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A maintenance director performs various repair jobs and preventive maintenance tasks at a facility. He or she organizes and oversees repair crews to ensure jobs are performed safely and efficiently. A maintenance director might work at a large office building, apartment complex, industrial factory, school, or any other setting where frequent repair work is needed. In order to provide the best possible services, a director needs to have expert knowledge of many aspects of construction and repair.
Maintenance directors are primarily responsible for identifying what types of repairs need to be performed and delegating specific duties to assistant workers. When an apartment building is being renovated, for example, the maintenance director will walk through the facility and note areas that need painting, structural repairs, or plumbing work. He or she acquires the appropriate supplies and tools and decides which workers are best suited for each task. The director informs workers of expectations and oversees their progress. At the end of renovations, the director will once more tour the building and check the quality of workmanship.
Some maintenance directors specialize in very particular jobs, such as landscaping or performing repairs on a certain type of industrial machinery. Most professionals, however, possess a broad range of skills. They are familiar with heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, electrical circuits, plumbing, and construction-related work. A director needs to understand the detailed technical aspects of maintenance in order to help workers solve difficult problems and perform jobs as efficiently as possible.
It is important for a maintenance director to possess excellent written and verbal communication skills. In addition to providing instructions for workers, the director frequently speaks with building owners to set budgets and explain work that has been performed. He or she contacts equipment suppliers in person, on the telephone, and through e-mail to negotiate deals and acquire necessary materials. Directors also encounter apartment residents and business customers when they work in public spaces.
There are no strict educational requirements to become a maintenance director, though earning a certificate from a community college or technical school program can greatly improve a person's chances of finding work. Training programs in painting, plumbing, electrical repair, and construction can prepare individuals for the wide variety of tasks they may be asked to complete. Most people begin their careers as apprentices or assistants in various maintenance positions to gain practical experience and master their trades. Many countries require new workers to pass licensing exams before they can perform independent repairs on electrical, plumbing, or HVAC systems. With several years of experience and a professional license, an individual can pursue maintenance director jobs in many different settings.