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Appliance Repair Certification: How to Get Started

June 17, 2021 6 min. read
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Want to become an appliance repair technician but not sure where to start? There are a variety of different paths you can take to landing your dream job or starting your own appliance repair business.

From whether you need an appliance repair license or certificate to tips to start learning about the trade, find everything you need to know in this resource.

What is an appliance repair technician?

An appliance repair technician installs, repairs, and maintains residential or commercial appliances for a living. For example, appliance repair technicians typically service:

  • Washers and dryers
  • Refrigerators
  • Ranges and ovens
  • Microwaves
  • Dishwashers
  • Central vacuum units
  • Air conditioners
  • Dehumidifiers
  • Freezers

Do you need a license to repair appliances?

In most jurisdictions, you are not required to have an appliance repair license or certificate to repair appliances.

However, depending on the types of repairs you do or appliances you plan to service, you may need to obtain specific certification, such as your EPA certification in handling refrigeration.

Additionally, if you plan to start your own business or repair appliances as part of a general handyman business in the U.S., you may need to obtain a business license and a general contracting or handyman license depending on the regulations in your state.

How to become an appliance repair technician

Although appliance repair certifications aren’t necessarily required, you still need appliance technician training and experience to land a job or start a business.

From voluntary certifications to online learning and hands-on experience, here are some of the best ways to get your foot in the door.

1. Appliance repair certifications

While you don’t have to have an appliance repair certificate or license to service domestic appliances, they still exist.

The most recognized appliance repair certification for repair technicians is the National Appliance Service Technician Certification (NASTeC), offered through the International Society of Certified Electronics Technicians (ISCET).

The NASTeC offers four different levels of certification:

  • Cooking
  • Refrigeration and air conditioning
  • Laundry and dishwashing
  • Universal technician (includes cooking, laundry and dishwashing, and refrigeration and air conditioning)

All NASTeC exams are multiple-choice and cost anywhere from $50 to $185. The exams cover everything from parts and safety to communication and personal behavior, which is especially useful for those new to the appliance repair industry.

2. Appliance repair technician training

In some cities, there are appliance repair academies that offer training and courses for you to take. Some are appliance-specific while others offer a more general overview of appliance repair.

For example, Fred’s Appliance Academy is an appliance repair campus in Ohio that’s recommended by the ISCET. They offer online and in-person training that you can access or attend regardless of where you’re from.

The online courses cost $200 per appliance and take about 10-15 hours to complete. For example, you can learn about front load washers or electric rangers for $200 each.

You can also check for training in your area. If you have a technical institute in your city or town, they may offer appliance repair courses and programs you can enroll in.

3. Appliance repair apprenticeship

While not many trade schools or colleges offer apprenticeship programs for appliance repair technicians, you can still apprentice through an employer.

Many appliance repair businesses hire apprentice appliance repair technicians to learn from and job shadow a lead technician. However, most prefer candidates with at least some training or experience.

When looking for an appliance repair apprenticeship, make sure to search for job postings that include “apprenticeship” in the title and review the required experience.

You can also reach out to local appliance repair shops to express your interest in apprenticing for one of their more experienced technicians. There’s a chance they’ll either have an opening or be willing to point you in the right direction.

4. Brand-specific resources

Many major appliance brands, like Whirlpool and Maytag, offer a variety of free resources specific to their appliances, such as:

  • Troubleshooting guides
  • Operator’s manuals
  • Product-related articles and blog posts
  • Product briefs
  • Installation videos

Use this information to learn about the appliances you want to service as well as common issues and their fixes.

If you aren’t ready or able to get hands-on experience right now, this is a great way to start building your knowledge base. And, once you do land your first job, you’ll be able to put your brand know-how to good use.

5. Online learning for appliance repair technicians

The internet is full of free resources for aspiring appliance repair technicians. For example, you can check out:

  • How-to and repair videos on YouTube
  • Appliance repair technician blogs and websites like Jobber Academy
  • Facebook groups for appliance repair techs
  • Appliance brand resources

Doing your own research is an ideal way to not only start learning about appliance repair like the best appliance repair apps to use, but to gain new skills, too.

Staying up-to-date is important for even the most experienced technicians since the appliance repair industry moves quickly and new appliances hit the market all the time.

Should I get my appliance repair certification?

Even though appliance repair certification is optional, it still comes with a long list of benefits, especially considering it’s relatively low-cost.

If you do choose to get your appliance repair certification, it can:

1. Get you better jobs

Employers like to hire appliance repair technicians who are experienced and having your certification proves you know what you’re doing.

Being certified can open up new opportunities to you, getting you better jobs and upping your chances of getting hired.

2. Get you more clients

If you own your own appliance repair business, you can use your certification to get more clients.

Although not all clients will know exactly what “certified” means, the term alone will give you a professional edge.

For example, a client perusing the internet for someone to fix their broken dryer is probably more likely to click on the ad that says “certified appliance repair technician” than “appliance repair technician”.

And, you can use the same terminology on your business cards, website, and other promotional material. Being certified helps to legitimize your business, boosting your client trust and professionalism.

3. Set industry standards

Taking your appliance repair certification ensures that you’re up-to-date when it comes to best practices and safety standards.

Since online learning can be made up of all kinds of different opinions and takes, it can be hard to tell what information is the best to go by.

Appliance repair certification will help you to learn and follow industry best practices so that you know the tried and true way to handle troubleshooting, installations, repairs, and customer communication.

4. Demonstrate your skills and learning opportunities

Since appliance repair doesn’t require certification, it can be hard to tell how skilled you are or how much you still have to learn.

Getting your certification can be a way to gauge your knowledge level, helping you to determine whether you need to keep learning before you start your own business.

It can also highlight areas where you need to brush up on your skills. For example, you may be great at actually fixing appliances, but need to work on how to talk to clients.

5. Add to your qualifications

If you happen to be a handyman or contractor by trade, adding to your skillset attracts more clients and lets you take on more jobs.

For example, you may already have a license to work as a handyman or general contractor in your state.

Having your appliance repair certification just adds to that, expanding the list of services that you offer and boosting your reputation as an experienced professional.

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