Electronic Technician Job Description

From designing new components to troubleshooting and repairing existing systems, electronic technicians, or electronics technicians, are involved in overseeing various types of electronic systems and equipment. These professionals apply their knowledge of wiring diagrams and schematics, electronics operations, and functions of electronic parts to perform service and installations in electronic manufacturing companies, telecommunications companies, computer firms, government agencies, and electrical engineering firms.

These professionals typically work full-time in either factory or office settings, depending on the employer. Those who are detail-oriented problem-solvers with strong eye-hand coordination usually make successful electronic technicians.

 

Electronic Technician Duties and Responsibilities

While an electronic technician’s day-to-day duties and responsibilities are determined by their industry, there are many core tasks associated with the role. Based on our analysis of job listings, these include:

Troubleshoot and Repair Electronics Systems

One of the main roles of an electronic technician is to test and repair various electronic systems or instruments. They run tests or fault diagnostics on equipment to locate and address a problem, order parts if needed, and replace or repair parts. This could include reassembling circuit boards, motor components, or other structures within a system.

Install New Electronic Equipment and Components

Electronic technicians set up and run initial tests on new electronic systems or equipment. This includes creating prototypes, identifying and avoiding potential issues, and calibrating equipment as needed. They will follow wiring diagrams, drawings, and schematics to ensure that all systems are installed correctly.

Update Software and Run Tests on Existing Equipment

Upgrading software and running software tests on existing electronic systems are important tasks for electronic technicians. This responsibility includes maintaining detailed records of validity tests and upgrades performed.

Perform Preventative Maintenance

Electronic technicians perform routine, regularly scheduled preventive maintenance on electronic equipment to avoid issues and potential down time. They keep a log of what maintenance tasks were completed on what dates and when certain tasks should be performed again in the future.

Maintain Reports and Manuals

From upgrades to preventive maintenance schedules, electronic technicians keep logs and reports that outline tests run, parts used, repairs completed, and troubleshooting steps followed. They will regularly update manuals for electronic equipment and maintain parts inventory reports.

 

Electronic Technician Skills and Qualifications 

Computer-minded individuals with an attention to detail and who love working with their hands can make successful electronic technicians. In addition to a two-year degree, employers seeks professionals who possess the following abilities:

  • Mechanical Skills – From reading wiring diagrams and schematics to using soldering equipment, electronic technicians possess a mechanical aptitude
  • Computer Proficiency – Familiarity with Windows and Microsoft Office applications, software installation, and programming is essential for this position
  • Problem-Solving – It often takes several steps to diagnose a problem with an electronic component, so these technicians are versed in how to identify and provide solutions to electronic equipment issues and breakdowns
  • Communication Skills – From submitting various reports to speaking with engineers, project managers, programmers and other technicians, strong oral and written communication skills are crucial
  • Eye-hand Coordination – As they often work with small parts, such as circuits and wires, electronic technicians possess proficient eye-hand coordination to repair and install these components
  • Organizational Skills – From keeping testing equipment in good working condition to maintaining accurate records and manuals, electronic technicians exhibit above-average organizational skills

 

Tools of the Trade

When not in the office, electronic technicians regularly use:

  • Standard Test Equipment – (oscilloscopes, counters, multimeters)
  • Electronic Components – (resistors, transistors, capacitors)

 

Electronic Technician Education and Training

Some employers may request that job candidates for electronic technician positions hold at least a two-year degree in electronics technology. In such a program, candidates have the opportunity learn about circuitry, electronics testing, and processors, in addition to helpful coursework in math, physics, and programming languages. These programs are offered at community or technical colleges. A four-year degree may be necessary to advance in this field. Most companies provide on-the-job training on electronic systems and equipment inherent to their specific industry.

 

Electronic Technician Salary 

As reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), electronic technicians earn a median annual salary of about $62,000. Those in the 10th percentile earn nearly $37,000, while those in the 90th percentile earn just over $90,000. Electronic technicians working in computer design and engineering tend to make higher mean annual wages (about $66,000 and $62,000, respectively) than those in other manufacturing areas. Electronic technicians working in Alaska are paid the highest annual mean salary in the U.S. at $80,000, followed by Vermont at nearly $79,000, and District of Columbia at about $77,500.

Electronic technicians will see a lower than average employment growth rate at 2 percent through 2026, according to the BLS. A decline is expected in manufacturing and government agencies, while those in engineering firms can expect growth. An increase in the use of automation systems and computer systems will also positively impact the growth of this profession.

 

Helpful Resources

Want to learn more about what it takes to be an electronic technician? If so, review the following books, organizations, and websites for more information about this dynamic career:

Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) – As the largest technical organization in the world, IEEE offers conferences, training, networking, reviews of industry standards, links to professional publications, and a mentoring program for beginning or established electronic technicians.

Becoming an Electronics Technician: Securing Your High-Tech Future 4th edition – What exactly will you be doing as an electronic technician? What certifications might you obtain? Which strategies work best out in the real world? Find out all of this and more with this extensive study of what it means to work in this occupation.

Electronic Technicians Association, International (ETA International) – Get detailed information on available electronic technician certifications and attend training seminars and educational forums when you become a member of ETA International.

“Electronics Weekly” – This online publication provides industry news, product reviews, blogs, electronic design articles, and so much more.

The Successful Electronics Technician: 12 Essential Strategies for Building a Winning Career – Based on interview responses with professional electronic technicians, this book by David L. Goetsch gives insight in what to expect and what’s expected of you when you pursue a career in this field.

How to Diagnose and Fix Everything Electronic 2nd edition – From interpreting diagrams to using test equipment, this book by Michael Jay Geier covers all the practical and mechanical info you’d need to know as an electronic technician. It also includes case studies and overviews of how electrical components work.

 

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