California Occupational Guides

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Detailed Guide for

Maintenance and Repair Workers, General in San Diego County

May also be called: Building Maintenance Repairer; and Maintenance Mechanic.

What Would I Do?

Maintenance and Repair Workers have skills in several construction and mechanical crafts such as carpentry, electrical installation and repair, plumbing, painting, roofing, and mechanics. They repair and maintain machines, mechanical equipment, and buildings. Repairers also work on plumbing, electrical, and air-conditioning and heating systems. They build partitions; make plaster or drywall repairs; and fix or paint roofs, windows, doors, floors, woodwork, and other parts of building structures. Maintenance Workers also maintain and repair specialized equipment and machinery found in cafeterias, laundries, hospitals, stores, offices, and factories.

General Maintenance and Repair Workers inspect and diagnose problems and determine the best way to correct them, frequently checking blueprints, repair manuals, and parts catalogs. These workers replace or fix worn or broken parts, or make adjustments to correct malfunctioning equipment and machines using common hand and power tools such as screwdrivers, saws, drills, wrenches, and hammers, as well as specialized equipment and electronic testing devices.

General Maintenance and Repair Workers also perform routine preventive maintenance to ensure that machines continue to run smoothly, building systems operate efficiently, and the physical condition of buildings do not deteriorate. Following a checklist, they may inspect drives, motors, and belts, check fluid levels, replace filters, and perform other maintenance duties. Maintenance and Repair Workers also keep records of their work.

Computer technology skills are very important because modern buildings sometimes have computer-controlled systems that allow Maintenance Workers to make adjustments in building settings and monitor for problems from a central location. For example, they can remotely control light sensors that turn off lights automatically after a set amount of time or identify broken ventilation fans that need to be replaced.

Important Tasks and Related Skills

Each task below is matched to a sample skill required to carry out the task.

View the skill definitions
TaskSkill Used in this Task
Repair or replace defective equipment parts using hand tools and power tools, and reassemble equipment.Repairing
Perform routine preventive maintenance to ensure that machines continue to run smoothly, building systems operate efficiently, and the physical condition of buildings does not deteriorate.Equipment Maintenance
Inspect drives, motors, and belts, check fluid levels, replace filters, and perform other maintenance actions, following checklists.Information Ordering
Use tools ranging from common hand and power tools, such as hammers, hoists, saws, drills, and wrenches, to precision measuring instruments and electrical and electronic testing devices.Equipment Selection
Assemble, install and/or repair wiring, electrical and electronic components, pipe systems and plumbing, machinery, and equipment.Mechanical
Diagnose mechanical problems and determine how to correct them, checking blueprints, repair manuals, and parts catalogs as necessary.Problem Sensitivity
Inspect, operate, and test machinery and equipment in order to diagnose machine malfunctions.Troubleshooting
Dismantle devices to gain access to and remove defective parts, using hoists, cranes, hand tools, and power tools.Building and Construction
Plan and lay out repair work using diagrams, drawings, blueprints, maintenance manuals, and schematic diagrams.Critical Thinking
Paint and repair roofs, windows, doors, floors, woodwork, plaster, drywall, and other parts of building structures.Multilimb Coordination
Source: U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Information Network (O*NET)

Working Conditions

Maintenance Repairers work inside and outside all types of buildings from factories, warehouses, and office buildings to classrooms, medical facilities, and apartment complexes. They usually work a 40-hour workweek but may be required to work evenings, overnight shifts, weekends, and holidays. Some may be on call for emergencies.

Repairers may work in hot and cold temperatures, in dark places, in tight quarters, on ladders and scaffolding, in awkward positions, and around moving machinery and equipment. They must stand for long periods of time, and their work requires that they be able to bend, stoop, squat, lean, and reach.

Work hazards include factory noise, floors that are dirty and wet from water and grease, electrical shock, hot steam, sharp or heavy objects, moving machinery, and working at heights well above the floor level. Repairers working in manufacturing plants and warehouses must also be aware of dangerous chemicals and industrial gases and liquids. However, the risk of injury is reduced by wearing protective helmets, gloves, reinforced shoes or boots, masks, goggles, and other protective gear while on the job.

