Electrical and Electronics Engineering Technicians

Summary

electrical and electronic engineering technicians image
Electrical and electronics engineering technicians use diagnostic devices to adjust, test, and repair equipment.
Quick Facts: Electrical and Electronics Engineering Technicians
2014 Median Pay $59,820 per year
$28.76 per hour
Typical Entry-Level Education Associate's degree
Work Experience in a Related Occupation None
On-the-job Training None
Number of Jobs, 2014 139,400
Job Outlook, 2014-24 -2% (Decline)
Employment Change, 2014-24 -2,800

What Electrical and Electronics Engineering Technicians Do

Electrical and electronics engineering technicians help engineers design and develop computers, communications equipment, medical monitoring devices, navigational equipment, and other electrical and electronic equipment. They often work in product evaluation and testing, using measuring and diagnostic devices to adjust, test, and repair equipment. They are also involved in the manufacture and deployment of equipment for automation.

Work Environment

Electrical and electronics engineering technicians work closely with electrical engineers. They work primarily in manufacturing settings, engineering services, the federal government, research and development laboratories, and the utilities industry.

How to Become an Electrical or Electronics Engineering Technician

Electrical and electronics engineering technicians typically need an associate’s degree.

Pay

The median annual wage for electrical and electronics engineering technicians was $59,820 in May 2014.

Job Outlook

Employment of electrical and electronics engineering technicians is projected to decline 2 percent from 2014 to 2024. Employment of these technicians is projected to decline in manufacturing and in the federal government.

State & Area Data

Explore resources for employment and wages by state and area for electrical and electronics engineering technicians.

Similar Occupations

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

More Information, Including Links to O*NET

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

What Electrical and Electronics Engineering Technicians Do

Electrical and electronic engineering technicians
Electrical and electronics engineering technicians help engineers design and develop computers and other electrical and electronic equipment.

Electrical and electronics engineering technicians help engineers design and develop computers, communications equipment, medical monitoring devices, navigational equipment, and other electrical and electronic equipment. They often work in product evaluation and testing, using measuring and diagnostic devices to adjust, test, and repair equipment. They are also involved in the manufacture and deployment of equipment for automation.

Duties

Electrical engineering technicians typically do the following:

  • Put together electrical and electronic systems and prototypes
  • Build, calibrate, and repair electrical instruments or testing equipment
  • Visit construction sites to observe conditions affecting design
  • Identify solutions to technical design problems that arise during the construction of electrical systems
  • Inspect designs for quality control, report findings, and make recommendations
  • Draw diagrams and write specifications to clarify design details of experimental electronics units

Electrical engineering technicians install and maintain electrical control systems and equipment, and modify electrical prototypes, parts, and assemblies to correct problems. When testing systems, they set up test equipment and evaluate the performance of developmental parts, assemblies, or systems under simulated conditions. They then analyze test information to resolve design-related problems.

Electronics engineering technicians typically do the following:

  • Design basic circuitry and draft sketches to clarify details of design documentation, under engineers’ direction
  • Build prototypes from rough sketches or plans
  • Assemble, test, and maintain circuitry or electronic components according to engineering instructions, technical manuals, and knowledge of electronics
  • Adjust and replace defective circuitry and electronic components
  • Make parts, such as coils and terminal boards, by using bench lathes, drills, or other machine tools

Electronics engineering technicians identify and resolve equipment malfunctions and then work with manufacturers to get replacement parts. They also calibrate and perform preventative maintenance on equipment and systems.

These technicians often need to read blueprints, schematic drawings, and engineering instructions for assembling electronic units. They also write reports and record data on testing techniques, laboratory equipment, and specifications.

Work Environment

Electrical and electronic engineering technicians
Electrical engineering technicians build, calibrate, and repair electrical instruments or testing equipment.

