Electrical and electronics installers and repairers install or repair a variety of electrical equipment in telecommunications, transportation, utilities, and other industries.

Duties

Electrical and electronics installers and repairers typically do the following:

  • Discuss problems and requirements with customers
  • Inspect and test equipment
  • Reproduce, isolate, and diagnose problems
  • Disassemble equipment as necessary to access problematic components
  • Clean, repair, and replace components
  • Reassemble and test equipment after repairs
  • Keep records of repairs, tests, parts, and labor hours

Modern manufacturing plants and transportation systems use a large amount of electrical and electronics equipment, from assembly line motors to sonar systems. Electrical and electronics installers and repairers fix and maintain these complex pieces of equipment.

Because automated electronic control systems are becoming more complex, repairers use software programs and testing equipment to diagnose malfunctions. Among their diagnostic tools are multimeters—which measure voltage, current, and resistance—and advanced multimeters, which measure the capacitance, inductance, and current gain of transistors.

Repairers also use signal generators, which provide test signals, and oscilloscopes, which display signals graphically. In addition, repairers often use hand tools such as pliers, screwdrivers, and wrenches to replace faulty parts and adjust equipment.

The following are examples of types of electrical and electronics installers and repairers:

Commercial and industrial electrical and electronics equipment repairers adjust, test, repair, or install electronic equipment, such as industrial controls, transmitters, and antennas.

Electric motor, power tool, and related repairerssuch as armature winders, generator mechanics, and electric golf cart repairers—specialize in installing, maintaining, and repairing electric motors, wiring, or switches.

Electrical and electronics installers and repairers of transportation equipment install, adjust, or maintain mobile communication equipment, including sound, sonar, security, navigation, and surveillance systems on trains, watercraft, or other vehicles.

Electronic equipment installers and repairers of motor vehicles install, diagnose, and repair sound, security, and navigation equipment in motor vehicles. These installers and repairers work with a range of complex electronic equipment, including digital audio and video players, navigation systems, and passive and active security systems.

Powerhouse, substation, and relay electrical and electronics repairers inspect, test, maintain, or repair electrical equipment used in generating stations, substations, and in-service relays. These workers also may be known as powerhouse electricians, relay technicians, or power transformer repairers.

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Work Environment

Electrical and electronics installers and repairers held about 124,100 jobs in 2018. Employment in the detailed occupations that make up electrical and electronics installers and repairers was distributed as follows:

Electrical and electronics repairers, commercial and industrial equipment 61,300
Electrical and electronics repairers, powerhouse, substation, and relay 23,100
Electric motor, power tool, and related repairers  17,200
Electrical and electronics installers and repairers, transportation equipment                           11,500
Electronic equipment installers and repairers, motor vehicles 11,000

The largest employers of electrical and electronics installers and repairers were as follows:

Manufacturing 19%
Utilities 13
Wholesale trade 12
Repair and maintenance 10
Federal government, excluding postal service                                                                           8

Many electrical and electronics installers and repairers work in repair shops or in factories, and some may work outside when they travel to job sites.  

Installers and repairers may have to lift heavy equipment and work in awkward positions. They spend most of their day walking, standing, or kneeling.

Work Schedules

The majority of electrical and electronics installers and repairers work full time.

Education and Training

Electrical and electronics installers and repairers need at least a high school education, but most specializations require further preparation through advanced education, work experience, or both.

Education

Electrical and electronics installers and repairers must understand electrical equipment and electronics. As a result, employers often prefer applicants who have taken courses in electronics at a community college or technical school. Courses usually cover AC and DC electronics, electronic devices, and microcontrollers. It is important for prospects to choose schools that include hands-on training in order to gain practical experience.

Training

In addition to technical education, workers usually receive training on specific types of equipment. This may involve manufacturer-specific training for repairers who will perform warranty work.

Before working independently, entry-level repairers usually develop their skills while working with experienced technicians who provide technical guidance.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Some electrical and electronics installers and repairers need prior work experience. Electric motor, power tool, and related repairers typically begin by helping in machine or electrical workshops, where they gain experience with tools and motors.

