Garage door technicians are in demand in the US. Data from 2022 counted 11,344 technicians in the country. Most work for private companies. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) puts the pay for these pros at between $32,520 and $65,500.
This well-paying vocational job is in high demand in some places. A survey by CRAFTSMAN counted 82 million garages in the US. In a year, only a few of these need repair or replacement. But this is enough to keep qualified garage door technicians busy all year.
How can you prepare for this job? And how can garage door companies find and train qualified technicians? These pros need to handle mechanical, electrical, and carpentry work. Also, they must provide customer service.
In this article, we will explore the qualifications a door technician needs. We will also look at skills they should develop. Finally, we’ll consider the training options that can help hone these abilities.
What Is a Garage Door Technician, and How Does Someone Become One?
A garage door technician installs, inspects, maintains, and repairs garage doors. Many pros work in homes. But they also need skills and knowledge to work with commercial garage doors.
Many home and business owners seek qualified technicians with a proven track record. Garage doors are heavy, so safety systems are vital. For every installation, the technicians need to get the job done right. Since people keep cars and other valuables in garages, they rely on garage doors for security.
Also, people rely on their cars daily and need a garage door that opens without fail. Bad repairs or installations can disrupt a person’s day. Broken doors can be even worse for businesses. Without unlimited access, they won’t be able to serve clients. Garage door workers often have time pressure.
In other words, garage door technicians need skills and knowledge for every situation.
What Do Garage Door Technicians Work On?
Residential garage door technicians fix broken springs and cables, repair openers, and replace damaged panels. The job also involves routine maintenance tasks. These can include oiling the track and restoring wires or wheels.
Commercial garage door technicians work on similar tasks. But they deal with larger, often more complex, door systems.
Residential and commercial garage door techs must measure and cut garage door panels. They also have to know how to install every garage door component.
How Does Someone Become a Garage Door Technician?
You don’t need formal education to work on garage doors. Garage door technician training often involves on-the-job experience or an apprenticeship.
That said, you may find training programs at vocational schools and community colleges. These programs can involve classroom work, but they also include hands-on training.
You could also consider an apprenticeship. This experience includes paid on-the-job training with someone experienced. You also do classroom work.
Training is available from companies in the access systems industry. Usually, you only need a high school diploma and skills to qualify. Some companies may hire vocational school graduates for apprenticeships.
To be a certified garage door technician, you need to go through certification. For example, the Institute of Door Dealer Education and Accreditation (IDEA) offers certs. Though this may not be necessary, it can improve hiring chances and open the door to new jobs.
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What Skills Do Garage Door Technicians Need?
Here are six specific skills that are crucial for the success of garage door technicians:
Garage door technicians need a good understanding of access systems. They need this to be able to diagnose and repair issues with garage doors.
For instance, they need knowledge of the springs, cables, rollers, and openers. This is because they must work with all these components.
Garage door technicians need technical understanding. This knowledge is necessary to read and interpret blueprints, schematics, and diagrams.
Skill in electrical systems is essential. Garage door openers and other components use electricity. Many service calls will involve fixing such problems.
Garage door technicians see different issues during work. They need to deal with simple electrical shorts and complex structural issues. Having effective problem-solving skills enables them to identify problems and find solutions.
Strong communication skills are vital for talking with customers. Technicians must have communication skills to be able to explain issues. They will also need to give cost estimates and offer maintenance tips.
Patience and professionalism
Customers in the access systems industry can be anxious. Often, they demand timely repairs.
Patience and professionalism can help workers handle difficult clients. They can show empathy and understanding, for example. Of course, happy clients are necessary for a successful garage door business.
Garage door technicians need to be able to install a new garage door or handle a routine repair. They need the skills to do both jobs and communicate professionally with customers.
What Type of Training Do Certified Garage Door Technicians Go Through?
Certified garage door technicians need specified education. There are more traditional educational options, like trade school. There are also apprenticeships and certification programs.
Here is an overview of the types of training involved:
Garage door technicians often enroll in vocational or trade schools. These schools offer programs related to garage door repair.
The courses can vary in length but generally range from three to four weeks to a few months. These programs have low tuition costs and have a limited time commitment.
Some students may choose to gain hands-on experience as apprentices. An apprentice works with an established garage door business.
These programs can last from a few months to years.
You can also learn the basics through an online video course. Some apprenticeships may include video lessons from the internet. But you can also pursue an online course at your own pace.
You can have unlimited access to videos on YouTube or other platforms. These teach garage door repair techniques.
Garage door technicians will often seek certification. Certification can formalize knowledge learned from an online video or hands-on experience.
Also, you can consider the International Door Association (IDA).
Garage door technicians can stay updated on new tech. They can read trade sites to find industry trends and safety standards. They can also visit workshops, seminars, and online courses.
Industry associations and manufacturers host these events.
Garage door techs need a combination of formal education, hands-on experience, and certification. Training helps with their skills and knowledge. Also, it gives an understanding of the safety needs of garage door systems.
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What Qualifications Are Needed to Work as a Garage Door Technician?
You need a specific set of qualifications to install and repair doors. Often a combination of the following:
High school diploma
Most garage door technician positions need a high school diploma or GED. Companies do not seek people with higher education.
A technician can also find a technician training program. These are available at vocational schools or from garage door businesses.
A successful garage door technician must also have practical experience.
Many technicians start as apprentices or entry-level assistants. They need a certain number of years on the job before a garage door business will hire them. Often, experience matters as much as training.
Often, certifications may not be necessary. Yet, some employers could prefer applicants with accreditation. You have a few options for getting qualified.
IDEA offers the Residential Installer Certification and Automated Gate Operator Installer Certification. The access industry respects both.
Customer service skills
Strong communication and customer service skills are essential. Technicians interact with clients and others daily. They need to explain issues, give estimates, and answer customer questions.
A garage door technician with these skills can complete almost any job. They can also handle challenges in the field. Businesses can be confident that the technician can solve issues without support.
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5 Tips for Hiring Garage Door Technicians
Hiring qualified garage door technicians is crucial. The success of a garage door business depends on these pros. Here are five tips to help you identify and hire the right candidate:
Focus on candidates with relevant training and certifications.
But you should always verify their claims by calling IDEA or the vocational school. They will check on the diploma or certificate for you.
Assess the candidates’ practical experience and reach their references.
Someone who completes an apprenticeship program will list their trainer as a reference. You can contact these people to check the applicant’s performance and skill level. The call can also help you find out about specific skills the applicant learned at the last job.
You can also test their technical and mechanical skills during interviews.
It’s best to consider practical tests to check their abilities. Instead of hiring right away, you can offer them a trial period to see how they work in different situations.
Don’t forget about customer service.
Technicians talk with clients and need to communicate. You can test these skills by having them complete a free phone consultation. This check could happen during the interview or the trial period.
You can also enhance your customer/technician relationship by fully integrating Overhead and Garage Door Software.[MG1] Incorporating software training as part of the onboarding process involves your technicians in the customer journey from their first day on the job.
Ensure the candidate understands safety.
You can fix poor repairs, but an accident due to bad installation or mistakes can lead to lasting damage.
Think about these tips during hiring. They can increase your chances of hiring qualified garage door technicians. These pros are the backbone of every garage door business. Without them, the business would falter.