Electrical and Electronics Installers and Repairers

Summary

electrical and electronics installers and repairers image
Electronics repairers determine many problems with equipment through visual examination.
Quick Facts: Electrical and Electronics Installers and Repairers
2012 Median Pay $51,220 per year
$24.63 per hour
Entry-Level Education Postsecondary non-degree award
Work Experience in a Related Occupation None
On-the-job Training See How to Become One
Number of Jobs, 2012 144,700
Job Outlook, 2012-22 1% (Little or no change)
Employment Change, 2012-22 900

What Electrical and Electronics Installers and Repairers Do

Electrical and electronics installers and repairers install, repair, or replace a variety of electrical equipment in telecommunications, transportation, utilities, and other industries.

Work Environment

Many electrical and electronics installers and repairers work in factories, which can be noisy and sometimes warm. Installers and repairers may have to lift heavy equipment and work in awkward positions. The vast majority work full time.

How to Become an Electrical or Electronics Installer and Repairer

Most electrical and electronics installers and repairers obtain specialized training at a technical college. Gaining voluntary certification is common and can be useful in getting a job.

Pay

The median annual wage for electrical and electronics installers and repairers was $51,220 in May 2012.

Job Outlook

Overall employment for electrical and electronics installers and repairers is projected to show little or no change from 2012 to 2022. However, growth rates will vary by specialty. Job opportunities should be excellent for qualified workers with an associate’s degree in electronics along with certification.

Similar Occupations

Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of electrical and electronics installers and repairers with similar occupations.

More Information, Including Links to O*NET

Learn more about electrical and electronics installers and repairers by visiting additional resources, including O*NET, a source on key characteristics of workers and occupations.

What Electrical and Electronics Installers and Repairers Do About this section

Electrical and electronics installers and repairers
Testers are used to find problems with electric motor operations.

Electrical and electronics installers and repairers install, repair, or replace a variety of electrical equipment in telecommunications, transportation, utilities, and other industries.

Duties

Electrical and electronics installers and repairers typically do the following:

  • Prepare cost estimates for clients
  • Refer to service guides, schematics, and manufacturer specifications
  • Repair or replace defective parts, such as motors, fuses, or gaskets
  • Reassemble and test equipment after repairs
  • Maintain records of parts used, labor time, and final charges

Electrical and electronics installers and repairers work on complex pieces of electronic equipment.

Because automated electronic control systems are becoming more complex, repairers use software programs and testing equipment to diagnose malfunctions. Among their diagnostic tools are multimeters—which measure voltage, current, and resistance—and advanced multimeters, which measure the capacitance, inductance, and current gain of transistors.

Repairers also use signal generators, which provide test signals, and oscilloscopes, which display signals graphically. In addition, repairers often use handtools such as pliers, screwdrivers, and wrenches to replace faulty parts and adjust equipment.

The following are examples of types of electrical and electronics installers and repairers:

Commercial and industrial equipment electrical and electronics repairers repair, test, adjust, or install electronic equipment, such as industrial controls, transmitters, and antennas.

Electrical and electronics installers and repairers of transportation equipment install, adjust, or maintain mobile communication equipment, including sound, sonar, security, navigation, and surveillance systems on trains, watercraft, or other vehicles.

Powerhouse, substation, and relay electrical and electronics repairers inspect, test, maintain, or repair electrical equipment used in generating stations, substations, and in-service relays. These workers also may be known as powerhouse electricians, relay technicians, or power transformer repairers.

Electric motor, power tool, and related repairerssuch as armature winders, generator mechanics, and electric golf cart repairers—specialize in installing, maintaining, and repairing electric motors, wiring, or switches.

Electronic equipment installers and repairers of motor vehicles install, diagnose, and repair sound, security, and navigation equipment in motor vehicles. These installers and repairers work with a range of complex electronic equipment, including digital audio and video players, navigation systems, and passive and active security systems.

Electrical and electronics installers and repairers may also specialize, according to how and where they work:

Field technicians often travel to factories or a customer’s site to repair broken down equipment. Because repairing components is a complex activity, workers in factories usually remove and replace defective units, such as circuit boards, instead of fixing them. Defective units are discarded or returned to the manufacturer or a specialized shop for repair.

Bench technicians work in repair shops in factories and service centers, fixing components that cannot be repaired on a factory floor. These workers also locate and repair circuit defects, such as poorly soldered joints, blown fuses, or malfunctioning transistors.

