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At a time when the job outlook for more than fifteen million Americans looks grim, there is one profession that is unwavering in terms of growth: the appliance repairer. Qualified appliance repairers are needed now just as much as ever, and the income and working conditions are good; alas, trained professionals are scarce. That's why even during times of high unemployment, appliance repairer jobs remain open.Job Duties
Appliance repairers install and repair home appliances. The appliances are usually large and in general, the appliance repairer does the work in the customer's house. This work consists of fixing ranges, ovens, refrigerators, microwaves, dishwashers, washing machines and dryers. The appliance repairer might install new appliances by setting them in place, hooking up utilities and explaining the functions to the customer, or might be called in when an appliance isn't functioning properly. In these cases, the appliance repairer might have to dismantle the appliance using a service manual and some specialized tools in order to diagnose the problem. Depending on the nature of the problem, the repair might be immediate or, in cases when parts need to be ordered, it might take longer.
Some appliance repairers work for companies that sell appliances while others are self-employed. There are a few appliance repairers who work on small portable appliances that can be brought to a shop. These repairers usually specialize in a certain appliance such as a vacuum cleaner. Appliance repairers normally work a 40 hour work week, but they may have to be on call for after hour emergencies.Job Skills
Appliance repairers should have an aptitude for mechanical and diagnostic work and should enjoy working with their hands. Additionally, the ability to work in confined spaces, patience and the ability to problem solve creatively are skills that would be well-suited for an appliance repairer.
If you are interested in running your own appliance repair company, some business or financial training would also be a good idea, just as management training would be a good idea if you are planning on managing a group of employees.Income
The income of an appliance repairer can vary depending on their level of experience and the location they are working in. Your income may also depend on whether you are employed by a company and earn a salary or are self employed and depend on your business' success to turn a profit. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that in 2008 the median annual income for those employed as appliance repairers was $33,910. The highest 10 percent made in excess of $53,910 per year.Training and Education
Many appliance repairers learn on the job by assisting an experienced appliance repairer. Some of the major appliance manufacturers have training programs for those working with their appliances, which allow you to specialize in one line of products. Most people working in the career field have at least a high school diploma or GED, and many take classes in electricity, electronics, or appliance repair at vocational or technical schools. Taking classes can reduce the amount of time needed for on-the-job training.
Appliance repairers employed by companies may attend company-sponsored training classes. Many working in the occupation continue to take training classes on a regular basis to keep up with the latest technology. Self-employed appliance repairers may find that taking some college business classes can be beneficial.Employment
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that in 2008 there were about 49,600 home appliance repairers working. Roughly 32 percent worked for retail businesses, about 21 percent worked for companies specializing in repair and maintenance, and about 27 percent were self-employed.Job Outlook
The job outlook for trained appliance repairers is projected to be excellent for the next decade. This is due to the increase in population and a corresponding increase in demand for appliances, as well as the lack of qualified appliance repairers. Income and opportunities may be more favorable in large metropolitan areas, but as older workers in the occupation retire, potential openings could be plentiful in all areas.