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Building Maintenance - Overview


Building maintenance programs prepare people to keep buildings running efficiently. Students learn a variety of repair and maintenance skills. They study plumbing, heating and cooling, electrical, and major appliances.

Think about the house or apartment you live in. Now think of all that is done to keep it running. The first thing that may come to mind is cleaning - all that vacuuming, wiping, scrubbing, and dusting. Then, if you have a yard, there's all the yard work. Lawn-mowing, weeding, and watering. But what about the furnace? The filter needs to be changed to keep it working efficiently. The air conditioner needs to be serviced. Drippy faucet in the shower? That leak needs to be fixed to prevent money (not to mention water) going down the drain. The oven needs to be cleaned and even calibrated, so that 400 degrees really is 400 degrees.

Some of those tasks you do more often than others, so perhaps maintaining your home doesn't seem like a big deal. But what if you were in charge of ALL of it? And what if you were in charge of a large building or a complex of apartments? Now THAT is a big task.

Luckily, many technical and two-year schools offer certificates in building maintenance. These programs teach you the tools of the trade. You learn basic repair and maintenance skills for systems such as plumbing, electrical, and heating and cooling. You may learn how to fix a faulty air conditioner or a wonky electrical outlet. You may even learn basic installation skills, such as how to put in a new faucet, range, or shower head.

You also learn how to manage records and files. In addition, you learn how to communicate effectively with people. Some programs also offer instruction in fixing and maintaining boilers.

In general, certificate programs take a year to complete. About 25 schools also offer an associate degree, which take about two years to finish.

Source: Illinois Career Information System (CIS) brought to you by Illinois Department of Employment Security.
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