Electronics technicians work on the development of a range of different types of products. They typically work under the supervision of engineers, and those who have extensive experience usually work in the area of research and development. They have knowledge of electronics circuitry, test procedures, mathematics, and physics, which they use to create sketches and layouts. They then build prototypes of the designs. They often modify the designs of circuits based on the initial prototypes, analyzing the reasons for various failures. They use an extensive range of equipment, including voltmeters, ohmmeters, signal generators, ammeters, and oscilloscopes. They run many tests on equipment and products, including those of an environmental, operational, and functional nature.
Some electronics technicians work mostly in the manufacturing sector, overseeing production quality control and designing tests to ensure quality. Other technicians work as customer engineers or field service representatives. They install equipment at work sites and interact much more with customers. They usually work with the employees of the client, training them in the proper use and maintenance of equipment. They are usually trained to operate computers, calculators, and experimental and laboratory equipment.
Those interested in jobs as electronics technicians should be detail-oriented. They need to exhibit great initiative and be able to work without close supervision. They need to follow verbal directions well, as well as be able to work from schematic diagrams, and sketches. They also need to have good oral and written communication skills.
The average hourly wage for electronics technicians is around $18 per hour. Technicians typically work 40 hours per week, Monday through Friday. Depending on the employer, some technicians may be required to work swing and night shifts and usually earn additional pay. Benefits usually include holidays, paid vacation, sick leave, as well as health and life insurance. Some companies offer employees additional benefits, such as profit-sharing, stock purchase plans, and bonus programs.
Training and Education
Almost all employers require applicants for electronics technician positions to have formal training in the field of electronics. This training is usually in the form of an associate degree in electronics or similar training from a technical school or the Armed Forces. Employers also look for individuals who have graduated high school and have experience and background in mathematics and the physical sciences. Many technicians take additional courses even after they are hired in order to keep abreast of new technological developments. Many community colleges offer programs in electronics technology and related subjects. Some States have 4-year apprenticeship programs for electronics technicians. Technicians usually advance by demonstrating leadership ability and being promoted to lead-level and supervisory-level positions. They can also earn a bachelor's degree and advance into a wide variety of different positions in the field of engineering. Click on this link to a list of schools offering Electronics Training and to contact their admissions departments for more information.
Between 2002 and 2012, employment of electronics technicians is expected to increase about as fast as the average. Electronic components have become more common and important in the manufacture of various types of products. Because of the complex nature of technicians' work, automation has had little negative effect on employment in this occupation. Opportunities will be best for those who have experience in digital and analog circuitry, microprocessor systems, or microwave equipment.