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Vending Machine Servicer and Repairer

Vending Machine Servicer and Repairer

Education and Training On-the-job training

Salary Median—$26,333 per year

Employment Outlook Fair

Definition and Nature of the Work

Vending machine servicers, also known as vending machine route workers, are the people who stock and service vending machines. There are millions of vending machines in the United States today that dispense everything from candy bars and hot soup to pencils and toiletries. Although vending machine servicers are employed by vending companies, they work alone and at their own pace. Workers travel their own routes and are in charge of all the machines on that route. Servicers install the machines, collect the money from them, and replace the items that have been bought. They also keep records of the money they collect and the merchandise that is sold from the machines.

Vending machine servicers usually transport their goods by truck or van, so they must be good drivers. They are responsible for delivering merchandise safely. Servicers may also make simple adjustments to the machines to keep them running smoothly. Broken machines are removed and taken to a repair shop. Workers who do these complex repairs are called vending machine repairers.

Servicers and repairers may be their company's only representative in the field. They must be prepared to deal with customer requests and complaints. Servicers may have to determine whether the machines are profitable. If a servicer notices that a machine is not used very much, he or she may suggest that it be removed or replaced with a machine that offers a product in greater demand by customers.

Education and Training Requirements

Employers prefer applicants who have a high school education. Applicants must have a driver's license to be a servicer, and most employers require a clean driving record. Many states require that servicers have a chauffeur's license.

Formal preparation is not needed because most of the training takes place on the job. New employees learn the job by traveling with experienced workers. The training period lasts several weeks, and then new servicers are given their own route. Some companies also provide classroom training for workers.

Vending machine repairers are sometimes required to have prior training in electronics or machine repair. Many vocational high schools and junior colleges offer basic training courses in electronics and machine repair. Servicers and repairers are also encouraged to attend training sessions sponsored by machine manufacturers.

Getting the Job

To get a job as a servicer or repairer, interested individuals should apply directly to the vending companies for which they would like to work. Newspaper want ads and career sites on the Internet may also list openings. Private employment agencies and state employment offices sometimes provide help in finding a job.

Advancement Possibilities and Employment Outlook

Vending machine servicers or repairers may become route supervisors or branch managers. Sometimes the experience that servicers or repairers receive helps them get good jobs in other business fields.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of vending machine servicers and repairers was expected to grow more slowly than the average for all occupations between 2004 and 2014. Though the number of vending machines will likely increase, newer vending machines hold more food and break down less often, requiring fewer workers to maintain them.

Working Conditions

Vending machine servicers and repairers generally work forty hours a week.

They work irregular hours if customers are open on weekends or at night or if repairs must be made right away. Servicers and repairers must be able to drive a truck in all kinds of weather, including torrential downpours, snow, and icy conditions. Physical labor is a part of the job because servicers must load and unload merchandise. Many vending machine servicers and repairers belong to labor unions.

Where to Go for More Information

International Brotherhood of Teamsters
25 Louisiana Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 624-6800

National Automatic Merchandising Association
20 N. Wacker Dr., Ste. 3500
Chicago, IL 60606-3102
(312) 346-0370

Earnings and Benefits

Earnings vary depending on experience and location of the work. Vending machine repairers and servicers earned a median annual income of $26,333 in 2004, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Some workers are paid a commission in addition to their base salaries, and many receive benefits, including paid holidays and vacations, health insurance, and retirement plans.

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