Electronic Equipment Repairers Career Information
At School Soup we want to help you on your Electronic Equipment Repairers Career path. Here in our Electronic Equipment Repairers career section, we have lots of great information to help you learn all about Electronic Equipment Repairers. If you're interested in other possible careers, please select a career from the dropdown menu below to learn more about that specific career.
Significant Points· Knowledge of electrical equipment and electronics
is necessary for employment; many applicants complete 1 to 2 years at vocational
schools and community colleges, although some less skilled repairers may have
only a high school diploma.
· Projected employment growth will be slower than average, but varies by occupational specialty.
· Job opportunities will be best for applicants with a thorough knowledge of electrical and electronic equipment, as well as repair experience.
Nature of the WorkBusinesses and other organizations
depend on complex electronic equipment for a variety of functions. Industrial
controls automatically monitor and direct production processes on the factory
floor. Transmitters and antennae provide communications links for many organizations.
Electric power companies use electronic equipment to operate and control generating
plants, substations, and monitoring equipment. The
Federal Government uses radar and missile control systems to provide for the
national defense and to direct commercial air traffic. These complex pieces
of electronic equipment are installed, maintained, and repaired by electrical
and electronics installers and repairers.
Electrical equipment and electronics equipment are two distinct types of industrial equipment, although much equipment contains both electrical and electronic components. In general, electrical portions of equipment provide the power for the equipment while electronic components control the device, although many types of equipment still are controlled with electrical devices. Electronic sensors monitor the equipment and the manufacturing process, providing feedback to the programmable logic control (PLC) that controls the equipment. The PLC processes the information provided by the sensors and makes adjustments to optimize output. To adjust the output the PLC sends signals to the electrical, hydraulic, and pneumatic devices that power the machine—changing feed rates, pressures, and other variables in the manufacturing process. Many installers and repairers, known as field technicians, travel to factories or other locations to repair equipment. These workers often have assigned areas where they perform preventive maintenance on a regular basis. When equipment breaks down, field technicians go to a customer's site to repair the equipment. Bench technicians work in repair shops located in factories and service centers. They work on components that cannot be repaired on the factory floor.
Some industrial electronic equipment is self-monitoring and alerts repairers to malfunctions. When equipment breaks down, repairers first check for common causes of trouble, such as loose connections or obviously defective components. If routine checks do not locate the trouble, repairers may refer to schematics and manufacturers' specifications that show connections and provide instructions on how to locate problems. Automated electronic control systems are increasing in complexity, making diagnosing problems more challenging. Repairers use software programs and testing equipment to diagnose malfunctions. They use multimeters, which measure voltage, current, and resistance; advanced multimeters also measure capacitance, inductance, and current gain of transistors. They also use signal generators that provide test signals, and oscilloscopes that graphically display signals. Repairers use handtools such as pliers, screwdrivers, soldering irons, and wrenches to replace faulty parts and to adjust equipment.
Because component repair is complex and factories cannot allow production equipment to stand idle, repairers on the factory floor usually remove and replace defective units, such as circuit boards, instead of fixing them. Defective units are discarded or returned to the manufacturer or to a specialized shop for repair. Bench technicians at these locations have the training, tools, and parts to thoroughly diagnose and repair circuit boards or other complex components. These workers also locate and repair circuit defects, such as poorly soldered joints, blown fuses, or malfunctioning transistors.
Electrical and electronics installers often fit older manufacturing equipment with new automated control devices. Older manufacturing machines are frequently in good working order, but are limited by inefficient control systems that lack replacement parts. Installers replace old electronic control units with new PLCs. Setting up and installing a new PLC involves connecting it to different sensors and electrically powered devices (electric motors, switches, pumps) and writing a computer program to operate the PLC. Electronics installers coordinate their efforts with other workers installing and maintaining equipment.
