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Home Appliance Repairers are responsible for installing and repairing home appliances. The type of appliances they work on range from small appliances like vacuum cleaners and microwave ovens to larger appliances such as washers, dryers, window air conditioning units, refrigerators, and dishwashers. Oftentimes, the job involves dealing with more than the appliance itself. For example, repairers may need to install pipes in a customer's home in order to connect an appliance to a gas or water line. In these cases, the repairer is usually responsible for making sure the entire system is in working order. Repairers are also responsible for answer customer questions about the care and use of appliances.

Responsibilities

There are two primary types of home appliance repairer:

  • Major Appliance Repairers service large household appliances, many of which run on electricity or gas. Examples include ovens, stoves, refrigerators, washing machines, dryers, and dishwashers. Appliances of this type are usually repaired in the customer's home.
  • Small Appliance Repairers traditionally specialize in the repair of smaller devices such as vacuum cleaners, lawnmowers, toasters, waffle irons, coffee makers, power tools, and microwave ovens. Work done on this type of appliance typically takes place in repair shops.

The repairer generally begins the repair process by first visually inspecting the appliance and then operating it to detect unusual noises, overheating, loose parts, or excess vibration. He/she initially looks for common sources of appliance failure such as faulty electrical connections or damaged circuit boards. If necessary, the repairer will disassemble the appliance to examine its internal parts for signs of corrosion or wear. During this process, the repairer will consult service manuals as needed and will use testing devices such as ammeters, voltmeters, wattmeters, digital logic testers, pressure gauges, and pipe-threading tools.

Once the problems are identified, the repairer will give an estimate to the customer of time and cost required to repair the appliance. Then, with the customer's approval, the repairer will begin to do the required repair work. This may involve any or all of the following:

  • repair defective belts, motors, switches, gears, heating elements, or other parts
  • replace defective parts with new ones
  • replace circuit boards or other electronic components
  • tighten, align, clean, and lubricate parts
  • cut, thread, and connect pipe to a feeder line
  • test for gas or microwave leaks

In performing the actual repair, repairers use common hand tools such as screwdrivers, files, wrenches, and pliers; as well as soldering guns and special tools designed for specific appliances. When repairing refrigerators and window air-conditioners, repairers must take special care to conserve, recover, and recycle refrigerants used in the cooling systems, as is required by law. Federal regulations also require that repairers document the disposal of refrigerants.

As the final part of the process, repairers keep records of parts used and time spent on the call in order to compute the total charge, write up the bill, and collect payment. They must also be prepared to answer customer questions and demonstrate the proper use and care of the appliance. If an appliance is still under warranty, the repairer sometimes needs to interface directly with the original appliance manufacturer in order to recoup monetary claims for work performed.

Job Characteristics

A large number of home appliance repairers work a standard 40-hour week, although some work early morning, evening, or weekend shifts and repairers are often on-call in case of emergency. In summer months, there tends to be a considerable amount of overtime work for repair of refrigerators and window mounted air-conditioners. There can be a lot of driving required, particularly for repairers of major appliances who may spend several hours a day driving to and from appointments in customer's homes.

The work environment for home appliance repairers varies depending on their employers and the type of appliances they work on. Repairers who handle small appliances usually work in quiet and relatively comfortable repair shops. Major appliance repairers, however, may spend several hours a day driving and are sometimes required to work in narrow spaces and in cramped or uncomfortable positions. Although the work is generally safe, repairers are susceptible to injury when handling electrical parts or lifting and moving large appliances. Work is normally done with little or no direct supervision.

Those who are successful in the profession are usually mechanically-inclined and/or have an aptitude for electronics. It is important to be a good problem solver and it is essential to be courteous and tactful when working with customers. Reading and speaking skills are also important due to the frequent need to read technical manuals and explain to customers how to use and care for appliances. Repairers who are self-employed also need good business and financial skills.

