The RV Technician under The Microscope

What is an RV Technician?

RV technician is a profession that involves diagnosing, inspecting, adjusting, repairing, and overhauling recreational vehicles. In addition to fixing generators, appliances, and interior components, the RV mechanic may have a specialty in one or more of the following: gas, electrical, hydraulic, plumbing, or chassis/towing system maintenance. 

The NRVTA program is concerned with the overall components of an RV as defined by the RV Industry Association. This article gives you all you need to know.

RV Appliances Technician at Work

What Does RV Technician Training Entail?

The demand for trained and qualified individuals in the recreational vehicle industry is outpacing the supply of qualified workers available. 

The number of RV owners who spend large sums of money on recreational vehicles but who receive little training on how to operate and maintain them properly indicates that the demand for skilled technical staff is increasing to the point where the current pool of technicians is at capacity, according to the National Recreational Vehicle Manufacturers Association.

Training courses at the National RV Training school include hands-on instruction in specific subjects that you can cover in one week or shorter instruction blocks, similar to the successful military and union trade school training programs currently in use throughout North America. 

The combination of classroom instruction and hands-on lab work that properly instructs the student on operating, troubleshooting, and repairing the equipment found in today’s recreational vehicles is the key to success for this type of accelerated learning.

There is training for everyone, whether you are an RV dealer with service technicians, an RV professional with your own Mobile RV Tech or RV Inspection business, or simply an RV owner who wants to learn more about their RV. We have the training you need to improve your RV maintenance and repair skills!

Our courses are all less than a week in length and combine classroom instruction with hands-on labs to ensure that you learn only what you need to know without being distracted by irrelevant information or information overload.

RV Technical Institute offers a hands-on, competency-based technician training curriculum developed by RV Technical Institute personnel and subject matter experts from the recreational vehicle industry’s supplier, manufacturer, dealer, and independent technician sectors. 

These industry specialists have identified the essential areas of knowledge and expertise to address to develop a thorough, hands-on training and certification program.

The RVTI curriculum gets split into four stages of training and proficiency, each of which includes instruction in theory and application, specialty training, and troubleshooting techniques. The curriculum design is similar to a real-world profession, allowing you to learn in a real-world environment. 

Each level of training builds on the one that came before; it educates technicians on how to diagnose, maintain, and repair RV systems and components as they go through their careers. Following that, technicians may participate in specialized training courses to further their knowledge and abilities.

What does the RV Technical Institute Technician Career Path Look Like?

Depending on your experience level, you may only need a high school diploma or a postgraduate certificate to work as an RV service technician. Automobile maintenance, carpentry, and electrical systems are just a few specializations available for those pursuing a certificate or associate degree in these fields. 

A suitable individual may be offered an apprenticeship or on-the-job training in RV repair by RV repair firms that specialize in RV repair. RV service may be available as a certificate or degree program at several vocational colleges and universities. 

These programs train you in specific technical abilities, such as automotive heating and air conditioning repair, electrical and plumbing installation, maintenance, and repair. 

They also train you in general technical abilities. Whichever your qualifications are, you can start today by joining a level that fits you well. Below are the different categories you can join in at. Let’s have a closer look:

Registered RV Service Technician

This curriculum educates individuals to apply fundamental technical knowledge and skills to the construction, testing, inspection, repair, service, and maintenance of recreational vehicles, systems, interior and exterior components, and the operation of recreational vehicles. 

In addition to electrical systems and propane systems (as well as propane and electric appliances), you will cover carpentry, plumbing, welding, and structural frameworks in this course. 

Description: In the Recreational Vehicle (RV) Service Technician program, students learn basic skills and training that will prepare them to work as entry-level technicians in the RV business, such as pre-delivery inspection (PDI). 

Following the RV Service Training Council’s guidelines for essential competencies such as propane management, basic electrical operations, plumbing, fire and life safety, weight distribution, and other technical skills are covered in the curriculum of an RV Service Technician. 

Once the student has gained the necessary information and abilities to become an RV Service Technician, they will be entitled to sit for the RVTAA Registered RV Service Technician Exam, which will allow them to join the ranks of Registered RV Service Technician professionals. 

Job opportunities in the insurance industry, banking, extended service agreement firms, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), dealerships, vendors, equipment suppliers, repair shops, and small company owners are all possibilities for students who complete their degrees.

Advanced RV Service Technician

You can start a career as a recreational vehicle (RV) service technician here. It can be the next step in the progression of an RVTAA Registered RV Service Technician’s knowledge and skills. 

