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Career profile Electrical Engineering Technician

Also known as Communications Technologist, Electrical Engineering Technician, Electrical Technician, Electronics Engineering Technician, Electronics Technician, Engineering Technician (Engineering Tech), Engineering Technologist, System Technologist, Technologist

Electrical Engineering Technician

Also known as Communications Technologist, Electrical Engineering Technician, Electrical Technician

Interests Profile
  • Realistic
  • Investigative
  • Conventional
Pay Range
$40,170 - $99,810 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Critical Thinking
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Complex Problem Solving
Knowledge Areas
  • Computers and Electronics
  • Engineering and Technology
  • Design
Core tasks
  • Review, develop, or prepare maintenance standards.
  • Participate in the development or testing of electrical aspects of new green technologies, such as lighting, optical data storage devices, and energy efficient televisions.
  • Construct and evaluate electrical components for consumer electronics applications such as fuel cells for consumer electronic devices, power saving devices for computers or televisions, or energy efficient power chargers.
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What does an Electrical Engineering Technician do?

Electrical Engineering Technicians apply electrical and electronic theory and related knowledge, usually under the direction of engineering staff, to design, build, repair, adjust, and modify electrical components, circuitry, controls, and machinery for subsequent evaluation and use by engineering staff in making engineering design decisions.

What kind of tasks does an Electrical Engineering Technician perform regularly?

Electrical Engineering Technicians are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Modify, maintain, or repair electronics equipment or systems to ensure proper functioning.
  • Replace defective components or parts, using hand tools and precision instruments.
  • Set up and operate specialized or standard test equipment to diagnose, test, or analyze the performance of electronic components, assemblies, or systems.
  • Read blueprints, wiring diagrams, schematic drawings, or engineering instructions for assembling electronics units, applying knowledge of electronic theory and components.
  • Identify and resolve equipment malfunctions, working with manufacturers or field representatives as necessary to procure replacement parts.
  • Assemble electrical systems or prototypes, using hand tools or measuring instruments.
  • Review electrical engineering plans to ensure adherence to design specifications and compliance with applicable electrical codes and standards.
  • Assemble, test, or maintain circuitry or electronic components, according to engineering instructions, technical manuals, or knowledge of electronics, using hand or power tools.
  • Review existing electrical engineering criteria to identify necessary revisions, deletions, or amendments to outdated material.
  • Select electronics equipment, components, or systems to meet functional specifications.
  • Maintain system logs or manuals to document testing or operation of equipment.
  • Supervise the installation or operation of electronic equipment or systems.
  • Educate equipment operators on the proper use of equipment.
  • Calculate design specifications or cost, material, and resource estimates, and prepare project schedules and budgets.
  • Compile and maintain records documenting engineering schematics, installed equipment, installation or operational problems, resources used, repairs, or corrective action performed.
  • Modify electrical prototypes, parts, assemblies, or systems to correct functional deviations.
  • Integrate software or hardware components, using computer, microprocessor, or control architecture.
  • Procure parts and maintain inventory and related documentation.
  • Participate in training or continuing education activities to stay abreast of engineering or industry advances.
  • Research equipment or component needs, sources, competitive prices, delivery times, or ongoing operational costs.
  • Provide user applications or engineering support or recommendations for new or existing equipment with regard to installation, upgrades, or enhancements.
  • Specify, coordinate, or conduct quality control or quality assurance programs or procedures.
  • Produce electronics drawings or other graphics representing industrial control, instrumentation, sensors, or analog or digital telecommunications networks, using computer-aided design (CAD) software.

The above responsibilities are specific to Electrical Engineering Technicians. More generally, Electrical Engineering Technicians are involved in several broader types of activities:

Working with Computers
Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems
Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards
Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.

What is an Electrical Engineering Technician salary?

The median salary for an Electrical Engineering Technician is $67,550, and the average salary is $68,310. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Electrical Engineering Technician salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Electrical Engineering Technicians earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Electrical Engineering Technicians earn less than $40,170 per year, 25% earn less than $52,520, 75% earn less than $81,430, and 90% earn less than $99,810.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Electrical Engineering Technicians is expected to change by 1.6%, and there should be roughly 11,000 open positions for Electrical Engineering Technicians every year.

Median annual salary
$67,550
Typical salary range
$40,170 - $99,810
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
1.6%

What personality traits are common among Electrical Engineering Technicians?

Interests

Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as an Electrical Engineering Technician are usually higher in their Realistic, Investigative, and Conventional interests.

Electrical Engineering Technicians typically have very strong Realistic interests. Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Also, Electrical Engineering Technicians typically have strong Investigative interests. Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

Lastly, Electrical Engineering Technicians typically have moderate Conventional interests. Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Values

People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as an Electrical Engineering Technician tend to value Support, Working Conditions, and Independence.

Most importantly, Electrical Engineering Technicians strongly value Support. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees.

Second, Electrical Engineering Technicians moderately value Working Conditions. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions.

Lastly, Electrical Engineering Technicians moderately value Independence. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Electrical Engineering Technicians must consistently demonstrate qualities such as attention to detail, dependability, and analytical thinking.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Electrical Engineering Technicians, ranked by importance:

Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Analytical Thinking
Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Adaptability/Flexibility
Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.

What education and training do Electrical Engineering Technicians need?

Electrical Engineering Technicians often have training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.

Electrical Engineering Technicians usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with this occupation.

Educational degrees among Electrical Engineering Technicians

  • 2.5% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 17.9% completed high school or secondary school
  • 33.1% completed some college coursework
  • 29.9% earned a Associate's degree
  • 14.0% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 2.3% earned a Master's degree
  • 0.3% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Electrical Engineering Technicians

Electrical Engineering Technicians may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as computers and electronics, engineering and technology, or design knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Electrical Engineering Technicians might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Computers and Electronics
Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Engineering and Technology
Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
Design
Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
Mathematics
Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.

Important Abilities needed by Electrical Engineering Technicians

Electrical Engineering Technicians must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Electrical Engineering Technicians need abilities such as problem sensitivity, deductive reasoning, and near vision in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Electrical Engineering Technicians, ranked by their relative importance.

Problem Sensitivity
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
Deductive Reasoning
The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
Near Vision
The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Written Comprehension
The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Inductive Reasoning
The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).

Critical Skills needed by Electrical Engineering Technicians

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Electrical Engineering Technicians frequently use skills like critical thinking, reading comprehension, and complex problem solving to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Electrical Engineering Technicians, ranked by their relative importance.

Critical Thinking
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
Reading Comprehension
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
Complex Problem Solving
Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Active Listening
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Troubleshooting
Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

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