Appliance repair technicians are the people who come to the rescue when our dishwashers leak or our ovens won’t light.
They use their mechanical and electrical expertise to install and fix washers, dryers, stoves, fridges, dishwashers, microwaves, and other appliances. That’s the basic job description.
But if you become an appliance tech, what would you actually do on the job? What would your daily routine involve?
In this post, we explain the common tasks appliance technicians perform and what a typical workday might look like. Find out what to expect at work and see if this trade is a good choice for you.
WHAT EXACTLY DO APPLIANCE TECHNICIANS DO?
Appliance technicians are responsible for installing and servicing a wide range of commercial and household appliances.
Some techs work in repair shops, where they troubleshoot and repair smaller units like vacuum cleaners or microwaves. Others travel to customers’ homes or places of work to deal with major appliances like freezers, cooktops, washers, dryers, and dishwashers.
Typical tasks include:
☑️ Taking appliances apart and putting them back together
☑️ Cleaning components
☑️ Using specialized diagnostic and repair tools
☑️ Ordering replacement parts
☑️ Preparing estimates and work reports
☑️ Teaching customers how to keep their appliances in good condition
WHAT’S A TYPICAL DAY FOR AN APPLIANCE TECHNICIAN?
As an appliance technician, your daily routine will depend on how many service calls you get and what’s involved in each job.
For instance, you might get called out to install a commercial freezer in a hospital, which could take all day. Or you might complete as many as eight service calls at people’s homes.
Let’s say you have a bunch of residential calls. Here’s how your day might go:
☑️ Around 8 a.m., you look over your schedule and call each customer to let them know approximately when you’ll show up.
☑️ Your first customer is complaining that his dishwasher is making funny sounds. When you arrive, you ask him what specific noises he’s noticed, and he describes a rumbling.
☑️ Then you inspect the dishwasher yourself. You know that rumbling noises are often due to a worn-out wash arm bearing ring, but the ring checks out. In this case, the issue is a defective drain pump.
☑️ You explain to the customer that you will have to order a new pump, and that once it arrives, you’ll come back to finish the repair and test that everything is working properly.☑️ You write up a cost estimate, wish the customer a good day, and move on to your next call.
Appliance technician Samantha Barrette says not every call is that straightforward.
“Sometimes things go wrong, such as the wrong part is delivered, the part is faulty, or the part is damaged.
In situations like these, you need the ability to calm down a frustrated customer, professionally and politely. Customer service always comes into play.”
WHAT ARE SOME COMMON REPAIR ISSUES APPLIANCE TECHS FACE?
Appliance technicians deal with a wide range of repair challenges, but some problems tend to crop up over and over again.
Here are some common issues you will likely face on the job:
☑️ Washer doesn’t drain—Could be caused by a kink in the hose or a clog in the drain.
☑️ Dryer doesn’t heat up—Check the heating element, burner, thermostat, and thermal fuse.
☑️ Dishwasher doesn’t clean properly—Maybe the spray arm isn’t spinning or the filter is clogged.
☑️ Oven heats unevenly—May be due to a blocked circulation duct or a busted thermostat.
☑️ Fridge leaks—Look for a cracked water inlet valve or a frozen defrost drain.
☑️ Microwave tray doesn’t turn—Is the motor burned out?
☑️ Freezer doesn’t get cold enough—Check for dirty condenser coils or a broken evaporator fan motor.
WHAT SKILLS DO APPLIANCE TECHNICIANS NEED?
It’s important to have mechanical aptitude, excellent problem-solving skills, and good manual dexterity.
People skills are also key. You have to be able to explain appliance issues and repairs to people so that they understand what you’re doing and trust in your expertise.
Isaac Thomas completed Herzing’s appliance service technician course and is now a technician at Whirlpool. He says techs need a range of skills, especially communication.
“I use troubleshooting and customer service skills, along with basic electricity knowledge, every single day. But to really succeed in this field, appliance technicians must be able to communicate well with a wide range of customers.
You need to educate your clients, and break down those complex concepts into something they can easily understand. If you can do this, you’ll build trust and gain their confidence, which is really important.”
READY TO BECOME AN APPLIANCE TECHNICIAN?
Start by exploring the appliance repair training at Herzing College.
The program takes just 24 weeks to complete. Students get hands-on practice installing and servicing all major home appliances, supplied by our partner Whirlpool Canada. Successful grads can even get hired by Whirlpool right out of our program.
Click below to learn more about the appliance repair program and chat live with an admissions advisor who can answer your questions. We’re here to help!