Maintenance and repair workers
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Overview
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, among other tasks.
Predicted employment growth
Over the next decade, jobs for maintenance and repair workers, general are expected to grow by 8%, and should have about 155,500 job openings a year.
Safety from automation
The likelihood of autmoation for ${title} is near the middle of all careers' likelihoods.
Workforce size
Maintenance and repair workers, general, with 1,432,600 workers, form a larger workforce than 97% of careers.
Education
Only 7% of maintenance and repair workers have a bachelor's degree or higher.
Education attained by maintenance and repair workers
High School
Some College
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate
Context: workers with bachelor's degrees
Fewer maintenance and repair workers have bachelor's degrees than 75% of other careeers.
Salaries
The median (middle) salary for 69% of all other jobs is higher than the middle salary for maintenance and repair workers, general. The graph shows inflation-adjusted salaries for most maintenance and repair workers, general.
This job's median $38KAll jobs' median $39K$39K$38K20142015201620172018$0$20K$40K$60K$80K
Context: Median Salary
Gender
Women account for 3% of maintenance and repair workers -- that's a smaller percentage than 90% of other jobs.
Gender of maintenance and repair workers
Men
Women
Context: Salary inequity
For each career, we compared the median (middle) men's salary to the median women's salary. For maintenance and repair workers, the median men's salary was 15% more the median woman's salary.
Race/Origin
About 15% of maintenance and repair workers are minority, and 16% are foreign-born.
Race/origin of maintenance and repair workers
White
Black
Pacific Islander
Hispanic
Asian
American Indian
Multiracial
Other
Context: Foreign-born workers (16%)
Where are the most jobs?
We ranked the number of jobs in Maintenance and Repair Workers, General per thousand workers in each state, DC, and Puerto Rico. The darker the blue, the higher the job density.
AKMEVTNHWAIDMTNDMNMINYMARIORUTWYSDIAWIINOHPANJCTCANVCONEMOILKYWVVAMDDEAZNMKSARTNNCSCDCOKLAMSALGAHITXFLPR
Job benefits
Employer or union-sponsored pension plans are offered to 50% of maintenance and repair workers, and 69% have company-sponsored health insurance (12% have dependents enrolled in their employer's health plan).
Employer-provided health coverage for maintenance and repair workers
100% premiums covered
Partial premiums covered
Plan with no cost sharing
No health insurance
The downside
Some jobs are more stressful than others, and some are just plain dangerous. The following list gives the percentages of maintenance and repair workers, general who report hazardous or difficult situations typically occurring at least once a week.
  • Exposed to Contaminants (90%)
  • Exposed to Hazardous Equipment (86%)
  • Exposed to Hazardous Conditions (60%)
  • Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings (60%)
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety (57%)
  • Exposed to High Places (52%)
  • Time Pressure (52%)
  • Frequency of Conflict Situations (49%)
  • Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People (49%)
  • Exposed to Disease or Infections (44%)
  • Consequence of Error (32%)
SOURCES:24.0 O*NET
Salary and diversity
Salary overview
What do maintenance and repair workers earn?

In this section, we want to give you a clear idea of what you can expect to earn in this career. We use two sources of data here: the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which asks employers to classify their workforce and to report salaries using the SOC-specialty level of reporting, and the American Community Survey (ACS), which asks people to classify their jobs using the broad classifications that ididio uses for career profiles, and to self-report their salaries. For some jobs, the differences in survey approaches between BLS and ACS can paint a very different end-picture. Whenever possible, we provide data from both sources.