Electrical and electronics engineering technicians held about 139,400 jobs in 2014. The industries that employed the most electrical and electronics engineering technicians were as follows:

Computer and electronic product manufacturing 27%
Engineering services 12
Federal government 10
Utilities 5
Scientific research and development services 4

Electrical and electronics engineering technicians work closely with electrical and electronics engineers. For this reason, teamwork is an important part of the job. They work in offices, laboratories, and factories because their job tasks involve both engineering theory and assembly-line production.

Electrical and electronics engineering technicians may be exposed to hazards from equipment or toxic materials, but incidents are rare if proper procedures are followed.

Work Schedules

Electrical and electronics engineering technicians work schedules common to production workers in the industries in which they are employed. In the federal government, their schedules tend to follow a standard workweek. In manufacturing industries and laboratories, these technicians also most commonly work a standard workweek, except for particular periods when overtime might be required.

How to Become an Electrical or Electronics Engineering Technician

Electrical and electronic engineering technicians
Electrical and electronics engineering technicians typically need an associate’s degree.

Electrical and electronics engineering technicians typically need an associate’s degree.

Education

Programs for electrical and electronics engineering technicians usually lead to an associate’s degree in electrical or electronics engineering technology. Vocational–technical schools include postsecondary institutions that serve local students and emphasize training needed by local employers.

Community colleges offer programs similar to those in technical institutes but include more theory-based and liberal arts coursework. Some of these colleges allow students to concentrate in computer electronics, industrial electronics, or communications electronics.

Prospective electrical and electronics engineering technicians usually take courses in ANSI C, C++ programming, Java programming, physics, microprocessors, and circuitry. The Technology Accreditation Commission of ABET accredits programs that include at least college algebra, trigonometry, and basic science courses.

Important Qualities

Logical-thinking skills. Electrical and electronics engineering technicians must isolate and then identify problems for the engineering staff to work on. They need good reasoning skills to identify and fix problems. Technicians must also be able to follow a logical sequence or specific set of rules to carry out engineers’ designs, inspect designs for quality control, and put together prototypes.

Math skills. Electrical and electronics engineering technicians use math for analysis, design, and troubleshooting in their work.

Mechanical skills. Electronics engineering technicians in particular must be able to use hand tools and soldering irons on small circuitry and electronic parts to create detailed electronic components by hand.

Observational skills. Electrical engineering technicians sometimes visit construction sites to make sure that electrical engineers’ designs are being carried out correctly. They are responsible for evaluating projects onsite and reporting problems to engineers.

Problem-solving skills. Electrical and electronics engineering technicians create what engineers have designed and often test the designs to make sure that they work. Technicians help to resolve any problems that come up in carrying out the engineers’ designs.

Writing skills. These technicians must write reports about onsite construction, the results of testing, or problems they find when carrying out designs. Their writing must be clear and well organized so that the engineers they work with can understand the reports.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

The National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET) offers certification in electrical power testing. This certification would benefit those technicians working in the electric power generation, transmission, and distribution industry.

ETA International also offers certifications in several fields, including basic electronics, biomedical, and renewable energy.

The International Society of Automation offers certification as a Control Systems Technician. To gain such certification, technicians must demonstrate skills in pneumatic, mechanical, and electronic instrumentation. In addition, they must demonstrate an understanding of process control loops and process control systems.

Pay

Electrical and Electronics Engineering Technicians

Median annual wages, May 2014

Electrical and electronics engineering technicians

$59,820

Drafters, engineering technicians, and mapping technicians

$53,460

Total, all occupations

$35,540

 

The median annual wage for electrical and electronics engineering technicians was $59,820 in May 2014. 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 $35,880, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $87,840.

In May 2014, the median annual wages for electrical and electronics engineering technicians in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:

Utilities $68,310
Federal government 63,650
Scientific research and development services 63,050
Engineering services 57,110
Computer and electronic product manufacturing 56,130

Electrical and electronics engineering technicians work schedules common to production workers in the industries in which they are employed. In the federal government, their schedules tend to follow a standard workweek.

