Electrical and Electronics Engineering Technicians


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.

Electrical and electronics engineering technicians held about 130,500 jobs in 2018. The largest employers of electrical and electronics engineering technicians were as follows:

Engineering services 13%
Semiconductor and other electronic component manufacturing 12
Federal government 10
Navigational, measuring, electromedical, and control instruments manufacturing 6
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.  

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 ABETOpens in a new tab. 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 InternationalOpens in a new tab. also offers certifications in several fields, including basic electronics, biomedical electronics, and renewable energy.

The International Society of AutomationOpens in a new tab. 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.

The median annual wage for electrical and electronics engineering technicians was $64,330 in May 2018.

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 $38,110, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $95,140.

In May 2018, the median annual wages for electrical and electronics engineering technicians in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:

Federal government $69,870
Merchant wholesalers, durable goods 63,920
Engineering services 62,150
Semiconductor and other electronic component manufacturing 59,940
Navigational, measuring, electromedical, and control instruments manufacturing 59,000

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.

Electrical and Electronics Engineering Technicians

Median annual wages, May 2018

Electrical and electronics engineering technicians

$64,330

Drafters, engineering technicians, and mapping technicians

$56,820

Total, all occupations

$38,640

 

Employment of electrical and electronics engineering technicians is projected to show little or no change from 2018 to 2028.

Many of these technicians work in traditional manufacturing industries, and employment of these technicians is projected to decline in most manufacturing industries. 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 engineersOpens in a new tab. and computer hardware engineersOpens in a new tab. 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, 2018-28
Occupational Title SOC Code Employment, 2018 Projected Employment, 2028 Change, 2018-28 Employment by Industry
Percent Numeric

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

Electrical and electronics engineering technicians

17-3023 130,500 130,700 0 200 Get data

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 Median Annual Pay, May 2018

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 $63,060

Electrical and Electronics Engineers

Electrical engineers design, develop, test, and supervise the manufacture of electrical equipment.

Bachelor’s degree $99,070

Electrical and Electronics Installers and Repairers

Electrical and electronics installers and repairers install or repair a variety of electrical equipment.

See How to Become One $57,890

Electro-mechanical Technicians

Electro-mechanical technicians operate, test, and maintain unmanned, automated, robotic, or electromechanical equipment.

Associate’s degree $57,790

Mechanical Engineering Technicians

Mechanical engineering technicians help mechanical engineers design, develop, test, and manufacture mechanical devices.

Associate’s degree $56,250

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

American Society for Engineering EducationOpens in a new tab.

Technology Student Association

For more information about accredited programs, visit

ABETOpens in a new tab.

For more information about certification, visit

ETA InternationalOpens in a new tab.

International Society of AutomationOpens in a new tab.

International Society of Certified Electronics TechniciansOpens in a new tab.

National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET)

For information about working in automation, visit

Automation FederationOpens in a new tab.

O*NET

Electrical Engineering TechniciansOpens in a new tab.

Electrical and Electronic Engineering TechniciansOpens in a new tab.

Electronics Engineering TechniciansOpens in a new tab.


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 ).


 

Tracey Lamphere

Tracey Lamphere, M.S. IMC is the editor of Job Affirmations, a publication that provides information and ideas to use mindfulness, positive affirmations, and visualizations to transform your career.

Recent Posts