Powerhouse, substation, and relay electrical and electronics repairers often gain experience by first working as electricians.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

While certification is not required, a number of organizations offer it, and it can be useful in getting a job. For example, the Electronics Technicians Association International (ETA International) offers more than 50 certification programs in numerous electronics specialties for various levels of competency. The International Society of Certified Electronics Technicians (ISCET) also offers certification for several levels of competence. The ISCET focuses on a broad range of topics, including basic electronics, electronic systems, and appliance service. To become certified, applicants must meet prerequisites and pass a comprehensive exam.

Personality and Interests

Electrical and electronics installers and repairers typically have an interest in the Building, Thinking and Organizing interest areas, according to the Holland Code framework. The Building interest area indicates a focus on working with tools and machines, and making or fixing practical things. The Thinking interest area indicates a focus on researching, investigating, and increasing the understanding of natural laws. The Organizing interest area indicates a focus on working with information and processes to keep things arranged in orderly systems.

If you are not sure whether you have a Building or Thinking or Organizing interest which might fit with a career as an electrical and electronics installer and repairer, you can take a career test to measure your interests.

Electrical and electronics installers and repairers should also possess the following specific qualities:

Color vision. Workers need to identify the color-coded components that are often used in electronic equipment.

Communication skills. Field technicians work closely with customers, so they must listen to and understand customers’ problems and explain solutions in a simple, clear manner.

Technical skills. Workers use a variety of mechanical and diagnostic tools to install or repair equipment.

Troubleshooting skills. Electrical equipment and systems often involve intricate parts. Workers must be able to identify malfunctions and make the necessary repairs.

Pay

The median annual wage for electrical and electronics installers and repairers was $59,080 in May 2019. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $33,730, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $93,650.

Median annual wages for electrical and electronics installers and repairers in May 2019 were as follows:

Electrical and electronics repairers, powerhouse, substation, and relay $82,780
Electrical and electronics installers and repairers, transportation equipment                          62,530
Electrical and electronics repairers, commercial and industrial equipment 59,300
Electric motor, power tool, and related repairers 44,070
Electronic equipment installers and repairers, motor vehicles 37,380

In May 2019, the median annual wages for electrical and electronics installers and repairers in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:

Utilities $85,170
Federal government, excluding postal service                                                                        61,990
Manufacturing 59,820
Wholesale trade 48,420
Repair and maintenance 46,760

The majority of electrical and electronics installers and repairers work full time.

Job Outlook

Overall employment of electrical and electronics installers and repairers is projected to show little or no change from 2018 to 2028.

Employment of electric motor, power tool, and related repairers is projected to grow 3 percent from 2018 to 2028, slower than the average for all occupations. Improvements in electrical and electronic equipment design, as well as the increased use of disposable tool parts, are expected to moderate employment growth.

Employment of motor vehicle electronic equipment installers and repairers, which represents less than 10 percent of this profile’s employment, is projected to decline 29 percent from 2018 to 2028. Motor vehicle manufacturers continue to install more and higher quality sound, security, entertainment, and navigation systems in new vehicles. These new electronic systems require less maintenance and will limit installation of aftermarket products.

Job Prospects

Overall job opportunities should be good for qualified workers who are familiar with electronics, especially those with an associate’s degree in electronics.

The best job opportunities should be for commercial and industrial equipment installers and repairers, as the need to replace those who leave the occupation permanently should result in some openings for these workers. Conversely, few opportunities will be available for motor vehicle equipment installers and repairers as the amount of aftermarket installations continues to decline.

For More Information

For more information about electrical and electronics installers and repairers, including careers and certification, visit

Electronics Technicians Association International

International Society of Certified Electronics Technicians

 

FAQ

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The career information above is taken from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook. This excellent resource for occupational data is published by the U.S. Department of Labor every two years. Truity periodically updates our site with information from the BLS database.

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