Work Environment About this section

Electrical and electronics installers and repairers
Bench technicians usually work in a clean shop.

Electrical and electronics installers and repairers held about 144,700 jobs in 2012. Employment in the detailed occupations that make up this group was distributed as follows: 

Electrical and electronics repairers, commercial and industrial equipment69,000
Electrical and electronics repairers, powerhouse, substation, and relay24,500
Electric motor, power tool, and related repairers20,700
Electrical and electronics installers and repairers, transportation equipment15,900
Electronic equipment installers and repairers, motor vehicles14,600

Many electrical and electronics installers and repairers work in factories, which can be noisy and sometimes warm. Bench technicians work primarily in repair shops, which are quiet and well lit. Motor vehicle electronic equipment installers and repairers normally work in repair shops.

Installers and repairers may have to lift heavy equipment and work in awkward positions.

Injuries and Illnesses

Electric motor, power tools, and related repairers and electrical and electronics installers and repairers of transportation equipment have a higher rate of injuries and illnesses than the national average.

As a result, workers must follow safety guidelines and wear protective goggles and hardhats. When working on ladders or on elevated equipment, repairers must wear harnesses to avoid falls.

Before repairing a piece of machinery, workers must follow procedures to ensure that others cannot start the equipment during the repair process. They must also take precautions against electric shock by locking off power to the unit under repair.

Work Schedules

Nearly all electrical and electronics installers and repairers work full time.

How to Become an Electrical or Electronics Installer and Repairer About this section

Electrical and electronics installers and repairers
Many technical colleges have basic electronics programs that include practical experience labs.

Most electrical and electronics installers and repairers obtain specialized training at a technical college. Gaining voluntary certification is common and can be useful in getting a job.

Education

Electrical and electronics installers and repairers must understand electrical equipment and electronics. As a result, employers often prefer applicants who have taken courses in electronics at a community college or technical school.

Training

In addition to technical education, workers usually receive training on specific types of equipment. This may entail manufacturer-specific training in order for repairers to perform warranty work.

Entry-level repairers usually begin by working with experienced technicians, who provide technical guidance, and work independently after developing their skills.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Various organizations offer certification. For example, the Electronics Technicians Association International (ETA) offers more than 50 certification programs in numerous electronics specialties for various levels of competence. The International Society of Certified Electronics Technicians (ISCET) also offers certification for several levels of competence. The ISCET focuses on a broad range of topics, including basic electronics, electronic systems, and appliance service. To become certified, applicants must meet prerequisites and pass a comprehensive exam.

Important Qualities

Color vision. Workers need to identify the color-coded components that are often used in electronic equipment.

Communication skills. Field technicians work closely with customers, so they must listen to and understand customers’ problems and explain solutions in a simple, clear manner.

Technical skills. Workers use a variety of mechanical and diagnostic tools to install or repair equipment.

Troubleshooting skills. Electrical equipment and systems often involve intricate parts. Workers must be able to identify malfunctions and make the necessary repairs.

Pay About this section

Electrical and Electronics Installers and Repairers

Median annual wages, May 2012

Electrical and electronics installers and repairers

$51,220

Electrical and electronic equipment mechanics, installers, and repairers

$46,550

Total, all occupations

$34,750

 

The median annual wage for electrical and electronics installers and repairers was $51,220 in May 2012. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $28,240, and the top 10 percent earned more than $75,740.

Median annual wages for electrical and electronics installers and repairers in May 2012 were as follows:  

  • $68,810 for electrical and electronics repairers, powerhouse, substation, and relay
  • $52,650 for electrical and electronics repairers, commercial and industrial equipment
  • $51,240 for electrical and electronics installers and repairers, transportation equipment
  • $36,240 for electric motor, power tool, and related repairers
  • $31,340 for electronic equipment installers and repairers, motor vehicles

Nearly all electrical and electronics installers and repairers work full time.

Union Membership

Compared with workers in all occupations, electrical and electronics installers and repairers had a higher percentage of workers who belonged to a union in 2012.

Job Outlook About this section

Electrical and Electronics Installers and Repairers

Percent change in employment, projected 2012-22

Total, all occupations

11%

Electrical and electronic equipment mechanics, installers, and repairers

4%

Electrical and electronics installers and repairers

1%

 

Overall employment of electrical and electronics installers and repairers is projected to show little or no change from 2012 to 2022. Growth rates will vary by specialty.

