How to Become an Appliance Repair Technician | Online Certification FAQ



FAQ

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How the Online Courses Work
What's Included in Course Material
I'm New to Appliance Repair
I'm a Current Repair Professional
I'm a Multi-Tech Operator
Pricing and Payment
Support


How the Online Courses Work

Q. How are the courses structured?

A. Master Samurai Tech Academy offers a series of self-paced, online, interactive training courses. Aside from a textbook that you will order from Amazon, all of the course material is accessed online. When you are ready to study, all you need is an internet connection and a computer or device, and you can get started.

Each course consists of a series of modules. And each module consists of units of instruction. Think of them as lessons, each with a quiz you must conquer to advance to the next unit (or module). A status indicator sitting in the sidebar always lets you know exactly where you stand in the course.

Q. What about hands-on training?

A. The most important work in appliance repair is done by that grey matter between your ears - understanding appliance technology and knowing how to troubleshoot using schematic diagrams and electrical testing. We call it "brains-on training" and emphasize those skills here at the Academy. Ultimately, however, it is a hands-on trade as well. This is the easiest component to get experience in. First of all, there is an abundance of free resources, such as videos and service manuals, that can give you the disassembly information that you need. The other hands-on skills you can acquire as you "learn by doing," and we give you more guidance on this at the Academy.

Q. Is there a certain grade I need to get in order to pass the course?

A. If you want to receive a certification from Master Samurai Tech, then you must achieve an 80% or higher on all of your unit quizzes, plus at least a 90% on the module, midterm, and final exams (where applicable). On unit quizzes and module exams you have 2 attempts to get the score that you are happy with. The Orientation for each course describes the quiz and exam structure in detail. You can also read more about it at this blog post.

Q. What if I need more help on a lesson?

A. Simple. We are here to help with ANY question you have. Submit your thoughts to the Student Forum in the module you’re working on and Team Samurai will answer your question. We will give you the coaching and mentoring you need to become a master yourself.

Q. How long do the courses take? How long do I have to complete them?

A. Since all of the coursework is self-paced, the length of time to complete the courses varies with each student. But we can give you a general idea. If you work at a steady pace, doing at least 4-6 lessons per week, you can complete Fundamentals in about 2 months, and the other technical courses in about a month each. On the other hand, if you are taking Fundamentals full-time, it can be completed in a matter of a couple of weeks.

When you enroll in a course or bundle, you have an initial time period with access to your coursework: one year for an individual course, or two years if you enroll in a bundle. Once that time is up, an optional ongoing monthly fee is charged for those who wish to continue to have access to all of the material and benefits of being a student ($5 for a single course, or $10 for a bundle). This monthly access can be canceled at any time. You can view your recurring payments at the bottom of the Members Area page. Just click the yellow "My Courses" button at the top right corner of the window.

Q. What are the computer specifications for the Academy?

A. All of the work is done online, so any computer or mobile device that can access the internet should be fine. However, some browsers are not fully supported by the courseware and may cause various difficulties, including interfering with video playback.

Read all about our recommended browsers and the use of mobile devices at the Student Resource Page.

If you have any technical difficulties, please let us know right away using the Contact page.


Course Material

Q.  How many models do you cover? Do you cover newer, electronic appliances?

A. We are currently developing courses for more well-known kitchen and laundry appliances covering their operation and troubleshooting. Each course will be rolled out once completed.

While it’s impossible to cover all of the brands and models out there (and let’s face it, there’s a lot!), we are convinced that the best way to make you ready to work on any appliance that you might encounter is to help you learn all the fundamentals of appliance repair so well, you will become an ace troubleshooter. You will be the one that other techs contact when they are stumped—you will have become a master yourself. You’ll make it look easy (and that’s because, it is, once you have the knowledge from the Fundamentals course).

Here’s what makes for a great tech:

  • Someone who has a solid foundation in how appliances work.
  • Someone who is well-versed in the art of troubleshooting (especially using schematics and electrical measurements)

Q. What about hands-on training?

A. The most important work in appliance repair is done by that grey matter between your ears - understanding appliance technology and knowing how to troubleshoot using schematic diagrams and electrical testing. We call it "brains-on training" and emphasize those skills here at the Academy. Ultimately, however, it is a hands-on trade as well. This is the easiest component to get experience in. First of all, there is an abundance of free resources, such as videos and service manuals, that can give you the disassembly information that you need. The other hands-on skills you can acquire as you "learn by doing," and we give you more guidance on this at the Academy.

Q. Is this the same as the Appliance Tech Boot Camp?

A. In the early stages of the development of the MST Academy we called it the “Appliance Tech Boot Camp.” We recorded a number of presentations for the courses before we decided to change the name to the Academy, so you will sometimes still see the “Boot Camp” name mentioned in the courses. Eventually we will re-record those presentations, but our first priority is getting new courses out there for our information-hungry students!


