How to become an appliance engineer
Are you interested in the way things work? Do you want to learn how different appliances are put together? A career as an appliance engineer may be for you.
Appliance engineers are extremely useful people to have around and can install and repair a multitude of domestic appliances, including fridges, freezers, ovens, dishwashers and washing machines.
So, if you’re thinking of becoming an appliance or white goods engineer, or you just want to know more about what their role involves, read on for more information.
What do I need?
If you’re going to become an appliance engineer, there are several basic skills you’ll need to be able to tackle the different jobs you may be asked to do.
Firstly, good practical skills are essential. Being an appliance engineer means you’ll be taking on a vast range of different appliances. These can include some of the trickier tasks, such as dishwasher repair and washer dryer installation.
On a day-to-day basis you’ll be handling a variety of power tools and instruments, so you’ll need to be comfortable with a hands-on approach and getting stuck in.
Next, in an average day as an appliance engineer, you’ll need a good eye for detail. You may be wiring colour-coded wires and fixing, installing or testing televisions and other electrical equipment, all of which can be fiddly.
An ability to concentrate for extended periods of time will also come in handy for these sorts of tasks – as they often require plenty of patience and can sometimes be physically challenging. It’s important to bear in mind that you will need colour-normal vision to be able to carry out electrical work, and a responsible approach to safety practices will be essential too.
You'll need colour-normal vision to work correctly with electrical appliances
A good appliance engineer also needs to be able to use their initiative, especially when working under pressure. Some jobs are more difficult than others and unforeseen problems often occur. You need the ability to think on your feet, problem-solve and find a solution quickly and efficiently.
Finally, being an appliance engineer means you will need people skills. Good communication is essential, as you’ll have to explain the problem to your clients and customers and ensure that they understand the process and are confident in your ability to fix the issue. It’s likely that you’ll be spending a lot of time in people’s homes, so courtesy and a respectful attitude are key.
Where do I start?
Although there is no formal qualification to become an appliance engineer and practical skills are considered to be more useful, some training is nonetheless expected. Without the relevant qualifications, you may find it difficult to get the necessary insurance to be able to put your skills into practice.
You can apply for jobs directly if you have previous electrics, engineering, plumbing or installation experience, but many people choose to enrol on a college course to get a formal qualification.
Previous experience with electrical work often means you can go directly into appliance work
Some qualifications you may wish to consider are a Level 1 Certificate in Electronics and a Level 2 Certificate in Electrical Installation Studies. You can also do a Level 2 First Diploma in Engineering Technology and a Level 2 Diploma in Electrical and Electronic Engineering Technology.
Many apprenticeships allow you to gain hands-on experience and can provide a great pathway into the industry
Alternatively, completing an apprenticeship in a related subject is also a great way into the industry – plus, you can gain some real hands-on experience. For an advanced apprenticeship, you will usually need two or more GCSEs at Grades 9 to 3 (A* to D) for a Level 2 course, or four to five GCSEs at Grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) for a Level 3 course.
Being an appliance engineer is a great career to have. The growing need for staff and increasing numbers of appliances in modern homes means that there are a wide range of employment options for potential engineers.
This career path also offers consistent opportunities to develop your practical skills, as you’ll need to keep up-to-date with the latest technologies – particularly for certain types of appliance.
Many engineers join a professional body, such as the Domestic Appliance Service Association, to stay on top of product news and industry training. You can then broaden your service offering by using your transferable skills for other types of appliance.
By building up your skillset and consistently looking to develop your knowledge, you could move higher up the career ladder into management and training, or even set up your own business.
So, if you want a new career with the opportunity to develop your existing skills, this may be the right path for you. Once you are fully qualified, you could also consider becoming a Local Hero.