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Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Technician Training and Hiring

Finding Repair People IS A Challenge (Flickr User JD Hancock/CC)
The roundtable discussion at a United Servicers Association meeting is always interesting and enlightening.The Portland roundtable in November touched upon an issue that is currently challenging our industry.

New technicians are not entering the trade at the same rate as old servicers are retiring. Many companies report great difficulties in finding skilled repair people. The conversation discussed the pro's and con's involved with training your own techs vs. hiring already knowledgeable techs.

In house training lets techs learn in an environment that matches how their company does business, but it is a time consuming process. Hiring an experienced technician can sometimes mean that they have learned to do things differently than your company might do them. In other words, you might be taking on "additional baggage".

There is a third way that was discussed to adress the need for techs. That would be to utilize one of the appliance training programs that are offered around the country. You might recruit a recent graduate or send a promising rookie to school.

Without our specific endorsement, there were three such programs discussed favorably at the roundtable meeting that I attended,

Freds Appliance Academy offers a three week immersion type of program that features classroom and hands on training. They even have a student dorm available for students.

Internet appliance repair celebrity, the Appliance Samurai, uses his irreverent (but quite knowledgable) approach to appliance repair. His online training program shows budding "appliantologists" how to repair and service appliances at his Samurai Tech Academy.

The last training program mentioned has been used by several Northwest technicians that I know of. Renton Technical College in Renton, WA has programs teaching appliance repair in a traditional collegiate training program.

If you are struggling to fill the gaps in your repair staff, graduates from one of these programs can step in already trained. Likewise, if you know of someone who would make a good technician, one of these programs could give that person the skills needed for success in appliance repair.

I know that there are other programs that exist around the country, if you know of a good appliance repair training program that I have not mentioned, please share it with us in the comments.

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