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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
  • $49,000

    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 Career Paths

Electrical Test Technician
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Average Length of Employment
Test Technician 3.2 years
Top Careers Before Electrical Test Technician
Electrician 13.9%
Technician 5.2%
Supervisor 4.0%
Assembler 2.4%
Top Careers After Electrical Test Technician
Technician 7.4%
Manager 2.0%

Do you work as an Electrical Test Technician?

Average Yearly Salary
$49,000
Show Salaries
$28,000
Min 10%
$49,000
Median 50%
$49,000
Median 50%
$49,000
Median 50%
$49,000
Median 50%
$49,000
Median 50%
$49,000
Median 50%
$49,000
Median 50%
$84,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Abbott
Highest Paying City
San Leandro, CA
Highest Paying State
New Jersey
Avg Experience Level
3.1 years
How much does an Electrical Test Technician make at top companies?
The national average salary for an Electrical Test Technician in the United States is $49,230 per year or $24 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $28,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $84,000.

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

  1. High Voltage
  2. Electrical Systems
  3. Automatic Test Equipment
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Conducted high voltage testing on electrical distribution equipment with multi-meters, oscilloscopes and heat-rise equipment.
  • Wire electrical panels to schematic specifications and integrate all electrical systems.
  • Operated computerized automatic test equipment, and compare diagnostic readings with specified values.
  • Configured Network Video Recorders while troubleshooting Encoders, Control Boxes, Monitors and Cameras for Closed Circuit Television (CCTV).
  • Work closely with electrical engineers to create design and test procedures.

Rank:

Average Salary:

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Top 10 Best States for Electrical Test Technicians

  1. Maine
  2. Oregon
  3. New Mexico
  4. Idaho
  5. Nevada
  6. New Jersey
  7. Arizona
  8. Texas
  9. Oklahoma
  10. Pennsylvania
  • (86 jobs)
  • (236 jobs)
  • (150 jobs)
  • (85 jobs)
  • (113 jobs)
  • (346 jobs)
  • (286 jobs)
  • (1,155 jobs)
  • (164 jobs)
  • (546 jobs)

Electrical Test Technician Demographics

Gender

Male

82.0%

Unknown

9.1%

Female

8.9%
Ethnicity

White

60.4%

Hispanic or Latino

15.2%

Black or African American

10.6%

Asian

10.4%

Unknown

3.4%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

63.6%

French

18.2%

German

9.1%

Arabic

9.1%
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Electrical Test Technician Education

Schools

Rochester Institute of Technology

9.4%

State University of New York College of Technology at Alfred

7.5%

Northern Essex Community College

5.7%

State University of New York Broome Community College

5.7%

Grantham University

5.7%

Joliet Junior College

5.7%

University of Phoenix

5.7%

Dunwoody College of Technology

5.7%

Kent State University

5.7%

Chemeketa Community College

5.7%

ITT Technical Institute-Phoenix

3.8%

ITT Technical Institute-Greenville

3.8%

J Sargeant Reynolds Community College

3.8%

Central Texas College

3.8%

Central Connecticut State University

3.8%

Hinds Community College

3.8%

Youngstown State University

3.8%

Lakeland College

3.8%

University of New Haven

3.8%

American InterContinental University

3.8%
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Majors

Electrical Engineering

34.5%

Electrical Engineering Technology

26.3%

Business

7.3%

Computer Science

3.9%

Industrial Technology

2.6%

Computer Networking

2.6%

Criminal Justice

2.6%

Information Technology

2.2%

Drafting And Design

1.7%

Computer Information Systems

1.7%

Heating And Air Conditioning

1.7%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

1.7%

Automotive Technology

1.7%

Computer Engineering Technology

1.7%

Engineering Technology

1.3%

Computer Engineering

1.3%

Computer Technical Support

1.3%

Military Applied Sciences

1.3%

Engineering Science

1.3%

Music

1.3%
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Degrees

Associate

30.7%

Bachelors

28.4%

Other

23.1%

Certificate

7.6%

Masters

6.6%

Diploma

2.6%

Doctorate

0.7%

License

0.3%
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Updated May 19, 2020