Have you ever had to replace a switch for the overhead lights in your kitchen? If you call an electrician, you can expect a bill to the tune of around $150—or you could cut out the middle man altogether and fix it yourself for about $4, assuming you have the skills to do so.
Whether you’re looking to sharpen your home improvement skills or break into a career in property management, the Building Maintenance Training Program at Orleans Technical College is the ultimate jumping-off point. Here, you can get trained and ready to work in as little as six months, with no prior experience required. Learn the basics of carpentry, plumping, painting, electricity, air conditioning, dry wall and the other skills needed to maintain, renovate and service a variety of properties. This includes everything from apartment complexes and hotels to healthcare facilities and industrial properties.
“This program is really ideal for any homeowner who wants to learn more about their property so that they don’t have to constantly hire contractors to do all the maintenance work,” says Bill Madel, an instructor in the Building Maintenance Program. “A lot of students are also looking to buy and flip homes, so it makes sense for them to understand basic construction skills so they can do a lot of this work on their own.”
Homeowners represent one piece of the puzzle; the other is made up of those eager to break into a lucrative and fulfilling new career. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, employment of general maintenance and repair workers is expected to grow 4 percent between 2014 and 2024.
“The skills taught in the program are so transferrable. We all live in houses that need repair and work in buildings that need maintenance,” says Debbie Bello, Admissions Director at Orleans Tech. “They’re not sending these jobs overseas; we need people all across this region to maintain and renovate commercial and residential properties. It’s a job that’s always going to be in demand.”
Orleans Technical College bundles all the necessary skills into its Building Maintenance program. The program, starting in October 2017, can be completed through full-time day classes in as little as six months. Alternatively, students can also opt for part-time classes via a 13-month program. Both options lead to the same outcome—a diploma from a fully accredited school that has been teaching the trades for 43 years. At Orleans, the overall mission is to help people grow into their full potential, both professionally and personally.
“No matter which path you take, when you come here, you’re fully focused on learning a trade,” adds Bello. “If you like working with your hands, are driven to learn, and passionate about the field, the Building Maintenance Program was made for you. It’s all about instilling the confidence needed to go out into the field and start getting paid for these in-demand skills.”