An appliance repairman, a title which can refer to a man or a woman, performs maintenance and repairs on various household fixtures and appliances. He or she may specialize in repairing small appliances, such as vacuum cleaners and toasters, or larger appliances and fixtures, such as refrigerators and dishwashers. Many appliance repairmen receive special training to work on heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) units, or complete plumber training courses to work on residential water and gas pipes. Most repairmen work for appliance service shops and retail stores, though some experienced professionals are self-employed.
People often bring their faulty small appliances to respectable appliance repair shops. A small appliance repairman will usually ask the client questions and carefully inspect the machine to diagnose the problem. Some jobs require simple repairs, such as changing a brush or belt on a vacuum cleaner, while others require very careful handiwork and attention to detail, such as replacing wires and diodes on a small electric device. When a machine requires a new part, the repairman will check the back stock at his or her shop and order parts from wholesalers or manufacturers when necessary. Self-employed repairmen often assume additional administrative duties of running a business, such as managing bills and customer accounts.
Many repairmen make house calls, visiting clients' homes and businesses to perform repairs on large appliances. An appliance repairman routinely diagnoses and fixes problems with refrigerators, washers, dryers, ovens, and other large equipment. He or she may perform general repairs or specialize with a certain type of device, such as HVAC systems. A repairman may use a variety of hand and power tools to dismantle systems, test electrical devices, connect wires, and secure water and gas lines. Specialists may be required to obtain special certification or licensing to handle hazardous materials, such as refrigerants used in air conditioning systems, refrigerators, and freezers.
A high school diploma is the minimum requirement to become an appliance repairman. Many employers prefer to hire persons who have completed one to two year appliance repair programs at community colleges or vocational schools. New repairmen typically work as assistants for a period of up to one year, helping experienced repairmen with routine jobs and gaining firsthand experience of the trade. Some professionals choose to obtain certification from an accredited organization, such as the Professional Service Association in the United States, to improve their knowledge, credentials, and odds of finding steady employment. An appliance repairman may also choose to obtain journey worker certification or an HVAC license by taking continuing education classes and additional exams.