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Become A Relay Technician

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Working As A Relay Technician

  • Repairing and Maintaining Electronic Equipment
  • Getting Information
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
  • Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Outdoors/walking/standing

  • Unpleasant/Hazardous Environment

  • $70,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Relay Technician Do

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:

  • Prepare cost estimates for clients
  • Refer to service guides, schematics, and manufacturer specifications
  • Repair or replace defective parts, such as motors, fuses, or gaskets
  • Reassemble and test equipment after repairs
  • Maintain records of parts used, labor time, and final charges

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Electrical and electronics installers and repairers may also specialize, according to how and where they work:

Field technicians often travel to factories or a customer’s site to repair broken down equipment. Because repairing components is a complex activity, workers usually remove and replace defective units, such as circuit boards, instead of fixing them. Defective units are discarded or returned to the manufacturer or a specialized shop for repair.

Bench technicians work in repair shops in factories and service centers, fixing components that cannot be repaired on a factory floor. These workers also locate and repair circuit defects, such as poorly soldered joints, blown fuses, or malfunctioning transistors.

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How To Become A Relay Technician

Most electrical and electronics installers and repairers need specialized courses at a technical college prior to employment. Gaining certification is common and can be useful in getting a job.

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 in order for repairers to perform warranty work.

Entry-level repairers usually begin by working with experienced technicians who provide technical guidance and work independently after developing their skills.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

While certification is not required, a number of organizations offer certification which can be useful in getting a job. A number of organizations offer certification. 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.

Important Qualities

Color vision. Workers must be able 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’ descriptions of problems and explain solutions in a simple, clear manner.

Physical stamina. Some workers must stand at their station for their full shift, which can be tiring.

Physical strength. Workers may need to lift heavy parts during the repair process. Some components weigh over 50 pounds.

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

Troubleshooting skills. Workers must be able to identify problems with equipment and systems and make the necessary repairs.

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Relay Technician Demographics

Gender

Male

88.4%

Female

6.2%

Unknown

5.4%
Ethnicity

White

60.4%

Hispanic or Latino

15.7%

Black or African American

10.7%

Asian

8.9%

Unknown

4.2%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

66.7%

Arabic

33.3%

Relay Technician Education

Schools

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

8.9%

University of Toledo

8.9%

Community College of the Air Force

6.7%

New Jersey Institute of Technology

6.7%

State University of New York College of Technology at Canton

6.7%

Texas State Technical College - Waco

6.7%

Colorado Technical University

4.4%

Bismarck State College

4.4%

University of Phoenix

4.4%

University of Alabama

4.4%

University of Louisville

4.4%

Texas State Technical College Marshall

4.4%

Mitchell Technical Institute

4.4%

Florida International University

4.4%

Indiana University Southeast

4.4%

Wichita Technical Institute

4.4%

Utah State University

4.4%

ITT Technical Institute-San Bernardino

2.2%

Louisiana State University and A&M College

2.2%

Southwestern Illinois College

2.2%
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Majors

Electrical Engineering

28.0%

Electrical Engineering Technology

25.8%

Computer Information Systems

6.5%

Business

6.5%

Political Science

3.2%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

3.2%

General Studies

3.2%

Electromechanical Instrumentation And Maintenance Technologies/Technicians

3.2%

Engineering Technology

2.2%

Management Science

2.2%

Music

2.2%

Engineering

2.2%

Industrial Technology

2.2%

Human Development

2.2%

Education

2.2%

Management

1.1%

Medical Technician

1.1%

Digital Media

1.1%

Psychology

1.1%

Philosophy

1.1%
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Degrees

Bachelors

30.6%

Other

29.7%

Associate

28.8%

Masters

5.4%

Certificate

2.7%

License

0.9%

Diploma

0.9%

Doctorate

0.9%
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Top Skills for A Relay Technician

  1. Transformers
  2. Circuit Boards
  3. Back-Up Processes
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Involved the wiring and testing of control relays, transformers, and breakers and switching gear.
  • Test and commission substation and power plant protective relays, equipment, and control circuits.
  • Tested and performed maintenance procedures on the emergency diesel generators electrical systems.
  • Comply with all company safety rules and procedures.
  • Assisted with SCADA point verification.

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