A maintenance assistant helps clean and make repairs to buildings, usually inside the building. Many maintenance assistants are often referred to as custodians or janitors. They help perform tasks such as painting walls, hanging ceiling fans, scrubbing floors, replacing light bulbs and putting together tables and desks. Maintenance assistants generally work under a maintenance supervisor, although some report directly to the owner of an establishment.
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Maintenance assistants work in establishments that range from hospitals to motels to apartment complexes to shopping malls to general office buildings. They typically hold a key to every room in the building, allowing them to make repairs when it’s not in use. Sometimes, they work overnight shifts while other workers are asleep. One of their primary responsibilities is collecting and taking out garbage from the various rooms. They also tend to vacuum and mop on an almost daily basis. Basically, maintenance assistants not only make repairs, but make sure a building looks nice and is a safe place to work.
Maintenance assistants must be able to follow instructions--either from a supervisor or from a set of directions telling them how to make a repair. They should also have the energy and endurance often needed to spend long hours on their feet, or even contorting their bodies in awkward positions when fixing something or cleaning. Maintenance assistants need to possess sound communication skills, especially when it comes to work with others in making a repair. Other than those things, they should be willing to learn and work hard, and maintain a positive attitude.
There aren’t really any set guidelines to become a maintenance assistant. Most establishments favour candidates with a high school diploma, while others aren’t as concerned with education as much as they are with a candidate’s abilities to make repairs and clean. In many instances, maintenance assistants can learn on the job.
Jobs for building cleaning workers such as maintenance assistants should be solid for the next decade. After all, most establishments want someone to help maintain their building. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of building cleaning workers is projected to increase by 5 per cent through 2018. More than 4.1 million workers were employed in the building cleaning and maintenance industry in May 2008, the BLS reported.
Maintenance workers earned anywhere from £15,912 to just more than £24,700 in April 2010, according to PayScale.com. Those in the health care industry tended to be the highest earners, making up to £10.90 per hour, PayScale reported.
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