Career Definition for a Transformer Repair Technician
A transformer repair technician maintains electrical transformer equipment used in electric power generation and distribution. Transformer repair technicians must have a good understanding of electrical equipment and circuitry so that they can safely troubleshoot, maintain, and repair high voltage electrical power transformers in generating stations, substations, and other locations. They also conduct testing, measuring, and analysis of equipment. Technicians may be required to read blueprints and technical drawings; assemble, maintain, and rewind coils; and perform installations. They often work for federal, state, and local utilities, as well as private electric service companies.
|Education||High school diploma or apprenticeship|
|Job Skills||Color vision, dexterous, communication skills, physical strength|
|Median Salary (2017)*||$78,410 (all powerhouse, relay, and substation electrical and electronics installers and repairers)|
|Job Growth (2016-2026)*||4% (all powerhouse, relay, and substation electrical and electronics installers and repairers)|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Employers may hire high school graduates if they show strong analytical skills and have an aptitude for math and electronics, although many successful job candidates have completed some vocational or community college classes in electronics. Transformer repair technicians can also start out in apprenticeships, which may be 3-4 years long. Transformer repair technicians may rise through several ranks as they gain experience, eventually qualifying for supervisory positions. While career positions require extensive training and certification, electrical professionals with an interest in transformer repair may learn the basics through short-term training seminars.
While not required, professional certification is generally highly desired by employers. There are dozens of certification options available, depending on specialty and experience level. Certification issuers include the Electronics Technicians Association International and the International Society of Certified Electronics Technicians.
In addition to an understanding of electronics and strong problem-solving ability, transformer repair technicians must be in good physical shape. They must be able to climb, stoop, lift heavy objects, and be able to sit and stand for long periods of time. Transformer repair technicians need good eyesight and must be able to distinguish colors, as well as read technical drawings and instructions. Dexterity in fingers is also essential so that they can handle very small electrical components.
Career and Economic Outlook
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects job growth for powerhouse, substation, and relay electrical and electronics installers and repairers, including transformer repair technicians, to increase 4% from 2016-2026. The median annual salary among powerhouse, substation, and relay electrical and electronics installers and repairers in May 2017 was reported as $78,410 by the BLS.
Alternate Career Options
Individuals pursuing careers in transformer repair may be interested in similar jobs, such as those of telecommunications equipment installers or electricians.
Telecommunications Equipment Installers and Repairer
These workers install, set up, maintain, and repair telecommunications equipment, like phone jacks, routers, fiber optic cables, and private branch exchange (PBX) switchboards. They may perform services at commercial and residential sites as well as at telecom service provider distribution sites. Typical education requirements include a certificate or associate's degree in electronics, telecommunications or computer science followed by on-the-job training. Voluntary certifications are available through manufacturers and professional organizations. Job growth for telecommunications equipment installers and repairers is expected to decline 8% from 2016-2026, per the BLS. The median salary was $53,380 in 2017, reported the BLS.
An electrician installs, maintains, and repairs electrical wiring and related components like transformers, light fixtures, outlets, and circuit boxes. Electricians work according to building blueprints, the standards of the National Electric Code, and any applicable state or local regulations. There are several paths to employment as an electrician, including an apprenticeship or technical school program. State licensing requirements are common but vary, as do the qualifications for licensure. According to the BLS, electricians can expect average job growth from 2016-2026, an increase of 9%. The BLS also reports that electricians earned median pay of $54,110 in 2017.