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Working as a Relay Technician

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.

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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Average Salary$46,702
Job Growth Rate-1%

Relay Technician Jobs

Relay Technician Career Paths

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Average Salary for a Relay Technician

Relay Technicians in America make an average salary of $46,702 per year or $22 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $65,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $33,000 per year.
Average Salary
$46,702

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyCompanyStart DateSalary
Relay Technician
Relay Technician
National Grid
National Grid
10/20/2020
10/20/2020
$64,69710/20/2020
$64,697
Relay Technician I
Relay Technician I
Evergy
Evergy
03/28/2020
03/28/2020
$73,92203/28/2020
$73,922
Relay Technician
Relay Technician
City of College Station
City of College Station
11/01/2019
11/01/2019
$55,86911/01/2019
$55,869
Relay Technician
Relay Technician
Westar Energy
Westar Energy
09/23/2019
09/23/2019
$73,92209/23/2019
$73,922
Relay Technician
Relay Technician
National Grid
National Grid
05/20/2019
05/20/2019
$93,00005/20/2019
$93,000

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Relay Technician Demographics

Gender

male

91.5%

female

6.2%

unknown

2.3%

Ethnicity

White

62.3%

Hispanic or Latino

17.9%

Black or African American

10.3%

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

66.7%

Arabic

33.3%
See More Demographics

Relay Technician Education

Degrees

Associate

37.5%

Bachelors

32.1%

High School Diploma

16.1%

Top Colleges for Relay Technicians

1. New Mexico State University

Las Cruces, NM

Tuition and fees
$6,686
Enrollment
11,139

2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Cambridge, MA

Tuition and fees
$51,832
Enrollment
4,550

3. Inter American University of Puerto Rico Bayamon

Bayamon, PR

Tuition and fees
$5,940
Enrollment
4,169

4. Stanford University

Stanford, CA

Tuition and fees
$51,354
Enrollment
7,083

5. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA

Tuition and fees
$50,420
Enrollment
7,582

6. Duke University

Durham, NC

Tuition and fees
$55,695
Enrollment
6,596

7. Northeastern University

Boston, MA

Tuition and fees
$51,522
Enrollment
13,760

8. California State University - Long Beach

Long Beach, CA

Tuition and fees
$6,798
Enrollment
31,503

9. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA

Tuition and fees
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

10. New York University

New York, NY

Tuition and fees
$51,828
Enrollment
26,339
See More Education Info

Entry Level Jobs For Becoming A Relay Technician

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Part Time
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Top Skills For a Relay Technician

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 14.4% of relay technicians listed transformers on their resume, but soft skills such as technical skills and math skills are important as well.

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Top Relay Technician Employers

1. National Grid USA Service Company
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$64,766
Relay Technicians Hired: 
6+
2. Entergy
4.9
Avg. Salary: 
$53,213
Relay Technicians Hired: 
5+
3. AT&T
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$61,738
Relay Technicians Hired: 
5+
4. Westar Energy
4.6
Avg. Salary: 
$59,890
Relay Technicians Hired: 
5+
5. US Army
4.0
Avg. Salary: 
$53,674
Relay Technicians Hired: 
4+
6. MCI
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$64,951
Relay Technicians Hired: 
4+

Recently Added Relay Technician Jobs