Skilled Maintenance Worker: What Is It and How to Become

Skilled Maintenance Worker: What Is It and How to Become

If you’re considering a career in maintenance work, whether it be as an electrician, plumber, or in other trade-specific roles, this ultimate guide is designed to help you navigate the path to becoming a skilled maintenance worker. Within these pages, you’ll find valuable information on the key steps you should take, including obtaining the necessary education and training, gaining hands-on experience, and staying up to date on industry standards and best practices.

One of the most important steps in becoming a skilled maintenance worker is gaining the necessary knowledge and skills. Obtaining a high school diploma or equivalent is typically the minimum requirement for entry into this field. However, to increase your chances of advancement and secure higher-paying positions, it’s recommended to pursue further education and training through trade-specific programs, seminars, or vocational schools. These programs will teach you the intricacies of repairing and maintaining different types of machines, as well as the protocols and safety standards to follow.

Another key aspect of becoming a skilled maintenance worker is gaining hands-on experience. Many employers, especially in the industrial and factory maintenance sphere, prefer candidates who have previous experience in maintaining and repairing machinery. Consider applying for entry-level positions or internships within maintenance teams to start gaining practical experience. These opportunities will allow you to work under the guidance of experienced maintenance workers, honing your skills and increasing your dexterity in repairing and responding to job-related problems.

When it comes to employment outlook, the market for skilled maintenance workers is projected to increase in the coming years. As machines and facilities become more complex, the demand for qualified maintenance workers who can keep them running smoothly also grows. By developing your expertise and keeping up with the latest advancements in technology and industry best practices, you position yourself for potential advancement and higher-paying roles, such as maintenance manager or operator.

So, if you’re ready to start your journey towards becoming a skilled maintenance worker, Spherion Staffing is here to guide you through the process. With their extensive knowledge of the industry and network of employers, they can help you find the right opportunities to gain experience, develop your skills, and achieve your career goals. Don’t hesitate to reach out to Spherion Staffing and take the first steps towards a rewarding and fulfilling career in maintenance work.

Step 1: Develop Technical Skills and Competencies

Identify Key Skills

The first step in developing technical skills and competencies is to identify the key skills required for the maintenance worker role. These skills may vary depending on the specific type of maintenance work you are interested in, such as electrical, plumbing, or HVAC. However, some common skills include:

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  • Basic computer skills for inventory management and report generation
  • Knowledge of maintenance practices and standards to ensure smooth operation of buildings and equipment
  • Understanding of safety protocols to ensure a safe working environment
  • Ability to troubleshoot and perform repairs on a wide range of systems and equipment
  • Proficiency in reading and interpreting technical manuals and diagrams

Gain Education and Training

Once you have identified the key skills, the next step is to gain the necessary education and training. While a high school diploma or equivalent is typically the minimum qualification for entry-level maintenance positions, pursuing additional education and training can significantly improve your skills and marketability.

Get On-the-Job Experience

Another effective way to develop technical skills is by gaining on-the-job experience. Working as an apprentice or assistant to a skilled maintenance technician or engineer allows you to learn from experienced professionals and gain practical knowledge. This hands-on experience will not only enhance your technical skills but also expose you to real-world challenges and best practices.

Build Maintenance Competencies

In addition to technical skills, developing maintenance competencies is crucial for becoming a skilled maintenance worker. These competencies include qualities such as reliability, attention to detail, problem-solving, and being able to work well in a team. Employers highly value these competencies as they contribute to the overall smooth operation of facilities.

Furthermore, demonstrating a commitment to professional growth by staying up-to-date with industry trends and advancements can also set you apart. Attending conferences, reading industry publications, and participating in online forums can provide valuable insights and help you stay informed about the latest maintenance practices and standards.

By following these steps and continuously improving your technical skills and competencies, you can position yourself as a valuable and skilled maintenance worker in today’s competitive job market.

