Appliances could be science of success

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As a domestic appliance service engineer, you would install and repair household appliances such as cookers, washing machines and fridge-freezers.

You might also deal with items like televisions and hi-fi equipment.

Your duties could include:

l making visits to customers to carry out scheduled safety inspections

l installing new appliances in customers’ homes

l attending call-outs for emergency repairs

l offering quotes for insurance purposes

l organising replacements where faulty equipment has to be repaired in a workshop

l maintaining adequate stocks of parts

l recording work details, preparing invoices and dealing with payments

l keeping business accounts in order if self-employed.

You would use a range of hand and power tools in your work, and electrical measurement and testing instruments, including computerised fault-finding equipment.

Increasingly, you may be involved in the refurbishment, recycling and safe disposal of older appliances in line with electrical waste regulations.

You would normally work 40 hours a week, Monday to Friday. You may have on-call duties to cover evenings and weekends or offer a call-out service if self-employed.

You would mostly work in customers’ homes, but could carry out some repairs in a workshop. As a result, you are likely to spend quite a lot of time on the road, travelling from job to job.

Starting salaries can be between £12,000 and £15,000 a year.

Experienced engineers can earn between £16,000 and £22,000.

Engineers with specialist skills, such as gas servicing, can earn over £25,000 a year.

Additional allowances may be offered for call-out duties.

You do not always need qualifications to do this job, but in practice you would need some sort of recognised training.

You may also find it difficult to get public liability insurance without qualifications such as BTEC National Certificate and Diploma in Electrical or Electronic Engineering, EAL Diploma in Advanced Electrical and Electronic Principles or City & Guilds (6958) Progression Award in Electrical Electronics Servicing at levels 2 and 3 (contains options in TV, DVD and PC repair).

You may be able to get into this job through an apprenticeship.

You would be expected to have normal colour vision for electrical work, and you may also need a driving licence.

Previous experience and/or qualifications in any of the following areas may give you an advantage when looking for work.

You would usually train on the job under the supervision of more experienced staff.

Depending on the area you work in, you could take one of the following NVQs: Electrical and Electronics Servicing at levels 2 and 3; Mechanical Engineering Services – Plumbing at levels 2 and 3; Domestic Natural Gas Installation and Maintenance levels 2 and 3.

If your job includes servicing electrical appliances you are likely to need the City & Guilds Inspection, Testing, Design and Certification of Installations (2391/2) and City & Guilds 17th Edition IEE Wiring Regulations (2382).

If you are servicing gas appliances you will need to be on the Gas Safe Register.