Technical knowledge and abilities are taught through this curriculum to students to construct, test, inspect, repair, service, and maintain recreational vehicles, systems, and interior and exterior components. You will address electrical systems, propane systems, electric appliances, brake, hydraulic, and towing systems. 

Carpentry, plumbing, welding, and the construction of structural frames are all covered as well. According to the RV Service Training Council, this curriculum enhances the student’s abilities in propane, electrical, plumbing, fire & life safety, weight awareness, and other technical skills, among other things. 

In the Advanced RV Technician program, there is a significant emphasis on hands-on diagnosis and repair of RV system components. 

In addition to learning advanced knowledge and abilities in RV service technicians, students are also qualified to sit for the RVTAA Certified RV Service Technician Exam and earn their place among the ranks of the industry’s most knowledgeable and skilled professionals. 

NRVTA Identification Number: CSC-001X Page 17 of 28 Student job opportunities include the insurance industry, banking, extended service agreement companies, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), dealerships, vendors, equipment suppliers, repair shops, and being a small company owner. 

Furthermore, further training may pave the way for promotions to service technician instructor, service manager, parts consultant, or shop foreman in these establishments. The RVTAA is in charge of administering the Certified RV Technician Exam.

Master RV Service Technician

Advanced Recreational Vehicle (RV) Service Technicians can advance their skills to the level of Master Technician after demonstrating expertise in RV propane, electrical, plumbing, fire & life safety, and weight understanding in their respective fields. 

Recreational vehicle (RV) technicians who complete the Master Recreational Vehicle (RV) Technician program are well-versed in RV living and RV troubleshooting and system rebuilding. 

The additional information gained by the Master Recreational Vehicle (RV) Technician will include training, mentoring, and instructing the next generation of RV technicians and inspectors and other areas. 

As soon as they have earned their certification as an RVTAA Certified RV Technician, gained three years of experience, and gained the necessary knowledge and skills, students are eligible to sit for the RVTAA Master Certified RV Service Technician Exam and earn their place amongst the ranks of RVTAA Master Certified RV Service Technician professionals. 

Student job opportunities include the insurance industry, banking, extended service agreement companies, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), dealerships, vendors, equipment suppliers, repair shops, and being a small company owner. 

A master’s degree may also open the door to the service manager, parts adviser, shop foreman, vice president of operations, servicer underwriter, or master service technician instructor.

A technician will be a Level 1, 2, 3, or 4 technician depending on how well they have completed the required levels and how well they can effectively demonstrate the necessary knowledge and abilities.

Level 1: Technicians at the first level have a proven skillset. They are responsible for preparing an RV for customer delivery by ensuring that all its components are in proper working order. You must pass the Level 1 written and skill-based (practical) members to achieve this level of certification.

Level 2: A technician who possesses theoretical knowledge of all of the systems and components found in an RV, as well as a demonstrated skillset that allows them to perform basic diagnostics, troubleshooting, and repairs on those systems and components. 

Level 3: A technician who possesses theoretical knowledge of all of the systems and components found in an RV. You can only obtain this level by passing all of the Level 1 and Level 2 written tests and the skill-based (practical) exams with flying colors.

Technicians at Level 3 have received supplier training on certain types of components. They have developed their skill set to the point where they can do advanced diagnostics, troubleshooting, and repairs on those systems and components. 

To achieve this level, you must pass the Levels 1 and 2 written and skill-based (practical) assessments and attend and pass 24 hours of approved hands-on vendor training within five years, covering the minimum topics specified for each specialization.

Achieves knowledge and expertise in converters, inverters, transfer switches, management systems, batteries (including lithium-ion batteries), surge protection, and solar energy systems. Electrical Engineer: Demonstrates knowledge and expertise in electrical systems.

A chassis specialist exhibits competence and expertise in stabilization, leveling, electric stepping, braking systems (both hydraulic and electric), and the weights and dimensions of the vehicles.

This position necessitates knowledge of satellite systems, multiplexing, and control area networks (CAN). Furnace, air conditioning, refrigerator, and water heater specialists must demonstrate a thorough understanding of their respective products (including traditional, instantaneous and hydronic).

This role exhibits experience and competence in cable slide-outs, above-floor slide-outs, and through-frame slides, all of which are specialized fields (including screw-type, rack-n-pinion, hydraulic, and flush-mounted)

Level 4: Master Technician:  It takes less than five years to complete all five approved specializations through vendor training and become proficient in troubleshooting and repairing all critical systems and components within an RV. 

The Master Technician has completed 120 hours of training in less than five years, with 120 hours of training completed in less than five years.

