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
2016 Median Pay $62,190 per year
$29.90 per hour
Typical Entry-Level Education Associate's degree
Work Experience in a Related Occupation None
On-the-job Training None
Number of Jobs, 2016 137,000
Job Outlook, 2016-26 2% (Slower than average)
Employment Change, 2016-26 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, and use 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 $62,190 in May 2016.

Job Outlook

Employment of electrical and electronics engineering technicians is projected to grow 2 percent from 2016 to 2026, slower than the average for all occupations. Employment of these technicians is projected to decline in many manufacturing industries 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 About this section

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 electrical and electronics 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, and use 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 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 preventive 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 About this section

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

Electrical and electronics engineering technicians held about 137,000 jobs in 2016. The largest employers of electrical and electronics engineering technicians were as follows:

Semiconductor and other electronic component manufacturing 14%
Engineering services 12
Federal government 10
Navigational, measuring, electromedical, and control instruments manufacturing 7
Merchant wholesalers, durable goods 5

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 may work in day or night shifts, depending on production schedules. In the federal government, their schedules tend to follow a standard workweek.  

How to Become an Electrical or Electronics Engineering Technician About this section

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 programming languages, chemistry, physics, logical processors, and circuitry. Coursework in test equipment is also helpful. 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 follow a logical sequence or specific set of rules to carry out electrical 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 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.

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

Technicians may choose to earn certification to show an advanced level of knowledge. Several organizations offer certification.

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 electronics, 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 About this section

Electrical and Electronics Engineering Technicians

Median annual wages, May 2016

Electrical and electronics engineering technicians

$62,190

Drafters, engineering technicians, and mapping technicians

$54,940

Total, all occupations

$37,040

 

The median annual wage for electrical and electronics engineering technicians was $62,190 in May 2016. 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 $36,850, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $91,640.

In May 2016, the median annual wages for electrical and electronics engineering technicians in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:

Federal government $66,210
Engineering services 61,010
Merchant wholesalers, durable goods 58,970
Semiconductor and other electronic component manufacturing 57,630
Navigational, measuring, electromedical, and control instruments manufacturing 56,820

Electrical and electronics engineering technicians may work in day or night shifts, depending on production schedules. In the federal government, their schedules tend to follow a standard workweek.

Job Outlook About this section

Electrical and Electronics Engineering Technicians

Percent change in employment, projected 2016-26

Total, all occupations

7%

Drafters, engineering technicians, and mapping technicians

6%

Electrical and electronics engineering technicians

2%

 

Employment of electrical and electronics engineering technicians is projected to grow 2 percent from 2016 to 2026, slower than the average for all occupations.

Many of these technicians work in traditional manufacturing industries, and employment of these technicians is projected to decline or grow slowly in many of them. Employment of these technicians in the federal government is projected to decline as well. However, employment of electrical and electronics engineering technicians will likely grow 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 is expected to be sustained by the continuing integration of computer and electronics systems, especially automation systems. In addition, computer, cellular phone, and Global Positioning System (GPS) technologies are being included in automobiles and various portable and household electronics systems.

Job Prospects

Prospective electrical and electronics engineering technicians may face competition for jobs. Candidates with a certification will likely have the best job opportunities.

Employment projections data for electrical and electronics engineering technicians, 2016-26
Occupational Title SOC Code Employment, 2016 Projected Employment, 2026 Change, 2016-26 Employment by Industry
Percent Numeric

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

Electrical and electronics engineering technicians

17-3023 137,000 139,800 2 2,800 employment projections excel document xlsx

State & Area Data About this section

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.

CareerOneStop

CareerOneStop 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 About this section

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 Help 2016 MEDIAN PAY Help
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.

See How to Become One $60,270
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, including broadcast and communications systems, such as portable music players and Global Positioning System (GPS) devices.

Bachelor's degree $96,270
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.

See How to Become One $55,920
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 $55,610
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 $54,480

Contacts for More Information About this section

For more information about general engineering education and career resources, visit

American Society for Engineering Education

Technology Student Association

For more information about accredited programs, visit

ABET

For more information about certification, visit

ETA International

International Society of Automation

International Society of Certified Electronics Technicians

National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET)

For information about working in automation, visit

Automation Federation

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, Electrical and Electronics Engineering Technicians,
on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/architecture-and-engineering/electrical-and-electronics-engineering-technicians.htm (visited October 30, 2017).

Last Modified Date: Tuesday, October 24, 2017

What They Do

The What They Do tab describes the typical duties and responsibilities of workers in the occupation, including what tools and equipment they use and how closely they are supervised. This tab also covers different types of occupational specialties.

Work Environment

The Work Environment tab includes the number of jobs held in the occupation and describes the workplace, the level of physical activity expected, and typical hours worked. It may also discuss the major industries that employed the occupation. This tab may also describe opportunities for part-time work, the amount and type of travel required, any safety equipment that is used, and the risk of injury that workers may face.

How to Become One

The How to Become One tab describes how to prepare for a job in the occupation. This tab can include information on education, training, work experience, licensing and certification, and important qualities that are required or helpful for entering or working in the occupation.

Pay

The Pay tab describes typical earnings and how workers in the occupation are compensated—annual salaries, hourly wages, commissions, tips, or bonuses. Within every occupation, earnings vary by experience, responsibility, performance, tenure, and geographic area. For most profiles, this tab has a table with wages in the major industries employing the occupation. It does not include pay for self-employed workers, agriculture workers, or workers in private households because these data are not collected by the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey, the source of BLS wage data in the OOH.

State & Area Data

The State and Area Data tab provides links to state and area occupational data from the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) program, state projections data from Projections Central, and occupational information from the Department of Labor's CareerOneStop.

Job Outlook

The Job Outlook tab describes the factors that affect employment growth or decline in the occupation, and in some instances, describes the relationship between the number of job seekers and the number of job openings.

Similar Occupations

The Similar Occupations tab describes occupations that share similar duties, skills, interests, education, or training with the occupation covered in the profile.

Contacts for More Information

The More Information tab provides the Internet addresses of associations, government agencies, unions, and other organizations that can provide additional information on the occupation. This tab also includes links to relevant occupational information from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET).

2016 Median Pay

The wage at which half of the workers in the occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. Median wage data are from the BLS Occupational Employment Statistics survey. In May 2016, the median annual wage for all workers was $37,040.

On-the-job Training

Additional training needed (postemployment) to attain competency in the skills needed in this occupation.

Entry-level Education

Typical level of education that most workers need to enter this occupation.

Work experience in a related occupation

Work experience that is commonly considered necessary by employers, or is a commonly accepted substitute for more formal types of training or education.

Number of Jobs, 2016

The employment, or size, of this occupation in 2016, which is the base year of the 2016-26 employment projections.

Job Outlook, 2016-26

The projected percent change in employment from 2016 to 2026. The average growth rate for all occupations is 7 percent.

Employment Change, 2016-26

The projected numeric change in employment from 2016 to 2026.

Entry-level Education

Typical level of education that most workers need to enter this occupation.

On-the-job Training

Additional training needed (postemployment) to attain competency in the skills needed in this occupation.

Employment Change, projected 2016-26

The projected numeric change in employment from 2016 to 2026.

Growth Rate (Projected)

The percent change of employment for each occupation from 2016 to 2026.

Projected Number of New Jobs

The projected numeric change in employment from 2016 to 2026.

Projected Growth Rate

The projected percent change in employment from 2016 to 2026.

2016 Median Pay

The wage at which half of the workers in the occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. Median wage data are from the BLS Occupational Employment Statistics survey. In May 2016, the median annual wage for all workers was $37,040.