Employment Outlook

Government economists project the number of jobs for home appliance repairers to remain pretty much constant through 2016. Two key offsetting factors are primarily in play. On the one hand, as the number of total households grows, so does the number of home appliances in use. On the other hand, as appliances become cheaper, people will more often opt to buy a new appliance instead of having a broken one repaired. These two trends will factor each other out, resulting in little or no overall job growth. The fact that larger appliances tend to cost more and are more likely to be repaired than replaced means that demand for major appliance repairers should be stronger than demand for small appliance repairers.

Generally speaking, individuals with formal training in appliance repair and electronics can expect the best employment opportunities. Also, as time goes on jobs will become increasingly concentrated in larger companies due to an expected decline in the number of smaller shops and family-owned businesses.

Home Appliance Repair Training, Certification, and Licensing

Although most repairers acquire the bulk of their expertise through experience and on-the-job training, employers often require a prospective repairer to have a high school diploma, a basic working knowledge of electronics, and some type of formal training in appliance repair. There are many appliance repair or electronics programs offered in high school vocational programs, postsecondary technical schools, and community colleges. These programs can last anywhere between one and two years and include courses in basic electricity and electronics. Once employed, some repairers receive additional training from their employer and/or from appliance manufacturers. Training of this type usually involves a combination of home study and shop classes, in which students work with demonstration appliances and other training equipment. Many repairers receive additional instruction through 2- or 3-week seminars conducted by appliance manufacturers. Those repairers who are employed by franchised appliance dealers or are authorized for warranty work by manufacturers are typically required to attend periodic training sessions.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires all repairers who buy or work with refrigerants to become certified in their proper handling. In order to do so, repairers must pass a written examination administered by an EPA-approved organization such as a trade school, union, or employer association. There also are EPA-approved take-home certification exams. In addition, there are several optional certifications which can significantly enhance the credentials of a home appliance repairer. The International Society of Certified Electronics Technicians (ISCET) administers the National Appliance Service Technician Certification (NASTeC), which requires repairers to pass a comprehensive exam that tests competence in the diagnosis, repair, and maintenance of major home appliances. A similar certification program administered by the Professional Service Association (PSA) earns its recipients the Certified Appliance Professional (CAP) designation.

Resources

Major Employers

Approximately one of every four home appliance repairers is self-employed. Of those who are salaried, more than one-third work in retail establishments such as department stores, electronics retailers, household appliance stores, and fuel dealers. Other major employers include repair shops, gas and electric utility companies, and wholesalers. Home appliance repairers can be found anywhere but not surprisingly, the highest concentration of jobs is in densely populated areas.

Schools for Home Appliance Repairers are listed in the column to the left.

Metro Areas Sorted by Total Employment for:
Home Appliance Repairers

Listed below are metro areas sorted by the total number of people employed in Home Appliance Repairers jobs , as of 2015

Source: 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

     
Metro Area (Alabama) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Hoover N/A $34,200
Birmingham N/A $34,200
     
Metro Area (Alaska) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Anchorage 30 $41,640
     
Metro Area (Arizona) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Phoenix 440 $41,300
Scottsdale 440 $41,300
Mesa 440 $41,300
Tucson 170 $39,080
Lake Havasu City 40 $51,990
Kingman 40 $51,990
     
Metro Area (Arkansas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Conway 120 $35,580
North Little Rock 120 $35,580
Little Rock 120 $35,580
     
Metro Area (California) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Long Beach 840 $37,590
Los Angeles 840 $37,590
Anaheim 840 $37,590
Ontario 750 $45,730
Riverside 750 $45,730
San Bernardino 750 $45,730
Hayward 350 $38,280
Oakland 350 $38,280
San Francisco 350 $38,280
Fresno 230 $39,660
Arden 190 $42,920
Sacramento 190 $42,920
Roseville 190 $42,920
Arcade 190 $42,920
Carlsbad 160 $39,120
San Diego 160 $39,120
Sunnyvale 80 $38,750
Santa Clara 80 $38,750
San Jose 80 $38,750
Lodi 70 $34,030
Stockton 70 $34,030
Arroyo Grande N/A $37,640
Paso Robles N/A $37,640
San Luis Obispo N/A $37,640
Santa Rosa N/A $50,870
     