How Long Does Each Certification And Recertification Last, and What You Need to Do?

Level 1: This is the most basic level.

  •  Indefinite validity; there are no prerequisites for recertification or continuous education.
  • The submission of yearly information and employment verification is required to maintain active status.

Level 2:

  • Good for five years
  • A technician must complete 24 hours of approved hands-on or online continuing education credits (CEUs) throughout this period.
  • No training to remain active; you must complete the training within five years of the training date.
  • A yearly information and employment verification check-in is required.

 Level 3:

  • Valid for five years
  • The technician must obtain 24 hours of continuing education credits (CEUs) from approved hands-on or RV technician certification online training.
  • At least 8 of the 24 hours of CEUs must directly relate to your specialty.
  • There is no counting of training older than five years, and you can not repeat the training.
  • A yearly information and employment verification check-in is required to remain active.

Level 4: Master Technician:

  • Valid for five years.
  • The technician must complete 24 hours of approved hands-on or online training.
  • This training can include participation in RVTI or other industry-approved activities such as curriculum development, train-the-trainer programs, and leadership training.
  • No counting of training older than five years.
  • A yearly information and employment verification check-in are required.

Depending on the need for your training, you can pursue an RV training and certification up to the level that fits exactly what you intended to do or achieve in the meantime.

The RV Technician’s Salary

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, an RV Technician’s annual total compensation is about $65,342. They use a unique total pay estimate algorithm and wages, which our customers supply, to compute the median, the midpoint of the ranges shown in this figure.

There is a projection that the annual base compensation will be $45,193. The additional payment is estimated to be in the amount of $20,150 per year. There are a variety of alternatives for extra pay, including cash bonuses, commissions, tips, and profit-sharing. 

According to the “Most Likely Range,” income figures that fall between the 25th and 75th percentiles of all available salary data for this position are considered reasonable. A job description for an RV service technician qualification level is the quickest and most straightforward approach to explaining how much RV technicians earn.

Technicians can make anywhere from $40,000 and $90,000 per year, depending on their experience level. The possibilities we allow you to improve your career, make a difference, and be a part of an ever-changing industry. 

In addition to paid vacations and a 401(k) with corporate match, we provide a complete benefits package that includes medical, dental, vision, life insurance options, paid holidays, and a 401(k). The corporation, as mentioned earlier, operates an extensive RV dealership network with numerous locations throughout the United States of America. 

Smaller RV dealerships may offer something close to or less than larger RV dealerships when it comes to the benefits package. As with other technician professions, you will have expectations of having a comprehensive set of tools at your disposal. During your schooling program, you’ll study the equipment you’ll require. 

“What tools will I need other than the ones I currently have?” is an excellent question to ask a possible employer during your interview if they do not provide you with a list of the equipment you will require. Even if you believe you are well prepared, firms love to poke holes in your defense. 

That you’re paying attention throughout the interview and that you’re genuinely interested in the position is demonstrated by this action. In the past, employers offered a tool allowance program to assist employees in covering the costs of the items they required to perform their jobs. 

Those plans, such as the retirement pension, are now considered to be essentially outmoded. Another topic to bring up during your second interview is whether or if your potential employers participate in a discount program with a tool manufacturer that allows its employees to acquire tools at a discounted rate.

RV Technician Repairing Motorhome

The Different Types of RV Service Technician Courses

The RV industry is growing rapidly, and the demand for skilled and qualified professionals has outstripped the supply of available labor in the industry. It becomes clear that the need for eligible technical employees is expanding to the point where the current pool of specialists is at capacity. 

RV owners spend tremendous sums of money on recreational vehicles but receive little instruction on operating and maintaining them properly. This creates the gap and the need for RV training. Some of the training includes:

Hands-On RV Fundamentals & Repair Training

When you spend hours cleaning, packing, and preparing your RV for an exciting trip, the last thing you want to happen is for it to break down while you’re driving to your destination, causing your vacation to be spoiled.

When you finally return your RV from the RV repairman shop, there’s nothing worse than paying those exorbitant fees. 

Your vacation plans could completely go astray in the blink of an eye. RVers encounter many problems as simple as a tripped circuit breaker, a blown fuse, or a water heater bypass valve that gets mistakenly put off.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you had the knowledge and confidence to fix your RV if you were experiencing a problem that threatened your vacation? Don’t you wish you could save both time and money by not having to take your RV into a shop every time there is a need to repair it?

RV Training school provides practical hands-on training in specialized disciplines through National courses divided into one-week or shorter instruction blocks, similar to the successful military and union trade school training programs in North America.

