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Become A Prototype Technician

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Working As A Prototype Technician

  • Repairing and Maintaining Electronic Equipment
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
  • Make Decisions

  • $47,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Prototype 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 A Prototype 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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Prototype Technician Career Paths

Prototype Technician
Technician Technical Support Specialist Systems Administrator
Information Technology Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Technician Engineer Project Engineer
Project Engineering Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Technician Engineering Technician
Senior Engineering Technician
8 Yearsyrs
Test Technician Engineering Technician Engineer
Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Test Technician Field Service Technician Project Manager
Information Technology Director
10 Yearsyrs
Test Technician Field Service Technician Engineer
Staff Engineer
5 Yearsyrs
Engineering Technician Project Engineer Engineering Manager
Engineering Director
13 Yearsyrs
Field Service Technician Project Engineer Quality Engineer
Senior Quality Engineer
10 Yearsyrs
Team Leader Lead Technician
Technical Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Team Leader Production Supervisor Maintenance Supervisor
Engineering Supervisor
6 Yearsyrs
Team Leader Project Leader Group Leader
Laboratory Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Production Supervisor Superintendent Quality Control Manager
Technical Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Production Supervisor Manufacturing Supervisor Senior Process Engineer
Senior Manufacturing Engineer
10 Yearsyrs
Process Engineer Manufacturing Engineer Mechanical Design Engineer
Senior Mechanical Designer
11 Yearsyrs
Process Engineer Manufacturing Engineer Design Engineer
Senior Electrical Engineer
11 Yearsyrs
Process Engineer Senior Engineer Lead Engineer
Engineering Technician Lead
7 Yearsyrs
Design Engineer Electrical Design Engineer Electronics Engineer
Senior Electronics Technician
7 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Debug Technician 2.9 years
Bench Technician 2.8 years
Technician 2.7 years
Rework Technician 2.5 years
Top Careers Before Prototype Technician
Technician 11.8%
Mechanic 7.6%
Machinist 4.8%
Assembler 4.5%
Supervisor 4.1%
Manager 3.5%
Top Careers After Prototype Technician
Technician 14.2%
Machinist 4.9%
Supervisor 4.9%
Owner 4.6%

Do you work as a Prototype Technician?

Prototype Technician Demographics

Gender

Male

80.4%

Female

13.3%

Unknown

6.3%
Ethnicity

White

67.4%

Hispanic or Latino

11.6%

Black or African American

9.9%

Asian

8.1%

Unknown

3.1%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

70.0%

Polish

10.0%

Italian

10.0%

French

10.0%
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Prototype Technician Education

Schools

Henry Ford College

18.0%

Macomb Community College

15.6%

University of Northwestern Ohio

7.8%

Schoolcraft College

7.0%

Oakland Community College

5.5%

Baker College

4.7%

Wayne State University

3.9%

Universal Technical Institute

3.9%

New England Institute of Technology

3.9%

University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

3.1%

Washtenaw Community College

3.1%

University of Massachusetts - Lowell

3.1%

University of Phoenix

3.1%

Ferris State University

3.1%

Kirtland Community College

2.3%

Wayne County Community College District

2.3%

Mesa Community College - Boswell

2.3%

Kalamazoo Valley Community College

2.3%

Central Michigan University

2.3%

San Jose City College

2.3%
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Majors

Automotive Technology

18.9%

Electrical Engineering

13.4%

Business

12.7%

Electrical Engineering Technology

6.8%

Mechanical Engineering

6.5%

Computer Science

5.2%

Graphic Design

4.2%

Drafting And Design

3.6%

Industrial Technology

3.6%

Mechanical Engineering Technology

3.6%

General Studies

2.9%

Fine Arts

2.6%

Engineering

2.6%

Precision Metal Working

2.3%

Management

2.3%

Computer Technical Support

2.0%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

2.0%

Information Technology

2.0%

Liberal Arts

1.6%

Education

1.3%
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Degrees

Other

37.2%

Associate

25.5%

Bachelors

24.5%

Certificate

5.5%

Masters

4.6%

Diploma

2.8%
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Top Skills for A Prototype Technician

  1. Prototype
  2. Vehicle Builds
  3. Test Cases
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Process, program and manufacture prototype projects working closely with design engineering for concept development.
  • Light fabrication was needed at times Crash Safety vehicle builds.
  • General Production/Prototype Machinist, Machinery, and CNC experience.
  • Form aluminum plating using hydraulic presses to conform to CAD generated design's transferring data and pin points to formed plates.
  • Charged with prototype development, providing expertise to profitable completion consistent with company and customer specifications.

How Would You Rate Working As a Prototype Technician?

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Top Prototype Technician Employers

Jobs From Top Prototype Technician Employers

Prototype Technician Videos

Fathom Prototype Technician video

Electrical Technician - Career Profile

Prototype Development

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