I'm New to Appliance Repair

Q. I am new to appliance repair. How soon will I be able to do service calls independently if I take the Academy courses?

A. As you can imagine, the answer to this varies according to the student’s background and experience, and what their current situation is. Perhaps the most important consideration is how much effort the student puts into his studies. But here are some guidelines to help you get a feel for what you might expect.

The ideal situation, if someone is trying to get up-to-speed as quickly as possible, is to be taking Fundamentals (and then the other courses) at the same time you are running service calls part-time with an experienced tech. In other words, an apprenticeship situation. Because the Fundamentals course presents usable information so quickly, the apprentice will be able to start applying what he is learning very soon and will be an asset to the experienced tech. Within a matter of months, the novice should be able to start taking on some jobs independently.

Many students do not have this situation and find other ways to get hands-on experience so they can put into practice what they are learning. For example, some of our students are transitioning from handyman or maintenance jobs, and are finding opportunities to work on appliances for the customers that they formerly did other types of work for. Other people offer free or low-cost repairs (customers pay for the cost of the part) to people in their area so they can start to practice, then they transition to fully paid jobs over time. (Note: if you are doing this as your own business, then there are insurance and other considerations to address, as discussed in the Business Course.)

Q. Are there any prerequisites for admission?

A. Yes. We do have required and recommended prerequisites for anyone entering MST:

Required:

  • A computer with Internet access, preferably broadband.
  • The latest version of one of our recommended browsers. Other browsers may have occasional video playback issues! (See our Student Resource Page.)
  • If you use Windows XP, you must download and use either Google Chrome or Firefox; Internet Explorer versions 8 and 9 are not supported.
  • Proficiency in doing basic, simple operations with your web browser (copy and paste, clearing your browser cache, copying a URL from the address bar, making a screen shot, downloading files and knowing where to find them on your hard drive). There is plenty of free help online to get these skills quickly up to speed, such as basic computer skills tutorials on YouTube.
  • The ability to read English.
  • The ability to speak and write English clearly and understandably. We’re not looking for Pulitzer prize winners but you must be able to communicate clearly with us so we can help you!
  • A hard copy of the book, Troubleshooting and Repairing Major Appliances, 3rd Edition, by Eric Kleinert.   This can be purchased via Amazon. It is possible other editions may not exactly correspond with the page numbers cited within the course materials. This textbook is needed for Fundamentals and Refrigerators.

Recommended:

  • Smart phone

Q. What is the job outlook for skilled Appliance Repair Technicians?

A. Very positive, according to our experience and the information we're seeing. The Bureau of Labor predicts a 21% increase in demand for skilled appliance repair techs over the next decade. See this Blog Post for more info!

Q. You have a lot of appliance repair articles and videos out there already, Master Samurai. Can’t I just learn what I need to from those? What would I be getting by paying for Academy courses that I can’t already seek out online?

A. Wise question! Yes, there is obviously a lot of free information out there. However, there are a number of valuable reasons why completing courses through the Academy is better for you in the long run.

  • You are given a structured and logical learning environment to give you the best foundation to succeed in the trade.
  • You gain access to original material in textbooks, videos, and audio clips not available anywhere else online.
  • Our courses encourage accountability by having you pass quizzes before advancing to the next stage.
  • You gain credibility with your certification after graduating from our academy.
  • You have access to student-only forums for individual help from the Master Samurai when needed.
  • You gain from 18 years of experience in both running an appliance repair business and helping people learn appliance repair online. This unique combination gives us the ability to present information to you that you may not even realize you need to learn. We’ve done all of the footwork involved in finding the best ways to communicate this information to you.

Q. What if I need more help on a lesson?

A. Simple. We are here to help with ANY question you have. Submit your thoughts to the Student Forum in the module you’re working on and Team Samurai will answer your question. We will give you the coaching and mentoring you need to become a master yourself.

Q. Do you offer support after I complete the courses?

A. Yes! We have website that provides ongoing support and continuing education for professional appliance repair techs. Appliantology.org is our world-class tech support site where your fellow appliance techs get and give help on specific repair problems. We also have unlimited downloads of service manuals and other documents from our impressive (and constantly growing) database. You can see all the benefits of becoming a Professional Appliantologist member here.


I'm a Current Repair Professional

Q. I’ve already got some experience as an appliance repair tech. Which course should I start with?

A. Many of our students are already working as appliance techs, yet they start their Academy studies with the Fundamentals of Appliance Repair course because they never had a systematic education in things like electricity, electronics, troubleshooting using schematics, and electric motors, and they find that modern appliances are difficult to diagnose without a rock-solid foundation in these skills. A few of these techs are profiled in our Success section.

Look through the course outline for Fundamentals to see the topics covered. If you want to be an ace technician and also be able to increase your First Call Complete percentage (thus increasing profitability), these are the areas that you need to have strong skills in.