For accelerated learning, classroom instruction and hands-on lab work are essential to effectively inform students on operating, diagnosing, and repairing the equipment present in today’s recreational vehicles.

Training For All Types of Students

Whatever your RV maintenance and repair needs are, whether you’re a service technician for an RV dealership, an RV professional running your own Mobile RV Tech or RV Inspection business, or simply an RV owner who wants to learn the ins and outs of their RV, we have the training you need!

Most of our courses are less than one week in length and combine classroom instruction with hands-on labs to ensure that you learn only what you need to know and not any unnecessary information.RV service technicians who are members of the RVIA and RVDA are in high demand among employers in the RV industry. 

In the RVIA training, there are four levels of certification available. Each level necessitates completing an exam proctored by an authorized agent. The RVIA and RVDA must approve the school where you will receive your training before beginning your studies.

After completing your training at each level, the exam will get proctored by the school or testing agency. Level One is valid for the rest of your life. You must renew Levels 2-4 every five years. You must complete 24 hours of training and take steps to renew your RV certification during active years.

Employers cover the costs and put everything in place to make your recertification go as smoothly as possible. If you’re self-employed, you can enroll in courses to renew your RV certification through organizations that provide such services.

There are some excellent options for becoming an RV service technician. There are various other programs available that may be more convenient for you. If you are sure you want to do this, compare the curriculums and features of different colleges in the country to the ones in your area.

The RV Technician Job Description

An RV Service Technician position is available right now. You’ll evaluate our fleet regularly and identify any flaws to adjust, repair, or replace. Applicants must be familiar with RV mechanical and automotive systems and how to fix plumbing, electrical, and cabinetry issues. 

You’ll also be in charge of regularly maintaining and upgrading appliances and other interior components. It is necessary to have a clean driving record and a flexible schedule.

Responsibilities and Duties

  • Inspect RV fleet for damage or repair needs.
  • Diagnose and repair problems with plumbing, electrical, or other interior components.
  • Perform routine maintenance on the engine and appliances.

Qualifications and Requirements

  • Experience with vehicle mechanical, plumbing, and electrical work is required.
  • RV experience is a plus.
  • Proficiency with industrial tools and equipment is required.
  • A clean driving record is required.
  • A flexible work schedule is required.

If you prefer being a “jack of all trades” to doing the same thing every day, this may be your career. 

During your time spent working on RVs, you’ll gain valuable experience in a variety of fields such as appliance repair, automotive, carpentry, computer network infrastructure (CNI), electrical (including generator repair), glasswork (including paint/decal), plumbing (including metalworking), and solar system infrastructure.

When you arrive at work each day, you may notice that the job order for the day has changed significantly from the day before. The chores could range from replacing an external clearance light to re-designing the interior of a recreational vehicle (RV). 

RVs have a typical lifespan of 10-15 years. However, you may stumble across RVs built decades ago and require extensive repairs before you can use them on the road again.

RV technicians are professional service specialists who specialize in repairing and maintaining recreational vehicles. Working on other large vehicles or equipment could be a logical next step in your career. Also available are positions working on boats and trailers equipped with similar amenities as a home, such as living quarters and features.

A bus or truck mechanic job is an example of this work environment. You could find work as a service technician for farm equipment or industrial vehicles in the mining, oil, or construction industries, among other places. Another option is to work as a mechanic or technician on boats, leisure yachts, or different types of watercraft.

Repairing, installing, testing, and replacing parts in recreational vehicles are among the responsibilities of an RV service technician. Depending on your employer and your knowledge and talents, you may be assigned various jobs. 

In this task, you may need to repair the plumbing in a bathroom or shower, or you may need to create an electrical system that will allow appliances to run. You could work on various vehicle-related systems, such as towing controls, drive trains, or engines. 

The carpentry ability may be required if you work on the RV’s inside and design or repair furnishings, room dividers, or other components of the RV’s construction. There are various RV service technician openings accessible in the industry for qualified individuals.

Most graduates from their training program work as RV mechanics for Camping World or other large chain dealerships. The income and benefits packages provided to technicians allow them to devote their time and energy to their personal lives. 

More significantly, large businesses provide trainees with exposure to all facets of the RV servicing sector, which is beneficial. Incentive programs that cover the cost of training and testing for higher certifications are available at the majority of these large shops. 

For those who intend to concentrate on a subject that requires certification, you may consider staying for a few years to take advantage of the training possibilities available. Following the development of a strong resume as a master-certified RV service technician, here are some different work opportunities to consider.

