Welcome To Our Frequently Asked Questions Page
If you're considering enrolling in our Major Appliance Technology correspondence training course, the information on this page will help you decide if our program will get you where you want to be as an appliance technician.
Question: When I finish your course will I be ready to run service calls, diagnose problems accurately in all makes and models of refrigerators, laundry equipment, dishwashers, gas and electric ranges, and microwave ovens, and have all the knowledge I need to replace all the parts in those appliances?
Answer: This question comes close to describing a journeyman level appliance technician with many, many years of field experience. We say that it comes close because even a journeyman tech with decades of experience wouldn't be able to just automatically perform as described above.....close, maybe, but not perfectly. There's no substitute for field experience, and that's something that you get after you are trained as an entry level technician, which is what our program does; prepare you as an entry level technician.
Frankly, if we found ourselves face-to-face with somebody who was promising that taking their course would prepare us to perform at the level described in this question, we would turn and run, not walk, away from them.
A simple, effective way to look at any training program is to first, understand what it will do for you; and second, understand what it will not do for you. Once you've figured that out, you can make an informed buying decision. It's really just that simple.
Think about it from this perspective.....whatever route you decide to take to become an appliance service technician, you just need to know that there are 3 points for you to consider from the technical aspect of being in this business.
1. You need to know the fundamentals of electricity, refrigeration, and the mechanical systems related to appliance repair.
2. You need to be able to apply that fundamental understanding to some of the general ‘nuts and bolts’ stuff you need to be able to do on any appliance, regardless of the make, model or age.
3. You need to apply that fundamental understanding to learning more of the specific stuff you need to know in order to be able to do the specific stuff you need to do. (We know you might need to read this point more than once, but it really isn’t complicated. It just seems to be.)
At Technical Training Associates, our Major Appliance Technology Correspondence Course is designed to get you all the way through the fundamentals, and help you get through applying the fundamentals. That’s #1 and #2 above.
When it comes to #3, that’s up to your employer, or it’s up to you if you decide to be in business for yourself.
Question: If a fundamentals training course doesn't provide all the information I need to know about all the state-of-the-art appliances I need to know how to fix, where do I find out what I need to do in order to perform specific service procedures, electronic control diagnostics, etc...?
There are several sources. First, there's the manufacturers of the appliance. If you contact them, you may find that they make their in-print service manuals available for a individual fee, or for a subscription. It's also possible that you can pay a subscription fee and access their manuals on-line, which is a valuable resource for the technician in the field. In some cases, the service information is not available to a service company unless they are an authorized warranty service dealer, and sometimes that's not a requirement.
And then there's that other source for specific troubleshooting and servicing information via the manufacturer of the appliance....the tech sheets (if somebody hasn't been there before you and taken it with them rather than leave it for the next technician) that are packed in the appliance.
Another source are on-line appliance parts sales companies. Since they may offer parts to DIYers, they have videos that can be viewed. Of course, their mission is to sell parts, but the fact is, when they are showing and explaining how to install a part, by default, they are providing some training aspect of the appliance service business.
Here's a link to one such parts retailer: Appliance Parts Pros.
In some cases, the videos you can view are free, and in some cases you may pay a subscription fee to view: Appliance Videos
In addition to parts companies, you can find troubleshooting and service information on websites that are dedicated to the appliance service business. On these sites, you may find manuals that are published, and can be accessed for a membership fee, or you may find that you can have back and forth conversations with other technicians regarding specific troubleshooting procedures with a certain appliance.
Question: How much does your course cost?
Answer: It's $385.00.
Question: Once I complete your course, what are the chances I'll be able to get a job?
Answer: There are several aspects to consider about this question. First, as an entry level technician with some kind of overall training accomplished, you're certainly more employable than somebody who just walks in off the street. So, if you're applying to a large company that has the resources to bring on someone who is fundamentally an apprentice that will not be generating any revenue for a period of time, having some knowledge can give you a foot in the door.
However, if you're applying to a small organization that only has one, two, or three technicians, even though they may be in dire need of a technician because they have more work than they can handle (good service companies often find themselves in that situation), being anything but someone who the company can put in a truck the next morning and come back with completed service calls that are accomplished without any assistance in the afternoon, likely means that you won't be able to get hired there.
Perhaps if they had a need for a parts person, and you could handle that job as well as gain some experience running calls until you could become an effective producer of revenue, maybe....but nobody can complete a training course and expect to jump right into a job as a full time, all-around appliance technician and expect to earn journeyman's wages right out of the gate. It just ain't gonna happen.
Question: How long does it take to complete your course?
Answer: Well, if you didn't have anything else at all to do in your life, you could probably finish up in just a couple of months. If you have things other than taking the course to do, however, it will likely longer. The average completion time is about six months, however, some people wind up taking longer; up to year before they find the time to accomplish the final exam. There is no time limit on your course completion.
Question: What happens if I don't get a passing score (minimum of 70%) on an exam?
Answer: You'll need to study more, then re-take the exam. If you have a problem with an exam and your score is too low, we'll return it to you with the questions you need to review indicated. There are no additional fees for exam re-takes.
To be honest, you would have to be either not paying attention at all, or not caring at all, to not do from average (most scores we see are in the mid 80's to the mid 90's) to fairly well on an exam. After all, you have all the resource material in front of you to review while you're accomplishing your exams.
