Career Talk Archives | The Master Samurai Tech Academy

Topic: Career Talk

The Four Keys to becoming a Great Appliance Tech

Posted on August 4, 2017 by - Academy Talk, Business Talk, Career Talk, Tech Talk

Here’s the reality of the appliance repair trade today: we have too many parts changers and not enough technicians. In working with techs of all types over the years, I’ve noticed that all great technicians do four things that distinguish them from the sea of parts changers:

  1. KTB - Know The Basics
  2. RTFM - Read The Freakin’ Manual
  3. PATD - Pay Attention To Details
  4. HAS - Have A System

Know The Basics

Nothing else happens unless a technician knows technical things. This may sound obvious but the sad reality of the appliance repair trade today is that many “technicians” don’t know the things that real technicians are supposed to know: basic electricity, analog and digital circuits, reading schematics, technology used in modern appliances, microcomputer control systems, troubleshooting, etc.

Many techs who have been doing appliance repair for 20+ years think they know the basics but, in fact, most do not- they literally don’t know what they don’t know. It is possible, even common today, for techs to have 20+ years of parts changing experience without knowing very much about the basics.

We teach all the basics and much more in the Fundamentals of Appliance Repair training course.

Read the Freakin’ Manual

Knowing the basics is critical but a good tech will also carefully READ the service manual or tech sheet to understand the theory of operation, specifications, and technology used in that appliance.

Most techs are sloppy readers. They’ll quickly scan through a service manual or tech sheet and say they’ve “read” it. That’s not what I mean by RTFM.

We have to read technical literature differently from the way we read a pulp fiction novel. Reading technical literature is not about speed reading. It’s reading and processing the information, forming a coherent understanding of how the appliance systems and circuits are supposed to function.

Where do you get technical literature? From manufacturers if you are an authorized warranty servicer. If not, you can become a Professional Appliantologist member at Appliantology.org and search, request, and download all kinds of technical literature from most of the major manufacturers.

Pay Attention to Details

Think about the word, “technician.” The root of that word is “technic” as in “technicality” which implies details. Our very job title says that we are all about details. That means that we, as true technicians, have eyes and ears honed by training and experience that see and hear things that elude unskilled eyes and ears. We pay attention to details to look for clues when we’re troubleshooting, disassembling, and implementing the repair.

Have a System

We need a system for every aspect of our profession and/or business. At the Master Samurai Tech Academy, we teach a system of troubleshooting called the Ten Step Tango™, which you can learn for free.

The benefit of having a troubleshooting system is that it gives you a structured framework for organizing your thinking and bringing it to bear in solving an appliance problem. You may know the basics and have access to the service manual or tech sheet but unless you can bring all that to bear on a specific problem, you won’t get it fixed. That’s what the Ten Step Tango™ helps you do.

Conversely, a troubleshooting system by itself won’t do you much good unless you know what real technicians are supposed to know, like the basics described above.

In business, you want systems for things like answering the phone, scheduling service calls, conducting the service call, and setting job prices. All of this is taught in our Modern Business Management course which is included at half price in our Business Bundle.

Be honest - are you missing any of the Four Keys? Master Samurai Tech has helped many techs, from newbies to seasoned veterans, fill in the gaps and acquire the keys to appliance tech greatness.

Master Samurai Tech Radio Episode 20: Consumer Right to Repair Laws

Posted on June 27, 2017 by - Academy Talk, Business Talk, Career Talk, MST Radio

 

- Industry news: Consumer right to repair laws coming to a state near you. Consumers will have the right to purchase appliance service manuals from the manufacturer. What does it mean for you as a professional appliance repair technician?

- The Ten Step Tango troubleshooting procedure: Troubleshooting techniques for any appliance brand or type. If you aren't already registered at the site, click here to sign up for the free TST course.

- Tech training webinars at MasterSamuraiTech.com and Appliantology.org

- Monitoring the training progress of your technician who is enrolled at the Master Samurai Tech Academy.

Online appliance repair training: Master Samurai Tech
Professional appliance technician support: Appliantology.org

You can listen to just the audio portion of the vodcast in the player below:

You can lead a tech to training…

Posted on September 30, 2016 by - Academy Talk, Business Talk, Career Talk

Your Future is Defined By What You Do Today written on chalkboardIt’s time for a little straight talk and tough love about training at the Master Samurai Tech Academy.

We get feedback every week from students and/or their employers about how our courses have impacted their lives. We’ve been told we were literally an answer to prayers, that we turned a tech from zero to hero at their shop, that we’ve reinvigorated a 20+ year career in the trade, that we’ve increased business profits.

The thing is, we didn’t do all of that.

Sure, we provided the training itself, and we’re very pleased with what we created at the Academy.

