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Job Photographs

  • A man is at a workbench, mending the inside of a microwave oven.  There are lots of wires coming out of it.

    Domestic appliance service engineers fix all kinds of appliances that are used in the home, from vacuum cleaners to washing machines.

  • A man is standing at a workbench, reassembling a microwave oven after repairs have been carried out on it.

    Once repairs have been made, the unit can be reassembled.

  • A man is standing at a workbench, with a microwave oven on it.  He is using a tool to check that there are no radiation leaks coming from it.

    Microwave ovens have to be checked for radiation leaks before they can be returned to the customer.

  • A man is standing at a workbench, mending the inside of a microwave oven.  He is using a device to check the power supply unit.

    This service engineer is working on a microwave oven. He is checking the power supply unit.

  • A man is standing at a workbench with a microwave oven on it.  He has just carried out repairs to it, and is pressing buttons on the front panel to check that it is fully working again.

    A quick run-through of the machine's functions checks that the repairs were successful.

  • Domestic Appliance Service Engineer

Domestic Appliance Service Engineer

Introduction

Domestic appliance service engineers service and repair household electrical goods such as washing machines, dishwashers, cookers, refrigerators, freezers and microwave ovens. They may be field service engineers, which means they go out to repair appliances in customers' homes, or they may be based in a workshop.

Also known as

  • Domestic Appliance Repairer
  • Electrical Appliance Repairer
  • Service Engineer, Domestic Appliance
  • White Goods Appliance Engineer

Video: - Brian: Domestic Appliance Service Engineer

Work Activities

When a large domestic appliance like a washing machine goes wrong, you will go out to the customer's house. You find the fault and explain to the customer what has gone wrong.

Some domestic appliances have sophisticated electronic and computer systems. You may be able to use plug-in computerised diagnostic equipment to find the fault and work out what is causing it.

To repair the appliance, you may clean and oil mechanical parts, or remove and replace any damaged parts. If you cannot repair the appliance, you take it back to a workshop for further tests. You may have to order a spare part and come back to fit it on another day. You also give estimates of how much repairs might cost, as well as handle invoices.

Field Domestic Appliance Service Engineers are usually responsible for an area or 'patch'. You keep in touch with the workshop or office by using a mobile telephone. For example, you may ask workshop staff to order a spare part, or you may telephone the office to see if there are any other jobs to put on your schedule.

You may also do routine servicing of appliances, for example, when equipment is registered under an insurance scheme taken out by the customer.

Customers may bring small domestic appliances to a workshop for repair. Your work can be complex and time-consuming. In some cases, you may have to send the appliance back to its manufacturer.

The work can involve heavy lifting and a lot of kneeling and bending. You must follow health and safety procedures to avoid back injury. Special trolleys may be available to help lift heavy equipment.

Repair work can be dirty, so you will wear overalls or a uniform. You will also need to carry an identification badge.

You usually have a company van to travel from job to job in a local area.

Being able to read, write and speak Welsh may be an advantage when you’re looking for work in Wales.

Personal Qualities and Skills

To become a Domestic Appliance Service Engineer, you need:

  • to enjoy solving problems
  • to develop strong practical skills as well as an understanding of technical drawings, service manuals and circuit diagrams
  • to be able to work safely with electricity
  • to be polite, friendly and helpful when visiting customers in their homes
  • good communication skills to explain to customers clearly what you have done
  • to be able to take responsibility for diagnosing repairs and ordering parts, as you'll usually be working on your own
  • nimble fingers, as some tasks could be fiddly
  • patience in diagnosing problems
  • to work quickly, sometimes under pressure
  • to be physically fit to lift and move heavy appliances (observing health and safety procedures and using specialist lifting equipment where provided)

Your colour vision may be tested.

Pay and Opportunities

Pay

The pay rates given below are approximate.

  • Starting: £23,500 - £26,000
  • With experience: £28,500 - £33,500
  • Senior Domestic Appliance Service Engineers earn £36,500 - £39,500

Hours of work

Domestic Appliance Service Engineers usually work 39 hours a week, which may include Saturdays and working on-call.

Where could I work?

Domestic Appliance Service Engineers work for employers - ranging from small enterprises to large manufacturers throughout the UK.