Metro Area (Colorado) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Denver 360 $48,210
Lakewood 360 $48,210
Aurora 360 $48,210
Fort Collins 50 $39,700
Colorado Springs N/A $23,340
Boulder N/A $46,400
     
Metro Area (Connecticut) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Bridgeport 130 $37,190
Stamford 130 $37,190
Norwalk 130 $37,190
Hartford 80 $45,610
West Hartford 80 $45,610
East Hartford 80 $45,610
Waterbury 50 $34,820
New Haven 40 $48,710
     
Metro Area (Florida) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
West Palm Beach 1290 $29,220
Fort Lauderdale 1290 $29,220
Miami 1290 $29,220
St. Petersburg 390 $37,700
Tampa 390 $37,700
Clearwater 390 $37,700
Sanford 320 $32,490
Orlando 320 $32,490
Kissimmee 320 $32,490
Jacksonville 220 $27,550
Fort Myers 200 $35,210
Cape Coral 200 $35,210
Tallahassee 110 $23,700
Bradenton 90 $32,690
Sarasota 90 $32,690
North Port 90 $32,690
Port St. Lucie 90 $36,380
Brent 60 $26,300
Ferry Pass 60 $26,300
Pensacola 60 $26,300
Immokalee 50 $20,670
Naples 50 $20,670
Marco Island 50 $20,670
Punta Gorda 40 $24,280
Panama City 40 $27,320
Gainesville N/A $22,260
Ocala N/A $36,310
     
Metro Area (Georgia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Roswell 280 $35,970
Sandy Springs 280 $35,970
Atlanta 280 $35,970
Albany N/A $25,390
     
Metro Area (Hawaii) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Urban Honolulu 50 $55,000
     
Metro Area (Idaho) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Boise City 110 $31,270
     
Metro Area (Indiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Anderson 200 $43,450
Carmel 200 $43,450
Indianapolis 200 $43,450
Fort Wayne 70 $45,440
Bloomington N/A $22,650
     
Metro Area (Iowa) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
West Des Moines 110 N/A
Des Moines 110 N/A
Iowa City 110 $29,490
Cedar Rapids 40 $28,520
Cedar Falls N/A $24,740
Waterloo N/A $24,740
     
Metro Area (Kansas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Wichita N/A $35,230
     
Metro Area (Louisiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Lafayette 70 $33,370
     
Metro Area (Maine) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
South Portland 110 $43,140
Portland 110 $43,140
     
Metro Area (Maryland) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Towson 280 $33,850
Columbia 280 $33,850
Baltimore 280 $33,850
     
Metro Area (Michigan) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Dearborn 690 $37,200
Warren 690 $37,200
Detroit 690 $37,200
Wyoming 60 $32,320
Grand Rapids 60 $32,320
Saginaw 30 $44,030
Jackson N/A $28,860
Ann Arbor N/A $29,680
Lansing N/A $32,910
East Lansing N/A $32,910
Flint N/A $36,590
     
Metro Area (Minnesota) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Rochester 60 $42,180
St. Cloud N/A $44,810
     
Metro Area (Mississippi) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Jackson 110 $36,770
     
Metro Area (Nebraska) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Lincoln 30 $47,790
     
Metro Area (Nevada) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Paradise 110 $37,600
Henderson 110 $37,600
Las Vegas 110 $37,600
Reno 100 $38,280
     
Metro Area (New Jersey) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Hammonton 60 $46,580
Atlantic City 60 $46,580
     
Metro Area (New Mexico) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Albuquerque 100 $30,730
     