Step 2: Gain Practical Experience through Apprenticeships or Internships

  1. Research Trade-Specific Apprenticeships or Internships: Before starting your journey, it’s important to understand the options available to you. Research apprenticeship programs or internships within the maintenance industry, such as HVAC or HVACR apprenticeships, to find the right fit for your interests and goals.
  2. Apply and Access Apprenticeship Opportunities: Once you’ve identified the apprenticeship or internship that aligns with your values and career aspirations, you can apply for these opportunities. Check with local trade schools or companies within the maintenance industry for available positions and application requirements.
  3. Gain Hands-On Experience: As an apprentice or intern, you will have the chance to gain hands-on experience in maintaining equipment and buildings. This experience will provide you with the necessary skills and competencies to excel in the maintenance field.
  4. Learn from Experienced Technicians: Apprenticeships and internships offer the unique opportunity to learn from experienced technicians in the field. You will be able to observe their techniques and ask questions, allowing you to develop a strong foundation of knowledge.
  5. Follow Safety Protocols and Industry Standards: During your apprenticeship or internship, it’s crucial to prioritize safety. Familiarize yourself with safety protocols and industry standards to ensure the well-being of yourself, your team, and any guests or residents within the properties you work on.
  6. Build Interpersonal Skills: In addition to technical skills, maintenance workers need to effectively communicate and collaborate with others. Use your apprenticeship or internship as an opportunity to develop strong interpersonal skills, as these will greatly enhance your job performance and career prospects.
  7. Obtain Certificates and Additional Qualifications: Many apprenticeship programs offer opportunities to obtain certificates or additional qualifications. Take advantage of these offerings to further enhance your skills and make yourself more marketable within the industry.
  8. Advance Your Career: Once you have completed your apprenticeship or internship, you will have the necessary experience and qualifications to pursue entry-level maintenance jobs. However, the learning doesn’t stop there. Continuously seek opportunities for professional development and advance your career within the maintenance industry.
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Gaining practical experience through apprenticeships or internships is an easy and reliable way to develop the skills and knowledge needed to become a skilled maintenance worker. With the wide range of opportunities available within the industry, taking this step will set you on the path to a successful and fulfilling career in maintenance.

At Spherion, we understand the value of practical experience and offer various resources for those looking to enter the maintenance industry. Check out our YouTube channel for additional tips and insights!

Step 3: Obtain Relevant Certifications and Licenses

Why Certifications and Licenses Matter

Having certifications and licenses not only enhances your professional standing but also increases your employment opportunities. Employers are more likely to hire individuals who have obtained the required certifications and licenses, as it indicates that you have the knowledge and skills to perform well in the job role.

Relevant Certifications and Licenses

The certifications and licenses you need will depend on the specific maintenance field you are interested in. Here are some examples of certifications and licenses that may be relevant:

  • Property Maintenance Certification: This certification covers the main responsibilities of maintaining buildings and properties, including plumbing, repairing electrical systems, and conducting routine maintenance tasks.
  • Facility Maintenance Certification: This certification focuses on the maintenance of commercial buildings and facilities. It includes skills in equipment repair, safety procedures, and inventory management.
  • Vehicle Maintenance and Repair Certification: If you are interested in working with vehicles, obtaining a certification in vehicle maintenance and repair from a reputable institute can provide valuable insights and competencies.
  • Plumbing License: For those interested in plumbing maintenance, acquiring a plumbing license is essential. This license demonstrates your expertise in solving plumbing problems and performing repairs.

How to Obtain Certifications and Licenses

There are various available programs and certifications out there that cater to different maintenance careers. Research and discover the certifications that are most relevant to your desired field. Some certifications are obtained by passing a certification exam, while others may require completion of specific training programs.

You can partner with professional organizations and institutes that offer certifications and licenses. They provide valuable resources and training materials to help you prepare for the certification exams.

While some certifications and licenses may require hands-on experience or on-the-job training, others focus on theoretical knowledge. It is important to find a balance between gaining practical insights and acquiring the necessary theoretical knowledge.