Job Outlook

Electrical and Electronics Engineering Technicians

Percent change in employment, projected 2014-24

Total, all occupations

7%

Drafters, engineering technicians, and mapping technicians

-1%

Electrical and electronics engineering technicians

-2%

 

Employment of electrical and electronics engineering technicians is projected to decline 2 percent from 2014 to 2024.

Some of these technicians work in traditional manufacturing industries, many of which are declining or growing slowly. In addition, employment of these technicians in the federal government is projected to decline. However, employment growth for electrical and electronics engineering technicians will likely occur in engineering services firms as companies seek to contract out these services as a way to lower costs.

Electrical and electronics engineering technicians also work closely with electrical and electronics engineers and computer hardware engineers in the computer systems design services industry. Demand for these technicians overall is expected to be sustained by demand for workers in this industry because of the continuing integration of computer and electronics systems. For example, computer, cellular phone, and global positioning system (GPS) technologies are being included in automobiles and various portable and household electronics systems.

Employment projections data for electrical and electronics engineering technicians, 2014-24
Occupational Title SOC Code Employment, 2014 Projected Employment, 2024 Change, 2014-24 Employment by Industry
Percent Numeric

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

Electrical and electronics engineering technicians

17-3023 139,400 136,600 -2 -2,800 [XLSX]

State & Area Data

Occupational Employment Statistics (OES)

The Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) program produces employment and wage estimates annually for over 800 occupations. These estimates are available for the nation as a whole, for individual states, and for metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas. The link(s) below go to OES data maps for employment and wages by state and area.

Projections Central

Occupational employment projections are developed for all states by Labor Market Information (LMI) or individual state Employment Projections offices. All state projections data are available at www.projectionscentral.com. Information on this site allows projected employment growth for an occupation to be compared among states or to be compared within one state. In addition, states may produce projections for areas; there are links to each state’s websites where these data may be retrieved.

Career InfoNet

America’s Career InfoNet includes hundreds of occupational profiles with data available by state and metro area. There are links in the left-hand side menu to compare occupational employment by state and occupational wages by local area or metro area. There is also a salary info tool to search for wages by zip code.

Similar Occupations

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

Occupation Job Duties ENTRY-LEVEL EDUCATION 2014 MEDIAN PAY
Electrical and electronics engineers

Electrical and Electronics Engineers

Electrical engineers design, develop, test, and supervise the manufacturing of electrical equipment, such as electric motors, radar and navigation systems, communications systems, and power generation equipment. Electronics engineers design and develop electronic equipment, such as broadcast and communications systems—from portable music players to global positioning systems (GPSs).

Bachelor's degree $93,260
Electrical and electronics installers and repairers

Electrical and Electronics Installers and Repairers

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

Postsecondary nondegree award $53,900
Electro-mechanical technicians

Electro-mechanical Technicians

Electro-mechanical technicians combine knowledge of mechanical technology with knowledge of electrical and electronic circuits. They operate, test, and maintain unmanned, automated, robotic, or electromechanical equipment.

Associate's degree $53,070
Mechanical engineering technicians

Mechanical Engineering Technicians

Mechanical engineering technicians help mechanical engineers design, develop, test, and manufacture mechanical devices, including tools, engines, and machines. They may make sketches and rough layouts, record and analyze data, make calculations and estimates, and report their findings.

Associate's degree $53,530

Contacts for More Information

For information about general engineering education and career resources, visit

American Society for Engineering Education

Technology Student Association

For information about accredited programs, visit

ABET

For information about certification, visit

ETA International

International Society of Automation

International Society of Certified Electronics Technicians

National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET)

O*NET

Electrical Engineering Technicians

Electrical and Electronic Engineering Technicians

Electronics Engineering Technicians

Suggested citation:

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition, Electrical and Electronics Engineering Technicians,
on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/architecture-and-engineering/electrical-and-electronics-engineering-technicians.htm (visited February 14, 2016).

Publish Date: Thursday, December 17, 2015