Electronic equipment installers and repairers, motor vehicles have a significantly different job. They install, diagnose, and repair communications, sound, security, and navigation equipment in motor vehicles. Most installation work involves either new alarm or sound systems. New sound systems vary significantly in cost and complexity of installation. Replacing a head unit (radio) with a new computer disc (CD) player is quite simple, requiring removing a few screws and connecting a few wires. Installing a new sound system with a subwoofer, amplifier, and fuses is far more complicated. The installer builds a box, of fiberglass or wood, designed to hold the subwoofer and to fit in the unique dimensions of the automobile. Installing sound-deadening material, which often is necessary with more powerful speakers, requires an installer to remove many parts of a car (seats, carpeting, interiors of doors), add sound-absorbing material in empty spaces, and reinstall the interior parts. They also run new speaker and electrical cables. Additional electrical power may require additional fuses; a new electrical line to be run from the battery, through a newly drilled hole in the fire wall into the interior of the vehicle; or an additional or more powerful alternator and/or battery.
Repairing automotive electronic equipment is similar to other electronic installation and repair work. Multimeters are used to diagnose the source of the problem. Many parts often are removed and replaced, rather than repaired. Many repairs are quite simple, only requiring a fuse to be replaced. Motor vehicle installers and repairs work with an increasingly complex range of electronic equipment, including DVD players, VCRs, satellite navigation equipment, passive security tracking systems, and active security systems.
Working ConditionsMany electrical and electronics
installers and repairers work on factory floors where they are subject to noise,
dirt, vibration, and heat. Bench technicians work primarily in repair shops
where the surroundings are relatively quiet, comfortable, and well-lighted.
Field technicians spend much time on the road, traveling to different customer
Because electronic equipment is critical to industries and other organizations, repairers work around the clock. Their schedules may include evening, weekend, and holiday shifts; shifts may be assigned on the basis of seniority.
Installers and repairers may have to do heavy lifting and work in a variety of positions. They must follow safety guidelines and often wear protective goggles and hardhats. When working on ladders or on elevated equipment, repairers must wear harnesses to prevent falls. Before repairing a piece of machinery, these workers must follow procedures to insure that others cannot start the equipment during the repair process. They also must take precautions against electric shock by locking off power to the unit under repair.
Electronic equipment installers and repairers, motor vehicles normally work indoors in well-ventilated and -lighted repair shops. Minor cuts and bruises are common, but serious accidents usually are avoided when safety practices are observed.
Electrical and electronics installers and repairers held about 158,000 jobs in 2009. The following tabulation breaks down their employment by occupational specialty:
|Electrical and electronics repairers, commercial and industrial equipment||72,000|
|Electric motor, power tool, and related repairers||28,000|
|Electrical and electronics repairers, powerhouse, substation, and relay||21,000|
|Electronic equipment installers and repairers, motor vehicles||19,000|
|Electrical and electronics installers and repairers, transportation equipment||18,000|
Many repairers worked for utilities; building equipment contractors; machinery and equipment repair shops; wholesalers; the Federal Government; retailers of automotive parts and accessories; rail transportation companies; and manufacturers of electrical, electronic, and transportation equipment.
Training, Qualifications, Adv.Knowledge of electrical
equipment and electronics is necessary for employment. Many applicants gain
this training through programs lasting 1 to 2 years at vocational schools and
community colleges, although some less skilled repairers may have only a high
school diploma. Entry-level repairers may work closely with more experienced
technicians who provide technical guidance.
Installers and repairers should have good eyesight and color perception in order to work with the intricate components used in electronic equipment. Field technicians work closely with customers and should have good communications skills and a neat appearance. Employers also may require that field technicians have a driver's license.
The International Society of Certified Electronics Technicians (ISCET) and the Electronics Technicians Association (ETA) administer certification programs for electronics installation and repair technicians. Repairers may specialize—in industrial electronics, for example. To receive certification, repairers must pass qualifying exams corresponding to their level of training and experience. Both programs offer associate certifications to entry-level repairers.