Some Maintenance and Repair Workers may belong to unions such as the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, Teamsters Union, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, and the International Longshoremens and Warehousemens Union.

Will This Job Fit Me?

The job of Maintenance and Repair Worker may appeal to those who enjoy activities that involve practical, hands-on problems and solutions. Maintenance and Repair occupations satisfy those with Realistic interests. Realistic occupations involve technical or mechanical activities that require working outside but do not involve a lot of paperwork.

What Wages and Benefits Can I Expect?

Wages

The median wage in 2016 for Maintenance and Repair Workers, General in California is $40,484 annually, or $19.47 hourly. The median wage for Maintenance and Repair Workers, General in San Diego County is $38,927 annually, or $18.72 hourly. The median is the point at which half of the workers earn more and half earn less.

Change to Hourly Wages
Annual Wages for 2016Low
(25th percentile)
Median
(50th percentile)
High
(75th percentile)
California$30,765$40,484$54,491
San Diego County$29,784$38,927$51,265
Source: EDD/LMID Occupational Employment Statistics Survey, 2016 Wages do not reflect self-employment.
View Wages for All Areas

Benefits

Many Maintenance and Repair Workers receive paid vacation, holiday and sick leave, along with health and disability insurance plans.

What is the Job Outlook?

Job opportunities should be favorable, especially for those with experience in maintenance or related fields. Many job openings over the next decade will result from the retirement of experienced Maintenance Workers. However, as machinery becomes more advanced and requires less maintenance, the need for general maintenance and repair workers diminishes. Also, as more buildings are controlled by computers, buildings can be monitored more efficiently.

Projections of Employment

In California, the number of Maintenance and Repair Workers, General is expected to grow slower than average growth rate for all occupations. Jobs for Maintenance and Repair Workers, General are expected to increase by 12.4 percent, or 15,000 jobs between 2014 and 2024.

In San Diego County, the number of Maintenance and Repair Workers, General is expected to grow at an average rate compared with the total for all occupations. Jobs for Maintenance and Repair Workers, General are expected to increase by 18.1 percent, or 2,030 jobs between 2012 and 2022.

Estimated Employment and Projected Growth
Maintenance and Repair Workers, General
Geographic Area
(Estimated Year-Projected Year)
Estimated
Employment
Projected
Employment
Numeric
Change
Percent
Change
Additional Openings
Due to Net
Replacements
California
(2014-2024)
120,500135,50015,00012.431,600
San Diego County
(2012-2022)
11,24013,2702,03018.12,160
Source: EDD/LMID Projections of Employment by Occupation
View Projected Growth for All Areas

Annual Job Openings

In California, an average of 1,500 new job openings per year is expected for Maintenance and Repair Workers, General, plus an additional 3,160 job openings due to net replacement needs, resulting in a total of 4,660 job openings.

In San Diego County, an average of 203 new job openings per year is expected for Maintenance and Repair Workers, General, plus an additional 216 job openings due to net replacement needs, resulting in a total of 419 job openings.

Estimated Average Annual Job Openings
Maintenance and Repair Workers, General
Geographic Area
(Estimated Year-
Projected Year)
Jobs From GrowthJobs Due to
Net Replacements
Total Annual
Job Openings
California
(2014-2024)
1,5003,1604,660
San Diego County
(2012-2022)
203216419
Source: EDD/LMID Projections of Employment by Occupation
View Data for All Areas

How Do I Qualify?

Education, Training, and Other Requirements

There are a number of ways to become a Maintenance and Repair Worker due to the variety of skills required. Generally, Maintenance and Repair Workers learn their skills informally on the job by starting as helpers for skilled Maintenance Workers including carpenters, electricians, or machinery repairers. Helpers learn by watching and by completing simple tasks, such as fixing leaky faucets, and progressing to more complex tasks, such as overhauling machinery. Maintenance and Repair Workers can also learn necessary skills in high school shop classes, trade schools, or vocational schools.

