Valencia College, in partnership with area apartment community developers, has launched a 10-week program to train workers as Apartment Maintenance Technicians. During the course, which is currently being taught at Valencia’s Poinciana Campus, students learn appliance repair, plumbing, carpentry, basic electrical repair, as well as preventive maintenance. They are also trained on pool and spa operations and how to perform basic HVAC maintenance and repair.
The average hourly wage for an apartment maintenance technician in Central Florida is $15 to $18 an hour – and many employers also offer their maintenance technicians discounted rent.
Valencia College authorities planned the Apartment Maintenance Technician course after talks with individuals from the Apartment Association of Greater Orlando, who said they couldn’t discover individuals who were able to fill positions as condo administration specialists.
“They need the foundation and upkeep aptitudes, however they additionally need the air to go into individuals’ homes and take every necessary step. Those delicate abilities – of conversing with occupants and quieting down somebody who might be irate or vexed – those were aptitudes that many individuals don’t have,” says Giordano.
Notwithstanding employment opportunities, Giordano said there are open doors for progression in the business. “(The contracting chiefs) said that on the off chance that they show that they have the (fix) aptitudes, in the event that they have great relationship building abilities and can deal with numerous work orders, they’ll climb the hourly rate and have the chance to turn into an administrator not far off,” said Giordano.
The five star began in December 2018, and got financing from a U.S. Division of Education concede for Hispanic Serving Institutions. The 12 understudies as of now in the course are planned to graduate on Feb. 21, 2019.
The course is shown Monday through Thursday, from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. To give understudies significant work involvement, Valencia authorities have helped a few understudies discover temporary positions with nearby high rises. On Fridays, a few understudies are interning with nearby high rises, where they’re procuring $13.50 an hour and shadowing experienced administration specialists.
Understudy John Castin, 22, who handled a temporary position with Concord Rents’ Regatta Bay complex, said he is gaining from the accomplished specialists, yet additionally getting the opportunity to give some fundamental fixes a shot the activity.
“I’ve taken in a great deal about the field as of now,” says Castin. “On the very first moment, inside the initial two hours, they previously had me shadow a work request. We went to unclog a sink, so I evacuated the p-trap and we fixed it. Later we helped another visitor move in and gave the new inhabitant the spiel on when to call upkeep. On day two, we reacted to a refrigerator that wasn’t cooling right. I dismantled the parts in the refrigerator. We needed to analyze it and discover what wasn’t right. I wound up supplanting the indoor regulator and hand-off switch.”
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What Castin loves about the activity is the unusualness of every day. “I, for one, don’t care for when things get dreary,” Castin says. “Having that dynamic, where consistently isn’t the equivalent, I like that. Additionally, we’re helping individuals. In the case of something quits working, we help recover their day on track. Also, they’re really appreciative.”
Understudies who complete the Valencia College program may acquire three industry accreditations before the finish of the 10-week course: the EPA 608 Technician Certification, which shows professionals how to deal with ozone-draining refrigerants frequently found in forced air systems and machines; a Certified Pool Operator confirmation, which exhibits their insight into pool synthetics and activity; and an OSHA 10 affirmation, which shows understudies how to perceive, keep away from, decrease and anticipate security and wellbeing dangers in working environments. The expense of these confirmations is incorporated into the educational cost for the course.
Following one year at work, graduates can likewise acquire their Certified Apartment Maintenance Technician confirmation, in which they work with their bosses to exhibit their abilities.
Valencia educators likewise center around abilities that aren’t generally instructed in school – how to dress suitably, the significance of landing at work on schedule and how to manage a disappointed occupant whose latrine is flooding or whose climate control system isn’t working.
“Over being a handyman, you should likewise have solid client administration abilities,” says Joshua Stieler, who shows the course. “Realizing how to manage individuals who are displeased at 4 toward the beginning of the day when you’re really worn out and staying positive constantly, even in outrageous warmth or downpour, is vital to keeping inhabitants glad.”
However, the students quickly realize that thanks are their reward.
“A lot of the students love the instant gratification of fixing something for somebody else,” says Stieler. “If I just came over to your house and fixed your dishwasher, you’re going to give me praise, you’re going to give me thanks. That boosts my morale to see that I just made your life easier. That aspect of the job, people enjoy that.”
Students who graduate from the program will have not only marketable skills, but also the chance to live in the complex where they work for a reduced rent. Some employers are offering from 20 to 40 percent reduction in rent, in addition to healthcare benefits.
“All of the companies that came (to Valencia for a recruiting day) talked about the rent discounts,” says Castin. “They talked about it because, if you’re on call, instead of having to come out in the middle of the night, you’re already on the scene.”
And while many students may start out working in the apartment or hotel industries, the skills they’re learning are applicable to a number of jobs. One student plans to take additional coursework in HVAC (heating, ventilation and air condition) and work in that industry. Another student is interested in starting his own handyman/home repair company, while one student says she plans to use her new handyman skills to flip houses.
Valencia is currently offering the program at its Poinciana Campus, with classes beginning in late March and mid-June. Giordano envisions offering the 10-week course at a location in east Orange County – to help serve the large number of apartment complexes near UCF.
Click here for details on the Apartment Service Technician program and how to enroll.
Scholarships and financial aid are available to many students through community organizations such as CareerSource Central Florida or the Veterans Administration. For details, call Valencia’s Accelerated Skills Training team at The Bridge Brighton out our upcoming courses at