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Online Appliance Repair Training

Comparing Master Samurai Tech, Penn Foster, Uncle Harry’s, and Fred’s Academy*

Whether you’re a working technician looking to improve your skills or a novice looking to learn the trade, you’ve probably noticed that you don’t have a lot of training options. Your choices include:

  • A few in-person academies that cost thousands of dollars, require travel and have limited seats.
  • A few online training options with open enrollment and lower tuitions.

Hands-on practice is easy to get once you know the skills of the trade, so most students opt for the affordability and flexibility of online courses. But of your online appliance repair school options – Master Samurai Tech, Penn Foster, Uncle Harry’s, and now Fred’s Academy – which offers the best deal for the best education?

In this guide, you’ll learn: What the courses cover, How the courses work, as well as Post-graduation benefits you can expect from each online appliance repair school.


 

What the Courses Cover

Master Samurai

Free
  • All major appliances:
  • Computer-controlled appliances:
  • Electricity and electronics:
  • Gas:
  • Appliance motors and parts:
  • Schematic and wiring diagrams:
  • Troubleshooting:
  • Functional understanding of tech:
  • Standard appliance:
  • Troubleshooting techniques:
  • Refrigeration & sealed systems:
  • Cooking appliance technology:
  • Laundry systems:
  • Schematic analysis:
  • Timing charts:
  • Ohm's Law and electricity:
  • Electronic control boards:
  • How to start up a business:
  • How to run a business:
  • Installation:
  • Basics of professional service:

Penn Foster

Free
  • All major appliances:
  • Computer-controlled appliances:
  • Electricity and electronics:
  • Gas:
  • Appliance motors and parts:
  • Schematic and wiring diagrams:
  • Troubleshooting:
  • Functional understanding of tech:
  • Standard appliances:
  • Troubleshooting techniques:
  • Refrigeration & sealed systems:
  • Cooking appliance technology:
  • Laundry systems:
  • Schematic analysis:
  • Timing charts:
  • Ohm's Law and electricity:
  • Electronic control boards:
  • How to start up a business:
  • How to run a business:
  • Installation:
  • Basics of professional service:

Uncle Harry's

Free
  • All major appliances:
  • Computer-controlled appliances:
  • Electricity and electronics:
  • Gas:
  • Appliance motors and parts:
  • Schematic and wiring diagrams:
  • Troubleshooting:
  • Functional understanding of tech:
  • Standard appliances:
  • Troubleshooting techniques:
  • Refrigeration & sealed systems:
  • Cooking appliance technology:
  • Laundry systems:
  • Schematic analysis:
  • Timing charts:
  • Ohm's Law and electricity:
  • Electronic control boards:
  • How to start up a business:
  • How to run a business:
  • Installation:
  • Basics of professional service:

