ll oversee the maintenance needs of various properties and facilities. From coordinating repairs and preventive maintenance to ensuring compliance with regulations, you’ll be the master orchestrator of maintenance operations.
  • Transportation and Logistics: Immerse yourself in the world of transportation and logistics, where maintenance workers keep airports, seaports, and transportation hubs running smoothly. From maintaining runways and terminals to ensuring the functionality of vehicles and equipment, you’ll be the force that keeps the world on the move.
  • Energy and Utilities: Step into the realm of energy and utilities, where maintenance workers maintain power generation systems, distribution networks, and utility infrastructure. You’ll be part of the team that keeps the lights on, ensuring a reliable energy supply and the smooth operation of essential services.

Continue Learning and Advancement

Maintenance work offers opportunities for growth and advancement. Keep learning by staying updated with industry trends, attending workshops or seminars, and pursuing additional certifications or higher education in related fields. This continuous learning will enable you to specialize, take on more responsibilities, and progress in your maintenance career.


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