Electrician technicians are responsible for testing and modifying developmental or operation electrical machinery and electrical control equipment and circuitry in industrial or commercial plants and laboratories using electrical theory and related knowledge. Electrician technicians usually work under the direction of the engineering staff to make sure that things run smoothly.
The duties required of an electrician technician include collaborating with electrical engineers and other personnel to identify, define and solve developmental problems, writing commissioning procedures for electrical installations, installing and maintaining electrical control systems and solid state equipment, and modifying electrical prototypes, assemblies, parts and systems to correct functional deviations. They are also required to build, calibrate, maintain, troubleshoot and repair electrical instruments or testing equipment, plan, monitor and schedule the work of support personnel to assist the supervisor, and analyze and interpret test information to resolve design-related problems.
The skills required of an electrician technician include troubleshooting skills, critical thinking skills, mathematical skills and reading comprehension skills. Troubleshooting skills are useful for determining the causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about them. Critical thinking skills are helpful for using logic and reasoning to come up with solutions. Mathematical skills are useful for applying mathematics to solve problems. Reading comprehension skills are useful for understanding written information in work-related documents. Electrician technicians should also have active listening skills, deductive reasoning skills, oral comprehension skills and written comprehension skills.
Electrician technicians should have knowledge of drafting or mechanical drawing techniques, knowledge of the metric system, robotics systems technology, scientific research methodology, manufacturing methods or techniques, and statistical process control procedures. They should also be familiar with technical information in manufacturing or industrial activities and technical regulations for engineering problems. Electrician technicians also need to have knowledge of computers and electronics, engineering and technology, design, production and processing, public safety and security, and knowledge of the English language.
Though some electrician techs can acquire engineering jobs without any formal training, most employers require at least an associate’s degree in engineering technology. Most electrician technicians receive training from technical schools, community colleges and vocational schools. The Armed Forces also offer training. It is required that electrician technicians have taken and passed courses in college algebra, trigonometry, science and engineering.
Most electrician technicians work a standard 40-hour work week in offices, laboratories, construction sites, and manufacturing and industrial plants. There is a possibility that electrician technicians may be exposed to hazards from the equipment used on the job, chemicals or toxic materials.
The average annual salary for an electrician technician was between $50,000 and $60,000 in 2008, according to My Plan.
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