The BLS-compiled salary data is reported by companies for their employees. This data excludes self-employed workers. We first show the distribution of salaries for maintenance and repair workers, general, and then we show how the middle (median) salary for maintenance and repair workers, general compares to the BLS-computed median salaries of other careers.
Distribution: Salaries for maintenance and repair workers, general (BLS Salary Data)
$38K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Context: Median salaries across careers (BLS Salary Data)
$38K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
We compiled household data from the ACS to determine the salaries that people working at least 35 hours a week report themselves to earn. Unlike the BLS estimates, this data includes self-employed wages. We first show the full salary distribution for all maintenance and repair workers, and then we show how the median (middle) salary for maintenance and repair workers compares to the median ACS-reported salary of other careers.
Distribution: Salaries for maintenance and repair workers (ACS Salary Data)
$42K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Context: Median salaries across careers (ACS Salary Data)
$42K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Employers and salary
A look at employers and corresponding salaries
The donut shares the break-down of workers by employer type, and following we show the salary distributions for these workers based on those employer types. For some careers, the salaries can be vastly different between private, government, and self-employment. As with our salary overview, we view the both the BLS economists' salary profiles and the household-reported salaries from ACS to get a thorough understanding of where maintenance and repair workers, general work and for what salary. We have the great faith in the accuracy of economist-vetted BLS data; however, the BLS restrictions on which employers are surveyed skews the data a bit (read more in the sources), and the ACS responses provide different and useful categorizations of employers and salaries.
Employers of Maintenance and repair workers (ACS)
Private for-profit (75.8%)
Private not-for-profit (4.7%)
Local government (6.9%)
State government (3.2%)
Federal government (6.5%)
Self-employed incorporated (1.1%)
Self-employed not incorporated (1.7%)
Working without pay (0.1%)
Distribution: Salaries of maintenance and repair workers by type of employer (ACS data)
Following are the salary distributions by employer type calculated by aggregating individual household survey responses.
$42K$43K$31K$43K$45K$41K$47K$39K$0$20,000$40,000$60,000$80,000$100,000Self-employed not incorporatedSelf-employed incorporatedFederal governmentState governmentLocal governmentPrivate not-for-profitPrivate for-profitAll
Distribution: Salaries of maintenance and repair workers, general by type of employer (BLS data)
Following are the salary distributions by employer type as reported by BLS based on large employer-focused surveys. We note that smaller employer categories are not included by BLS.
$38K$60K$41K$38K$39K$0$20,000$40,000$60,000$80,000Federal governmentState governmentLocal governmentPrivateAll
Age and career advancement
Salary growth for maintenance and repair workers

The biggest take-away from the following two charts is the relationship between salary and experience that we can infer from age. Does this job seem to attract especially younger or older workers? Does it reward experience?

Take a minute a look at how much you might expect your salary to increase with each five years' experience, as well as how the numbers working in this career changes. We only provide this data when there are enough consistent ACS survey responses to allow a reasonable margin of error, so for some careers you will see gaps in our reporting of salary by age.

$47K$27K$47K$43K$47K$47K$45K$37K$41K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100KSalary distribution20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64
020K40K60K80KNumber employed20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64

Our only sources for career data containing age, gender, or origin/race come from the Census Bureau. To provide these breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, and age. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of age, gender, and race on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

Gender and Equity
Maintenance and repair workers and gender

With 3% women, this occupation has a lower percentage of women than 90% of careers.

Context: Women in the workforce
3%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Gender of Maintenance and repair workers
Men (97%)
Women (3%)
Distribution: Salaries by gender

As we'll illustrate at the bottom of this section, the median salary for all full-time male workers in the US exceeds the full-time median salary for women by 20%. The situation is a little better for maintenance and repair workers, with the median salary for men 15% higher than the median salary for women. This chart shows you the salary range for most workers by gender.

$37K$43K$0$20K$40K$60K$80KWomenMen
Context: Salary Inequity

Nationwide there are twenty careers for which men do not have a higher median (middle) salary than women. The chart below shows the salary inequity, the percentage by which the median men's salary is higher than the median women's salary, for most jobs. Maintenance and repair workers have one of the middle percentage increases for men's salary, with the increase for the men's median salary over the women's median salary in this job higher than that for 43% of other jobs.

15%0%20%40%60%80%100%

Our only sources for career data containing age, gender, or origin/race come from the Census Bureau. To provide these breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, and age. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of age, gender, and race on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

Race/Origin
Race and origin of maintenance and repair workers

The representation of minority and foreign-born workers is quite different between careers, and the relative pay of those workers also varies significantly between careers. There is a smaller percentage of minority maintenance and repair workers than for 71% of other careers. Although this career does not include a large percentage of minorities, it does hire more foreign-born people that most other careers.

