Becoming an Electrical Engineer Technician
An individual who finds a career working with electronics and electrical components stimulating and interesting may want to become an electrical engineer technician. Electrical and electronics engineering technicians assist the engineers in solving electrical engineering programs and creating ground-breaking products. Becoming an electrical engineering technician can take place after two years of full-time study.
What is an Electrical Engineer Technician?
Electrical engineering technicians are usually categorized as electrical and electronics engineering technicians because their job duties are so similar. These professionals help the electrical and electronics engineers design and develop their many products, such as medical devices, communication equipment, computers, navigational equipment and other electrical and electronic equipment. They work in all stages of production, including testing and evaluation, measuring diagnostic devices for testing the equipment, adjusting the systems and repairing them.
Their duties include visiting construction sites to check on design conditions; building and calibrating electrical instruments; testing the equipment; putting together prototypes and electrical systems; identifying solutions for technical designing problems; writing specifications and drawing diagrams for electrical/electronics unities; and installing electrical control systems and equipment. They also maintain and troubleshoot electrical systems and equipment; evaluate the performance of systems and assemblies with simulated equipment, and assist the engineer in this or her duties.
To become an electrical and electronics engineering technician usually requires completing an associate’s degree in electrical engineering technology or electrical and electronics engineering technology from an ABET-accredited school. This type of program is typically found in postsecondary institutions such as vocational schools, technical schools and community colleges. Students complete both liberal arts and theory-based courses. Typical courses for an electrical engineering technology student include college algebra, science, logical processors, programming languages, circuity, physics and chemistry.
An electrical engineering technician may also choose to obtain certification. While it may not be a legal requirement, certification is a way to demonstrate a high level of knowledge in this area. Certification can be earned by a few different organizations.
- ETA International
- The National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies
- The International Society of Automation
To obtain certification, the candidate must complete the engineering degree program and pass a certification exam.
Career Outlook & Wage Potential
Employment of electrical and electronics engineering technicians has been rather slow in the past few years. Although jobs should grow in companies wanting to contract out technicians or in engineering services firms, this is not the case in manufacturing industries or in the federal government. Job growth of only 2% is expected for electrical engineering technicians during the 2016-2026 decade, as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
The bureau reports that electrical and electronics engineering technicians earned annual wages that ranged from $37,420 to $93,810, and the average annual wage was $64,290 as of May 2017. The average hourly age for these technicians was $30.91.The top-paying states for electrical engineering technicians are District of Columbia, Vermont, Alaska, Maryland and Colorado.
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An individual who choose this path is not only going to be qualified to be an electrical engineering technician, but also a technician in one of the various others areas of engineering. Choosing to become an electrical engineering technician can be the start of a very promising career with jobs available in offices, factories and laboratories, among others.