Employment of general maintenance and repair workers is expected to grow 11 percent from 2010 to 2020, about as fast as the average for all occupations.
Because many general maintenance and repair workers work in industries related to real estate, employment opportunities may be sensitive to fluctuations in the economy. Some workers may experience periods of unemployment when the overall level of construction and real estate development falls. However, maintenance and repairs continue during economic downturns, and may even increase as people opt to repair rather than replace equipment.
Employment growth of general maintenance and repair workers may be negatively affected by the use of building management systems. These systems control and monitor the building’s mechanical and electrical equipment, such as ventilation and lighting. For example, these systems can identify a broken ventilation fan or turn off lights automatically after a set amount of time. Building management systems make it easier to detect problems and automatically schedule repairs, partially reducing the need for general maintenance and repair workers.
There should be many job openings for general maintenance and repair workers, due to growth and the need to replace workers who leave the occupation. Many job openings are expected as experienced workers retire. Those with experience in repair- or maintenance-related fields should continue to have the best job prospects.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition