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Appliance Service Technician

Duties

Appliance service technicians install, service and repair household and commercial appliances such as ranges, ovens, clothes washers, dryers, refrigerators, air conditioners, microwave ovens, dishwashers, waste disposers and compactors.

In general, appliance service technicians:

  • determine why an appliance is not working by getting a description of the problem from the customer, trying the appliance and checking for the most likely causes (e.g., faulty electrical connections)
  • consult manufacturers' service manuals and bulletins when the cause of the problem is not readily apparent, and use specialized tools and testing devices to locate the source of the problem
  • disassemble the appliance, clean all internal parts, replace any faulty or worn parts; and reassemble, adjust and test the appliance to be sure it is working properly
  • answer customers' questions, give cost estimates, advise customers on correct appliance use and care, and demonstrate the proper operation of appliances
  • prepare work orders, complete the necessary reports for billing, and maintain records for parts inventories and future service calls

For more information regarding tasks and activities, please review the Trade Regulation.

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Working Conditions

Appliance service technicians generally work with little supervision. Those who repair portable appliances work indoors at a workbench in a shop. Technicians who repair large appliances usually have to drive a truck with an inventory of parts and tools.

Appliance service technicians usually work a 40-hour week, but may work overtime in an emergency or at busy times of the year. Some work Saturdays and evenings to serve customers and the hours of work can vary considerably for those who are self-employed.

The physical demands of the work vary. Installing and servicing large appliances requires moving heavy appliances and a considerable amount of standing, stooping, kneeling and reaching. Benchwork is not as physically demanding.

There is some risk of physical injury due to electrical shocks, cuts, burns or muscle strain.

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Skills and Abilities

Appliance service technicians are independent and self-motivated individuals who enjoy meeting and helping people. The work is most rewarding for those who like problem-solving and working with their hands.

To be successful in their trade, appliance service technicians must have:

  • good mechanical aptitude and manual dexterity
  • good eyesight and colour vision
  • the ability to pay careful attention to details
  • strength, stamina and the ability to use proper lifting techniques for items in excess of 25 kilograms
  • a willingness to keep up to date with changing technology
  • the ability to figure things out on their own
  • a neat appearance
  • the ability to deal with customers in a courteous and tactful manner.

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Employment and Advancement

Appliance service technicians work for appliance dealers, independent appliance service companies, department stores, appliance manufacturers' own service departments, gas and electric utility companies, and owners of rented commercial appliances.

Journeyperson wage rates vary, but generally range from $20 to $30 an hour, plus benefits.

With experience and knowledge on how to run a small business, appliance service technicians may start their own independent appliance service companies or appliance sales and service outlets. They may also become factory service representatives employed by manufacturers to supervise authorized repair depots in a particular region.

Experienced appliance service technicians employed in larger organizations may become specialists or advance to supervisory positions such as foreman or service manager.

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Working in Alberta

To work as an appliance service technician in Alberta, a person must be a registered apprentice, an Alberta-certified journeyperson, or hold a valid recognized credential.

Individuals possessing a valid recognized credential in Alberta are eligible to receive a Blue Seal business credential after completing the necessary requirements.

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Apprenticeship Training

The term of apprenticeship for an appliance service technician is 3 years (three 12-month periods) including a minimum of 1600 hours of on-the-job training each year, and 8 weeks of technical training in each year.

  • An applicant who previously completed courses of study or work experience related to the appliance service technician trade or holds a related journeyperson certificate and has the employer's recommendation, may qualify for credit that could reduce the term of apprenticeship. Inquiries about credit for previously completed courses of study or work experience can be directed to an apprenticeship representative toll-free at 1-800-248-4823.
  • A person who has previous training or work experience in the trade and wants to determine their level of skill and knowledge for entry or advanced standing in an apprenticeship program may complete the online Prior Learning Assessment Application.  For more information, see the online Prior Learning Assessment Guide.
  • A high school student can become an apprentice and gain credits toward apprenticeship training and a high school diploma at the same time under the Registered Apprenticeship Program (RAP).

To learn the skills required of a appliance service technician in Alberta and be issued an Alberta Journeyman Certificate, a person must:

Most employers prefer to hire high school graduates and may select apprentices from among their current employees.

For holders of an existing trade certificate, it can serve as your entrance requirement equivalency when registering in an additional trade.

  • complete the online Apprenticeship Application and Contract
  • pay the non-refundable application fee as part of the application process 
  • complete the required on-the-job training
    - during on-the-job training, apprentice appliance service technicians earn at least 55 percent of the journeyperson wage rate in their place of employment in the first year, 70 percent in the second, and 85 percent in the third year.
  • complete all of the program requirements as identified in the course outline
  • enroll in technical training
    - select an educational institution that offers training for appliance service technician apprentices, and a time to attend training
    - determine requirements for enrolling at the selected institution, and forward completed enrolment form to the selected institution
  • review books and materials required for training
  • successfully complete all required exams

Apprentices may attempt the Interprovincial Exam in the final period of their apprenticeship training and, if successful, be granted a Red Seal.

When apprentices attend technical training, they are required to pay the applicable tuition fee and purchase course supplies.

Student loans, grants, scholarships and other financial assistance may be available. For more information see Financial Assistance, visit an Apprenticeship and Industry Training office or call toll-free to 1-800-248-4823.

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Interprovincial Standards Red Seal Program

An appliance service technician who holds a valid trade certificate from Alberta or from another Canadian province or territory may apply to write the Interprovincial Exam and, if successful, be granted a Red Seal under the Interprovincial Standards Red Seal Program. The Red Seal is recognized throughout most of Canada.
To prepare for the exam see the Exam Counselling Sheets and review available resource materials.

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Qualification Certificate Program

For a Qualification Certificate based on a recognized credential or work experience in order to prepare for the exam(s) please refer to the Exam Counselling Sheets and review available resource materials.

Time spent on supervisory or foreman duties, counter work, heading the tool crib, or on training course is NOT counted as 'hands-on' work experience.

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Equivalency Program

A person who holds a valid recognized credential does not require an Alberta equivalency document to work in the trade in Alberta.

However, some employers may require Alberta documentation as proof that the holder is allowed to work in the trade or that the holder's credential is recognized.

More information regarding the Equivalency Program can be found here.

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