Electro-mechanical technicians combine knowledge of mechanical technology with knowledge of electrical and electronic circuits. They operate, test, and maintain unmanned, automated, robotic, or electromechanical equipment.

Duties

Electro-mechanical technicians typically do the following:

  • Read blueprints, schematics, and diagrams to determine the method and sequence of assembly of a part, machine, or piece of equipment
  • Verify dimensions of parts, using precision measuring instruments, to ensure that specifications are met
  • Operate metalworking machines to make housings, fittings, and fixtures
  • Inspect parts for surface defects
  • Repair and calibrate hydraulic and pneumatic assemblies
  • Test the performance of electro-mechanical assemblies, using test instruments
  • Install electronic parts and hardware, using soldering equipment and hand tools
  • Operate, test, or maintain robotic equipment
  • Analyze and record test results, and prepare written documentation

Electro-mechanical technicians test and operate machines in factories and other worksites. They also analyze and record test results, and prepare written documentation to describe the tests they performed and what the test results were.

Electro-mechanical technicians install, maintain, and repair automated machinery and computer-controlled mechanical systems in industrial settings. This kind of work requires knowledge and training in the application of photonics, the science of light. The technological aspects of the work have to do with the generation, control, and detection of the light waves so that the automated processes can proceed as designed by the engineers.

Electro-mechanical technicians also test, operate, or maintain robotic equipment at worksites. This equipment may include unmanned submarines, aircraft, or similar types of equipment for uses that include oil drilling, deep-ocean exploration, or hazardous-waste removal. These technicians also work on energy projects involving solar power and wind.

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Work Environment

Electro-mechanical technicians held about 14,000 jobs in 2018. The largest employers of electro-mechanical technicians were as follows:

Machinery manufacturing 11%
Navigational, measuring, electromedical, and control instruments manufacturing 11
Semiconductor and other electronic component manufacturing 9
Engineering services 9
Transportation equipment manufacturing 8

Electro-mechanical technicians work closely with electrical engineers and mechanical engineers. They work in many industrial environments, including energy, plastics, computer and communications equipment manufacturing, and aerospace. They often work both at production sites and in offices.

Because their job involves manual work with many machines and types of equipment, electro-mechanical technicians are sometimes exposed to hazards from equipment or toxic materials. However, incidents are rare as long as they follow proper safety procedures.

Work Schedules

Electro-mechanical technicians often work for large companies in manufacturing or for engineering firms. Like others at these firms, these technicians tend to work regular shifts. However, sometimes they must work additional hours to make repairs so that manufacturing operations can continue.

Education and Training

Electro-mechanical technicians typically need either an associate’s degree or a postsecondary certificate.

Education

Associate’s degree programs and postsecondary certificates for electro-mechanical technicians are offered at vocational–technical schools and community colleges. Vocational–technical schools include postsecondary public institutions that serve local students and emphasize teaching the skills needed by local employers. Community colleges offer programs similar to those in technical institutes, but they may include more theory-based and liberal arts coursework.

ABET accredits associate’s and higher degree programs. Most associate’s degree programs that are accredited by ABET include at least college algebra and trigonometry, as well as basic science courses.

In community college programs, prospective electro-mechanical technicians can concentrate in fields such as the following:

  • Electro-mechanics/mechatronics
  • Industrial maintenance
  • Process control

Earning an associate’s degree in electronic or mechanical technology facilitates entry into bachelor’s degree programs in electrical engineering and mechanical engineering. For more information, see the profiles on electrical and electronics engineers and mechanical engineers.

Training in mechatronics provides an understanding of four key systems on which this occupation works: mechanical systems, electronic systems, control systems, and computer systems.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Electro-mechanical technicians can gain certification as a way to demonstrate professional competence.

The International Society of Automation offers certification as a Certified Control Systems Technician. This requires, at a minimum, 5 years of experience on the job, or 3 years of work experience if the technician has completed 2 years of postsecondary education.

The National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET) offers certification in electrical power testing, industrial instrumentation, and other specialties.

Personality and Interests

Electro-mechanical technicians 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 electro-mechanical technician, you can take a career test to measure your interests.

Electro-mechanical technicians should also possess the following specific qualities:

Detail oriented. Electro-mechanical technicians must make and keep the precise, accurate measurements that mechanical engineers need.

Dexterity. Electro-mechanical engineering technicians in particular must be able to use hand tools and soldering irons on small circuitry and electronic parts to create detailed electronic components by hand.

Interpersonal skills. Electro-mechanical technicians must be able to take instruction and offer advice when needed. In addition, they often need to coordinate their work with that of others.

Logical-thinking skills. To carry out engineers’ designs, inspect designs for quality control, and assemble prototypes, electro-mechanical technicians must be able to read instructions and follow a logical sequence or a specific set of rules.

Math skills. Electro-mechanical engineering technicians use mathematics for analysis, design, and troubleshooting in their work.

Mechanical skills. Electro-mechanical technicians must be able to apply the theory and instructions of engineers by creating or building new components for industrial machinery or equipment. They must be adept at operating machinery, including drill presses, grinders, and engine lathes.

Writing skills. Electro-mechanical technicians must write reports on onsite construction, the results of testing, or problems they find when carrying out designs. Their writing must be clear and well organized so that the engineers they work with can understand the reports.

Pay

The median annual wage for electro-mechanical technicians was $58,350 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 $36,520, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $93,450.

In May 2019, the median annual wages for electro-mechanical technicians in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:

Engineering services $60,360
Navigational, measuring, electromedical, and control instruments manufacturing 57,920
Machinery manufacturing 55,520
Transportation equipment manufacturing 54,930
Semiconductor and other electronic component manufacturing 53,580

Electro-mechanical technicians often work for large companies in manufacturing or for engineering firms. Like others at these firms, these technicians tend to work regular shifts. However, sometimes they must work additional hours to make repairs so that manufacturing operations can continue.

Job Outlook

Employment of electro-mechanical technicians is projected to show little or no change from 2018 to 2028. Many of these technicians are employed in manufacturing industries that are projected to have employment declines.

For More Information

For more information about general engineering education and career resources, visit

American Society for Engineering Education

IEEE

Technology Student Association

For more information on accredited programs, visit

ABET

For more information about certification, visit

International Society of Automation

National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET)

For information about working in automation, visit

Automation Federation

 

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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