Self-employment

Opportunities occur for experienced Domestic Appliance Service Engineers to become self-employed.

Where are vacancies advertised?

Vacancies are advertised in local/national newspapers, at Jobcentre Plus and on the Universal Jobmatch website.

GreenJobs is a job board aimed at people interested in green careers:

www.greenjobs.co.uk/browse-jobs/engineering/

Entry Routes and Training

Entry routes

The usual entry route to this career is to apply directly for a trainee post with an employer.

It's also possible to complete a college course, such as a relevant A level or BTEC qualification, before applying to an employer.

An Advanced Level Apprenticeship is a great place to start. Take a look at our information article 'Apprenticeships – How do I apply', for more details about applying for apprenticeship positions.

Training

Trainees are usually given a period of off-the-job training at a centre combined with on-the-job training in a workshop. This is likely to be followed by a period of working alongside an experienced Domestic Appliance Service Engineer.

You may be able to work towards a relevant work-based qualification, such as a NVQ in electrical and electronic servicing at levels 2 or 3.

If your job includes servicing electrical appliances you are likely to need the City & Guilds certificate in inspection, testing and verification of electrical installations.

Domestic Appliance Service Engineers who work on gas appliances must be registered with the Gas Safe Register.

Progression

Domestic Appliance Service Engineers can progress to Team Leader/Supervisor positions after further training and experience.

Work Experience

Previous experience working as a Fitter or Assembler, or in maintenance work in the engineering industries, especially electrical and gas would be really useful for this career.

Qualifications

To get onto an Advanced Level Apprenticeship, you'll usually need 5 GCSEs at grade C/4 or above, including English and maths, or to have completed an Intermediate Level Apprenticeship.

Adult Opportunities

Age limits

It is illegal for any organisation to set age limits for entry to employment, education or training, unless they can show there is a real need to have these limits.

Skills/experience

Relevant practical or engineering skills are an advantage, including work as a fitter or assembler, or in maintenance work in the engineering industries, especially electrical and gas.

Statistics

  • 17% of people in occupations such as domestic appliance service engineer are self-employed.
  • 10% have flexible hours.

Further Information

Apprenticeships: Get In. Go Far

National Apprenticeship Service (NAS)

Tel: 0800 015 0400

Email: nationalhelpdesk@findapprenticeship.service.gov.uk

Website: www.apprenticeships.org.uk

Skills Development Scotland - Modern Apprenticeships

Tel: 0800 9178000

Email: info@skillsdevelopmentscotland.co.uk

Website: www.myworldofwork.co.uk/modernapprenticeships

Semta

Skills for science, engineering and manufacturing technologies

Address: 14 Upton Road, Watford, Hertfordshire WD18 0JT

Tel: 0845 6439001

Email: customerservices@semta.org.uk

Website: www.semta.org.uk

The Engineer

Engineering technology news

Email: customerservices@theengineer.co.uk

Website: www.theengineer.co.uk

Tomorrow's Engineers

Publisher: EngineeringUK and Royal Academy of Engineering

Email: contactus@tomorrowsengineers.org.uk

Website: www.tomorrowsengineers.org.uk

City & Guilds

Address: 1 Giltspur Street, London EC1A 9DD

Tel: 020 7294 2468

Email: learnersupport@cityandguilds.com

Website: www.cityandguilds.com

Belfast Metropolitan College

Irish enquiries

Tel: 028 9026 5265

Email: admissions@belfastmet.ac.uk

Website: www.belfastmet.ac.uk

Engineer Jobs

Publisher: Venture Marketing Group

Email: ner@vmgl.com

Website: www.engineerjobs.co.uk

Scottish Engineering

Scottish enquiries

Address: 105 West George Street, Glasgow G2 1QL

Tel: 0141 2213181

Email: consult@scottishengineering.org.uk

Website: www.scottishengineering.org.uk

Domestic Appliance Service Association (DASA)

Address: 2nd Floor, 145-157 St John Street, London EC1V 4PY

Tel: 0870 2240343

Email: office@dasa.org.uk

Website: www.dasa.org.uk

Careers Wales - Welsh Apprenticeships

Tel: 0800 028 4844

Website: ams.careerswales.com/

Electrical Careers - The Electrotechnical Skills Partnership

Website: www.electricalcareers.co.uk/

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