If you’re not sure whether you need to start with fundamentals, take our You Don't Know What You Don't Know quiz.

Q. Does the Refrigerator Repair and Advanced Troubleshooting courses have prerequisites?

A. Both courses require a strong background in basic electricity and introductory schematic reading. They were designed assuming that the student would have taken Fundamentals of Appliance Repair first. If you’re not sure whether you need to start with Fundamentals, take our You Don't Know What You Don't Know quiz.

Q. You have a lot of appliance repair articles and videos out there already, Master Samurai. Can’t I just learn what I need to from those? What would I be getting by paying for Academy courses that I can’t already seek out online?

A. Wise question! Yes, there is obviously a lot of free information out there. However, there are a number of valuable reasons why completing courses through the Academy is better for you in the long run.

  • You are given a structured and logical learning environment to give you the best foundation to succeed in the trade.
  • You gain access to original material in textbooks, videos, and audio clips not available anywhere else online.
  • Our courses encourage accountability by having you pass quizzes before advancing to the next stage.
  • You gain credibility with your certification after graduating from our academy.
  • You have access to student-only forums for individual help from the Master Samurai when needed.
  • You gain from 18 years of experience in both running an appliance repair business and helping people learn appliance repair online. This unique combination gives us the ability to present information to you that you may not even realize you need to learn. We’ve done all of the footwork involved in finding the best ways to communicate this information to you.

I'm a Multi-Tech Operator

Q. Do I need enrollments for each of my techs?

A. Yes, each student must be enrolled individually so they can benefit from all of the features of the school as well as potentially qualify for MST Certification. The quizzes and exams that occur throughout the course are a critical part of the learning process, and can only be done if a student has his or her own enrollment.

Q. Do you offer discounts for multiple enrollments?

A. Yes, we offer discounts for any company who enrolls two or more techs in the Academy. Please see the Group Pricing page for information.

Q. Do you offer any phone support or devices loaded with technical documents to students?

A. Instead of big pricey bundles of courses, materials, and other features that you may or may not need, we like to offer our various courses and support functions in smaller chunks so you can buy what you want, when you want.

For ongoing technical support to our students and graduates who are out working in the field, we have a powerful yet very affordable tech support resource called Appliantology.org.

As for a device loaded with tech docs, we offer something even better - the knowledge and power to do it yourself! See this Blog post for more info.


Pricing and Payment

Q. How much do the courses cost?

A. The tuition for each course is listed on our Courses page. Click the "Learn More" button for more details on each course.

Q. Do you offer financing?

A. We offer financing through the PayPal Credit program. You can read about how that works here.

Q. Do you offer discounts for multiple enrollments?

A. Yes, we offer discounts for any company who enrolls two or more techs in the Academy. Please see the Group Pricing page for information.

Q. How long do I have access to the courses?

A. When you enroll in a course or bundle, you have an initial time period with access to your coursework: one year for an individual course, or two years if you enroll in a bundle. Once that time is up, an optional ongoing monthly fee is charged for those who wish to continue to have access to all of the material and benefits of being a student ($5 for a single course, or $10 for a bundle). This monthly access can be canceled at any time. You can view your recurring payments at the bottom of the Members Area page. Just click the yellow "My Courses" button at the top right corner of the window.

Q. Do you have a Guarantee or Refund policy?

A. Yes! These are the courses we wish we had when we were starting out in the business. Our graduates are enthusiastic about them. We are confident that you will find that they are worth more than you paid for them.

But to give you peace of mind about making this investment in your future, we offer a 10-day money-back guarantee. You have 10 days to try out the course(s), and if you decide it is not right for you then we will refund 100% of your tuition. We only require that you have not downloaded or in any way copied the course materials.

We will issue one refund (one course, or one bundle) per student.


Support

Q. What if I need more help on a lesson?

A. Simple. We are here to help with ANY question you have. Submit your thoughts to the Student Forum in the module you’re working on and Team Samurai will answer your question. We will give you the coaching and mentoring you need to become a master yourself.

Q. Do you offer any phone support or devices loaded with technical documents to students?

A. Instead of big pricey bundles of courses, materials, and other features that you may or may not need, we like to offer our various courses and support functions in smaller chunks so you can buy what you want, when you want.

For ongoing technical support to our students and graduates who are out working in the field, we have a powerful yet very affordable tech support resource called Appliantology.org.

As for a device loaded with tech docs, we offer something even better - the knowledge and power to do it yourself! See this Blog post for more info.

Q. Do you offer support after I complete the courses?

A. Yes! We have website that provides ongoing support and continuing education for professional appliance repair techs. Appliantology.org is our world-class tech support site where your fellow appliance techs get and give help on specific repair problems. We also have unlimited downloads of service manuals and other documents from our impressive (and constantly growing) database. You can see all the benefits of becoming a Professional Appliantologist member here.

Don't see your question? Please contact us and we'll get back to us as soon as we can.


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