Be a Vending Machine Technician: Education and Career Roadmap

Find out how to become a vending machine technician. Research the training requirements and learn about the experience you need to advance your career in vending machine repair.

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Do I Want to Be a Vending Machine Technician?

Vending machine technicians, also known as vending machine repairers, maintain, troubleshoot and repair soda and snack dispensers. They may also work with arcade or specialty games that offer stuffed animals or other products. The work might be physically demanding, with sometimes having to move machines and often standing for prolonged periods of time.

Job Requirements

Required education and training typically occur on-the-job, though an electronics degree can be helpful for prospective vending machine technicians. Those interested in this career may also consider taking electronics and equipment maintenance courses in high school.

The following table shows common requirements for becoming a vending machine technician:

Common Requirements
Degree Level None required; formal training may be helpful*
Degree Field Electronics*
Certification Voluntary certification is available*
Experience Experience in repair field often preferred**
Key Skills Skills in critical thinking, active listening, time management, problem solving and control precision***
Technical Skills Ability to perform equipment maintenance, machine repair and operation monitoring***

Sources: *ISEEK, **Job listings from employers (November 2012), ***O*Net Online.

Step One: Gain a Formal Education

Although a certificate or degree is not required to work in this field, completing formal training in electronics can help prospective technicians learn more about the technical requirements of the position. Programs like the Associate of Applied Science in Electrical Construction and Maintenance or an electrical certificate are primarily offered at vocational schools and community colleges. In these programs, students can expect courses in areas like electrical fundamentals theory and electrical safety. Programs with lab or field experience components can also help students gain hands-on training.

Step Two: Complete On-the-Job Training

Many vending machine technicians acquire most of their skills on the job. During their training, they typically work with an experienced technician and learn how to complete tasks that include providing customer service and stocking machines. They also learn how to clean and restock machines, eventually taking on progressively more challenging assignments until they are ready to work as independent technicians.

Success Tip:

  • Consider industry certification. The National Automatic Merchandising Association (NAMA) offers the NAMA Certified Executive (NCE) certification to technicians with at least eight years of experience in the field. Obtaining the NCE credentials also requires passing an exam as well as meeting leadership and education requirements. NAMA also offers vending technician certification.
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  • School locations:
    • Minnesota (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Dunwoody College of Technology include:
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Construction Management and Trades
      • Electrical Repair and Maintenance
        • Appliance Installation and Repair
      • Heating, Air Conditioning, Ventilation, and Refrigeration Maintenance
      • Precision Metal Working
      • Vehicle Repair and Maintenance
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    • Wisconsin (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Milwaukee Area Technical College include:
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Associate
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Construction Management and Trades
      • Electrical Repair and Maintenance
        • Appliance Installation and Repair
        • Communications Systems Services
        • Industrial Electronics Repair and Maintenance
      • Heating, Air Conditioning, Ventilation, and Refrigeration Maintenance
      • Heavy Equipment Maintenance
      • Precision Metal Working
      • Vehicle Repair and Maintenance
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    • California (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Stanford University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Cultural Studies
      • Ethnic and Gender Studies
      • Liberal Arts, Humanities, and General Studies
      • Philosophy
      • Political Science
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      • Social Science and Studies
      • Social Studies and History
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    • Massachusetts (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Harvard University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Dental
      • Medical and Health Preparatory Sciences
      • Medical Residency Programs
      • Public Health and Safety
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    • Pennsylvania (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Pennsylvania include:
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      • Post Degree Certificate: First Professional Certificate, Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Dental
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    • Rhode Island (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Brown University include:
      • Graduate: First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
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      • Cultural Studies
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    • North Carolina (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Duke University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Cultural Studies
      • Ethnic and Gender Studies
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      • Social Studies and History
      • Theological, Religious, and Ministerial Studies
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    • Indiana (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Notre Dame include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Cultural Studies
      • Ethnic and Gender Studies
      • Liberal Arts, Humanities, and General Studies
      • Philosophy
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      • Social Science and Studies
      • Social Studies and History
      • Theological, Religious, and Ministerial Studies
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    • Columbia (D.C.) (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Georgetown University include:
      • Graduate: First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Cultural Studies
      • Liberal Arts, Humanities, and General Studies
      • Philosophy
      • Political Science
      • Public Administration
      • Religious Studies
      • Social Science and Studies
      • Social Studies and History
  • School locations:
    • Tennessee (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Vanderbilt University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Communication Disorders Sciences
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Residency Programs
      • Nursing Professions
      • Public Health and Safety

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