General Maintenance and Repair Workers

Career, Salary and Education Information

What They Do: General maintenance and repair workers fix and maintain machines, mechanical equipment, and buildings.

Work Environment: General maintenance and repair workers often carry out many different tasks in a single day. They could work at any number of indoor or outdoor locations. They may work inside a single building, such as a hotel or hospital, or be responsible for the maintenance of many buildings, such as those in an apartment complex or on a college campus.

How to Become One: Jobs in this occupation typically require a high school diploma or equivalent. General maintenance and repair workers often learn their skills on the job for several years. They start out performing simple tasks while watching and learning from skilled maintenance workers.

Salary: The median annual wage for general maintenance and repair workers is $43,180.

Job Outlook: Employment of general maintenance and repair workers is projected to grow 8 percent over the next ten years, about as fast as the average for all occupations.

Related Careers: Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of general maintenance and repair workers with similar occupations.

Following is everything you need to know about a career as a maintenance and repair worker with lots of details. As a first step, take a look at some of the following jobs, which are real jobs with real employers. You will be able to see the very real job career requirements for employers who are actively hiring. The link will open in a new tab so that you can come back to this page to continue reading about the career:

Top 3 General Maintenance and Repair Jobs

  • General Maintenance Worker (Facilities Maintenance) - Fairbanks, AK - Northern Management Services, Inc. - Fairbanks, AK

    General Maintenance Worker (Facilities Maintenance ) - Fairbanks, AK Federal O&M Contractor seeking ... Will be responsible to perform gen mtnc/ repair of equip & bldgs using practical skill & knowledge ...

  • General Maintenance Worker, Part-Time, Weekends - Action Facilities Management Inc - Massena, NY

    The General Maintenance Worker performs general maintenance and repair of equipment and buildings requiring practical skill and knowledge in such trades as painting, carpentry, plumbing, masonry ...

  • Ranch Facilities Maintenance & Repair Manager - Pomponio Ranch - San Gregorio, CA

    General Ranch maintenance and upkeep as needed * Oversee all maintenance records and repairs for all equipment and vehicles * Order and assist in the management of primary parts and office supplies ...

See all General Maintenance and Repair jobs

What General Maintenance and Repair Workers Do[About this section] [To Top]

General maintenance and repair workers fix and maintain machines, mechanical equipment, and buildings. They paint, repair flooring, and work on plumbing, electrical, and air-conditioning and heating systems.

Duties of General Maintenance and Repair Workers

General maintenance and repair workers typically do the following:

  • Maintain and repair machines, mechanical equipment, and buildings
  • Fix or replace faulty electrical switches, outlets, and circuit breakers
  • Inspect and diagnose problems and figure out the best way to correct them
  • Perform routine preventive maintenance to ensure that machines continue to run smoothly
  • Assemble and set up machinery or equipment
  • Plan repair work using blueprints or diagrams
  • Do general cleaning and upkeep of buildings and properties
  • Order supplies from catalogs and storerooms
  • Meet with clients to estimate repairs and costs
  • Keep detailed records of their work

General maintenance and repair workers are hired for maintenance and repair tasks that are not complex enough to need the specialized training of a licensed tradesperson, such as a plumber or electrician.

These workers are also responsible for recognizing when a job is above their skill level and requires the expertise of an electrician; a carpenter; a heating, air-conditioning, and refrigeration mechanic or installer; or a plumber, pipefitter, or steamfitter.

General maintenance and repair workers may fix or paint roofs, windows, doors, floors, woodwork, walls, and other parts of buildings.

They also maintain and repair specialized equipment and machinery in cafeterias, laundries, hospitals, stores, offices, and factories.

General maintenance and repair workers get supplies and parts from distributors or storerooms to fix problems. They use common hand and power tools, such as screwdrivers, saws, drills, wrenches, and hammers to fix, replace, or repair equipment and parts of buildings.

Work Environment for General Maintenance and Repair Workers[About this section] [To Top]

General maintenance and repair workers hold about 1.4 million jobs. The largest employers of general maintenance and repair workers are as follows:

Real estate and rental and leasing 23%
Manufacturing 13%
Government 12%
Educational services; state, local, and private 8%
Healthcare and social assistance 8%

General maintenance and repair workers often carry out many different tasks in a single day at any number of locations. They may work inside a single building, such as a hotel or hospital, or be responsible for the maintenance of many buildings, such as those in an apartment complex or on a college campus.

