How to Become a Maintenance Technician

Considering becoming a multi-family maintenance technician? Now is the time. The US Bureau of Labor predicts that the number of jobs in the maintenance field will increase by 6% over the next 10 years. Most importantly, studies show that hands-on jobs significantly improve overall happiness.

Here’s how to become a maintenance technician for multi-family residences:

Complete the Required Education

If you are an aspiring multi-family maintenance technician, a high school diploma is generally the only education required by employers. Some high schools may offer elective courses that can help to prepare you for a maintenance career, like shop or computer classes. While typically not required, attending a trade school or community college can help to learn more complex tasks, like plumbing and electrical. Having that advanced knowledge may help you stand out among other applicants during your job hunt.

Though education is important, training (and sometimes certifications) are a necessity for a maintenance technician. Building maintenance is an ever-evolving field that requires a wide knowledge base covering various systems, equipment, and technologies making proper training an important piece to being successful in the position.

Go Through the Necessary Training

In addition to a required high school diploma, a building maintenance technician must be thoroughly trained to learn the craft correctly. There are usually a couple different ways that you can receive training after high school:

  • On-the-job training with an employer: Some companies will hire you fresh out of high school and train you on-the-job.
  • Apprenticeships with trade/vocational schools: Complete a program through trade schools or community colleges to receive a diploma or certificate.

While you go through training, there will be particular exams you’ll need to take that are required by law, like the 608 EPA certification exam. In addition to technical knowledge gained through training, a good technician should also train their “soft skills,” such as attention to detail, problem-solving, and remaining calm under pressure.

Optional Certifications

There are a number of certificates that can improve your resume, make you stand out during the hiring process, and help you secure a job in the property maintenance field. These include:

  • Certified Maintenance and Reliability Technician: This is considered to be an “entry-level” certification and is a great place to start. The CMRP focuses on different types of maintenance including preventative, predictive and corrective and shows that you can both monitor and fix equipment as needed.
  • Building Systems Maintenance Certification: This certification covers two types of common systems you will encounter in the building maintenance field: plumbing and HVAC. It can also demonstrate a commitment to implementing environmentally-friendly maintenance techniques and technologies
  • Building Operator Certification: This is a “well-rounded” certification that helps show that you are skilled in every area of building maintenance. The BOC also offers a series of webinars prior to taking the certification exam in order to help you prepare.

Keep the Training Going

After the necessary training and any optional certifications, it’s important to continue your education, whether you’ve landed a multi-family maintenance technician job or not. Due to advancing technology, aging equipment, and the retirement of skilled technicians, continuing your education through ongoing training is important to many employers.

Luckily, innovative companies like Interplay Learning make continued education easy with online, on-demand training. Whether you learn better visually from videos and 3D simulations or a more hands-on approach with virtual reality (VR), Interplay Learning provides the tools you need to further your education in a way that works for you. Maintenance courses are available in electrical, plumbing, HVAC and more ranging from beginner to advanced so that you can continue learning no matter the level.

Multi-Family Maintenance Technician Duties and Responsibilities

To become a maintenance technician, you’ll need to be aware of the different duties and responsibilities they have. You’ll be performing a wide range of duties from painting and repairing electrical panels to changing light bulbs and servicing frozen heat pumps.

Common duties and responsibilities of maintenance technicians include:

  • Inspecting equipment within all areas of multi-family buildings to identify issues
  • Monitoring equipment data for possible failures
  • Repairing issues and failures when they arise
  • Keeping an inventory of spare parts and supplies
  • Updating and replacing equipment as technology advances
  • Assisting in creating a budget

Types of Maintenance

Most of the duties and responsibilities listed above fall within many different types of maintenance categories, which are important for aspiring technicians to be aware of. These include:

  • Preventative maintenance: Regularly inspecting equipment for signs of failure
  • Condition-based or predictive maintenance: Monitoring important variables such as the temperature and speed of a piece of equipment
  • Corrective maintenance: Efficiently fixing problems as soon as they arise
  • Predetermined maintenance: Abiding by a predetermined maintenance schedule created by the equipment’s manufacturer.

Securing Your Future with Interplay Learning

Now that you’ve learned how to become a maintenance technician for multi-family residences, let Interplay Learning help you get there. With online courses from beginner to advanced, Interplay Learning can help you to build the essential skills you need for a career in facilities maintenance. With instructor-led videos, 3D simulations, and even virtual reality (VR) options, you can practice handling real-life situations that you might encounter in the field, all from the comfort of your preferred training location.