Appliance Repair services are provided for: air conditioner, dishwasher, clothes dryer, drying cabinet, freezer, refrigerator, kitchen stove, water heater, washing machine, trash compactor, microwave ovens and induction cookers. A graduate certificate is needed for appliance repair, and for heat and air conditioning. Maintaining a license is required. Knowledge of Hebrew is very important, unless you work with only English speaking clients.

Helpful sites for advertising your availability may include:

Freelancer

Secret Jerusalem

Janglo

A special thanks to Dovid Ellis for participating in this interview.

Please provide us with a brief description of your field.
We provide service for all makes and models of appliances for both American and European machines washer/dryer/dishwasher/ refrigerator/freezer/oven repair/ air conditioning, and home water tanks. We have a certified electrician on staff, and two of us are certified in air conditioning mechanics. I specialize in all home appliances. We work long hours; there are days when I work 8AM-8PM.

What is your current position?
I own the company, which consists of an active staff of four, plus the office.

How did you decide to start your own appliance repair service?
I started the business in Israel five years ago, after 20 years of experience in the appliance industry in America.

What is good to know about starting up a company in Israel?
It is not easy to start up company in Israel. There are three main points to follow in order to successfully start a business here in Israel.

  • Starting properly means knowing everything about your field, what you’re equipped to do. What is your niche? Why are you different than anyone else? Realize what is needed and what isn’t. You start at the bottom and so you need to emphasize your niche. We specialize in internet access on the job so that in case of an unanticipated problem we have access to information on the spot. We are also up to date on information and equipment. We pride ourselves in our service. We do our work well. We guarantee everything and provide service in a nice, respectable and timely manner. A piece of advice: don’t lower your price. Show that you have high standards and work in a very professional manner.
  • It is extremely necessary to hire an accountant (who knows the system and knows people) that you can talk to consistently. Heed advice and have about one meeting per month. The reason an accountant is so necessary is because once you become self-employed you are targeted by taxes and clientele.
  • Hire a lawyer who you use once in a while. Problems can arise but you can avoid most by never taking cash. People can ‘tell on you’ and you simply cannot build your business properly when working ‘under the table.’

The last important step is to start advertising. The best place to advertise is on the internet. Besides for our community phone book because people know us, we found out the hard way that printed advertising is a waste of time and money. I would say my biggest mistake was spending a large amount of money on unnecessary advertising.

Is there any kind of license or certification you need, to work in appliance repair in Israel?
You need a graduate certificate for appliance repair. For heat and air conditioning you need a license. Know that your non-Israeli license does not work; you need to transfer it.  However, most appliance repairmen do not transfer their certification because it is a very long and confusing process that is even harder with the language. What is important though, is to have a lot of insurance. If you’re going to work in the gas or electrical field, you need to be certified here.

How important is Hebrew in your field?
Only after 5 years did we start to target the Israeli community. Although we did not work much for Israelis in the beginning, one’s knowledge of Hebrew is very important. My advice is to work on your Hebrew from the first day of your Aliyah so that you understand the system more and can work up to targeting the larger Israeli community. A new Oleh should not start a business if he does not speak Hebrew unless he deals with an American product and ensures that he will only be working for people who expect him to speak English.

What are the benefits of your job?
This job makes money. It is a good, in-demand business here in Israel.

Is Appliance Repair more in demand in certain areas of Israel?
It doesn’t matter where you’re based, it matters where you go. We navigate between Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Maale Adumim and Gush Etzion for the most part.

Do you have any other advice for Olim?
Again, to be sought after, you need to be a good technician who is educated. Let everyone know what you specialize in, because that is the key. The more technical, the better.

I did all the necessary research before I made Aliyah. When I arrived in Israel, I hired an accountant and a lawyer, bought a car and equipment, advertised and filled out necessary documents.

How do you feel about working and living here in Israel?
I love it!

Thank you to Chuck Katz for providing us with this interview!

I am a technician in appliance repair. My job entails fixing all major household appliances, such as refrigerators and ovens. I specialize in American equipment, but I can also repair Israeli and European appliances.

 What is your current position?

I am self-employed, and run a one-man appliance repair service in the Gush Etzion area. I work mostly with American customers.

How did you decide to start your own appliance repair service?

When I made Aliyah, I knew I had to find a field where I wasn’t going to be limited by not knowing Hebrew because I’m terrible with languages. I also wanted to find something that didn’t have a huge start-up cost, and something that I could learn quickly. I worked at first in a company to learn the basics and then started my own service so that I could work on my own terms.

What is employment like in your field?

I would say that probably about half of the people in my field are self-employed. Another option is to work in bigger companies like Crystal, Kaidar or Amcor, which hire their own technicians. You could also work in an independent shop that hires a fleet of technicians. They mostly work with Israeli products.

What experience do you need to get into your field?

You should have as much experience in appliance and refrigeration as possible in order to be successful, and it’s also helpful to have an electrical background. You need Hebrew if you’re going to work for a company. Even though you may have experience in America, you also need to get some experience in Israel before you begin working on your own, so you can become aware of the different areas in the field and learn how things are done. There are differences between working in Israel and working in America, but any experience gained in America will still be beneficial in Israel.

 What degree should someone making Aliyah come with in order to break into your field?

Any certification you can get before you make Aliyah is helpful. There are some technical vocational schools here but they’re all in Hebrew, and there aren’t any in the Jerusalem area. It’s also a great asset to have an American background, because Anglos here feel more comfortable working with someone with an American background and training. I’ve found that customers really appreciate my American-style, high level of service.

Is there any kind of license or certification you need to have to work in appliance repair in Israel?

If you’re going to work in gas or electrical, you need to be certified here.

How important is Hebrew in your field?

I don’t speak Hebrew well, but, since I work mainly with English-speaking customers, I haven’t found my lack of Hebrew to be a problem. However, speaking Hebrew definitely opens up more opportunities.

What are the benefits of your job?

I love working for myself and having the freedom of being self-employed. Some people have the personality for it, and some people prefer working for a company, having set hours, and getting a guaranteed pay. Personally, I like having my own hours, and I can organize my own lifestyle.

 What is the salary range?

The salary can really vary depending on where you work and how much experience you have. I would advise Olim to not worry about how much their first job pays, because it will only get higher. The salary may start out relatively low but will increase with time. Generally speaking, those who are self-employed will earn a higher salary than those who work for a company.

 

 What are the upcoming areas of specialty you would recommend?

There are a lot of new products that are coming out now and gaining experience with those will give you a leg up over competitors.

 Do you have any other advice for Olim?

I think that being an Oleh and having American training really gives you an advantage over Israelis in the same field, and I would recommend that new Olim consider focusing on Anglo customers.

How do you feel about working and living here in Israel?

I love it!

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