Electrical Engineering Technician Job Description
Electrical engineering technicians commonly work in laboratories or manufacturing settings, where they help senior electrical engineers design, evaluate, and test electrical machinery or equipment.
The responsibilities for electrical engineering technicians vary greatly depending on their employer and the nature of their work. For example, some people in this occupation work for power companies, and spend their time working on problems relating to transmitting or generating electricity. They often monitor switchboards to make sure that a power plant is operating the way that it should, and diagnose electrical problems when needed. In some cases, technicians can fix the problems themselves, while in other cases they need to get someone else to make the repairs.
Electrical engineering technicians perform many different tasks to assist electrical engineers. They often prepare layout drawings, wiring diagrams, and develop engineering specifications for new equipment.
When the equipment goes into production, electrical engineering technicians monitor the progress to ensure that it is developed according to the specifications. Sometimes, technicians need to work with electrical engineers to make adjustments to a design when problems arise. Some of these changes can be very simple, while at other times they can require an extensive amount of work.
Electrical engineering technicians work in many different environments. Since they are often involved in planning as well as production processes, they regularly need to split their time between laboratories, offices, and factories.
Sometimes, electrical engineering technicians are exposed to toxic materials and dangerous equipment on the job, but taking proper precautions can greatly reduce the risk of injury.
Most electrical engineering technicians work full time, though overtime is sometimes required. In some environments, working on nights and weekends is common.
How to Become an Electrical Engineering Technician
Most electrical engineering technicians have an associate’s degree in electrical engineering technology. These programs are offered by many vocational and technical schools, and often do a very good job of preparing students for a career in the field. Completing one of these programs is the most direct path to getting a job in this occupation.
Community colleges also offer coursework in electrical engineering, but they are usually more theoretical and don’t include the hands on training that you will get from a technical or vocational school. Associate’s degrees offered by community colleges also include a lot of coursework that is not directly related to electrical engineering, such as history and English.
Regardless of whether you choose to enroll in a community college or technical school, you should make sure that it’s accredited. ABET accredits schools in this field, and you should make sure that yours is on their list.
There are two very good reasons why you should attend an accredited school. The first is that it can be difficult to get a job after graduation if the school isn’t accredited. The second is that credits earned from an accredited program will transfer to a four year school if you choose to earn a bachelor’s degree later on.
Many electrical engineering technicians do choose to earn a bachelor’s later on. With a bachelor’s, the are able to become electrical engineering technologists.
There are currently 151,100 electrical engineering technicians in the United States, with 3,180 new electrical engineering technician job openings created each year.
Electrical Engineering Technician jobs are not expected to see much growth beyond their current levels in the next decade.
Electrical Engineering Technician Salaries
Electrical Engineering Technician salaries can vary depending on your experience, the location, company, industry, and benefits provided. Nationwide, most electrical engineering technicians make between $43,800 – $68,700 per year, or $21.04 – $33.03 per hour.