Race/origin of maintenance and repair workers
White (79% )
Black (9% )
Other (6% )
Asian (3% )
Multiracial (2% )
Hispanic (1% )
American Indian (1% )
Pacific Islander (0% )
Context: Representation of minorities in the workforce
15%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Context: Representation of foreign-born workers
16%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Distribution: Salaries for maintenance and repair workers by race/origin

For some careers, there is a pay disparity depending on race or origin, though this is not prevalent. We calculate standard errors for all of our calculations, and when the error is high we do not show results. Therefore, for some jobs will have omitted race/origin categories.

$36K$37K$37K$38K$39K$44K$45K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100KAmerican IndianOtherBlackHispanicMultiracialWhiteAsian
Distribution: Salaries for maintenance and repair workers by nativity
$39K$43K$0$20K$40K$60K$80KAll foreign-bornAll native citizens

Our only sources for career data containing age, gender, or origin/race come from the Census Bureau. To provide these breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, and age. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of age, gender, and race on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

Pathways to this career
Education requirements and salary
Education attained by maintenance and repair workers, general

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), maintenance and repair workers, general typically hold a high school diploma or equivalent.

Sometimes the typical education identified by the BLS differs a bit from the reality of the how much education current workers actually have. The donut shows the education level held by people currently working as maintenance and repair workers as reported in responses to the American Community Survey. Following, we investigate whether education level influences salary for maintenance and repair workers.

Education attained by maintenance and repair workers
None
High School
Some College
Associate's Degree
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Professional Deg/Doct
Doctorate
Details: Education and training recommended for maintenance and repair workers, general

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.

Details: Licensing and certification recommended for maintenance and repair workers, general

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.

Distribution: Salary by education level

What level of education is truly needed for maintenance and repair workers? Below we see the distribution of maintenance and repair workers salaries based on the education attained. These comparisons are based on all survey responses by those who identified themselves as maintenance and repair workers, and are not intended as a statistical analysis of salary differences that would correct for non-educational factors that could contribute to high or low earnings.

$35K$41K$46K$49K$48K$51K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120KNone (12%)High School (41%)Some College (29%)Associate's Degree (11%)Bachelor's Degree (6%)Master's Degree (1%)
Certificate/degree pathways

The Department of Education recommends the following college degree programs as preparation for this career. You can click the program row to learn more about the program and explore a list of schools that offer the program.

Program
Education
Education level of awarded degrees
Less than bachelor's
bachelor's degree
Higher than bachelor's
Gender
Gender of graduates
Men
Women
Race/Origin
Race/origin of graduates
White
Minority
International
Number of degrees awarded in 2017
Building/Property Maintenance
1,940
Switching Careers
Most common new jobs
The most common next careers for maintenance and repair workers

What jobs will most maintenance and repair workers hold next year?

The data in this chart comes from person interviews for the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey. The survey interviews households eight times over a two-year period, allowing us a glimpse into how people move from job to job. You can see more details from the results of the survey in our last tab in this section, and you can read about our methodology in our source descriptions.

Here we see all of the jobs that at least 1% of maintenance and repair workers reported holding in their second year's survey. Is your future job on this list?

Maintenance and repair workersJanitors and building cleanersIndustrial and refractory machinery mechanicsHeavy vehicle and mobile equipment service technicians and mechanicsInstallation, maintenance, and repair workersBus and truck mechanics and diesel engine specialistsGrounds maintenance workersHeating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installersConstruction laborersAutomotive service technicians and mechanicsDriver/sales workers and truck driversPipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfittersCarpentersFirst-line supervisors of mechanics, installers, and repairersReal estate managersHand laborers and freight, stock, and material movers
Lateral career moves
Lateral job transitions for maintenance and repair workers

A lateral career transition is a move to a job with similar pay and responsibilities. A move to such a job can offer a change of pace without an increase in stress or a decrease in pay. The following table simply identifies all 13 jobs which were held by at least 1% of survey respondents before working as maintenance and repair workers as well as 1% of respondents after working as maintenance and repair workers. Select a row to investigate the job's full description and determine if it truly offers an opportunity for a lateral transition.

