Become an Electronics Repair Technician
Electrical and electronics installers and repairers are responsible for installing, repairing, and maintaining a wide variety of electronic devices. Responsibilities include replacing broken equipment, providing cost estimates, keeping records, and testing equipment. These professionals can work with a variety of equipment types, including motor vehicle and transportation equipment, commercial equipment, power stations and industrial equipment.
While some repairers work in factories or repair stores, many electrical repair technicians must travel to the work site in order to repair equipment. The job can be physically demanding and may require the lifting of heavy objects or the use of potentially dangerous tools. The risk of injury in this career is higher than for the average job, but the use of safety gear and clothing keeps injuries to a minimum. Almost all electrical repair technicians work full time.
|Degree Level||Associate preferred|
|Degree field||Electrical or electronics technology|
|Key Skills||Communication and reading comprehension skills; commitment to safety; ability to read blueprints; operate and test a variety of equipment; color vision|
|Median Salary (May 2015)||$55,160 (for electrical and electronic equipment installers and repairers)|
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
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Career Steps to Take
There are three main steps for becoming an electronics repair technician:
Step 1: Earn an Associate Degree
An associate degree may not be required by all employers, but the education available through a degree program in electrical or electronics technology could supplement work experience and familiarize students with needed skills and knowledge. These programs include subjects like blueprint reading, wiring, motors, controls, digital systems, manufacturing, and analog systems. The program may require a research project or a capstone experience.
Step 2: Gain Work Experience
Technician positions may be available in a variety of fields, including industrial, commercial, motor vehicle, transportation, or powerhouse repair. These professionals may work as field technicians traveling to various job sites, or as bench technicians working in a shop. Work experience can prepare professionals for certification.
Specialize in a specific area of electronics repair. There are a variety of electronics repair fields that require specific skills and knowledge. For example, those interested in repairing the electronic equipment found in motor vehicles should find work and training that deals with systems relevant to that field. Similarly, those interested in working in commercial or industrial settings may find work and training in positions that include the repair of equipment like transmitters or antennas.
Step 3: Earn Certification
Voluntary certification is available to electrical and electronic installers and repairers through various organizations, such as the ETA (Electronics Technicians Association) and the ISCET (International Society of Certified Electronics Technicians). These certifications typically require applicants to pass an examination and meet prerequisites, which vary between certifications. Work experience and education can prepare electronic repair professionals for the certification examinations that are required for credentials. Certifications can qualify electronic repair professionals for specific areas, such as telecommunications, digital electronics, and DC or AC electronics.
To summarize, electronics repair technicians may need an associate's degree, and work experience and voluntary certification are helpful.