Office-machine service technicians have been into various facilities jobs in their career. They inspect, adjust, clean, and repair all types of office machines such as typewriters, computers, adding and calculating machines, cash registers, posting and mailing equipment, and so forth.
They may be able to tell what is wrong with certain machines by operating on them and listening for unusual sounds, or they may take the machines apart and examine the parts to detect wear or other cause of malfunctioning. Business machines have become an indispensable part of the modern-day business world. Their growth from crude beginnings in the nineteenth century, with its simple machines, to the complex electronic equipment of the offices of today, is one of the fascinating stories of the industrial age. Without the modern business operation, the whole structure of office procedure on which all of today’s business is based would be impossible. The servicing of the early machines required relatively simple mechanical ability. As the needs of business have grown, many of the machines have become so intricate that the skills for their care have made more and more extensive periods of training necessary. For some services, a knowledge of electricity, electronics, and photography is now required.
A great portion of the work of services and facility jobs are done in the offices of the businesses using the machines and is often specialized. Two specialized typewriter service technicians are the aligner and the repairer or adjuster. These service technicians, who are the most numerous, specialize in the maintenance and care of electric typewriters. Other specialists include mail-processing-equipment and scale mechanics and cash-register, dictating-transcribing machine, and statistical-machine service technicians. All of these service technicians have the same basic duties, which are to install, maintain, and if necessary, repair the machines that they service. When major repair or overhaul is necessary, the equipment is often taken to repair shops where there is a room and facility for dismantling and reassembling it. During this process new parts are installed where needed. Most manufacturers of office machines have their own service departments.
Part of their facilities careers, sometimes service technicians set up their own shops and operate independently of the manufacturers. At times, these independent workers specialize in one or two types of machines. In areas where there are too few machines of special types to make servicing them profitable, the independent office-machine technicians take care of several kinds of machines. At times, these shops sell machines and supplies. In facilities employment, some of the independent dealers employ a dozen or more workers and some only one or two. In some of the smaller businesses servicing is combined with sales. Sometimes, they sell supplies for use with the machines as well as the machines themselves. It is usual, in addition to repairing and servicing machines, for these workers to maintain a regular schedule of inspection trips to keep the machines running properly and to catch any small defects preventing them from causing expensive breakdowns.
Needed Education and Training
In their facilities maintenance jobs, tools used by business machine service technicians vary from simple hand tools like pliers, screw drivers, and wrenches to calipers, meters, volt-meters, gauges, and other instruments used in servicing the newer kinds of electric and electronic devices. The education and training needed to enter the field of business machine service covers a wide range. Often, in the smaller shops, no special training is required to service the simplest machines. At the other extreme, it is necessary to have an understanding of the fundamentals of electricity, electronics, and photographic processes. A high-school education is usually a minimum requirement for a job in this field.
Superior mechanical aptitude is required. Any experience in the electrical or mechanical areas is also useful. Post-high-school mechanics or electronics training of at least a year and sometimes more is usually required to qualify for trainee jobs to service the intricate electro-mechanical and electronic equipment or to attain supervisory positions. This training is often available in colleges, city trade schools, state technical training institutions, or privately sponsored schools. Young veterans who have had electronics training in the armed forces are specially desired by employers in this field.
Office-machine service technicians are often visible for job facility where machines are used. In public and private schools, service technicians periodically service duplicating machines, typewriters, and such machines as are used in business courses. Arrangements may be made for interested pupils to observe the work. In towns that have repair shops or branch offices, school counselors may plan field trips for the purpose of learning about the work. It may be possible sometimes for a pupil to get a summer or weekend job at a repair or sales shop.
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