The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Help installation, maintenance, and repair workers in maintenance, parts replacement, and repair of vehicles, industrial machinery, and electrical and electronic equipment. Perform duties such as furnishing tools, materials, and supplies to other workers; cleaning work area, machines, and tools; and holding materials or tools for other workers.
Sample of reported job titles:
HVAC Helper (Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning Helper); HVAC Installation Helper (Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning Installation Helper); Maintenance Aide; Maintenance Helper; Mechanic Helper; Mechanic Repair Helper; Mechanic’s Assistant; Technician’s Helper
Install or replace machinery, equipment, and new or replacement parts and instruments, using hand or power tools.
Examine and test machinery, equipment, components, and parts for defects to ensure proper functioning.
Tend and observe equipment and machinery to verify efficient and safe operation.
Adjust, connect, or disconnect wiring, piping, tubing, and other parts, using hand or power tools.
Clean or lubricate vehicles, machinery, equipment, instruments, tools, work areas, and other objects, using hand tools, power tools, and cleaning equipment.
Hold or supply tools, parts, equipment, and supplies for other workers.
Diagnose electrical problems and install and rewire electrical components.
Disassemble broken or defective equipment to facilitate repair and reassemble equipment when repairs are complete.
Position vehicles, machinery, equipment, physical structures, and other objects for assembly or installation, using hand tools, power tools, and moving equipment.
Transfer tools, parts, equipment, and supplies to and from work stations and other areas.
Adjust, maintain, and repair tools, equipment, and machines, and assist more skilled workers with similar tasks.
Order new parts to maintain inventory.
Apply protective materials to equipment, components, and parts to prevent defects and corrosion.
Design, weld, and fabricate parts, using blueprints or other mechanical plans.
Assemble and maintain physical structures, using hand or power tools.
Prepare work stations for use by mechanics and repairers.
Hot Technologies are requirements frequently included in employer job postings.
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment — Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling materials.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
Repairing and Maintaining Electronic Equipment — Servicing, repairing, calibrating, regulating, fine-tuning, or testing machines, devices, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of electrical or electronic (not mechanical) principles.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment — Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or watercraft.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
Judging the Qualities of Objects, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
Detailed Work Activities
Inspect mechanical equipment to locate damage, defects, or wear.
Install machine or equipment replacement parts.
Test mechanical equipment to ensure proper functioning.
Connect electrical components or equipment.
Connect hoses to equipment or piping.
Observe equipment in operation to detect potential problems.
Assemble structural components.
Clean equipment, parts, or tools to repair or maintain them in good working order.
Lubricate equipment to allow proper functioning.
Inspect electrical or electronic systems for defects.
Repair electrical components.
Disassemble equipment for maintenance or repair.
Reassemble equipment after repair.
Move materials, equipment, or supplies.
Position equipment using hand tools, power tools, or heavy equipment.
Adjust equipment to ensure optimal performance.
Maintain work equipment or machinery.
Order materials, supplies, or equipment.
Apply protective coverings to objects or surfaces near work areas.
Fabricate parts or components.
Operate welding equipment.
Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 85% responded “Every day.”
Face-to-Face Discussions — 75% responded “Every day.”
Indoors, Not Environmentally Controlled — 71% responded “Every day.”
Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 48% responded “Every day.”
Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 60% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
Work With Work Group or Team — 50% responded “Very important.”
Exposed to Contaminants — 48% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 43% responded “Very important results.”
Contact With Others — 50% responded “Contact with others most of the time.”
Spend Time Standing — 40% responded “More than half the time.”
Frequency of Decision Making — 53% responded “Every day.”
Outdoors, Exposed to Weather — 59% responded “Every day.”
Responsible for Others’ Health and Safety — 39% responded “Very high responsibility.”
Telephone — 55% responded “Every day.”
Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 44% responded “Very important.”
Very Hot or Cold Temperatures — 41% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
Freedom to Make Decisions — 43% responded “Some freedom.”
Exposed to Hazardous Equipment — 36% responded “Every day.”
Structured versus Unstructured Work — 43% responded “Some freedom.”
Electronic Mail — 50% responded “Every day.”
Consequence of Error — 39% responded “Extremely serious.”
Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings — 38% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
Physical Proximity — 44% responded “Moderately close (at arm’s length).”
Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 49% responded “High responsibility.”
Duration of Typical Work Week — 62% responded “40 hours.”
Spend Time Walking and Running — 31% responded “Less than half the time.”
Time Pressure — 30% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
Deal With External Customers — 35% responded “Fairly important.”
Extremely Bright or Inadequate Lighting — 34% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
Coordinate or Lead Others — 32% responded “Very important.”
Exposed to Hazardous Conditions — 31% responded “Every day.”
Exposed to High Places — 39% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
Cramped Work Space, Awkward Positions — 43% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 28% responded “Important.”
In an Enclosed Vehicle or Equipment — 25% responded “Every day.”
Spend Time Bending or Twisting the Body — 41% responded “More than half the time.”
Wear Specialized Protective or Safety Equipment such as Breathing Apparatus, Safety Harness, Full Protection Suits, or Radiation Protection — 33% responded “Once a year or more but not every month.”
In an Open Vehicle or Equipment — 34% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
- Job Zone Two: Some Preparation Needed
- These occupations usually require a high school diploma.
- Related Experience
- Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.
- Job Training
- Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
- Job Zone Examples
- These occupations often involve using your knowledge and skills to help others. Examples include orderlies, counter and rental clerks, customer service representatives, security guards, upholsterers, tellers, and dental laboratory technicians.
- SVP Range
- 3 months to 1 year of preparation (4.0 to < 6.0)
Training & Credentials
Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
Equipment Maintenance — Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Operation and Control — Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
Operations Monitoring — Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Repairing — Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.
Troubleshooting — Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.
Quality Control Analysis — Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Mechanical — Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Building and Construction — Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.
Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Public Safety and Security — Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
Engineering and Technology — Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Design — Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
Production and Processing — Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
How much education does a new hire need to perform a job in this occupation? Respondents said:
High school diploma or equivalent requiredmore info
Associate’s degree required
Post-secondary certificate required
Manual Dexterity — The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
Arm-Hand Steadiness — The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
Control Precision — The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Multilimb Coordination — The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
Finger Dexterity — The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
Extent Flexibility — The ability to bend, stretch, twist, or reach with your body, arms, and/or legs.
Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Static Strength — The ability to exert maximum muscle force to lift, push, pull, or carry objects.
Trunk Strength — The ability to use your abdominal and lower back muscles to support part of the body repeatedly or continuously over time without “giving out” or fatiguing.
Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
Stamina — The ability to exert yourself physically over long periods of time without getting winded or out of breath.
Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others’ needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
Self-Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
Independence — Job requires developing one’s own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
Wages & Employment Trends
- Median wages (2021)
- $15.91 hourly, $33,100 annual
- State wages
- Local wages
- Employment (2020)
- 92,900 employees
- Projected growth (2020-2030)
Average (5% to 10%)
- Projected job openings (2020-2030)
- State trends
- Top industries (2020)
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2021 wage data
external site and 2020-2030 employment projections
“Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2020-2030). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.
Job Openings on the Web
- State job openings
- Local job openings