Most employers prefer to hire applicants with a high school diploma or equivalent. Mechanical aptitude, manual dexterity, and the ability to use shop mathematics are also very important. Good health and physical stamina are vital because this job is very strenuous, requiring prolonged walking, standing, reaching, and heavy lifting.

Early Career Planning

High school students interested in Maintenance and Repair careers should take courses in mechanical drawing, electricity, woodworking, blueprint reading, science, mathematics, and computer technology. Computer skills are crucial because a growing number of buildings use computers to control various systems. Also, some factories and warehouses use computerized production and distribution equipment.

Work Study Programs

Regional occupational programs offer training courses for mechanics and engineering technology and residential commercial construction. To find an ROP program near you, go to the California Association of Regional Occupational Centers and Programs Web site.

Where Can I Find Training?

There are two ways to search for training information:

Contact the schools you are interested in to learn about the classes available, tuition and fees, and any prerequisite course work.

Where Would I Work?

The majority of Maintenance and Repair Workers are employed in industries related to real estate, local government, or elementary and secondary schools. The largest industries employing Maintenance and Repair Workers, General are as follows:

Industry TitlePercent of Total Employment for Occupation in California
Local Government 11.2%
Activities Related to Real Estate 10.9%
Lessors of Real Estate 8.5%
Accommodation 7.3%
Elementary and Secondary Schools 2.8%
Source: EDD/LMID Staffing Patterns

Finding a Job

Direct application to employers remains one of the most effective job search methods. Local newspaper classified advertisements also provide helpful job leads. Union members search for work by registering with their local hiring hall.  Online job opening systems include JobCentral at www.jobcentral.com and CalJOBSSM at www.caljobs.ca.gov.

To find your nearest One-Stop Career Center, go to Service Locator. View the helpful job search tips for more resources. (requires Adobe Reader).

Yellow Page Headings

You can focus your local job search by checking employers listed online or in your local telephone directory. Below are some suggested headings where you might find employers of Maintenance and Repair Workers, General.

  • Handyman Services
  • Home Repair & Maintenance
  • Property Maintenance
  • Real Estate Mangement

Find Possible Employers

To locate a list of employers in your area, go to "Find Employers" on the Labor Market Information Web site:

  • Select one of the top industries that employ the occupation. This will give you a list of employers in that industry in your area.
  • Click on "View Filter Selections" to limit your list to specific cities or employer size.
  • Click on an employer for the street address, telephone number, size of business, Web site, etc.
  • Contact the employer for possible employment.

Where Could This Job Lead?

Many General Maintenance and Repair Workers in large organizations advance to Maintenance Supervisor or become a specialized craft worker such as an electrician, a heating and air-conditioning mechanic, or a plumber. Promotional opportunities are somewhat limited within small organizations.

Related Occupations

Below is a list of occupations related to Maintenance and Repair Workers, General with links to more information.

OccupationOccupational
Guide
Industry
Report
Occupational
Profile
BoilermakersProfile
Coin, Vending, and Amusement Machine Servicers and RepairersProfile
Construction LaborersGuide
Electronic Home Entertainment Equipment Installers and RepairersProfile
Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and InstallersGuide
Helpers--CarpentersProfile
Plumbers, Pipefitters, and SteamfittersGuide
Welders, Cutters, Solderers, and BrazersGuide

Other Sources

  • American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees
         www.afscme.org
  • California Department of Industrial Relations, Division of Apprenticeship Standards
         www.dir.ca.gov/das
  • International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers
         www.goiam.org
  • International Brotherhood of Teamsters
         www.teamster.org

These links are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement by EDD.

For the Career Professional

The following codes are provided to assist counselors, job placement workers, or other career professionals.

SystemCode
SOC - Standard Occupational Classification49-9071
O*NET - Occupational Information Network
   Maintenance and Repair Workers, General49-9071.00
   Interest Codes (RIASEC)RCI
CIP - Classification of Instructional Programs
   Building/Construction Site Management/Manager 460412
TOP - Taxonomy of Programs (California Community Colleges)
   Civil and Construction Management Technology095700