Your Complete Career Guide to Becoming a Water Damage Restoration Technician

Author: Diana Rodriguez-Zaba
Last Updated on

It’s more than a job:

It’s a career path that leads to helping residents when they need it most. As a water damage restoration technician, you’re positioned to assist home and business owners recover their property, their belongings and their peace of mind.

This exciting field is wide open to both men and women. The work can be hard. The projects can be long-term. The satisfaction that comes from helping others through difficult times is always rewarding.

With this guide, we lay out an overview of the information you need to make a meaningful career choice. We cover it all from general qualifications and hands-on training to course studies and industry certification.

WATER RESTORATION TECHNICIAN JOB DESCRIPTION

Your job as a WRT puts you in the field tackling all types of water mitigation projects. You’re part of a team of highly trained technicians restoring water-damaged properties and personal belongings.

Most scheduling happens within the bounds of a normal work week, and you’re sometimes on emergency standby. The restoration business serves customers 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

These are examples of the different processes you handle in your role as a certified water restoration technician.

• Advanced equipment setup and operation
• Heavy-duty water removal and extraction
• Property cleanup including sanitation processes
• Site-wide structural drying and dehumidifying
• Recovery of salvageable personal belongings
• Damaged material tear-out and replacement
• Property-wide reconstruction and restoration

Becoming a WRT doesn’t require a professional trade license. However, once you’ve completed your training, we highly recommended that you follow through with industry-approved certification.

WHAT DOES WATER DAMAGE RESTORATION TECHNICIAN TRAINING OFFER?

Water damage restoration training involves course studies and hands-on field experience.

As you advance through various learning stages, you become familiar with the science behind the work. For example, you understand the importance of psychrometry and how it applies to the restoration process.

Study courses cover a variety of procedures including dealing with hazardous sewage backups and black water contamination. You learn the full effects of all types of water damage, how to handle different projects and the requirements for WRT certification.

On-the-job training maximizes your understanding of course studies. In the field, you partner with experienced technicians who explain the details involved in water extraction, containment and cleanup. You soon become confident in your abilities to tackle any job from emergency dispatch and damage assessment to final restoration.

WHAT DOES IICRC CERTIFICATION MEAN AND WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?

The Institution of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification is recognized for promoting professionalism and establishing the highest standards across our industry. The IICRC supports more than 50,000 certified technicians and 6,000 businesses around the globe.

Successful certification is based on course completion, written examination and skill demonstration. By fulfilling IICRC requirements for WRT certification, you establish your credentials as an expert in water damage restoration.

When you become an IICRC-certified technician, you have documentation of your experience, training and understanding of water damage restoration procedures. It’s not a requirement for working in this field, but it does give you a big advantage over technicians who don’t have industry-approved certification.

HOW MUCH DOES A WATER DAMAGE RESTORATION TECHNICIAN MAKE?

Established, reputable restoration companies always offer fair hourly wages. They also consider IICRC certification as a valuable asset on your resume. In general, WRT jobs average an hourly pay rate of $14. Highly experienced technicians can earn an average of $20 or more per hour.

Water damage restoration often involves extra hours on the clock, and that results in overtime pay. When a technician goes above and beyond job expectations, it’s not unusual for customers to offer their appreciation with cash tips.

You increase your earnings by developing your job skills in the field and expanding your industry knowledge with ongoing education. You might advance into a leadership role with a salary of $60,000 or more per year.

WHO BENEFITS FROM YOUR HARD WORK?

Every day, you assist people who face the aftermath of water damage to their property and belongings. It can be a very stressful time for home or business owners, but your skills and professionalism help them regain their sense of well-being. These are just a few examples of the settings you encounter as a water restoration technician.

• Homes and condos
• Apartment buildings
• Retail complexes
• Office buildings
• Restaurants and hotels
• Health care facilities
• Public and private schools
• Government buildings
• Sporting and event facilities

WHY SHOULD YOU MAKE WRT A CAREER?

The restoration business continues to grow every year, and that helps build job security into your career.

If you enjoy working with your hands and your head, you look forward to projects that keep your skills sharp. If you enjoy helping other people, you take home the satisfaction of making a positive difference every day.

Working as a WRT offers on-the-job experiences that set the profession apart from other trades. Last year, our teams headed to Texas after Hurricane Harvey where we took care of home and business owners all along the Gulf Coast. From there, we headed to Florida to assist residents through the aftermath Hurricane Irma. It was exhausting work, but it was also very rewarding professionally and personally.

As a water damage restoration technician, you’re in a unique position to help people recover more than their property:

You help them regain their peace of mind, and that always makes the job worthwhile.

WHERE DO YOU GET STARTED?

If you’re in the Chicago area, we invite you to contact us for more information about your career as a WRT. You can also find information online about IICRC certification classes in your city.

We’re proud to be leading members of the industry with our certified water damage restoration services in Chicago and the suburbs. It’s our pleasure to share our knowledge and enthusiasm, so feel free to give us a call here at ServiceMaster by Zaba.

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