Benefits of Being Certified

Becoming a certified maintenance worker has several benefits, including:

  • Enhanced job prospects: Having relevant certifications and licenses makes you a more desirable candidate for employment opportunities, increasing your chances of getting hired.
  • Higher earning potential: Certified maintenance workers are likely to earn higher salaries compared to their non-certified counterparts. According to, the salary ranges for certified maintenance workers are often higher.
  • Increased credibility: Employers and clients are more likely to trust certified professionals, as they have demonstrated their knowledge, skills, and reliability through the certification process.
  • Career advancement: Being certified opens up opportunities for career growth and advancement within the maintenance industry.
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Remember, obtaining relevant certifications and licenses is an investment in your future. By spending time and effort to acquire these credentials, you are making yourself a more trusted and valuable asset in the workplace.

So, take the necessary steps to become certified and gain the competencies needed to excel in the maintenance field!

Step 4: Continuously Update and Improve Your Skills to Stay Current in the Industry

One way to stay current is by staying informed about the latest industry developments. Subscribe to trade-specific magazines and newsletters, follow relevant websites and social media accounts, and attend conferences and workshops. This will keep you updated about new technologies, tools, and practices that are shaping the industry.

Another valuable resource for learning is YouTube. Many technicians and industry experts share their knowledge and experience through video tutorials and demonstrations. By spending some time on YouTube, you can gain new insights and learn the latest techniques in a convenient and accessible way.

For those who prefer a more structured approach, there are technical institutes and online learning platforms that offer maintenance courses and certifications. These programs cover a broad range of topics, from the theoretical principles of maintenance work to hands-on skills and protocols. By enrolling in such a program, you can expand your knowledge and ensure that you are following industry standards and best practices.

Moreover, having a diploma or certification can make you more competitive when applying for jobs or seeking advancement opportunities. Employers often look for candidates who have invested in their education and have a solid understanding of maintenance principles and techniques.

It is also important to note that the maintenance field is not limited to just one type of work. There are various specializations and job roles within the industry, such as maintenance technicians, managers, and supervisors. By continuously updating your skills, you can explore different areas and increase your chances of finding the right role that aligns with your interests and goals.

Furthermore, being a skilled maintenance worker means being reliable and ensuring the proper functioning of equipment and facilities. This requires not only technical knowledge, but also the ability to cover a wide range of responsibilities. From making repairs to drafting maintenance schedules, you must be able to adapt to different environments and handle various tasks.

Continuously updating and improving your skills can also have personal advantages. By becoming more proficient in your job, you can gain more job satisfaction and confidence. You will have the ability to troubleshoot and solve problems more effectively, which can lead to a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment in your work.


What are the steps to becoming a skilled maintenance worker?

The steps to becoming a skilled maintenance worker include gaining relevant education or training, gaining hands-on experience, obtaining necessary certifications, and continuously improving skills through professional development and staying updated with industry trends.

What kind of education or training is required to become a maintenance worker?

While formal education is not always required, many maintenance workers have a high school diploma or equivalent. Some employers may prefer candidates with vocational training or certification in areas such as electrical work, plumbing, or HVAC systems.

Is experience important for becoming a skilled maintenance worker?

Yes, hands-on experience is crucial for becoming a skilled maintenance worker. Practical experience allows workers to develop problem-solving skills, learn from real-life scenarios, and become familiar with various equipment and systems they may encounter in their job.

What certifications are necessary for a maintenance worker?

The necessary certifications for a maintenance worker can vary depending on the specific field or industry they work in. Some common certifications include HVAC certification, electrical certification, plumbing certification, and building maintenance certification.

How can maintenance workers maintain a good work-life balance?

Maintenance workers can maintain a good work-life balance by setting boundaries and prioritizing their personal time outside of work. This can include scheduling regular time off, limiting overtime hours, and finding a support system to help with any work-related stress or responsibilities.

Dave Pennells

By Dave Pennells

Dave Pennells, MS, has contributed his expertise as a career consultant and training specialist across various fields for over 15 years. At City University of Seattle, he offers personal career counseling and conducts workshops focused on practical job search techniques, resume creation, and interview skills. With a Master of Science in Counseling, Pennells specializes in career consulting, conducting career assessments, guiding career transitions, and providing outplacement services. Her professional experience spans multiple sectors, including banking, retail, airlines, non-profit organizations, and the aerospace industry. Additionally, since 2001, he has been actively involved with the Career Development Association of Australia.