When a dishwasher leaks, or a washing machine won’t spin, or an oven won’t heat, an appliance service technician comes to the rescue. These skilled professionals troubleshoot and maintain the appliances we rely on every single day. It’s essential, rewarding work.
But like any job, appliance repair has both advantages and drawbacks. And it’s important to understand the whole picture before committing to a career.
In this post, we outline the top pros and cons of becoming an appliance service technician. Find out if this trade is a good fit for you and what steps to take next.
PRO: STRONG OUTLOOK FOR APPLIANCE TECHS IN ONTARIO
Appliance service technicians have been in strong demand all over Ontario for a while now. According to provincial government data, the number of online job postings for appliance techs more than quadrupled between 2021 and 2022.
And the future looks bright too. The government says appliance techs have an above-average job outlook, with 7 per cent growth expected between 2023 and 2027.
That means the province could see as many as 600 job openings for appliance repair techs over the next few years.
CON: FIXING APPLIANCES CAN BE DIRTY WORK
Most people don’t clean their appliances that often—and almost no one looks at back panels or condenser coils. Dust buildup alone can cause an appliance to not work properly. And there’s a good chance you will encounter oven ranges covered in grease and washing machine panels coated in detergent slime.
Fixing appliances often involves getting down and dirty. Just be sure to bring cleaning supplies along with your other tools to every service call.
PRO: YOU GET TO SOLVE PROBLEMS
In appliance repair, troubleshooting and problem solving are a major part of your everyday work. It starts in training where you’ll spend a lot of time taking appliances apart, learning how they work, and putting parts back together.
This continues on the job, whether you’re working in the warehouse or going out on service calls. You’ll be solving minor mysteries every day of the week.
Sure, some aspects of repair work are routine—but there’s always something new to learn, says Erin Jacobs of Whirlpool Canada.
"In the appliance trade, you have many different opportunities vs. a plumber vs. an electrician vs. an HVAC tech because you touch all of that depending on what product you’re going to be fixing,” Erin told us. “Appliances are becoming more technologically advanced all the time."
CON: KEEPING UP WITH CHANGES CAN BE CHALLENGING
Today’s appliances incorporate intricate electronic components, smart features, and digital interfaces. Technology is constantly changing, and staying on top of the latest advancements demands ongoing learning. To succeed in this trade, you need to be prepared to keep learning and expanding your skills.
Keep in mind that companies like Whirlpool offer training on new technology, so you won’t be completely on your own. “We have trainers who explain the new technology and show the technicians what’s involved in diagnosing and troubleshooting issues,” says Erin. “We want techs to feel truly supported.”
PRO: CHANCE TO RUN YOUR OWN BUSINESS
A lot of appliance servicers eventually run their own businesses. In fact, the Government of Canada Job Bank says almost half (46 per cent) of appliance service technicians are self-employed.
Cheryl Franklin is a good example. She completed Herzing’s appliance repair program in 2015. She now runs her own shop and employs six technicians.
"While I was in school, I started to reach out to my contacts and open my own company. A colleague of mine was going to school with me at the time; he was actually in the gas program and was headed toward plumber. But I convinced him to come work with me,” she says.
“We talked to Whirlpool and GE about becoming service providers for them, but we said we wanted to graduate first. I graduated in June and we signed our contracts with everybody in July. And we've been going strong for years now."
CON: DEALING WITH CUSTOMERS
This could be either a pro or a con, depending on your point of view.
Many appliance techs underestimate the importance of customer service skills. Some people get so frustrated with their malfunctioning appliance that they take it out on you. You must be able to stay calm and communicate effectively.
“You have to be great with people. You have to be able to speak to any kind of person with respect because you are in their home,” says Cheryl.
“You also need integrity because you’re dealing with people’s belongings. If you break something or scratch something, you take responsibility. If you’re just going to plow through and not care and just do it for the paycheque, don’t bother.”
PRO: QUICK TRAINING; NO APPRENTICESHIP REQUIRED
Looking for a fast route to an in-demand trades career? You found it. Appliance technician training can be completed in just 24 weeks. Courses include all the theory and hands-on skills you need to get hired by companies like Whirlpool right after graduation.
Plus, appliance repair is a voluntary trade in Ontario, so you don’t have to complete a long apprenticeship and get certified. You can go straight to work after trade school.
THINK A CAREER IN APPLIANCE REPAIR IS RIGHT FOR YOU?
Your first step is to get some quality training.
Herzing College offers a 24-week Appliance Service Technician program in both Toronto and Cambridge. You’ll learn from highly experienced instructors and get hands-on training on the latest major appliances.
Still have questions? An admissions advisor can guide you through the program and answer any questions you have about course schedules, costs, financial aid, and how to apply.
Chat live with an advisor now. Or click below to explore the program in more detail. We’re here to help!