There are approximately 48,000 coin, vending, and amusement machine servicers and repairers working in the United States. The job growth outlook indicates an average number of job opportunities in the upcoming years, with growth at 7 percent. While more and more vending type machines are appearing in grocery stores, gas stations, schools, clubs, bookstores, and dozens of other locations, this does not mean that jobs are increasing as well. The reason for this is that vending machine manufacturers are incorporating new technology all the time; as technology improves, vending machines are less sensitive, malfunction less often, and require less and less maintenance and service calls. Another reason affecting future job growth is the fact that arcade-type game machines are falling out of favor with families. Gone are the days when a family would spend an afternoon at an arcade playing pinball, arcade bowling, and other electronic games. Now, most families have a variety of home game machines, including personal computers, video games consoles, a complete library of video games and handheld electronic game sets. Opportunities for coin, vending, and amusement machines repairers with a background in electronics will be relatively good, however. Job applicants who lack training will find few opportunities.
Repairers and servicers work on-site. They must be willing to drive considerable distances and are often expected to provide their own transportation. This type of work involves few hazards as long as appropriate safety measures are followed. Some work environments will be clean and well lit, while others may be less pleasant, dimly lit, or crowded. Vending machines at casinos and other gambling establishments must be repaired when customers are nearby, as they operate twenty-four hours per day. It’s important for coin, vending, and amusement machines servicers to maintain a pleasant attitude when working with the public. Irate customers who have lost money or those who will demand free products because they claim they’ve lost money are common.
Soda, coffee, and candy machines, slot game machines, jukeboxes, arcade game machines, and machines that contain merchandise, such as toys, feminine products, or birth control prophylactics, are installed, inspected, maintained, and repaired by coin, vending, and amusement machine servicers and repairers.
Coin, vending, and amusement machine servicers check machines on a regular schedule, both to confirm that they are operating correctly and to restock food, drink, or merchandise. In addition to replacing sold items, servicers must keep a record of the number of items that were sold and the amount of money in the machine. Recording these figures is important, both for business reasons and to let the company know which items are selling best and which items should be dropped for lack of sales. After noting these figures, servicers also collect the money and make sure sufficient change is remaining in the machine.
Coin, vending, and amusement machine servicers repair all types of problems and do routine maintenance tasks. A number of malfunctions are possible. For example, a vending machine may fail to return change, fail to release purchased goods, release more goods than were paid for, or refuse to recognize denominations of bills. Amusement machines might accept money but fail to operate, allow the player too much time, freeze midway through play, or simply shut down.
This is the type of work than can be learned on the job through observation and experience; no certification or high school diploma is needed. However, many employers select job applicants who have completed studies in electronics, refrigeration, and machine repair. Because servicers and repairers work on-site, a valid driver’s license and clean driving record are necessary.
The median annual pay for coin, vending, and amusement machine servicers and repairers is around $30,000.