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Become An Electrical Test Technician

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Working As An Electrical Test Technician

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards
  • $61,130

    Average Salary

What Does An Electrical Test Technician Do

Electrical and electronics engineering technicians help engineers design and develop computers, communications equipment, medical monitoring devices, navigational equipment, and other electrical and electronic equipment. They often work in product evaluation and testing, using measuring and diagnostic devices to adjust, test, and repair equipment. They are also involved in the manufacture and deployment of equipment for automation.

Duties

Electrical engineering technicians typically do the following:

  • Put together electrical and electronic systems and prototypes
  • Build, calibrate, and repair electrical instruments or testing equipment
  • Visit construction sites to observe conditions affecting design
  • Identify solutions to technical design problems that arise during the construction of electrical systems
  • Inspect designs for quality control, report findings, and make recommendations
  • Draw diagrams and write specifications to clarify design details of experimental electronics units

Electrical engineering technicians install and maintain electrical control systems and equipment, and modify electrical prototypes, parts, and assemblies to correct problems. When testing systems, they set up test equipment and evaluate the performance of developmental parts, assemblies, or systems under simulated conditions. They then analyze test information to resolve design-related problems.

Electronics engineering technicians typically do the following:

  • Design basic circuitry and draft sketches to clarify details of design documentation, under engineers’ direction
  • Build prototypes from rough sketches or plans
  • Assemble, test, and maintain circuitry or electronic components according to engineering instructions, technical manuals, and knowledge of electronics
  • Adjust and replace defective circuitry and electronic components
  • Make parts, such as coils and terminal boards, by using bench lathes, drills, or other machine tools

Electronics engineering technicians identify and resolve equipment malfunctions and then work with manufacturers to get replacement parts. They also calibrate and perform preventative maintenance on equipment and systems.

These technicians often need to read blueprints, schematic drawings, and engineering instructions for assembling electronic units. They also write reports and record data on testing techniques, laboratory equipment, and specifications.

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How To Become An Electrical Test Technician

Electrical and electronics engineering technicians typically need an associate’s degree.

Education

Programs for electrical and electronics engineering technicians usually lead to an associate’s degree in electrical or electronics engineering technology. Vocational–technical schools include postsecondary institutions that serve local students and emphasize training needed by local employers.

Community colleges offer programs similar to those in technical institutes but include more theory-based and liberal arts coursework. Some of these colleges allow students to concentrate in computer electronics, industrial electronics, or communications electronics.

Prospective electrical and electronics engineering technicians usually take courses in ANSI C, C++ programming, Java programming, physics, microprocessors, and circuitry. The Technology Accreditation Commission of ABET accredits programs that include at least college algebra, trigonometry, and basic science courses.

Important Qualities

Logical-thinking skills. Electrical and electronics engineering technicians must isolate and then identify problems for the engineering staff to work on. They need good reasoning skills to identify and fix problems. Technicians must also be able to follow a logical sequence or specific set of rules to carry out engineers’ designs, inspect designs for quality control, and put together prototypes.

Math skills. Electrical and electronics engineering technicians use math for analysis, design, and troubleshooting in their work.

Mechanical skills. Electronics 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.

Observational skills. Electrical engineering technicians sometimes visit construction sites to make sure that electrical engineers’ designs are being carried out correctly. They are responsible for evaluating projects onsite and reporting problems to engineers.

Problem-solving skills. Electrical and electronics engineering technicians create what engineers have designed and often test the designs to make sure that they work. Technicians help to resolve any problems that come up in carrying out the engineers’ designs.

Writing skills. These technicians must write reports about 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.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

The National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET) offers certification in electrical power testing. This certification would benefit those technicians working in the electric power generation, transmission, and distribution industry.

ETA International also offers certifications in several fields, including basic electronics, biomedical, and renewable energy.

The International Society of Automation offers certification as a Control Systems Technician. To gain such certification, technicians must demonstrate skills in pneumatic, mechanical, and electronic instrumentation. In addition, they must demonstrate an understanding of process control loops and process control systems.