Experienced repairers with advanced training may become specialists or troubleshooters who help other repairers diagnose difficult problems. Workers with leadership ability may become supervisors of other repairers. Some experienced workers open their own repair shops.
Job OutlookJob opportunities
should be best for applicants with a thorough knowledge of electrical equipment
and electronics, as well as repair experience. Overall employment of electrical
and electronics installers and repairers is expected to grow more slowly than
the average for all occupations over the 2000-10 period, but varies by occupational
specialty. In addition to employment growth, many job openings should
result from the need to replace workers who transfer to other occupations or
leave the labor force.
Average employment growth is projected for electrical and electronics installers and repairers of transportation equipment. Commercial and industrial electronic equipment will become more sophisticated and used more frequently, as businesses strive to lower costs by increasing and improving automation. Companies will install electronic controls, robots, sensors, and other equipment to automate processes such as assembly and testing. As prices decline, applications will be found across a number of industries, including services, utilities, and construction, as well as manufacturing. Improved equipment reliability should not constrain employment growth, however; companies increasingly will rely on repairers, because any malfunction that idles commercial and industrial equipment is costly.
Employment of electronics installers and repairers of motor vehicles also is expected to grow about as fast as average. Motor vehicle manufacturers will install more and better sound, security, entertainment, and navigation systems in new vehicles, limiting employment growth for after-market electronic equipment installers. However, repairing the new electronic systems should help drive employment growth.
On the other hand, employment of electric motor, power tool, and related repairers is expected to grow more slowly than average. Improvements in electrical and electronic equipment design should limit job growth by simplifying repair tasks. More parts are being designed to be easily disposable, further reducing employment growth.
Employment of electrical and electronics installers and repairers, powerhouse, substation, and relay is expected to decline slightly. Consolidation and privatization in utilities industries should improve productivity, reducing employment. Newer equipment will be more reliable and easier to repair, further limiting employment.
Median hourly earnings of electrical and electronics repairers, commercial and industrial equipment were $20.48 in May 2009. The middle 50 percent earned between $16.04 and $25.07. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $12.55, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $28.68. In May 2009, median hourly earnings were $23.79 in the Federal Government and $17.82 in building equipment contractors, the industries employing the largest numbers of electrical and electronics repairers, commercial and industrial equipment.
Median hourly earnings of electric motor, power tool, and related repairers were $15.54 in May 2009. The middle 50 percent earned between $12.12 and $19.71. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $9.48, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $23.90. In May 2009, median hourly earnings were $15.02 in commercial and industrial machinery and equipment (except automotive and electronic) repair and maintenance, the industry employing the largest number of electronic motor, power tool, and related repairers.
Median hourly earnings of electrical and electronics repairers, powerhouse, substation, and relay were $25.86 in May 2009. The middle 50 percent earned between $22.47 and $29.73. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $18.01, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $33.82. In May 2004, median hourly earnings were $26.37 in electric power generation, transmission, and distribution—the industry employing the largest number of these repairers.
Median hourly earnings of electronics installers and repairers, motor vehicles were $12.79 in May 2009. The middle 50 percent earned between $10.27 and $16.55. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $8.85, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $22.02.
Median hourly earnings of electrical and electronics repairers, transportation equipment were $19.25 in May 2009. The middle 50 percent earned between $15.06 and $23.57. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $11.86, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $27.70.
Related OccupationsWorkers in
other occupations who install and repair electronic equipment include broadcast and sound engineering
technicians and radio operators; computer, automated teller, and office machine
repairers; electronic home entertainment equipment installers and repairers;
and radio and telecommunications equipment installers and repairers. Industrial
machinery installation, repair, and maintenance workers also install, maintain,
and repair industrial machinery.
For information on careers and certification, contact any of the following organizations:
Sources of Additional Information
For information on careers and certification, contact any of the following organizations: