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Apartment Maintenance Industry & Certification Requirements


Intro to Multifamily Residential Maintenance: Chapter 2


Apartment Maintenance Industry


In this module, we will discuss an apartment maintenance technician's salary and growth potential. We’ll also discuss service-providing organizations for maintenance technicians. Skip to quiz!


Job Opportunities


There are various job opportunities in the apartment maintenance industry. The opportunities vary based on the experience and responsibilities of workers. These include:

  • Janitors,

  • Maintenance technicians,

  • Maintenance managers, and

  • Maintenance supervisors.


The common daily tasks of janitors include:

  • Keeping the building clean by mopping the floors,

  • Emptying the trash, and

  • Cleaning the bathrooms.

This role requires a General Education Degree (GED), communication skills, and reading skills.


Recall that maintenance technicians repair building systems, including HVAC, construction, electrical, and plumbing. A janitor with basic knowledge of HVAC, plumbing, electrical, and construction work can become a maintenance technician.


Maintenance managers handle all aspects of apartment maintenance, including:

  • Planning,

  • Scheduling,

  • Budgeting, and

  • Completing maintenance tasks.


Maintenance technicians with 3+ years of experience in general maintenance work can become maintenance managers. Maintenance managers should also have supervisory experience to assist the maintenance supervisor.


Complexes with fewer than 100 units typically don’t need more than a single maintenance manager. For larger complexes, more managers are required to manage the maintenance work. This is because other part-time and full-time workers handle the repair and upkeep work.


Maintenance supervisors are responsible for the timeline and delegation of tasks that need to be completed for overall building maintenance. Maintenance supervisors are also responsible for the management of staff, including hiring and reviews.


Supervisors organize daily tasks and ensure compliance with safety standards. They also oversee technicians while they are performing their maintenance tasks.


Apartment Maintenance Technician Salaries


The salary range of an apartment technician in the US is $21,700 to $60,060. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for general maintenance and repair workers was $40,850 in May 2020.


The median annual salaries of similar jobs that may require more education or be subject to different licensing requirements are:

  • Carpenter: $46,590

  • Plumber: $56,330

  • Electrician: $55,190

  • HVAC Technician: $60,513


The BLS expects the employment of general maintenance and repair workers to grow at an average pace of 8% through 2026. This is because minor repairs are a frequent occurrence with home properties.


Maintenance, like gutter cleaning, replacing faucets, and repairing lighting, is routine for homes. Recall that maintenance technicians are called in for small jobs. This ensures we have a steady stream of jobs to work on, even with a global economic impact.


About 152,300 openings for general maintenance and repair workers are projected each year, on average. Many of those openings result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations. It also results from the exit of the labor force due to retirement.


The maintenance technician shortage is the result of a mismatch between supply and demand. Not enough younger maintenance technicians are entering the industry on the supply side as experienced technicians are retiring.


The three main causes behind the maintenance technician shortage are:

  • Experienced maintenance technicians are retiring quickly.

  • Not enough new maintenance technicians are entering the industry.

  • Demand for maintenance technicians is increasing.


NAA


National Apartment Association (NAA) is a leading organization for apartment communities, representing over 75,000 companies. It also offers an official certificate for apartment maintenance technicians.


The National Apartment Association Education Institute (NAAEI) offers these courses. NAAEI is the education arm of NAA. Its mission is to provide broad-based education, training, and recruitment programs that attract, nurture and retain high-quality professionals.


The International Facility Management Association (IFMA) is a professional membership association for facility management professionals. It provides educational courses, industry research, and standards development opportunities to maintenance technicians.


Other Organizations


The other organizations that provide services for maintenance technicians are:

  • Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and

  • National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).


Maintenance workers are among the many workers that are exposed to workplace hazards daily. OSHA aims to protect them by providing access to information for vulnerable workers in high-risk jobs. Information ranges from raising awareness of job hazards, to safe chemical handling, to promotion of workplace best practices.


The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) ensures workers' safe and healthy working conditions by setting and enforcing standards. It provides training, education, and assistance to maintenance technicians through its programs.


The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is an international organization devoted to eliminating injury due to fire, electrical, and related hazards. NFPA delivers information and knowledge through more than 300 consensus codes and standards, research, training, and education.


The job opportunities for maintenance workers in the apartment maintenance industry are:

  • Janitors,

  • Maintenance technicians,

  • Maintenance managers, and

  • Maintenance supervisors.

