Electrical technology repair personnel utilize their skills to troubleshoot, diagnose and maintain a range of products and equipment. Following are some resources to help you determine if this career path suits you.
Today's complex business landscape requires the use of electrical technology for everything from industrial manufacturing to national defense systems. Electrical technology repair personnel apply their knowledge of how electricity and electronics interact to the installation, maintenance and repair of simple to complex frameworks, as well as to existing equipment installations.
As a professional in the industry, you could pursue positions like electrician, electronic equipment installer or aircraft mechanic. Broadcast technician or radio equipment repairer are also possibilities, as are jobs in the manufacturing and information technology industries. Employers in the field require a number of candidate qualities and credentials, including knowledge of safety procedures, solid customer service skills, job-specific licensing and the appropriate training or education depending on your selected industry and career path.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that approximately 79% of electricians work in the construction industry or as self-employed contractors (www.bls.gov). Electricians perform a range of electrical repair work in residential and commercial settings. Electrical equipment repairers do preventive maintenance and repair work on existing installations. In either of these jobs, you can expect to troubleshoot, test and diagnose problem areas, using the appropriate tools to make repairs. Personnel in the sound engineering field apply their understanding of broadcasting and audio components to the repair of mass communication equipment, such as recording and video equipment, microphones and mixing consoles. Employees who service aircraft solve electrical problems reported by pilots of military, commercial and private aircraft.
The BLS reveals that job growth ranges from slower than average to about average for electricians, equipment repairers and sound engineering technology personnel during the 2008-2018 decade. Electrical and electronics installers and repairers can expect growth of five percent, while growth of eight percent is anticipated for sound engineering technicians and radio operators. An increase of approximately 12% is predicted for electricians, with seven percent for aircraft and avionics equipment mechanics and service technicians.
Also according to the BLS, electricians earned a median salary of $48,250 in 2010. Electrical and electronics repairers in the commercial and industrial equipment industry made $51,820. Aircraft and avionics equipment mechanics and service technicians received $52,320 and broadcast technicians took home $35,120.
Employers, including the federal government, have varying requirements for entry-level positions in the electrical technology repair profession. Most employers prefer job candidates with technical training or an associate's degree, along with any necessary certifications and licenses. Depending on the position, completion of an apprenticeship program may be an acceptable alternative.
You can pursue a certificate of completion from a technical college in broadcast technology. You will gain knowledge in several areas, including video, remote and satellite technology. Many colleges offer associate's degree programs in electrical technology, which typically offer courses on generators and transformers, wiring, motor control, industrial wiring and troubleshooting. This type of program can prepare you for work as an electrician or instrumentation technician.
Several colleges and universities offer programs that culminate in an associate's degree in aviation technology. You can expect to learn about fueling and ignition systems, aviation fundamentals, aviation practices, engine electrical systems and instrument systems.