General maintenance and repair workers may have to stand for long periods or lift heavy objects. These workers may work in uncomfortably hot or cold environments, in uncomfortable or cramped positions, or on ladders. The work involves a lot of walking, climbing, and reaching.

Injuries and Illnesses for General Maintenance and Repair Workers

General maintenance workers have one of the highest rates of injuries and illnesses of all occupations. Workers risk electrical shocks, falls, cuts, and bruises.

General Maintenance and Repair Worker Work Schedules

Most general maintenance workers work full time, including evenings or weekends. Some are on call for emergency repairs.

How to Become a General Maintenance and Repair Worker[About this section] [To Top]

Get the education you need: Find schools for General Maintenance and Repair Workers near you!

Jobs in this field typically do not require any formal education beyond high school. General maintenance and repair workers often learn their skills on the job. They start by doing simple tasks and watching and learning from skilled maintenance workers.

Education for General Maintenance and Repair Workers

Many maintenance and repair workers learn some basic skills in high school shop or technical education classes, postsecondary trade or vocational schools, or community colleges.

Courses in mechanical drawing, electricity, woodworking, blueprint reading, mathematics, and computers are useful. Maintenance and repair workers often do work that involves electrical, plumbing, heating, and air-conditioning systems or painting and roofing tasks. Workers need a good working knowledge of many repair and maintenance tasks.

Practical training, available at many adult education centers and community colleges, is another option for workers to learn tasks such as drywall repair and basic plumbing.

General Maintenance and Repair Worker Training

General maintenance and repair workers usually start by watching and learning from skilled maintenance workers. They begin by doing simple tasks, such as fixing leaky faucets and replacing lightbulbs. After gaining experience, general maintenance and repair workers move on to more difficult tasks, such as overhauling machinery or building walls.

Some general maintenance and repair workers learn their skills by assisting other types of repair or construction workers, including machinery repairers, carpenters, or electricians.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations for General Maintenance and Repair Workers

Licensing requirements vary by state and locality. For more complex tasks, workers may need to be licensed in a particular specialty, such as electrical or plumbing work.

Advancement for General Maintenance and Repair Workers

Some maintenance and repair workers decide to train in one specific craft and become craftworkers, such as electricians, heating and air-conditioning mechanics, or plumbers.

Other maintenance workers eventually open their own repair or contracting business. However, those who want to become a project manager or own their own business may need some postsecondary education or a degree in construction management. For more information, see the profile on construction managers.

Within small organizations, promotion opportunities may be limited.

Important Qualities for General Maintenance and Repair Workers

Customer-service skills. These workers interact with customers on a regular basis. They need to be friendly and able to address customers' questions.

Dexterity. Many repair and maintenance tasks, such as repairing small devices, connecting or attaching components, and using hand tools, require a steady hand and good hand–eye coordination.

Troubleshooting skills. Workers find, diagnose, and repair problems. They perform tests to figure out the cause of problems before fixing equipment.

General Maintenance and Repair Worker Salaries[About this section] [More salary/earnings info] [To Top]

The median annual wage for general maintenance and repair workers is $43,180. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $28,910, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $62,400.

The median annual wages for general maintenance and repair workers in the top industries in which they work are as follows:

Manufacturing $48,060
Educational services; state, local, and private $46,910
Government $46,700
Healthcare and social assistance $39,070
Real estate and rental and leasing $37,900

Most general maintenance and repair workers work full time, including evenings and weekends. Some are on call for emergency repairs.

Job Outlook for General Maintenance and Repair Workers[About this section] [To Top]

Employment of general maintenance and repair workers is projected to grow 8 percent over the next ten years, about as fast as the average for all occupations.

About 152,300 openings for general maintenance and repair workers are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.

Employment of General Maintenance and Repair Workers

Maintenance and repair work is closely related to the demand for home and building maintenance. Maintenance and repair workers will continue to be needed to upgrade and renovate older homes. Homeowners may invest in projects to accommodate their future living needs, allowing them to remain in their homes after retirement or to sell their property.

In addition to the work required for residential properties, maintenance and repair is also needed for nonresidential properties. For example, maintenance and repair workers will be needed to work on older commercial and public buildings. Older homes and buildings typically require more maintenance or repair, especially for pipes, insulation, electrical, and air-conditioning and heating systems.

Employment projections data for General Maintenance and Repair Workers, 2020-30
Occupational Title Employment, 2020 Projected Employment, 2030 Change, 2020-30
Percent Numeric
Maintenance and repair workers, general 1,444,100 1,561,100 8 117,000


A portion of the information on this page is used by permission of the U.S. Department of Labor.


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