Fred's

Free
  • All major appliances:
  • Computer-controlled appliances:
  • Electricity and electronics:
  • Gas:
  • Appliance motors and parts:
  • Schematic and wiring diagrams:
  • Troubleshooting:
  • Functional understanding of tech:
  • Standard appliances:
  • Troubleshooting techniques:
  • Refrigeration & sealed systems:
  • Cooking appliance technology:
  • Laundry systems:
  • Schematic analysis:
  • Timing charts:
  • Ohm's Law and electricity:
  • Electronic control boards:
  • How to start up a business:
  • How to run a business:
  • Installation:
  • Basics of professional service:
Basics of:
  • All major appliances:
  • Computer-controlled appliances:
  • Electricity and electronics:
  • Gas:
  • Appliance motors and parts:
  • Schematic and wiring diagrams:
  • Troubleshooting:
  • Functional understanding of tech:
  • All major appliances:
  • Computer-controlled appliances:
  • Electricity and electronics:
  • Gas:
  • Appliance motors and parts:
  • Schematic and wiring diagrams:
  • Troubleshooting:
  • Functional understanding of tech:
  • All major appliances:
  • Computer-controlled appliances:
  • Electricity and electronics:
  • Gas:
  • Appliance motors and parts:
  • Schematic and wiring diagrams:
  • Troubleshooting:
  • Functional understanding of tech:
  • All major appliances:
  • Computer-controlled appliances:
  • Electricity and electronics:
  • Gas:
  • Appliance motors and parts:
  • Schematic and wiring diagrams:
  • Troubleshooting:
  • Functional understanding of tech:
  • All major appliances:
  • Computer-controlled appliances:
  • Electricity and electronics:
  • Gas:
  • Appliance motors and parts:
  • Schematic and wiring diagrams:
  • Troubleshooting:
  • Functional understanding of tech:
Common issues and fixes for:
  • Standard appliance:
  • Computer-controlled appliances:
  • Standard appliance:
  • Computer-controlled appliances:
  • Standard appliances:
  • Computer-controlled appliances:
  • Standard appliances:
  • Computer-controlled appliances:
  • Standard appliances:
  • Computer-controlled appliances:
Advanced understanding of:
  • Troubleshooting techniques:
  • Refrigeration & sealed systems:
  • Cooking appliance technology:
  • Laundry systems:
  • Schematic analysis:
  • Timing charts:
  • Ohm's Law and electricity:
  • Electronic control boards:
  • Troubleshooting techniques:
  • Refrigeration & sealed systems:
  • Cooking appliance technology:
  • Laundry systems:
  • Schematic analysis:
  • Timing charts:
  • Ohm's Law and electricity:
  • Electronic control boards:
  • Troubleshooting techniques:
  • Refrigeration & sealed systems:
  • Cooking appliance technology:
  • Laundry systems:
  • Schematic analysis:
  • Timing charts:
  • Ohm's Law and electricity:
  • Electronic control boards:
  • Troubleshooting techniques:
  • Refrigeration & sealed systems:
  • Cooking appliance technology:
  • Laundry systems:
  • Schematic analysis:
  • Timing charts:
  • Ohm's Law and electricity:
  • Electronic control boards:
  • Troubleshooting techniques:
  • Refrigeration & sealed systems:
  • Cooking appliance technology:
  • Laundry systems:
  • Schematic analysis:
  • Timing charts:
  • Ohm's Law and electricity:
  • Electronic control boards:
Other:
  • How to start up a business:
  • How to run a business:
  • Installation:
  • Basics of professional service:
  • How to start up a business:
  • How to run a business:
  • Installation:
  • Basics of professional service:
  • How to start up a business:
  • How to run a business:
  • Installation:
  • Basics of professional service:
  • How to start up a business:
  • How to run a business:
  • Installation:
  • Basics of professional service:
  • How to start up a business:
  • How to run a business:
  • Installation:
  • Basics of professional service:

Master Samurai

Free

Penn Foster

Free

Uncle Harry's

Free

Fred's

Free

 

While you can learn the basics of appliance repair at each school, only Master Samurai Tech gives you the opportunity to develop both a more advanced understanding of how each appliance works and the advanced repair skills you’ll need to handle any issue, even on the most modern appliances.

Read More

Whichever program you pick, you can expect to learn the basics of how standard appliances work, the common problems they suffer and the solutions that usually work. That knowledge can get you safely through a number of service calls.

But what happens when the common solution doesn’t work? What happens when you show up and are faced with an issue you’ve never seen before? It happens more than you might think, especially as appliance technology becomes more complex and new models come out. Not much is scarier than being stuck in a frustrated customer’s home with no idea what to do next. And getting on the phone to call a help-line is a surefire way to look incompetent. How much is a customer willing to pay if the guy on the phone is the real expert and you are simply the parts-changer?

Master Samurai Tech has made a name for itself by teaching troubleshooting skills and techniques that are advanced enough to make short work of any appliance issue, no matter how rare. This starts by giving techs a functional understanding of the technology common to all appliances, makes, and models, knowledge that makes you powerfully effective as a repairman. So, not only can we help you set up an appliance repair business, we can train you to solve the service calls you get better than anyone in your area.

 


How the Courses Work

Master Samurai

Free
  • Cost: Starts at $495
  • Financing available?:
  • Self-paced:
  • Progress-tracking:
  • Goal-setting tools:
  • Online text and diagrams:
  • Videos:
  • Interactive examples:
  • Quizzes and exams:
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Teaching style: Lively
  • Basic support:
  • Student community support:
  • Appliance expert support: 20+ years experience

Penn Foster

Free
  • Cost: $749
  • Financing available?:
  • Self-paced:
  • Progress-tracking:
  • Goal-setting tools:
  • Online text and diagrams:
  • Videos:
  • Interactive examples:
  • Quizzes and exams:
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Teaching style: Dry
  • Basic support:
  • Student community support:
  • Appliance expert support:

Uncle Harry's

Free
  • Cost: $2899
  • Financing available?:
  • Self-paced:
  • Progress-tracking:
  • Goal-setting tools:
  • Online text and diagrams:
  • Videos:
  • Interactive examples:
  • Quizzes and exams:
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Teaching style: Dull
  • Basic support:
  • Student community support:
  • Appliance expert support: 20+ years experience