The salary range of an apartment technician in the US is $21,700 to $60,060.


The BLS expects the employment of general maintenance and repair workers to grow at an average pace of 8% through 2026. The service-providing organizations for maintenance technicians are NAA, IFMA, OSHA, and NFPA.


 

Certification Requirements


In this module, we will learn about the importance of certification. We’ll also discuss how to become a certified maintenance technician. Skip to quiz!


Licensing and Certification


A certified apartment maintenance technician is a worker who seeks additional certifications to work in specific industries. Most of the certifications are done online with interactive training.


Maintenance certification lends credibility to a maintenance professional’s qualifications. These programs generally involve exams designed to test a professional’s working knowledge and skills.


When earning their certification, maintenance workers prove their abilities against an objective set of criteria. Some certifications include educational courses, in which case they provide training and evidence of the individual’s skill. This helps companies identify a potential candidate for the role.


Certifications can give professionals an extra edge in the workforce. For instance, a maintenance technician who has plenty of workplace experience and education may be well qualified. Still, someone who has certifications on their resume will stand out a bit more.


Certification is evidence that a candidate is both well versed in their trade and committed to continuous improvement. This is because certificates test the technicians against current professional standards.


Certification Types


There are many different kinds of certifications available for maintenance. Useful certifications for maintenance technicians are:

  • EPA certification,

  • CAMT certification,

  • NAHMT or NAHMS credentials, and

  • CMRT certification.


The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was formed as a result of environmental concerns. The EPA is focused on protecting human health and the environment. Due to an increased demand for HVAC systems, we need to regulate the manufacturing and disposal of chemicals.


Section 608 of the EPA regulations are focused on environmental safety and technician safety. A technician must be certified to

  • Maintain,

  • Repair, and

  • Dispose of HVAC equipment.


The National Apartment Association (NAA) awards the Certificate for Apartment Maintenance Technicians (CAMT) to:

  • Workers who complete their training program,

  • Workers who have 12 months of experience in apartment maintenance, and

  • Pass the final exam.


The credentials offered by the National Affordable Housing Management Association(NAHMA) are:

  • National Accredited Housing Maintenance Technician (NAHMT), and

  • National Accredited Housing Maintenance Supervisor (NAHMS)


These credentials are offered to technicians and supervisors. Candidates must fulfill several strict training and experience requirements before applying for either of these credentials.


A Certified Maintenance and Reliability Technician (CMRT) is considered to be an entry-level certification. The CMRP focuses on different types of maintenance, including preventative, predictive, and corrective. CMRP certification shows that a technician can both monitor and fix equipment as needed.


Certification Process


Workers in the maintenance field typically do not require any formal education. They do need to pass the General Educational Development (GED) test.


General maintenance and repair workers often learn their skills on the job. They start by doing simple tasks, and watching and learning from skilled maintenance workers. Practical training, available at many education centers and community colleges, is another option for workers to learn these skills.


Maintenance workers begin by doing simple tasks, like fixing leaky faucets and replacing light bulbs. After gaining experience, maintenance workers move on to more complex tasks, such as overhauling machinery or building walls.


Maintenance workers can also learn these skills online using simulations. Workers are trained to perform maintenance tasks through simulations. The certifications offered to the workers need to be renewed every three years.


Maintenance workers need licenses only when carrying out complex tasks. Workers may need to be licensed in a particular specialty, such as electrical or plumbing work. There is no penalty for carrying out simple apartment maintenance tasks without a license.


A certified apartment maintenance technician is a worker who seeks additional certifications to work in specific industries. Certification can give professionals an extra edge in the workforce.


Useful certifications for maintenance technicians are:

  • EPA certification,

  • CAMT certification,

  • NAHMT or NAHMS credentials, and

  • CMRT certification.

There is no penalty for carrying out simple apartment maintenance tasks without a license.


 

Question #1: What are the job opportunities available for a maintenance technician in the apartment industry? (select all that apply)

  1. Computer programmer

  2. Maintenance technicians

  3. Maintenance manager

  4. Maintenance supervisors

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Answer: Maintenance technicians

Maintenance manager

Maintenance supervisors

The job opportunities in the apartment maintenance industry are:

  • Janitors,

  • Maintenance technicians,

  • Maintenance manager, and

  • Maintenance supervisors.


Question #2: A maintenance technician with no experience can become a maintenance manager.

