Our guide to building maintenance
Sydney Embray

Our guide to building maintenance

First published date February 10 2016 Amended date February 10 2016

The towns and cities we call our homes are made up of buildings – buildings that require care to continue being the safe and comfortable places we desire them to be.  Sound like a mammoth job? Thank goodness for the people in the building maintenance industry taking on the responsibility!  It’s a fascinating field and will always be a necessary part of life, with many routes and career paths to choose from.  A career in building maintenance can take many forms, and if you’re interested in the job, you may find yourself deciding on plumbing, electrical, walls and floors, or any number of specialised fields.

Searching through our collection of building maintenance courses is a great way to begin this decision-making process.  You may just find something so interesting that you decide to make a career out of it! 


Am I the right person for the job?

It’s not just about getting your hands dirty – successful people who work in building maintenance possess a few key qualities that make them great at their jobs.  The work is often gruelling, so workers are, to a certain extent, physically fit and are able to climb, carry, and work dextrously with their hands.  They’re also detail-oriented bunch – a good maintenance worker never cuts corners and will take the few extra steps if it means getting the job done safely and well.  Being personable is a big part of the job too, especially if you are required to work one-on-one with a homeowner or client. What’s more, building relationships is a key part of building a loyal customer base. 


I’ve never done plumbing or electrical before... and what’s HVAC?

Complete beginner?  Not to worry.  Taking a course in regulations and guilds will help you get a grasp of the standards and laws regulating building systems, as well as the role of those systems.  Aspiring plumbers should know the environmental repercussions of certain drainage systems.  Electricians understand the code regarding the installation of fixtures and wiring.  HVAC (that’s heating, ventilation, and air cooling in case you were wondering) professionals are well versed in laws regarding the units they work with, and plasterers and floorers follow regulations regarding installation with precision.


I like to work with my hands, but I’d rather be outside

While much of building maintenance occurs within a home or building, the outside of a building also requires care.  A course in this subject will likely cover repairs of all sorts, from masonry to roofing.  You’ll also learn about the machines that help you do the job—think boom trucks, platforms and scaffolding, as well as the smaller tools that aid each specific repair.  With a course and a little time you’ll be well on your way to helping homes, businesses and other buildings show off a fresh face.


Where can I go from here?

Once you’ve picked a field and taken a few qualification courses, you’ll likely want to start an apprenticeship.  Working alongside and learning from a master is the most popular course of action for aspiring building maintenance, and for good reason.  While the knowledge you’ll gain in a classroom setting is extremely important, there are lessons only an experienced professional can impart through hands-on experience.  Shadowing a professional also gives you an opportunity to expand your network, make contacts, and establish relationships with potential future customers – a vastly important part of working in the industry.

When you’ve finished your apprenticeship you can choose to work with an established company or work on your own. For someone just starting out, working with a contracting company is a good way to get even more experience, without having to worry about the business side of things.  Companies also have a great network of contacts and customers, so you’ll have access to those as well. 


The Hotcourses building maintenance quiz!

Two brothers became the most famous plumbers in the world when they went on an adventure in the sewers of New York to fight strange creatures—who are they?

True or false? 30% of power is used inefficiently in buildings.

What materials are bricks made out of?


Answers –

Mario and Luigi, True, Shale and clay

By Sydney Embray 

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