The term electrical technician can refer to more than one position such as an entry level electrician or a technician that works in multiple areas not related to electrical construction work.
Electrical technicians usually go to a two year trade or vocational school that offers an associate’s degree after you graduate like here.
Programs focus on electrical construction, electrical power and controls, or maintaining a variety of electrical systems. Each program will define the type of industry they work in.
Electrical Technician – Power & Controls
It’s common for students who attend a trade school to graduate with an associate’s degree in electrical technology or electrical engineering technology.
If two years is too long for you some programs offer a certificate with a specific skill set that takes one year to complete.
Certificate programs exist in areas like electrical maintenance, power and controls, and electrical technology.
During the two year program you can expect to learn about several areas like engineering and design, installation and calibration, maintenance, testing and troubleshooting, computer instrumentation and robotic interfacing, and electrical construction.
Course work can include:
- AC and DC theory
- AC and DC motors
- Programmable logic controllers (PLC)
- Speed drive systems
- Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPS)
- Power Factor Correction units (PFC)
- Using computer software for engineering, designing and drafting.
Upon completion, these programs might feature internship opportunities with companies or further specialization options.
You can expect to be offered a good benefits package that may include competitive pay, 401k, pension, medical, dental, and vision.
Electrical Technician Jobs
This is a job that pays very well and offers advancement into various career fields.
For example, the Tennessee Valley Authority offers a 2 and a half year Electrical Technician program that trains students for work in fossil or nuclear plants, where they maintain electrical and mechanical equipment.
They also take apart and repair equipment specific to certain mechanical functions.
Electrical Technician Salary
The electrical technician salary ranges from $40,000 for entry level to $100,000 for experienced workers. The salary will vary depending on what part of the country and the kind of work you’re doing.
One thing to consider with these higher salaries are located in big expensive cities like New York and San Francisco.
These jobs have great stability and are expected to grow the most in the coming years.
Technicians have the knowledge and experience to conduct general maintenance, installation, troubleshooting, and repair of electrical or electronic equipment.
General and Preventative Maintenance
General maintenance includes following the manufacturers guidelines on testing and maintaining equipment.
Periodic checks make sure the equipment is functioning properly and also to identify any issues that may cause premature failure.
Troubleshooting includes using testing equipment and meters to identify issues with equipment.
Reading and understanding schematics, blueprints, manuals, manufacturers specifications, and diagrams are extremely important in diagnosing the root cause of the problem.
Technicians are capable of repairing components that control machinery and automation equipment. Analysis and repair of some mechanical components may be required for some positions.
Keeping records of faults by date, machine, alarm number in computer data base are typical.
Training Programs Geared More Towards Construction
In an Electrical Construction Technology program you’ll learn residential and commercial wiring systems with the need for hands-on learning about electrical distribution and service applications.
As a graduate, you can qualify for positions such as building maintenance electrician, construction electrician, electrical maintenance technician, industrial maintenance electrician, and in some cases a residential electrician.
Course work can include study in the following areas:
- Hand and power tools
- Electrical service installation
- Electrical components
- Systems Troubleshooting
- Blueprint Reading
- Specialty tools and meters
- Motors and controllers
- AC / DC circuits
Electrical Construction graduates sometimes work alone but also need to be able to interact with operators, supervisors, co-workers as a team working towards a common goal.
Electrical technicians are not limited to one specific skill set in the electrical trade. A technician may be working towards the requirements to obtain their electrical license, or working as a field service representative for a major manufacturer.
With a salary range of $40,000 – $100,000, your drive and initiative will make a difference in how much you earn. Do your research!