Metro Area (New York) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Cheektowaga 140 $42,240
Buffalo 140 $42,240
Niagara Falls 140 $42,240
Albany 80 $31,640
Troy 80 $31,640
Schenectady 80 $31,640
Rome N/A $41,240
Utica N/A $41,240
Rochester N/A $42,850
Syracuse N/A $43,220
Kingston N/A $45,430
     
Metro Area (North Carolina) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Durham 50 $34,130
Chapel Hill 50 $34,130
Salem 30 $41,470
Winston 30 $41,470
     
Metro Area (North Dakota) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Bismarck N/A $39,930
     
Metro Area (Ohio) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Columbus 130 $29,170
Akron 120 $30,040
Massillon 100 $24,310
Canton 100 $24,310
Dayton 50 $26,870
Cleveland N/A $32,870
Elyria N/A $32,870
Toledo N/A $38,090
     
Metro Area (Oklahoma) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Tulsa 140 $34,360
Oklahoma City N/A $34,680
     
Metro Area (Oregon) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Redmond N/A $22,650
Bend N/A $22,650
     
Metro Area (Pennsylvania) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Pittsburgh 300 $30,150
Lancaster 150 $40,200
Hanover 130 $38,500
York 130 $38,500
Hazleton 60 $22,650
Barre 60 $22,650
Scranton 60 $22,650
Wilkes 60 $22,650
Carlisle 40 $47,670
Harrisburg 40 $47,670
Reading N/A $36,130
     
Metro Area (South Carolina) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
North Charleston 50 $34,750
Charleston 50 $34,750
Mauldin N/A $30,350
Anderson N/A $30,350
Greenville N/A $30,350
     
Metro Area (South Dakota) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Sioux Falls 30 $50,550
Rapid City N/A $28,570
     
Metro Area (Tennessee) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Franklin 250 $28,790
Murfreesboro 250 $28,790
Davidson 250 $28,790
Nashville 250 $28,790
Knoxville 60 $35,420
     
Metro Area (Texas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Arlington 650 $33,980
Fort Worth 650 $33,980
Dallas 650 $33,980
The Woodlands 560 $38,920
Sugar Land 560 $38,920
Houston 560 $38,920
Round Rock 420 $36,630
Austin 420 $36,630
El Paso N/A $22,600
New Braunfels N/A $34,170
San Antonio N/A $34,170
Midland N/A $36,200
     
Metro Area (Utah) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Salt Lake City 130 $42,800
Orem N/A $22,690
Provo N/A $22,690
Clearfield N/A $27,930
Ogden N/A $27,930
     
Metro Area (Virginia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Richmond 180 $39,330
Harrisonburg 60 $51,510
Lynchburg N/A $29,680
Radford N/A $29,760
Christiansburg N/A $29,760
Blacksburg N/A $29,760
     
Metro Area (Washington) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Seattle 600 $36,560
Bellevue 600 $36,560
Tacoma 600 $36,560
Spokane Valley 110 $39,390
Spokane 110 $39,390
     
Metro Area (Wisconsin) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
West Allis 100 $31,610
Waukesha 100 $31,610
Milwaukee 100 $31,610
Madison 40 $44,400
Wausau N/A $30,030
Appleton N/A $35,880

Most Popular Industries for :
Home Appliance Repairers

Industries representing at least 1% of total jobs for the occupation.

Source: 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

Industry Jobs Percent Annual Median Salary
Maintenance And Repair 12,470 34% $36,140
Applicance Stores 12,420 34% $31,310
Durable Goods Wholesale 1,590 4% $36,620
Personal Services 1,260 3% $32,620
Utilities 1,190 3% $49,270
Furniture Stores 1,150 3% $31,390
Construction Trades 1,040 2% $33,520
Non-store Retailers 820 2% $31,490
Hardware And Garden Stores 710 1% $31,290
Rental And Lease 700 1% $31,180
Office Services And Staffing 670 1% $33,350
Storage 600 1% $38,210
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We have some additional detailed pages at the state level for Home Appliance Repairers.

Numbers in parentheses are counts of relevant campus-based schools in the state; online schools may also be available.

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