Summary Report for:
17-3023.03 - Electrical Engineering Technicians
Test or modify developmental or operational electrical machinery or electrical control equipment and circuitry in industrial or commercial plants or laboratories. Usually work under direction of engineers or technologists.
Sample of reported job titles: Electrical Engineering Technician, Electrical Technician, Engineering Assistant, Engineering Technician, Generation Technician, Instrument and Controls Technician (I & C Technician), Relay Tester, Results Technician, Test Specialist, Test Technician
Tasks | Tools & Technology | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- Assemble electrical systems or prototypes, using hand tools or measuring instruments.
- Build, calibrate, maintain, troubleshoot, or repair electrical instruments or testing equipment.
- Inspect electrical project work for quality control and assurance.
- Identify solutions to on-site technical design problems involving electrical systems equipment.
- Collaborate with electrical engineers or other personnel to identify, define, or solve developmental problems.
- Set up or operate test equipment to evaluate performance of developmental parts, assemblies, or systems under simulated operating conditions.
- Review existing electrical engineering criteria to identify necessary revisions, deletions, or amendments to outdated material.
- Modify electrical prototypes, parts, assemblies, or systems to correct functional deviations.
- Prepare, review, or coordinate ongoing modifications to contract specifications or plans.
- Build or test electrical components of electric-drive vehicles or prototype vehicles.
- Interpret test information to resolve design-related problems.
- Provide technical assistance in resolving electrical engineering problems encountered before, during, or after construction.
- Install or maintain electrical control systems or solid state equipment.
- Evaluate engineering proposals, shop drawings, or design comments for sound electrical engineering practice or conformance with established safety or design criteria.
- Write procedures for the commissioning of electrical installations.
- Write engineering specifications to clarify design details or functional criteria of experimental electronics units.
- Create or modify electrical components to be used in renewable energy generation.
- Plan method or sequence of operations for developing or testing experimental electronic or electrical equipment.
- Assemble or test solar photovoltaic products, such as inverters or energy management systems.
- Assess electrical components for consumer electronics applications, such as fuel cells for consumer electronic devices, power saving devices for computers or televisions, or energy efficient power chargers.
- Prepare electrical project cost or work-time estimates.
- Participate in the development or testing of electrical aspects of new green technologies, such as lighting, optical data storage devices, or energy efficient televisions.
- Plan, schedule, or monitor work of project support personnel.
- Perform supervisory duties, such as recommending work assignments, approving leaves, or completing performance evaluations.
Tools & Technology
Tools used in this occupation:
- Adjustable widemouth pliers
- Adjustable wrenches
- Amplifiers — Radio frequency RF amplifiers
- Antistatic wrist straps — Wrist anti-static straps
- Automatic soldering machine — Desoldering stations; Soldering stations
- Auxiliary generator — Dual power supplies
- Binocular light compound microscopes
- Brushless motor DC — Brushless direct current DC motors
- Desktop computers
- Diesel generators — Alternating current AC generators
- Digital cameras
- Electronic counters — Nanosecond universal counters
- Electronic measuring probes — Current probes; Voltage probes
- Frequency analyzers — Harmonic analyzers; Radio frequency RF spectrum analyzers; Spectrum analyzers
- Frequency counters or timer or dividers — Frequency counters
- Goggles — Welding goggles
- Heel grounding straps — Anti-static heel grounders
- Impedance meters
- Instrument transformers — Transformers
- Integrated circuit testers — Logic analyzers
- Laser printers
- Magnetic tools — Magnetic pickup tools
- Microcontrollers — Programmable logic controllers PLC
- Microprocessors — Microcomputers
- Milling machines — Computerized numerical control CNC machining centers
- Multimeters — Signal measuring equipment
- Notebook computers — Laptop computers
- Personal computers
- Phase shifters
- Phasemeters — Phase shift indicators
- Plotter printers — Digital plotters
- Portable data input terminals — Dataloggers
- Potentiometers — Direct current DC potentiometers
- Power drills
- Power meters
- Power screwguns — Power screwdrivers
- Q Meters
- Signal generators — Function generators; Radio frequency RF signal generators
- Soldering iron — Soldering equipment
- Speed sensors — Stroboscopes
- Spot welding machine — Welders
- Stripping tools — Wire strippers
- Tracer or duplicating or contouring lathe — Bench lathes
- Variable resistors or varistors — Metal-oxide varistors MOV
- Voltage or current meters — Digital voltmeters DVM; Voltage testers
- Welding masks — Welding hoods
- Wire cutters
- Wire lug crimping tool — Wire crimpers
- Wire wrapping tool — Wire wrap guns
Technology used in this occupation:
- Analytical or scientific software — Cadence PSpice; Mentor Graphics ModelSim; Proportional integral derivative control PID software; The MathWorks MATLAB (see all 5 examples)