But it’s the students who take ownership of their training, who listen to and heed our advice on how to learn this stuff, who put a priority on learning, who put aside their egos and get help when they need it … they are the ones who really made all of the good stuff happen in their careers.

Team Samurai built an awesome tool. But you’ve got to wield it with focus and intention to get the stellar results that are possible.

We get loads of positive feedback, and we are grateful to be part of that success.

But we also have students who aren’t taking ownership of their training, who are going through the units getting low scores and not doing anything about it. Who obviously aren’t getting certain concepts but never ask us questions in the forums. Who give up partway through the course.

There are points in the course where we will notice low scores and email with the student about them. But that really shouldn’t be Team Samurai’s responsibility. The student knows what the Certification requirements are. They know how they should approach the coursework. All of that is spelled out in the Orientation lesson.

This is training for grown-ups who want to not just survive but THRIVE in an uncertain economy. For anyone to invest money and time into a training program and not really take advantage of it is foolish.

If you are a tech, we hope you will recognize the value that will come to your career and thus your whole life by taking ownership of your training and doing what it takes to up your game with our courses.

If you are an employer, then we urge you to take your role as training supervisor seriously and don’t let it slip through the cracks. At the outset, make sure your tech is a willing participant in the Academy. (And if they aren’t, why would you want them as an employee?) Clearly communicate your expectations and goals for their coursework. And put it in your weekly schedule to check on their progress and communicate with them on any low scores. It only takes minutes per week to do this, yet the benefits are huge.

If you aren’t sure how to supervise your techs as they go through the Academy, please read this page at our site. And feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

Team Samurai is rooting for you! We want every one of our students to be one of our success stories. We know how to train techs. If you bring a good attitude and intention to the Academy, we’ll help you get where you want to be.

Not yet a student at the Academy? Read more about our online appliance repair training courses.

Troubleshoot from the Computer Board and Avoid Unnecessary Appliance Disassembly

Posted on July 25, 2016 by - Academy Talk, Career Talk, Tech Talk

True confession time: I am the laziest tech you’ll ever meet. That’s why I LOVE computer-controlled appliances- I can troubleshoot almost any problem from the main computer board with minimal disassembly, using the skills that we teach in our appliance repair training classes.

Using this Samsung electric dryer as an example, I show how use the schematic to troubleshoot and precisely identify the problem in this no-heat dryer all from the control board.

By doing all my troubleshooting from the main computer board and identifying the bad part, I can then check my inventory to see if I have the part on hand at the service call.

If I do, great- I go ahead and disassemble to complete the repair.

If not, then I avoid an unnecessary disassembly on that first call, go order the needed part, then come back and complete the repair with just one disassembly.

Avoiding unnecessary disassembly saves time, money, and liability.

Lazy techs work smarter, not harder, and earn more money!

 

 

Master Samurai Tech Academy students should log in and watch the more advanced video showing how to test even more components from the control board using live tests.

Webinar Recording: Troubleshooting a Samsung Electric Dryer from the Control Board using Live Testing

The Samurai Tech Check: a free online quiz to assess a tech’s training needs

Posted on June 3, 2016 by - Academy Talk, Business Talk, Career Talk

Samurai Tech Check smallerWe’ve just added another FREE resource at Master Samurai Tech - available to anyone! You don’t have to be enrolled as a student to use this online assessment tool.

The Samurai Tech Check is a free online quiz designed to help you determine how much you (or a tech-employee) would benefit from the MST Academy's online appliance repair training course Fundamentals of Appliance Repair .

The results can help to identify work readiness for a new hire, and training needs for new or existing techs.

Techs with Experience

Our experience at the MST Academy is that the material taught in the Fundamentals course is a huge boost for most techs - even those with many years of experience - because the vast majority never got adequate training in Basic Electricity, circuits, and reading schematics. Even a thorough understanding of electric motors is often missing.

However, some experienced techs aren’t sure if the Fundamentals course is right for them.

The questions on the Tech Check are drawn from the material taught in the Fundamentals course at the Academy, so the results can give you a good indication of how useful that course would be in filling in any knowledge or skill gaps.

Since we don’t teach “fluff” in the Academy, any result less than 90% indicates that there is room for filling in some knowledge and skill gaps!

New Hires

For new or prospective hires, with little to no appliance repair experience, you can see what, if any, foundational knowledge they bring to the table which will help shape your expectations of their training needs and how long it might take to get them up to speed.

The Tech Check has questions in the following categories:

  • Aptitude (math questions based on the types of calculations needed for the course)
  • Basic Electricity
  • Basic Electronics
  • Basic Gas
  • Appliance Parts
  • Appliance Motors

The results are reported (via email) as a percentage of correct answers in each category.

See the Samurai Tech Check page for even more info and to take the test yourself! If you aren’t yet an Academy student, all you need is a free student account, which you can get at the Enroll page here at the site.

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