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How to Become a Building Maintenance Mechanic

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How to become a Building Maintenance MechanicWhat building maintenance mechanics do

A building maintenance mechanic is responsible for the general upkeep of structures, from private homes to educational institutions to large corporations. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) (, 2012) classifies them as general maintenance and repair workers. Using hand and power tools, building maintenance mechanics fix basic structural problems in areas like roofs, insulation, floors, windows, walls, and doors. They may also clean or paint as part of their maintenance duties, complete clerical tasks such as making estimates and keeping records, and recommend specialists like a plumber or electrician when the problem is above their ability.

How to become a building maintenance mechanic

According to BLS, building maintenance mechanics usually don’t need an advanced college degree to practice their craft -- a high school diploma or vocational training is usually sufficient for entry-level work, and many skills are learned on-the-job. There are many different ways to become a building maintenance mechanic, but here is a typical career path outline, based on information from the BLS:

  • Obtain high-school diploma or GED, perhaps taking classes in science, computers and math
  • Optionally enroll and complete vocational school or community college program, taking relevant building repair classes
  • Achieve entry-level position and polish maintenance skills with on-the-job training
  • Possibly improve job prospects by earning an optional certification like the Certified Maintenance and Reliability Professional from the Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals
  • Consider becoming educated and licensed in a specialty maintenance trade such as plumbing or electrical

Additional training, qualifications, certification or education may be required. No employment is guaranteed by following these steps.

Career outlook for building maintenance mechanics

From the years of 2010 and 2020 the BLS predicts employment of general maintenance and repair workers could increase by up to 11 percent on a national scale, slightly under the 14 percent average for all occupations nationally between 2010 and 2020. The BLS also reasons that demand for this trade may be dependent on the status of the real estate market, while the advent of automated building management systems could reduce future demand.

According to salary data from BLS, general maintenance and repair workers made an annual wage of $35,030 median in 2011, with the lowest-paid 10-percent making up to $20,820 nationally and the highest-paid 10-percent earning up $56,780nationally in 2011.

Earnings for this position are dependent on several factor such as coursework completed, geographic location and career options available.

Quick Facts: General maintenance and repair workers, including building maintenance workers

*All data from, 2012*

2011 National Median Pay    $35,030 per year
$16.84 per hour
Entry-Level Education   High school diploma or equivalent
Work Experience in a Related Occupation None
On-the-job Training     Moderate-term on-the-job training
Number of Jobs, 2011    1,225,540
Job Outlook, 2010-2020     11% nationally (About as fast as national average)
Employment Change, 2010-20    142,000


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition, General Maintenance and Repair Workers,

Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2011, 49-9071 Maintenance and Repair Workers, General,