Mobile RV Service Technician

Running a business requires a significant investment of time, money, and effort. Building a physical facility to work on recreational vehicles is challenging because the ideal location can be difficult in some areas. When your potential clients’ motorhomes or travel trailers become immobile, they will likely be unable to reach you.

Starting a mobile RV repair business out of the back of your van or pickup truck might be a very profitable venture. You can service a county with many campers and public land in a suitable geographical location. 

Getting in touch with a tax consultant will help you understand whether or not this work-from-home business is cost-effective. If you market your service at local campgrounds, stores, and on the internet, it has the potential to be profitable. Various caps are available for mobile RV mechanics to choose from. 

You might also consider becoming a certified RV inspector through the National RV Inspectors Association to provide a service component to your company (NRVIA). 

If you obtain an inspector certification, you will be able to conduct objective inspections for your customers looking to buy, sell, or require an assessment on an RV, whether they are buying, selling, or needing an assessment.

RV Restorations

A passion for vintage RVs can create employment opportunities with many companies that restore classic Airstreams and vintage travel trailers. Many of these companies are always looking for qualified RV service technicians. 

Most RVers who purchase these travel trailers prefer to retain their original appearance and authentic feel. On the other hand, the client will want to take advantage of some modern conveniences that are conveniently unseen. 

A passion for vintage RVs can create employment opportunities with many companies that restore classic Airstreams and vintage travel trailers. Many of these companies are always looking for qualified RV service technicians. Most RVers who purchase these travel trailers prefer to retain their original appearance and feel. 

On the other hand, the client will want to take advantage of some modern conveniences that are conveniently unseen.

To become a Certified RV Technician

For more than a year, RV sales have been at an all-time high, which has created a considerable demand for RV service technicians. A more significant number of recreational vehicles and RVers are on the road now than ever before, necessitating the employment of Certified RV Technicians. 

It should be relatively simple to acquire an excellent paying job due to these factors. In 2017, they made more than 500,000 new recreational vehicles (RVs). It was a year that beat all previous sales records. 

However, despite global issues in 2020, the camping industry experienced a substantial increase in sales. By the end of the camping season in 2021, the sector had exceeded the previous sales record by approximately 550,000 units.

As a licensed RV service technician, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to work. In the previous several years, there has been a significant increase in first-time RVers. The use of YouTube videos and blogs can assist in the resolution of a wide range of basic concerns. 

However, due to substantial repair concerns and a scarcity of qualified RV service technicians to undertake the work, repair work is still severely backlogged. Whether the servicing business is a huge national brand like Camping World or a small local shop, RV owners must wait weeks or months to fix their motorhome or travel trailer. 

It’s challenging to keep up with the demand for RV care since parts are on backorder and there aren’t enough skilled RV service technicians. A quick search of several internet job sites will reveal the following typical characteristics of those who are successful in their careers in this field:

  1. To complete a task, one must have the ability to retain self-discipline.
  2. The ability to communicate with consumers about the repair method in plain language. 
  3. A drive to constantly improve one’s skills and knowledge by learning new methods and techniques.
  4. Comply with all of the rules and regulations of the shop.

Two critical regulatory bodies govern the recreational vehicle industry. The RV Industry Association (RVIA) is in charge of establishing manufacturing standards and procedures for recreational vehicles. 

The National RV Dealers Association (RVDA) is a trade organization that represents the interests of retail RV dealers, promotes education, and addresses a variety of other issues. 

Both organizations are in charge of overseeing the accreditation of certificate programs for RV service technicians.

If the training program makes use of government financial aid or military veteran benefits, the institutions have met the requirements of the Department of Education and the Department of Veterans Affairs, respectively. 

If you have any questions, the school should be able to provide you with information about their accreditation. Certifications are not the same as bachelor’s degrees in any way. If you subsequently decide to pursue a college degree, the credits you have earned may not be transferable to a university of your choice.

RV Campers Technician at Work

Parting Words

If you’re looking for RV technician training, go further than the RV Technical Institute (RVTI), which provides the RV service technician training program, RV service technician certification, and a career path. 

It is a practical, competency-based program developed by RVTI personnel and subject matter experts from the RV industry’s supplier, manufacturer, dealer, and independent technician sectors. It is at no cost to RVTI members.

There is training available for everyone, whether you are an RV dealer with service technicians, an RV professional with your own Mobile RV Tech or RV Inspection firm, or simply an RV owner who wants to learn more about their RV. You can rest comfortably that you will attain your objectives and never be sorry for your actions. 

Every category is tailor-made to cater to your unique needs as per what you want to use the skill you will achieve after the training. Therefore, get up and join the RVTI today.

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