Power Tool Repairer
Power Tool Repairer
Education and Training: High school plus training
Salary: Median—$32,960 per year
Employment Outlook: Fair
Definition and Nature of the Work
Tool repairers service a wide range of equipment, including power drills, saws, wrenches, riveters, jack hammers, and pile drivers. Repairers may work for power tool manufacturers, construction equipment dealers, construction contractors, equipment rental companies, or repair shops. In small shops they may repair many types of tools, while in large shops they may specialize in repairing one type of tool.
When power tools do not work, repairers look for sources of trouble, such as faulty electrical connections. They may disassemble the tools to examine the parts for damage or excessive wear. They repair, replace, clean, and lubricate the parts. They then reassemble and test the tools to make sure they are operating.
Power tool repairers also perform routine maintenance to keep the equipment in operation. This includes keeping the tools greased and oiled in addition to periodically cleaning and replacing parts before they are worn. They may keep records that show how often the tools are used, serviced, and repaired.
Power tool repairers use pliers, wrenches, screwdrivers, and soldering guns. They also use welding equipment to weld parts or to make new parts. They may use micrometers and gauges to measure wear on parts and ohmmeters, ammeters, and voltmeters to test electrical systems. Tool repairers study service manuals, wiring diagrams, and troubleshooting guides. They use catalogs to order replacement parts.
Education and Training Requirements
Power tool repairers usually need a high school diploma or its equivalent. High school courses in basic electricity and electronics are useful. Some high schools offer two-year applied physics courses that teach the principles of operating mechanical, fluid, electrical, and thermal devices. Vocational schools offer courses that are good for practical, hands-on experience in equipment operation and service.
Most employers provide additional on-the-job training. Learning to repair the more complex power tools can require up to three years of training. Some large companies, such as power tool manufacturers, have formal training programs that include home-study courses and shop classes. Power tool manufacturers also conduct seminars that last one or two weeks and deal with the repair of a specific tool.
Getting the Job
Potential employers are listed in the Yellow Pages under such headings as "Tools—Power," "Tools—Repairing and Parts," "Contractors' Equipment and Supplies—Dealers and Services," and "Contractors—General." Newspaper classified ads, Internet job banks, and state and local employment offices are other sources of job information. Vocational school graduates should check with the school's placement office. Local union offices may also have information about jobs for power tool repairers.
Advancement Possibilities and Employment Outlook
Power tool repairers are already at the top of their craft. Repairers in large shops or service centers may be promoted to assistant service manager, service manager, and then supervisor. Some may advance to regional service manager or parts manager for tool manufacturers. Experienced repairers may open their own shops.
Employment of power tool repairers is expected to increase more slowly than the average for all occupations through the year 2014. Although the number of power tools is increasing, the use of solid-state circuits, microprocessors, sensing devices, and self-diagnostic tests make the tools more reliable.
Power tool repairers normally work forty-hour weeks. Repair shops are generally well lighted, ventilated, and heated. Most repairers work indoors in the shop. Some repairers work in the field repairing tools that cannot be brought to the shop. In either case, repairers usually work with little or no supervision.
Repairers handle greasy, dirty parts. They may have to lift heavy tools and parts, and they may work in cramped positions. They may handle hot motors and equipment with sharp edges, often requiring protective gear. Safety procedures, which are taught in training, minimize the danger.
Where to Go for More Information
501 Third St. NW
Washington, DC 20001
Associated Equipment Distributors
615 W. Twenty-Second St.
Oak Brook, IL 60523
Earnings and Benefits
The earnings of power tool repairers vary according to their skill level and location and the type of equipment they service. The median income of power tool repairers in 2004 was $32,960 per year. Power tool repairers may also receive such benefits as sick leave, health insurance, and pensions.