- Computer aided design CAD software — Autodesk AutoCAD software; Autodesk Revit; Bentley Microstation; Cadence software (see all 6 examples)
- Data base user interface and query software — Database software; Oracle software
- Development environment software — C; Microsoft Visual Basic; National Instruments LabVIEW; Verilog (see all 5 examples)
- Document management software — Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat software
- Enterprise resource planning ERP software — SAP software
- Graphics or photo imaging software — Graphics software
- Industrial control software — Programmable logic controller PLC software; Rockwell RSLogix; Rockwell RSView; Supervisory control and data acquisition SCADA software (see all 5 examples)
- Internet browser software — Microsoft Internet Explorer
- Object or component oriented development software — C++; Computer aided software engineering CASE tools
- Office suite software — Microsoft Office software
- Operating system software — Emulators
- Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint
- Project management software — Bentley Systems ProjectWise; Microsoft Project
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
- Word processing software — Microsoft Word
- Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
- Engineering and Technology — Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
- Production and Processing — Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
- Mechanical — Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
- Design — Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
- Physics — Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
- Equipment Maintenance — Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
- Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Operation Monitoring — Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
- Quality Control Analysis — Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
- Repairing — Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Systems Analysis — Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
- Troubleshooting — Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
- Systems Evaluation — Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
- Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.
- Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Finger Dexterity — The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Arm-Hand Steadiness — The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Manual Dexterity — The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Visual Color Discrimination — The ability to match or detect differences between colors, including shades of color and brightness.
- Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
- Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
- Fluency of Ideas — The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
- Perceptual Speed — The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
- Control Precision — The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
- Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance.
- Mathematical Reasoning — The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
- Originality — The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
- Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
- Drafting, Laying Out, and Specifying Technical Devices, Parts, and Equipment — Providing documentation, detailed instructions, drawings, or specifications to tell others about how devices, parts, equipment, or structures are to be fabricated, constructed, assembled, modified, maintained, or used.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
- Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Repairing and Maintaining Electronic Equipment — Servicing, repairing, calibrating, regulating, fine-tuning, or testing machines, devices, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of electrical or electronic (not mechanical) principles.
- Communicating with Persons Outside Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
- Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
- Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
- Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
- Assisting and Caring for Others — Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
- Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
- Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
- Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
Detailed Work Activities
- Interpret design or operational test results.
- Calibrate scientific or technical equipment.
- Document technical design details.
- Prepare contracts, disclosures, or applications.
- Test performance of electrical, electronic, mechanical, or integrated systems or equipment.
- Inspect finished products to locate flaws.
- Supervise engineering or other technical personnel.
- Assemble equipment or components.
- Provide technical guidance to other personnel.
- Resolve operational performance problems.
- Evaluate designs or specifications to ensure quality.
- Install instrumentation or electronic equipment or systems.
- Maintain electronic equipment.
- Confer with other personnel to resolve design or operational problems.
- Test green technologies or processes.
- Fabricate devices or components.
- Determine operational methods.
- Prepare procedural documents.
- Devise research or testing protocols.
- Supervise production or support personnel.
- