Service superiority requires both 

By Sam Brown, Master Samurai Tech/

“What about hands-on training?”

This is a question we get asked frequently by people who are new to the trade and considering enrolling in online appliance repair training. It makes some sense, as the appliance repair trade involves physical work, and any good repair tech will need to be adept at disassembly, performing electrical measurements and replacing the parts.

But here’s the reality: training is a “brains-on” activity, which is then followed by hands-on practice. You can get this practice at little to no cost. We’ll tell you how below.

“Brains-On” Training

A truly successful, profitable appliance tech will have excellent “brains-on” skills to go along with their “hands-on” abilities.

You may be a whiz with a screwdriver and can swap out a washer door boot in no time. But if you want to make a good living at it, you need to know:

  • How electric circuits work
  • How to read schematics
  • How to troubleshoot electric circuits and computer-controlled appliances
  • How to identify the failed component quickly and precisely the first time, without guesswork.

This is the valuable, money-making skill set that is largely lost to the trade today, and that online training is bringing back to appliance repair technicians.

These critical brains-on skills come from training by experts, and these experts don’t have to be standing right in front of you. They can come to you via online courses, videos or even service manuals and other manufacturer literature. The hands-on component that follows is practicing what you have learned.

It makes sense, then, that when considering where to invest your training dollars, you will want to put the most towards brains-on training.

Online vs. On-Site

Online training has a lot of advantages. At Master Samurai Tech Academy, for example, we offer in-depth training that is self-paced and on-demand, so it meets your schedule and your tech’s learning speed. It’s also interactive, and has a support community for the technician long after they’ve completed the courses.

See: Class is in Session for BrandSource Service Techs

If you don’t have the facilities on hand to let a tech practice onsite, or can absorb the higher cost associated with physical schools, then on-site learning may be worthwhile for you. But thousands of tech students have also gotten their hands-on practice in low- or no-cost ways. For techs working at an appliance distributor, that can look like:

  • Ride-alongs with senior techs
  • Practicing disassembly on spare/junk appliances
  • Performing repairs on appliances from the warehouse

As you are thinking about how to build your techs’ hands-on skills, remember that there are also thousands of free videos out there showing how to tear down all kinds of appliances and replace most parts. In addition, service manuals usually have helpful information on how to get where you need to in a machine. A little preparation ahead of time will prevent fumbling around on the job.

If you want to get some brains-on training for yourself or your techs and access our tech support forum, consider our Core Appliance Repair Training course at Master Samurai Tech, and be sure to apply the 15% discount for BrandSource members.

Sam Brown is “Professor of Appliance Repair Mastery” at BrandSource partner, an online training academy for appliance repair personnel, and is the administrator of its sister tech support site, For more information, email Sam at or call (603) 290-5516.

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