Lateral-move careers for maintenance and repair workers
Annual openings
How many openings are expected each year?
Salary
Salary distribution for people in this occupation. Range is 0-$200,000.
Median
Middle 50%
Middle 80%
Education
High School
Some College
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate
Gender
Men
Women
Hand laborers and freight, stock, and material movers
389,900
$0$200K$28K
Janitors and building cleaners
350,300
$0$200K$27K
Grounds maintenance workers
191,100
$0$200K$23K
Construction laborers
153,300
$0$200K$30K
Carpenters
113,800
$0$200K$34K
Automotive service technicians and mechanics
78,200
$0$200K$36K
Pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters
68,500
$0$200K$44K
First-line supervisors of mechanics, installers, and repairers
43,600
$0$200K$59K
Heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers
39,100
$0$200K$43K
Industrial and refractory machinery mechanics
33,200
$0$200K$50K
Bus and truck mechanics and diesel engine specialists
28,500
$0$200K$43K
Installation, maintenance, and repair workers
22,800
$0$200K$39K
Heavy vehicle and mobile equipment service technicians and mechanics
20,400
$0$200K$51K
Full prior and next career listings
Prior and next careers for maintenance and repair workers: full listings

What do people typically do before and after they work as maintenance and repair workers? Here are the full lists of all jobs that at least 1% of maintenance and repair workers surveyed reported as holding a year earlier or later.

Choose which type of transition to view
Prior jobs
Next jobs
Prior careers for maintenance and repair workers
Annual openings
How many openings are expected each year?
Salary
Salary distribution for people in this occupation. Range is 0-$200,000.
Median
Middle 50%
Middle 80%
Education
High School
Some College
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate
Gender
Men
Women
Percentage Transitioning
What percentage worked in this job the previous year?
Hand laborers and freight, stock, and material movers
389,900
$0$200K$28K
2.3%
Janitors and building cleaners
350,300
$0$200K$27K
12.9%
Grounds maintenance workers
191,100
$0$200K$23K
1.9%
Maintenance and repair workers
155,500
$0$200K$42K
19.2%
Construction laborers
153,300
$0$200K$30K
2.5%
Carpenters
113,800
$0$200K$34K
1.1%
Electricians
83,100
$0$200K$49K
1.2%
Automotive service technicians and mechanics
78,200
$0$200K$36K
2.2%
Pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters
68,500
$0$200K$44K
1.4%
Welding, soldering, and brazing workers
51,000
$0$200K$39K
1.4%
First-line supervisors of mechanics, installers, and repairers
43,600
$0$200K$59K
1.5%
Heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers
39,100
$0$200K$43K
1.4%
Industrial and refractory machinery mechanics
33,200
$0$200K$50K
6.6%
Bus and truck mechanics and diesel engine specialists
28,500
$0$200K$43K
1.2%
Installation, maintenance, and repair workers
22,800
$0$200K$39K
1.8%
Heavy vehicle and mobile equipment service technicians and mechanics
20,400
$0$200K$51K
3.3%
Precision instrument and equipment repairers
6,700
$0$200K$50K
1.1%
No occupation
5.7%
Read about maintenance and repair workers, general
Responsibilities and activities
Responsibilities and activities

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.

Personality and skills
Personality and skills

Can you see yourself in the ranks of maintenance and repair workers, general? Here are the skills and traits that could lead to success.

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.
Trends in employment
Salary trends
Distribution and trends: Salaries for maintenance and repair workers, general
Choose actual dollars or inflation-adjusted dollars to view
Adjusted for inflation
Historic dollars

In 2018, the median (middle) for 69% of all other jobs were higher than the median (middle) salary for maintenance and repair workers, general. This graphic shows how the salary distribution (adjusted for inflation) has changed for this job over recent years. The gray line, as a comparison, shows the median salary of all US workers.

This job's median $38KAll jobs' median $39K$40K$39K201020112012201320142015201620172018$0$20K$40K$60K$80K
Projected versus actual employment
Exploring actual employment trends versus projected trends

Currently, jobs for maintenance and repair workers, general are anticipated to grow by 8% over the next decade, which is faster growth than is predicted for 49% of other jobs.

