What does a bench technician do?
Bench technicians perform maintenance and repairs of a variety of electronic equipment. They thoroughly diagnose problems by checking for common causes such as defective parts or loose connections. They often repair circuit defects including malfunctioning transistors, blown fuses, and soldered joints. They use a variety of tools such as multimeters, oscilloscopes, signal generators, and hand tools. Bench technicians also fit and adjust parts, wire components, and perform quality tests. They typically work in repair shops that are located in service centers, stores, or factories. These workers fit components that are unable to be repaired on the floor of the factory.
What kind of training does a bench technician need?
Bench technicians must have at least a high school diploma. Many employers prefer applicants with at least an associate degree in electronics or other related field. Many community colleges and technical and vocational schools offer programs for aspiring bench technicians. Most employers provide on the job training where new bench technicians work with experienced workers to gain the necessary skills and understand the procedures and policies of the employer. Many bench technicians gain professional certification to remain competitive in the field. Many organizations offer certifications such as the Electronics Technician Association and the International Society of Certified Electronics Technicians. Certification requirements typically include minimum education and experience and passing an examination. Bench technicians must complete regular continuing education to maintain their certifications, keep their skills current, and stay abreast on the advancements in the field.
What are the prospects for a career as a bench technician?
Employment of bench technicians is expected to grow more slowly than average for all professions, increasing 5% from 2008 to 2018 (1). Increased automation will contribute to the slow job growth.
Job prospects are expected to be fair. Bench technicians with advanced education, professional certification, and extensive experience will have the best job opportunities. Some job openings will arise from the need to replace bench technicians that retire, transfer, or leave the field for other reasons.
How much do bench technicians make?
As of December 2009, the average annual salary for bench technicians is $38,000; average annual bench technician salaries vary greatly on location, industry, employer, education, experience, and benefits (2).
A career as a bench technician is a great choice for people with a strong interest in electronic maintenance and repair. Bench technicians must have a solid knowledge of a variety of electrical equipment and the ability to perform many different repair tasks. Good eyesight, detail orientation, critical thinking, and good problem solving are essential characteristics. Bench technicians must have excellent communication and the ability to work effectively independently and as part of a team. They must be able to work under stress and pressure to solve complex problems.