Question: Is your course sanctioned by an organization or approved or accredited by anybody?
Answer: Short answer: We don't administer federal financial aid programs.
The longer answer...most people don't know that the real, bottom line (pun intended) reason that any school, community college, private school, or university goes through an accreditation process is so they can administer the necessary paperwork for the grants and loans students can apply for so they can pay for their education. As you can see when you navigate through our site, we don't administer any loan or grant programs. We accept payment by credit card, check or money order.
Question: Is your course up to date?
Answer: Short answer: Yes.
The longer answer...As mentioned above, our course (or anybody's course for that matter) isn't going to teach you everything you need to know about every appliance that's out there with new technology, electronic control systems, etc... what our course focuses on is the fundamentals of appliance repair, so from a general perspective of how appliances work, how to troubleshoot electrical systems, how to evaluate and troubleshoot refrigeration systems, and how to troubleshoot and service gas and electric ranges, microwave ovens, and laundry equipment....so, yes, we're up to date.
A Note From Jim Johnson....
Here are some answers to questions that you may have not thought to ask.
There are three things that anybody who is thinking about getting into the appliance service business should know.
One: It's a very good business to get into if you don't like working inside at the same location all day long. My wife still remembers what I said to her back in 1968 when I came home from working at the nearby General Electric plant one day. I said, "Every time that door slams shut behind me, I feel like I'm in prison."
Two: It's a very good business to get into if you are scared just the right amount when you're on your way to your next service call and you're thinking about what the problem could be with the refrigerator, washing machine, dryer, dishwasher, or gas or electric range you're about to troubleshoot (or, diagnose, if you prefer that term) when you get there.
Notice I said "scared just the right amount".
What I mean by that is that being just a little apprehensive about what you're about to do is part of the juice of doing this kind of work. So, if you're a little bit scared from time to time, that's OK. If you're scared to the point where you're paralyzed, then the appliance service business isn't for you.
Three: If anybody tells you that you can learn all you need to know about diagnosing and troubleshooting appliances before you ever go out on your first service call, run, don't walk, away from them.
When I was a kid and into drag racing, and guys were trying to get enough out of their engine to guarantee that they would win a race (like putting on two four-barrel carburetors and other stuff....yes, I am that old) we had some advice for them. We said "NSFCI", which means "No Substitute For Cubic Inches".
Well, in the appliance service business, we could say "NSFFE", there' s "No Substitute For Field Experience". Without it, you're just not able to function consistently as an all-around appliance technician. And, on top of that, even though you have at least four years of working full time and running at least five calls per day, and you're now considered to be someone who has achieved Journeyman status in the appliance industry, the learning doesn't stop there. You need to consistently stay on top of what's new and different every model year, and you need to keep re-learning the procedures a particular manufacturer wants you to know on this model or that revised and updated model.
When you understand and accept these three things, you're ready to realistically consider a career in the major appliance service field, either as a technician working for a locally owned appliance service company, which usually has between two to twelve technicians on the road, or for a larger, multi-location organization such as Sears or General Electric. Or, your ultimate goal may be to operate as a one person service company, working out of your home. All good avenues to take as far as I'm concerned, depending on your preference.
Whatever route you decide to take as an appliance service technician, you just need to know that there are 3 more points for you to consider from the technical aspect of being in this business.
1. You need to know the fundamentals of electricity, refrigeration, and the mechanical systems related to appliance repair.
2. You need to be able to apply that fundamental understanding to some of the 'nuts and bolts' stuff you need to be able to do.
3. You need to apply that fundamental understanding to learning more of the specific stuff you need to know in order to be able to do the specific stuff you need to do. (I know you might need to read this point more than once, but it really isn't complicated. It just seems to be.)
At Technical Training Associates, our Major Appliance Technology Correspondence Course is designed to get you all the way through the fundamentals, and help you get through applying the fundamentals. That's #1 and #2 above.
When it comes to #3, that's up to your employer, or it's up to you if you're operating as an independent.
And to get you going on points #1 and #2, well, that's what our course is about. It includes the five modules technical modules, and a sixth module on customer service is included in the package. You also get our two fundamental DVD training programs, "Electrical Fundamentals For Major Appliance Technicians" and "Refrigeration Fundamentals For Major Appliance Technicians", along with a bonus copy of our Appliance Category Flat Rate Labor Guide. The two video training programs are priced individually at $60 each, so it's a $120 bonus for you when you enroll. Or, you can just purchase them individually without even going through the correspondence course if you're not interested in earning a certificate of completion by completing a training course.
Which brings me to another important point of discussion that there is often a lot of questions and confusion about in the major appliance service industry. The difference between:
Earning a certificate of completion from a school.
There's a difference between these two things, and you can go to a discussion on this subject, the myths and confusion about them, and the related topic of licensing (another often confusing subject for someone thinking of getting into the major appliance service business), by clicking HERE.
In wrapping up here....
....yes, I know I've broken most of the Cardinal rules about having too much information on a web page because people's attention span is allegedly far too short to stand for reading through all this information, but I figure if you're honestly interested in becoming an appliance repair technician, you'll invest the relatively small amount of time it takes to get this far on this page.
If you have a question about our course, you can send us an email or call us at 520-625-6847.