The projected employment for maintenance and repair workers, general is the best guess created by talented economists and statisticians at the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). However, as you look through several careers you'll notice that the projections are heavily influenced by past performance and may miss current trends. No one can tell the future, and as new information and better techniques are developed, actual counts and future projections may change. Here's a glimpse at the actual counts versus the projections over time.

201020152020202520300500,0001,000,0001,500,0002,000,000
Employment counts
Actual measured employment
BLS 10-year predictions
Variation by state
Employment
State-by-state employment numbers

Some careers tend to be centered in specific parts of the country. For example, most jobs in fashion are in New York or California. Let's see if your dream job is easy to find in your dream location! We have a few choices for viewing the data that can help you get a full employment picture.

Job density versus job count

Which states hire the most maintenance and repair workers, general? We wonder if that's a fair question since states come in all sizes, so instead let's start with the question of which states have the highest density of people working as maintenance and repair workers, general. You can choose to view the number of jobs per state if you prefer.

BLS vs ACS data

This map defaults to employment information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which provides job totals carefully compiled for accuracy and with a primary focus on how employers describe their workers. The BLS job totals do not count self-employed workers. We've also compiled totals using the Census Bureau's American Community Survey (ACS) which are based on how workers describe themselves. Sometimes ACS results are quite a bit different from the employer-based BLS data.

Choose the metric to review
Jobs per 1000 working
Number of jobs
Use this data source
BLS
Number of Maintenance and Repair Workers, General per 1,000 workers (BLS)
Select a state to see local area details
AKMEVTNHWAIDMTNDMNMINYMARIORUTWYSDIAWIINOHPANJCTCANVCONEMOILKYWVVAMDDEAZNMKSARTNNCSCDCOKLAMSALGAHITXFLPR
0.05.010.015.0
Salary
Salaries by state
Let's get a feel for where maintenance and repair workers, general earn the highest salaries. There are several choices for which data we consider and how we view that data, and each can lead to different conclusions, so please read on...
Median salary versus state ratio

We use two methods to compare salaries across states:

  • In-state comparisons: the ratio of median (middle) salaries for maintenance and repair workers compared to the median salary for all people working in each state, or
  • Median salary: the unaltered median salaries for maintenance and repair workers.

We hope the ratio allows perspective about how salaries may compare to the regional cost-of-living.

BLS vs ACS data

We have two sources for statewide salary information with important distinctions. The BLS data is created by surveying companies, missing individuals who are self-employed or work for smaller companies. The ACS data is compiled from multi-faceted household surveys and may reflect the inconsistencies that people may have in reporting information.

Choose the metric to review
In-state comparisions
Median salary
Use this data source
BLS
Median salary ratio: Maintenance and Repair Workers, General to all workers (BLS)
The darkest shading corresponds to states in which maintenance and repair workers, general earn the highest salary when compared to other jobs in the state. We think this ratio might be a better indicator than the actual salary for your buying power as a state resident.
Select a state to see local area details
AKMEVTNHWAIDMTNDMNMINYMARIORUTWYSDIAWIINOHPANJCTCANVCONEMOILKYWVVAMDDEAZNMKSARTNNCSCDCOKLAMSALGAHITXFLPR
0.00.20.40.60.81.01.2
Compare to similar jobs

If this job interests you, then use the dots below to find other jobs you might like. The dots closer to the top represent jobs that are like Maintenance and repair workers (shown with a blue star). Look for the dots to the right to find the best salaries! (We pulled salary data from BLS, and they give a top salary value of just over $200K to protect privacy, so our graph would go much higher if the salaries were not top coded.)

How should the career similarity be computed

There are a number of ways to measure the similarity of jobs, here are a few we provide:

  • Interests: Also known as a Holland Code - Are you a thinker? A helper? What fits your personality?
  • Environment: Are there hazards? Will you be comfortable? Will it be stressful?
  • Knowledge: What do you need to know the most about?
  • Physical Abilities: Do you need to especially strong or coordinated?
Choose the similarity measure to compare careers
Interests
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Knowledge
Physical Abilities
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