Do You Have What it Takes to Work in Property Maintenance?
More than just a handyman, property maintenance workers are the key people who make sure businesses and apartment buildings run smoothly. Whether a toilet or roof needs to be replaced, these workers are ready to handle the job.
Do you have what it takes to make it in this career? Here’s what you need to know.
How to Become a Property Maintenance Worker
Getting into this line of work doesn’t require a 4-year degree, but you will need a lot of hands-on experience. You’ll start by working along-side experienced maintenance people, making minor repairs including fixing leaky faucets or maintenance work such as cleaning hallways. As you gain more experience, you’ll be able to tackle more complex projects. Taking classes in skilled trades like electrical work, plumbing, carpentry and machine repair, can give you a leg up on other candidates vying for the same position.
The Skills You Need
Property maintenance workers are needed across all types of industries and companies. No matter the job, you’ll need these core skills to land the job.
Part of maintaining a property is making the necessary repairs so a business runs smoothly. That means you need to know how to work on (and fix) a variety of different appliances, machinery, and building structures. These jobs can include patching up drywall, fixing leaky pipes and faucets, replacing electrical switches, refurbishing tools, or touching up painted walls. In order to do any of these projects well, you’ll need a steady hand and good hand-eye coordination.
As you may have guessed, a big part of being a property maintenance worker is cleaning and caring for buildings and/or the grounds that surround them. Mopping floors, trimming trees, washing windows, shoveling snow, mowing lawns, and polishing furniture are just a few examples of work you may be tasked with. That’s why it pays to be physically fit, be able to stand on your feet for long periods of time, and know your way around cleaning supplies.
Along with actually executing property maintenance work, people in this career need certain office skills to keep track of it all. Ordering supplies, taking inventory of tools, scheduling maintenance calls, and keeping accurate financial records are also part of the job. Skills that would serve you in this area include being organized, having a grasp of basic math, and excellent time management.
Customer Service Skills
Communicating with vendors, corresponding with building tenants, managing a cleaning crew, and interacting with company clients are just a few of property maintenance tasks that require great customer service skills. That means you must be a great communicator, know how to listen and follow directions, show initiative, and be a team player.
The Work-Life of a Property Maintenance Worker
In this line of work, your days can be just as varied as your list of responsibilities. You may have to repair a water heater crouched down in an uncomfortable space or work outside in inclement weather. It may require getting up on a roof or being on your feet all day while painting an office. You may even have to travel to different locations if your job encompasses managing multiple properties. As for work schedules, property maintenance personnel work full-time schedules, including nights and weekends. They may even be on-call - ready to work whenever an emergency arises.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in this career will grow by 8% by 2026. The rise in housing sales, especially with many millennial homebuyers going after older homes as well as the continued aging of existing buildings may be driving the demand for these workers. That means it’s a great time to get into this career.
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