Employment of electrical and electronics installers and repairers of commercial and industrial equipment is projected to grow 3 percent from 2012 to 2022, slower than the average for all occupations. As competition increases, businesses strive to lower costs by increasing and improving automation. Equipment that needs service and repair would generally increase the demand for electrical workers, but improved reliability of equipment is expected to temper employment growth.

Employment of motor vehicle electronic equipment installers and repairers is projected to decline 6 percent from 2012 to 2022. As motor vehicle manufacturers install more and better sound, security, entertainment, and navigation systems in new vehicles, and as newer electronic systems require progressively less maintenance, few aftermarket installers will be needed.

Employment of electric motor, power tool, and related repairers is projected to decline 4 percent from 2012 to 2022. Improvements in electrical and electronic equipment design, as well as the increased use of disposable tool parts, will result in declining employment.

Employment of electrical and electronics installers and repairers of transportation equipment is projected to show little or no change from 2012 to 2022. Declining employment in the rail transportation industry—the largest employing segment of these specialists—will dampen employment growth. 

Employment of powerhouse, substation, and relay electrical and electronics installers and repairers is projected to show little or no change from 2012 to 2022. Although the installation of new, energy-efficient technologies will likely spur demand for workers, privatization in the utilities industries should improve productivity and offset any employment gains.

Job Prospects

Overall job opportunities should be excellent for qualified workers with an associate’s degree in electronics along with certification.

Employment projections data for electrical and electronics installers and repairers, 2012-22
Occupational Title SOC Code Employment, 2012 Projected Employment, 2022 Change, 2012-22 Employment by Industry
Percent Numeric

SOURCE: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program

Electrical and electronics installers and repairers

144,700 145,600 1 900

Electric motor, power tool, and related repairers

49-2092 20,700 19,900 -4 -800 [XLS]

Electrical and electronics installers and repairers, transportation equipment

49-2093 15,900 16,200 2 400 [XLS]

Electrical and electronics repairers, commercial and industrial equipment

49-2094 69,000 71,300 3 2,300 [XLS]

Electrical and electronics repairers, powerhouse, substation, and relay

49-2095 24,500 24,500 0 -100 [XLS]

Electronic equipment installers and repairers, motor vehicles

49-2096 14,600 13,700 -6 -900 [XLS]

Similar Occupations About this section

This table shows a list of occupations with job duties that are similar to those of electrical and electronics installers and repairers.

Occupation Job Duties ENTRY-LEVEL EDUCATION Help 2012 MEDIAN PAY Help
Electricians

Electricians

Electricians install and maintain electrical power, communications, lighting, and control systems in homes, businesses, and factories.

High school diploma or equivalent $49,840
Aircraft and avionics equipment mechanics and technicians

Aircraft and Avionics Equipment Mechanics and Technicians

Aircraft and avionics equipment mechanics and technicians repair and perform scheduled maintenance on aircraft. They also may perform aircraft inspections as required by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

See How to Become One $55,230
Computer, ATM, and office machine repairers

Computer, ATM, and Office Machine Repairers

Computer, ATM, and office machine repairers install, fix, and maintain many of the machines that businesses, households, and other consumers use.

Some college, no degree $36,620
Telecommunications equipment installers and repairers, except line installers

Telecommunications Equipment Installers and Repairers Except Line Installers

Telecommunications equipment installers and repairers, also known as telecom technicians, set up and maintain devices or equipment that carry communications signals, connect to telephone lines, or access the Internet.

Postsecondary non-degree award $54,530
Elevator installers and repairers

Elevator Installers and Repairers

Elevator installers and repairers install, fix, and maintain elevators, escalators, moving walkways, and other lifts.

High school diploma or equivalent $76,650
General maintenance and repair workers

General Maintenance and Repair Workers

General maintenance and repair workers fix and maintain machines, mechanical equipment, and buildings. They work on plumbing, electrical, and air-conditioning and heating systems.

High school diploma or equivalent $35,210
Broadcast and sound engineering technicians

Broadcast and Sound Engineering Technicians

Broadcast and sound engineering technicians set up, operate, and maintain the electrical equipment for radio and television broadcasts, concerts, sound recordings, movies and in office and school buildings.

See How to Become One $41,200
Suggested citation:

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, Electrical and Electronics Installers and Repairers,
on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/installation-maintenance-and-repair/electrical-and-electronics-installers-and-repairers.htm (visited April 23, 2014).

Publish Date: Wednesday, January 8, 2014