Water Damage Restoration Jobs: Skills and Attributes Employers Look For November 18, 2019 – Posted in: Blog
Water restoration companies differ in many ways, from their business goals and values to their target market, and staffing needs. However, there are certain skills and attributes that all these companies look for when hiring employees. Having these qualities should help you find water damage restoration jobs much easier.
Why are water damage restoration jobs hard to find?
Water damage restoration (as a more specialized form of property restoration) is a fairly new and growing industry. But because of its unpredictable nature, many water restoration technicians find it challenging to find a consistent job.
Despite many people experiencing water damage issues in their homes or workplaces, calling a water restoration technician is something they wouldn’t normally consider unless their property is devastated by a flood. In most cases, people will reach out to their local handyman or plumber to get rid of broken pipes, mold problems, or a leaky foundation.
If they do deal with severe water damage, it’s usually an emergency. And having no time to research for restoration companies, homeowners will resort to their home insurance provider or plumber for help.
All these affect every water damage restoration company’s ability to scale. As a result, the demand for water damage restoration jobs hasn’t increased much in the past years.
Skills and attributes you need as a water restoration technician
There are different types of water damage restoration jobs and each of them requires different skill sets. For example, a water mitigation technician should be capable to work in smoke, fire, and water damage environments that may have mold problems while an entry-level water technician is more focused on drying both the structure and its contents, and in organizing, tracking, and cleaning equipment.
Nonetheless, for you to succeed in whatever water damage restoration job you choose, make sure you have the following skills and attributes:
Basic water restoration skills
Water restoration technicians typically handle emergency response jobs. They work with people experiencing water problems such as flooding or broken pipes. Thus, technical expertise is very important. The water damage technician duties include mitigating water damage, extracting water, operating specialized equipment, cleaning and drying building contents, and performing home repairs.
Restoration technicians also need good teamwork skills because most projects require them to work with other professionals. They also need to be highly adaptable because the water restoration environment is fast-phased. Pipes can burst in the wee hours or floods can occur on any day. All these make water restoration a tough job. You need to be mentally and emotionally prepared to be efficient at work. Additionally, you must have the ability to communicate clearly and effectively with homeowners, subcontractors, and vendors.
Water technicians should demonstrate professionalism at all times. Since you will be working with people from all walks of life, you should approach each project with extreme courtesy, respect to clients, and professionalism. Great customer service skills are also needed to succeed in this industry.
Water damage contractors work with people who may have lost a loved one, their homes or source of living, or haven’t got enough money to have their property repaired. Often you will get a call from customers who are upset because something nasty happened to their house. This makes compassion a key trait in this industry.
Most people who reach out to water damage companies are usually traumatized. Thus, it’s imperative for water damage technicians to establish an emotional relationship with their clients.
Familiarity with modern technologies
Aside from the basic hand tools and power tools, restoration professionals also operate specialized equipment. These include thermal imaging, mold sensors, water pumps, industrial-quality fans, high-powered dehumidifiers, and air movers. They need to be familiar with how these technologies work. It’s important to note that the industry is evolving. Each year, new processes and technologies are introduced to the market. You have to keep yourself updated with the latest trends in the water restoration field to meet the requirements of the job you’re applying for.
Experience and reputation
The job of water damage contractors is not easy and requires specific technical skills. Prior experience is, therefore, a great advantage. If you’re just starting a career in this industry, compensate your lack of experience by attending training and certification programs. When you are certified, you can find water damage restoration jobs much easier.
Most employers require applicants to present a water damage restoration certification from the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC).
The IICRC provides a set of industry standards that most restoration, cleaning, and inspection companies adhere to. They have a list of courses and schools where you can take your training and certification.
For water damage technicians, the certification involves a 24-hour course where anyone seeking employment will understand the principles of the drying process, the effects of water on materials and structures, and the difference between sanitary and unsanitary water. Furthermore, this water restoration certification also covers water mitigation, basic water damage cleanup, and how to execute a proper inspection.
It’s no secret that networking is one of the most effective ways to get a job. It helps you obtain leads, referrals, information, and support. Widen your network. Keep in touch with your colleagues in the industry. Attend events, meetups, and other gatherings of water restoration professionals in your area. Let your network know that you are seeking employment. Common sources of contacts will be your IICRC school and former classmates, former employers, professional associations, friends and relatives, and community job clubs.
Finding a job as a water damage technician might be challenging given the unpredictable nature of the industry. Nonetheless, getting a rewarding career is highly possible especially if you have the skills and attributes that employers look for.
Training, certifications, and experience are also required by most water restoration businesses. Since water restoration is a highly technical field, you need to equip yourself with proper knowledge and know-how. More importantly, you must work with compassion.
All these are the secret to getting your dream job in the restoration industry.