Fred's

Free
  • Cost: Starts at $200
  • Financing available?:
  • Self-paced:
  • Progress-tracking:
  • Goal-setting tools:
  • Online text and diagrams:
  • Videos:
  • Interactive examples:
  • Quizzes and exams:
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Teaching style: Dry
  • Basic support:
  • Student community support:
  • Appliance expert support: 20+ years experience
Time commitment:
  • Cost:
  • Financing available?:
  • Self-paced:
  • Progress-tracking:
  • Goal-setting tools:
  • Cost:Starts at $495
  • Financing available?:
  • Self-paced:
  • Progress-tracking:
  • Goal-setting tools:
  • Cost:$749
  • Financing available?:
  • Self-paced:
  • Progress-tracking:
  • Goal-setting tools:
  • Cost:$2899
  • Financing available?:
  • Self-paced:
  • Progress-tracking:
  • Goal-setting tools:
  • Cost:Starts at $200
  • Financing available?:
  • Self-paced:
  • Progress-tracking:
  • Goal-setting tools:
Course materials:
  • Online text and diagrams:
  • Videos:
  • Interactive examples:
  • Quizzes and exams:
  • Difficulty:
  • Teaching style:
  • Online text and diagrams:
  • Videos:
  • Interactive examples:
  • Quizzes and exams:
  • Difficulty:Moderate
  • Teaching style:Lively
  • Online text and diagrams:
  • Videos:
  • Interactive examples:
  • Quizzes and exams:
  • Difficulty:Easy
  • Teaching style:Dry
  • Online text and diagrams:
  • Videos:
  • Interactive examples:
  • Quizzes and exams:
  • Difficulty:Easy
  • Teaching style:Dull
  • Online text and diagrams:
  • Videos:
  • Interactive examples:
  • Quizzes and exams:
  • Difficulty:Easy
  • Teaching style:Dry
Support:
  • Basic support:
  • Student community support:
  • Appliance expert support:
  • Basic support:
  • Student community support:
  • Appliance expert support:20+ years experience
  • Basic support:
  • Student community support:
  • Appliance expert support:
  • Basic support:
  • Student community support:
  • Appliance expert support:20+ years experience
  • Basic support:
  • Student community support:
  • Appliance expert support:20+ years experience

Master Samurai

Free

Penn Foster

Free

Uncle Harry's

Free

Fred's

Free

 

How a course is taught is just as important as what is taught. Are the lessons and examples clear and easy-to-follow? Are they fun and engaging? What happens if you need additional help? Master Samurai Tech works hard to make sure our students enjoy their learning experience and get the most out of every lesson, because we want to see you succeed.

Read More

Even if a course covers everything you need to know, you won’t learn much if it’s taught poorly. Everyone has a preferred learning style—lectures, visual examples, reading assignments, and hands-on practice—and students learn best when teachers use a mix of these styles. So, it’s important to look for a variety of teaching methods and course materials.

But an even more important key to good teaching is to keep students interested and engaged. We all know from past school experience that it is very hard to learn when you’re falling asleep from boredom every few minutes. You’ll struggle to remember what you’re taught, and you’ll look for excuses not to keep up with your training.

You may have noticed we’re a little quirkier – Master Samurai Tech? – and there’s a reason: we want your training to stick. We do all we can to keep the training fresh and fun, because when you’re enjoying yourself you actually absorb the material being taught.

Graded quizzes and exams throughout each course help you test and apply what you’re learning to make sure you really get it (they are not about comparing you to other technicians). And if you ever need a little additional help understanding the material, we provide personal, interactive help in our Ask the Teacher Forums, where we work to be as quick and responsive as possible


 

Post-Graduation Benefits

Master Samurai

Free
  • Receive updates on new material:
  • Certification:
  • Help with licensing:
  • Help with work placement:
  • Continued access to teachers:
  • Network with other tech experts:
  • Manuals, schematics & more:
  • Comprehensive technical library:
  • Continuing education:

Penn Foster

Free
  • Receive updates on new material:
  • Certification:
  • Help with licensing:
  • Help with work placement:
  • Continued access to teachers:
  • Network with other tech experts:
  • Manuals, schematics & more:
  • Comprehensive technical library:
  • Continuing education:

Uncle Harry's

Free
  • Receive updates on new material:
  • Certification:
  • Help with licensing:
  • Help with work placement:
  • Continued access to teachers:
  • Network with other tech experts:
  • Manuals, schematics & more:
  • Comprehensive technical library:
  • Continuing education:

