What General Maintenance and Repair Workers Do
General maintenance and repair workers fix and maintain machines, mechanical equipment, and buildings.
General maintenance and repair workers often carry out many different tasks in a single day. They could work at any number of indoor or outdoor locations. They may work inside a single building, such as a hotel or hospital, or be responsible for the maintenance of many buildings, such as those in an apartment complex or on a college campus.
How to Become a General Maintenance and Repair Worker
Jobs in this occupation typically require a high school diploma or equivalent. General maintenance and repair workers often learn their skills on the job for several years. They start out performing simple tasks while watching and learning from skilled maintenance workers.
The median annual wage for general maintenance and repair workers was $39,080 in May 2019.
Employment of general maintenance and repair workers is projected to grow 4 percent from 2019 to 2029, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Employment may rise as increasing home prices and sales drive demand for remodeling and maintenance work.
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.
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.
General maintenance and repair workers held about 1.5 million jobs in 2019. The largest employers of general maintenance and repair workers were as follows:
|Real estate and rental and leasing||22%|
|Educational services; state, local, and private||8|
|Healthcare and social assistance||8|
General maintenance and repair workers often carry out many different tasks in a single day at any number of locations. They may work inside a single building, such as a hotel or hospital, or be responsible for the maintenance of many buildings, such as those in an apartment complex or on a college campus.
General maintenance and repair workers may have to stand for long periods or lift heavy objects. These workers may work in uncomfortably hot or cold environments, in uncomfortable or cramped positions, or on ladders. The work involves a lot of walking, climbing, and reaching.
Injuries and Illnesses
General maintenance and repair work can be dangerous. Common injuries include electrical shocks, falls, cuts, and bruises.
Most general maintenance and repair workers work full time, including evenings or weekends. Some are on call for emergency repairs.
This table shows a list of occupations with job duties that are similar to those of general maintenance and repair workers.
|Occupation||Job Duties||Entry-Level Education||Median Annual Pay, May 2019|
Boilermakers assemble, install, maintain, and repair boilers, closed vats, and other large vessels or containers that hold liquids and gases.
|High school diploma or equivalent||$63,100|
Carpenters construct, repair, and install building frameworks and structures made from wood and other materials.
|High school diploma or equivalent||$48,330|
Construction managers plan, coordinate, budget, and supervise construction projects from start to finish.
Electrical and electronics installers and repairers install or repair a variety of electrical equipment.
|See How to Become One||$59,080|
Electricians install, maintain, and repair electrical power, communications, lighting, and control systems.
|High school diploma or equivalent||$56,180|
Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers
Heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers work on heating, ventilation, cooling, and refrigeration systems.
|Postsecondary nondegree award||$48,730|
Plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters install and repair piping fixtures and systems.
|High school diploma or equivalent||$55,160|
For more information, visit
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, General Maintenance and Repair Workers,
at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/installation-maintenance-and-repair/general-maintenance-and-repair-workers.htm (visited ).