What does an electronics technician do?
Electronics technicians are an integral part of the modern workforce. As an electronics technician, you work in many industries, from auto manufacturing and aerospace to broadcasting and consumer electronics. Your job involves testing, building, and repairing electronic equipment for such companies.
Electronics technicians who work for manufacturing companies are involved in various stages of the production process from testing to final assembly. Technicians who work for engineering or scientific research firms install, maintain, and repair instruments used for research and development.
What is the average salary of an electronics technician?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for electrical and electronics technicians was $67,550 in 2020. This translates to an hourly wage of $32.48, but various factors come into play when determining these rates.
Individuals who have completed a postsecondary educational program expect to earn more than those with a high school diploma or GED. Additionally, some positions require an associate degree or higher, which will increase your earning potential.
The amount of experience an electronics technician has accrued affects pay level as well. Individuals who have been performing these duties for several years may qualify for higher-paying positions within the same company or in other companies because of their enhanced knowledge and skills.
The industry you're working for largely determines your wage. For example, electronics technicians working in aircraft and aerospace electronics usually receive higher pay than those working in consumer electronics. There's a high demand for qualified technicians to work in the aircraft and aerospace industry, and companies often offer higher wages to attract technicians with the right skill set.
Working as an electronics technician
When you work as an electronics technician, you ensure that businesses and their employees use technology to its fullest potential. While it's a lot of work, the field allows for some serious perks. There are many different working environments, and you can choose to pursue a field that interests you most.
What are the responsibilities of an electronics technician?
Electronics technicians often have duties that are specific to their workplace. For example, a technician who works in a biomedical engineering lab may work on computer-controlled medical devices. A technician who works in television production may ensure that sound and video recording equipment functions properly before a broadcast begins. Additionally, electronics technicians who work in manufacturing plants support other technicians on the production floor by performing repairs as needed.
Your main responsibilities as an electronics technician will include:
- Maintaining and repairing electronic equipment
- Testing and monitoring systems to ensure they are working properly
- Calibrating electronic equipment to manufacturer specifications
- Conducting quality control checks on products
- Preparing reports and documentation to record findings, problems, and solutions
- Making improvements to existing products or designing new products with engineers or scientists
What type of equipment do electronics technicians use?
Electronics technicians use various tools and types of equipment to do their job. These range from common hand tools like screwdrivers and pliers to more specialized power tools and measuring instruments for testing electrical circuits.
There are also a few other important tools used by electronics technicians.
A soldering gun includes a soldering iron with a metal tip that heats up to join two pieces of metal together by melting solder between them. Soldering guns repair or replace broken wires or defective parts on electronic equipment.
A digital multimeter combines the functions of an analog multimeter with a digital readout. This device performs multiple measurements on an electrical circuit, such as voltage, current, and resistance.
An oscilloscope is an electronic test instrument that allows technicians to view electrical signals on a screen as voltage changes over time. It measures both AC (alternating current) and DC (direct current) signals. Oscilloscopes analyze waveforms, find anomalies in signals, and determine whether parts of circuits are working properly.
A power supply provides electricity to different electrical components to test them for defects and malfunctions. They are set to provide either DC power, AC power, or both.
What is the work environment of an electronics technician?
Electronics technician positions are available in both the public and private sectors. Public sector jobs are found with telephone companies, hospitals, radio stations, TV stations, and other government departments. Private sector jobs are mostly found in the aerospace industry, communications companies, and manufacturing facilities. Most electronics technician jobs are full-time positions, but there are some part-time and seasonal work opportunities as well.
As an electronics technician, you'll often work indoors in a lab or factory environment; however, other jobs involve working outdoors at construction sites or on telephone poles. There's also some travel involved for this job if you're working with customers. You even have to lift heavy items at times, such as generators and power equipment.
Who are your colleagues as an electronics technician?
As an electronics technician, you may be part of a small team or even work alone. You'll work in a factory where dedicated team members are helping with the installation of your electronics. In other cases, you're the only person trained to install and repair electronic equipment. In any case, your colleagues include:
- Other technicians - These people know how to build electronics and help you set up systems. They'll also help diagnose problems when things go wrong.
- Engineers - They design new products and fix any problems with existing ones. While they don't understand the underlying electronics as well as you do, they do comprehend how the electronics function in the overall system.
- Construction workers - Construction workers are essential for building racks to hold servers or laying data cables from one computer to another when installing new electronics.
What is the work schedule of an electronics technician?
Electronics technicians work as independent contractors or consultants. Others work as part of a team within a large organization. The work schedule will depend on the industry you're supporting. For example, if you work for a 24-hour hospital, you're required to be on call at any time of day or night. If you work for an industrial manufacturer, your hours are limited to the dayshift during normal business hours.
The typical work week consists of 40 hours. Be prepared, though, for instances where you're asked to work nights and weekends. This is especially if you're involved in testing prototypes or maintaining emergency communications systems. Overtime is also possible when you're working on a tight deadline. Technicians who are independent contractors set their schedules and can choose which jobs they want to take on. In most cases, you'll need to be flexible enough to accommodate the needs of your clients' businesses and available when they need you.
What is the career outlook of an electronics technician?
The job outlook for an electronics technician is expected to grow at a rate of 2% between now and 2030. This will roughly create 8,200 new jobs each year. Job losses are expected in the manufacturing sector as companies continue to move operations overseas and automate processes domestically. Jobs are also declining in the military as the armed forces reduce their ranks and increasingly rely on automated systems to perform tasks. This profession gives you a high opportunity for personal development, however.
The BLS notes that one of the best ways to boost your future resume as an electronics technician is by earning industry certifications. Two of the most valuable certifications include:
- Master Certified Electronics Technician (MCET) - The Master Certified Electronics Technician certificate is for technicians with at least six years of experience. Employers will recognize it, allowing electronics technicians to showcase their abilities.
- Fiber Optics Installer (FOIC) - The Fiber Optics Installer certificate provides students with a basic understanding of fiber types, splicing techniques, and installation practices. This knowledge is valuable to technicians who work with cables and fibers in the electronics field.
These certifications help you improve your chances of getting hired or promoted. Some employers even require these certifications as part of their hiring criteria.
What are the advantages of working with Spherion as an electronics technician?
Spherion provides many advantages for you as a candidate:
- You're paid every week
- You have flexibility in your work schedule
- If you need help or want to ask questions, someone is always here to assist you.
- You can take advantage of training opportunities designed to increase your skills and ability to perform the job successfully.
- A wide range of jobs exist so that you'll find the right fit for your skills and experience.
What education do you need as an electronics technician
A high school diploma or GED is required. An associate degree or equivalent training is preferred.
Although some electronics technicians receive on-the-job training, many employers prefer to hire job candidates who have completed formal postsecondary education programs. These programs tend to result in a certificate or an associate degree in electronics technology.
Skills & competencies
You'll need to develop several skills crucial to performing your duties as an electronics technician. They include:
- The ability to read and interpret blueprints, schematics, and technical manuals
- Good troubleshooting skills
- Interpersonal and communication skills
- Solid knowledge of electronics systems and components
- The ability to lift heavy materials
- Knowledge in Spectrum analyzers
- The ability to work outdoors under different weather conditions
- Knowing how to terminate RF connectors
- Experience using OTDRs and power meters
- A willingness to learn more about new systems
The growth of electronic technology in our lives has driven the demand for electronics technicians. Below are answers to frequently asked questions about becoming an electronics technician.