Fred's

Free
  • Receive updates on new material:
  • Certification: Through 3rd-parties
  • Help with licensing:
  • Help with work placement:
  • Continued access to teachers:
  • Network with other tech experts:
  • Manuals, schematics & more:
  • Comprehensive technical library:
  • Continuing education:
Employment help:
  • Receive updates on new material:
  • Certification:
  • Help with licensing:
  • Help with work placement:
  • Receive updates on new material:
  • Certification:
  • Help with licensing:
  • Help with work placement:
  • Receive updates on new material:
  • Certification:
  • Help with licensing:
  • Help with work placement:
  • Receive updates on new material:
  • Certification:
  • Help with licensing:
  • Help with work placement:
  • Receive updates on new material:
  • Certification:Through 3rd-parties
  • Help with licensing:
  • Help with work placement:
Support:
  • Continued access to teachers:
  • Network with other tech experts:
  • Manuals, schematics & more:
  • Comprehensive technical library:
  • Continuing education:
  • Continued access to teachers:
  • Network with other tech experts:
  • Manuals, schematics & more:
  • Comprehensive technical library:
  • Continuing education:
  • Continued access to teachers:
  • Network with other tech experts:
  • Manuals, schematics & more:
  • Comprehensive technical library:
  • Continuing education:
  • Continued access to teachers:
  • Network with other tech experts:
  • Manuals, schematics & more:
  • Comprehensive technical library:
  • Continuing education:
  • Continued access to teachers:
  • Network with other tech experts:
  • Manuals, schematics & more:
  • Comprehensive technical library:
  • Continuing education:

Master Samurai

Free

Penn Foster

Free

Uncle Harry's

Free

Fred's

Free

 

After you’re done training, what comes next? If you’re smart, you’ll pick a school that will continue to support you throughout your career. We are always adding more resources, but we already offer the best post-graduation benefit around: free or discounted memberships to Appliantology, the original online community of appliance repair techs. There you can get speedy peer-to-peer support from other trained experts (moderated by the Master Samurai team); download over 7,000 manuals, tech sheets and schematics; and continue your training with new webinar recordings from the Master Samurai himself. No other online school offers anything close.

Read More

Because Penn Foster is not a program run and staffed by seasoned appliance repair technicians, you can’t expect much from them after completing the program. Fred’s Academy offers a few helpful resources—like a job board and tools store—but little in the way of on-the-job tech support. They have a small Facebook group you can join, but it pales in comparison to Appliantology. And while Uncle Harry says that he offers lifetime support and an “Appliance Wizard Tablet,” these resources are less plug-and-play than he makes it seem.** We think YOU should be the wizard, not your tablet.

When you enroll in Master Samurai Tech, you are eligible for a free membership at our tech support site, Appliantology, the biggest and best online community of appliance repair experts. There you can find industry news, get community help for especially tricky problems, learn additional skills, and find all the manuals, schematics and tech sheets you need to kick butt at your job (which you can then load onto your own tablet).

There is always more to learn, even after advanced training such as ours, so ask yourself: Am I student of the craft? Or do I just want to make a quick buck?


Summary of Your Options

Penn Foster – Penn Foster offers the least expensive program end-to-end, but you get what you pay for. While the basics are taught on their courseware, the training lacks the advanced skills and knowledge to make you a real professional. And if you get stuck and need help, either during the courses or after, Penn Foster does not offer support from appliance repair experts.**

Fred’s Academy – While Fred’s Academy is an old hand at appliance repair training, they are the newest entrant to online training, having launched their online program just last year (because of COVID-19). We have a good relationship with Fred’s, as many of our grads have used their on-campus program to get hands-on experience to complement our more advanced online training (and vice versa, their grads have used our training to deepen their knowledge and skill set). We wish them well, but we remain the gold standard for appliance repair skills training.

Uncle Harry’s Uncle Harry’s falls on the opposite end of the price range, and for help getting an appliance repair company set up quickly and receiving calls, Uncle Harry’s tries his best. But to actually learn the trade beyond being a basic parts-changer, especially when it comes to today’s computer-controlled appliances, you will find Uncle Harry’s course material and support outdated by 20 years. He won’t even touch most modern appliances.**

Master Samurai Tech – Of the three, we offer the most thorough training and the most comprehensive support, because we are deeply invested in helping you succeed. Why?

We are tired of people looking down on appliance repair as both an industry and a career. Being an appliance repair technician should feel awesome, it should fill you with pride every time a customer gushes over your great service. But for either to happen, you need to master the trade. Let us make you feel like a noble appliance repair warrior. Let us train you to be a Master Samurai Tech.

 

Ready to Learn More About Master Samurai Tech?

See Our Courses Read Student Reviews Try a Free Course Sample

 

* Yes, we know there are a few other options available, but we are focusing on legitimate programs that could actually help you and have been around long enough to have a track record.

** Based on publicly available data and information from former students of these programs.