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Industrial Electronics Maintenance Technician: Job Info & Career Requirements

Learn the education and training requirements for working as an industrial electronic maintenance technician. Find out the salary potential for this career, and learn about other careers in industrial electronics.

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Career Definition for an Industrial Electronics Maintenance Technician

Industrial electronics maintenance technicians install, troubleshoot, repair, and maintain electronic systems and equipment used in industrial manufacturing. In addition to maintaining the electronic systems and programmable logic controllers (PLCs), technicians work with gas-driven (pneumatic) and liquid-driven (hydraulic) systems in factories, checking for loose connections and defective components on electronic control systems and mechanical equipment. To fix a problem, technicians may conduct and evaluate computer diagnostic tests or attempt to reproduce the problem on a PLC test system. Repairs and maintenance may require using hand tools such as pliers, wrenches, or soldering irons.

Education Diploma or certificate required, associate degree usually preferred by employers
Job Skills Heavy lifting, ability to work on ladders and elevated platforms, hand-eye coordination
Median Salary (2015)* $55,160 (for electrical and electronics installers and repairers)
Job Growth (2014-2024)* -4% (for electrical and electronics installers and repairers)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

Entry-level jobs as industrial electronics maintenance technicians are available with a diploma or certificate from a technical or vocational school program, though many employers prefer a 2-year associate degree. Some employers may require professional certification. The International Society of Certified Electronics Technicians offers a Journeyman-Level Certified Electronics Technician credential specializing in industrial electronics, which attests to proficiency with the components of industrial electronic equipment such as control systems, SCRs, triacs, diacs, transducers, transistors, PLCs, and motors. Certification also emphasizes safety practices on the job.

Skills Required

Industrial electronics repair technicians must be physically capable of lifting heavy pieces of equipment and working on elevated platforms or on ladders. Good hand-eye coordination is also required to install and repair equipment with precision.

Career and Economic Outlook

Industrial electronics are prevalent in the automotive industry, according to the IEEE Industrial Electronics Society, and changes to the automotive industry may affect the career outlook for industrial electronics repair technicians. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that as electronic systems and equipment become more sophisticated, employment opportunities are expected to rise for technicians who have professional certification or have attended technical trade schools. The BLS estimated that there were about 136,100 electrical and electronics repairer jobs in the U.S. in 2014, and that jobs in this career will decrease at a pace of about 4% from 2014 and 2024. The median annual salary of electrical and electronics installers and repairers was reported as $55,160 in 2015 by the BLS.

Alternative Career Options

Here are some other options to think about for a career in engineering maintenance:

Avionics Technician

Like industrial electronics installers, avionics technicians work with electrical instruments, but in airplanes instead of industrial manufacturing. Avionics technicians are responsible for fixing aircraft electronics, such as radios, radar, and other navigation instruments. A minimum of an associate's degree is required to work in this career field, and many avionics techs earn professional certification, although this is not required. As of May 2015, the median annual salary for avionics technicians was $58,540, according to the BLS. The BLS projects that from 2014 to 2024 there will be an increase of about 100 jobs in this field, which is less than 1% growth.

Elevator Installers and Repairers

Those who are interested in working with industrial equipment but want to specialize in one area may be interested in becoming elevator installers and repairers. Elevator installers and repairers install all parts of the elevator system, including cables, doors, computer systems, and motors. This job requires a high school diploma and the completion of a 5-year apprenticeship. Elevator workers must also be licensed before working independently. According to the BLS, jobs in this field are expected to increase at a faster than average rate of 13% from 2014 to 2024. In May 2015, the BLS reported that the median annual salary of elevator installers and repairers was $80,870.

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