Building Maintenance, the most unappreciated career.

Men-Working-Caution-Sign-S-2737As a Maintenance Supervisor, Director and maintenance professional I have found that over the years it is the most inglorious, unappreciated and disrespected job anyone has had. When a person needs your services you are catered to, oogled over and oh so appreciated. Once you’ve completed the task they trip over themselves to get rid of you and get you out of their space. You better have cleaned up spotless too. In fact, the area must look better than when you got there. (And usually does).  And in the end they feel cheated when they get the bill.

For a career that requires a “Professional” maintenance technician to have all the trade skills such as Plumbing, Carpentry, Electrical, Masonry and HVAC training, and sometimes Welding, most companies are not willing to pay you a reasonable wage. Many advertise for a maintenance man at $10 per hour. That’s what an average low skilled manufacturing job pays. As a Director of Maintenance I was hired at $15 per hour and not only was required to have all the above skills but also Fire and life safety, Computer programming and repair, Office equipment servicing skills, purchasing and shipping/ receiving ability. And of course Supervisory skills. My job was to plan, organize, setup and schedule all maintenance of the building and grounds and do it also.

Show me any career that requires you to have such a diverse realm of job skills and pays so little. The title “Director” was only being a glorified maintenance man. Even under these circumstances I will say it is the most self rewarding job I ever had. When I walked into the building each morning and everything was working at top performance it was a gratifying feeling to know you made that happen. When you repaired something that your predecessor could not fix there was a sense of great accomplishment. However in light of all my whining here I will say there is no other job I would have wanted more than being a Maintenance Professional.

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