  1. False

  2. True

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Answer: False

False. Maintenance technicians with 3+ years of experience in general maintenance work, including supervisory experience, can become maintenance managers.


Question #3: Why is there a supply-demand gap in the apartment industry? (select all that apply)

  1. Not enough younger maintenance technicians are entering the industry to fulfill the demand

  2. The demand for maintenance workers is low

  3. There are no job openings in the apartment industry

  4. All of the above

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Answer: Not enough younger maintenance technicians are entering the industry to fulfill the demand

The maintenance technician shortage is the result of a mismatch between supply and demand.

Not enough younger maintenance technicians are entering the industry on the supply side as experienced technicians are retiring.


Question #4: What are the causes behind the shortage of maintenance technicians? (select all that apply)

  1. Demand for maintenance technicians is increasing

  2. Not enough new maintenance technicians are entering the industry

  3. Experienced maintenance technicians are retiring

  4. The demand for maintenance workers is low

Scroll down for the answer...


















Answer: Demand for maintenance technicians is increasing

Not enough new maintenance technicians are entering the industry

Experienced maintenance technicians are retiring

The three main causes behind the maintenance technician shortage are:

  • Experienced maintenance technicians are retiring quickly.

  • Not enough new maintenance technicians are entering the industry.

  • Demand for maintenance technicians is increasing.


Question #5: What does the National Apartment Association (NAA) do for maintenance technicians?

  1. It provides safety gear for electricians

  2. It provides tools for technicians

  3. It offers courses through the National Apartment Association Education Institute (NAAEI)

  4. It enforces standards to minimize the risk and effects of fire

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Answer: It offers courses through the National Apartment Association Education Institute (NAAEI)

The National Apartment Association Education Institute (NAAEI) offers these courses. NAAEI is the education arm of NAA.


Question #6: What service does the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provide to maintenance technicians? (select all that apply)

  1. It provides safety gear for maintenance technicians.

  2. It enforces standards to minimize the risk and effects of fire.

  3. It provides tools to maintenance technicians.

  4. It provides training on safety through its programs.

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Answer: It enforces standards to minimize the risk and effects of fire.

It provides training on safety through its programs.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) ensures workers' safe and healthy working conditions by setting and enforcing standards. It provides training, education, and assistance to maintenance technicians through its programs.


Question #7: What service does the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) provide to maintenance technicians?

  1. It provides safety gear for maintenance technicians

  2. It enforces standards to minimize the risk and effects of fire

  3. It provides tools to maintenance technicians

  4. It provides training to improve maintenance technicians communication skills

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Answer: It enforces standards to minimize the risk and effects of fire

NFPA is responsible for more than 300 codes and standards designed to minimize the risk and effects of fire.


Question #8: What is the significance of certification to apartment maintenance technicians? (select all that apply)

  1. It provides more job opportunities to individuals

  2. It adds credibility to a maintenance professional’s qualifications

  3. It serves as a guideline to change their occupation

  4. It allows us to delay retirement

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Answer: It provides more job opportunities to individuals

It adds credibility to a maintenance professional’s qualifications

Maintenance certification lends credibility to a maintenance professional’s qualifications, and it also provides us with more job opportunities.


Question #9: What is the benefit of becoming a certified apartment maintenance technician? (select all that apply)

  1. Certificates can make a technician’s resume stand out

  2. Certificates ensure that an electrician reaches a job location on time

  3. Certificates indicate that a technician is well versed in their trade and committed to improvement

  4. All of the above

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Answer: Certificates can make a technician’s resume stand out

Certificates indicate that a technician is well versed in their trade and committed to improvement

Certification is evidence that a candidate is well-versed in their trade and committed to continuous improvement. It also helps to make the resume of a technician stand out.


Question #10: A section 608 certification is required for anyone that maintains, repairs, and disposes of HVAC systems.

  1. True

  2. False

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Answer: True

True. Anyone who maintains, repairs, and disposes of HVAC systems should have a section 608 certification.


Question #11: How do maintenance technicians learn skills? (select all that apply)

  1. Learning by reading a book

  2. By watching skilled maintenance workers on the job

  3. By enrolling in an apprenticeship program

  4. Learning through online simulations

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Answer: By watching skilled maintenance workers on the job

By enrolling in an apprenticeship program

Learning through online simulations

Maintenance workers start by doing simple tasks, and watching and learning from skilled maintenance workers. Workers are trained to perform maintenance tasks through simulation and apprenticeship.


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