How to Become an Electrical Engineering Technician

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Electrical engineering is an engineering field that focuses on the study and application of electricity, electromagnetism, and electronics. Electrical engineering technicians are trained professionals that assist engineers with the development of electrical products.


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What does an electrical engineering technician do?

Electrical engineering technicians help design, develop, test, and produce a variety of electrical equipment including computers, communication equipment, navigational equipment, medical devices, and radar devices. They assemble components, draw or modify sketches, conduct maintenance and repairs, and analyze the schematics for electronic components. They are often involved with product testing and repair and they conduct quality control inspections using a variety of diagnostic and measuring devices. Electrical engineering technicians also make sure equipment is being used correctly. They provide technical assistance when electrical engineering problems occur. Electrical engineering technicians must keep detailed records on their activities and present maintenance and repair reports to engineers on a timely basis.

What kind of training does an electrical engineering technician need?

Electrical engineering technicians typically need formal postsecondary training. Most have associate degrees in electronics engineering or related field. Many community colleges and vocational and technical schools offer programs in electrical engineering technology. Prospective electrical engineering technicians typically complete courses in mathematics, computer science, basic engineering, applied electronics, electrical circuits, and electrical specifications. Most employers provide on the job training to new electrical engineering technicians to enable them to learn the policies and procedures of the company. New electrical engineering technicians usually start out performing routine tasks under the direct supervision of experienced technicians and they move on to more advanced duties as they gain the essential skills and experience.

What are the prospects for a career as an electrical engineering technician?

Employment of electrical engineering technician is expected to have little or no change, decreasing 2% from 2008 to 2018 (1). Increased efficiencies in design processes and foreign competition in design and manufacturing will reduce the demand for electrical engineering technicians.

Job prospects are expected to be fair. Electrical engineering technicians with advanced education and extensive experience will have the best job opportunities. Some job openings will stem from the need to replace electrical engineering technicians that retire, transfer, or leave the field for other reasons.

How much do electrical engineering technicians make?

As of December 2009, the middle 50% of electrical engineering technicians earn annual salaries between $33,646 and $45,992. The top 10% earn annual salaries of more than $52,229 (2).

A career as an electrical engineering technician is a great choice for individuals with a strong interest in electrical engineering technology. Electrical engineering technicians must have a solid understanding of electrical engineering processes and the ability to use a variety of tools. Detail orientation, patience, critical thinking, determination, creativity, and accuracy are necessary characteristics. Electrical engineering technicians must have excellent communication and the ability to work well as part of a team. They must be able to work under stress and pressure to meet strict deadlines.

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