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Electrical Test Technician jobs

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Electrical Test Technician Typical Career Paths

Average Length of Employment
Test Technician 3.1 years
Top Employers Before
Electrician 12.6%
Supervisor 4.0%
Technician 2.9%
Top Employers After
Technician 7.5%

Electrical Test Technician Demographics

Gender

Male

89.2%

Female

10.0%

Unknown

0.8%
Ethnicity

White

77.9%

Hispanic or Latino

10.3%

Asian

9.5%

Unknown

1.5%

Black or African American

0.9%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

58.3%

French

16.7%

German

8.3%

Portuguese

8.3%

Arabic

8.3%
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Electrical Test Technician Education

Schools

State University of New York College of Technology at Alfred

10.5%

State University of New York Buffalo

7.9%

ITT Technical Institute-Phoenix

5.3%

ITT Technical Institute - Indianapolis

5.3%

ITT Technical Institute-Greenville

5.3%

J Sargeant Reynolds Community College

5.3%

Central Texas College

5.3%

State University of New York Broome Community College

5.3%

Grantham University

5.3%

Jefferson College

5.3%

Kirkwood Community College

5.3%

University of Phoenix

5.3%

Corning Community College

5.3%

Purdue University

5.3%

Colorado State University

5.3%

Northland Pioneer College

2.6%

Lincoln Technical Institute

2.6%

Montgomery Community College

2.6%

Columbus State University

2.6%

College of Lake County

2.6%
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Majors

Electrical Engineering

32.7%

Electrical Engineering Technology

24.7%

Business

8.0%

Computer Information Systems

3.3%

Computer Science

3.3%

Computer Networking

3.3%

Drafting And Design

2.7%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

2.7%

Engineering Technology

2.0%

Computer Engineering

2.0%

Automotive Technology

2.0%

Information Technology

2.0%

Education

2.0%

Music

1.3%

Finance

1.3%

Industrial Technology

1.3%

Engineering Science

1.3%

Heating And Air Conditioning

1.3%

General Studies

1.3%

Industrial Engineering

1.3%
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Degrees

Associate

32.8%

Bachelors

24.3%

Other

21.7%

Masters

9.5%

Certificate

9.0%

Diploma

1.1%

Doctorate

1.1%

License

0.5%
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Real Electrical Test Technician Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Electrical Testing and Commissioning Technician Aker Philadelphia Shipyard Inc. Philadelphia, PA Jun 23, 2015 $110,000 -
$115,000
Electrical Testing and Commissioning Technician Aker Philadelphia Shipyard, Inc. Philadelphia, PA Jan 15, 2016 $100,000 -
$115,000
Electrical Testing and Commissioning Technician Aker Philadelphia Shipyard, Inc. Philadelphia, PA Jan 15, 2010 $96,500 -
$100,000
Electrical Testing and Commissioning Technician Aker Philadelphia Shipyard, Inc. Philadelphia, PA Jan 15, 2013 $70,000 -
$98,000

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Top Skills for An Electrical Test Technician

HighVoltageAutomaticTestEquipmentElectricalTestFixturesCircuitBreakersTransformersCircuitBoardsTroubleshootElectricalComponentsTestProceduresACProgramPLCMotorsMeggerTroubleshotInsulationResistanceSwitchGearMediumVoltageRFElectricalDistributionEquipmentElectricalSystems

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Top Electrical Test Technician Skills

  1. High Voltage
  2. Automatic Test Equipment
  3. Electrical Test Fixtures
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Tested and commissioned power transformers, low, medium and high voltage circuit breakers and associated switchgears.
  • Design, build, and repair electrical test fixtures, for testing of complex circuit boards and assemblies.
  • Visit vendors for inspections on enclosure units as well as high speed circuit breakers.
  • Connected wires to circuit breakers, transformers, or other components.
  • Calibrated, Measurement Diagnostic equipment troubleshoots, and welding repaired Printer Circuit Boards with Microscope.

Top Electrical Test Technician Employers

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