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Appliance Installation and Repair Technology/Technician

Program Description

Just the Facts

Appliance Installation and Repair Technology/Technician. A program that prepares individuals to apply technical knowledge and skills to repair, install, and service major gas, electric, and microwave consumer appliances such as stoves, refrigerators, dryers, water heaters, washers, dishwashers, and commercial units such as ice makers and coffee makers.

This program is available in these options:

  • Certificate / Diploma
  • Associate degree

High School Courses

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See the high school courses recommended for programs in this pathway:

Related Careers

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Additional Information

Appliance repair students will tell you that the lonely repairman in the Maytag ads is obviously a fictional character. In actual fact, students can look forward to busy, rewarding careers fixing everything from dishwashers to air conditioners.

Programs range from nine months to three years. It depends on whether it's a college pre-employment program or an apprenticeship, which combines college and on-the-job training. Most programs are accredited, but you should check with the individual school to see if it's recognized by the professional organization in your region.

Students learn to diagnose problems with different systems.

"They will have the understanding of how the various devices work, how each of the internal components work individually and with each other, and an understanding of how to interpret readings from both electrical and mechanical-type meters to determine which component is responsible for the appliance not working," says John Smith. He is an appliance repair instructor at a technical college.

Prospective students must exhibit mechanical aptitude, says Smith. "They need to have the ability to work with their hands, to recognize which way to turn a screw. And they need an understanding of tools and tool applications."

Concentrate on math, chemistry and physics classes in high school. In particular, students need to be familiar with Ohm's Law.

"The understanding of electricity and the understanding of refrigeration are applied physics," Smith explains. "Chemistry comes in handy when you're talking about the action of detergents and the relationships in refrigerants, particularly organic chemistry."

You'll also need reading skills and computer knowledge. Lonnie McRay is an instructor with Ouachita Vo-Tech Skills Center in Oklahoma. He says reading comprehension is often a problem.

"When you get into most of the machinery which we work with, you use technical manuals," he explains. "If you can't understand what it's telling you, you're in trouble."

Equipment and materials are often covered in the cost of tuition (but you'll still have to buy books). In some programs, students can bring their own equipment, but only after they have passed certain sections of the courses.

"If we're using a particular type of meter, we'll want them to know that meter because it's the one we'll be using as an example in most of the testing," explains Smith. "They do it our way first, and they can start to discover their own later."


Occupational Outlook Handbook
For more information related to this field of study, see: Home Appliance Repairers

Home Repair
Links to different articles about appliance repair

Appliance Care and Repair FAQs
Start learning with this do-it-yourself site


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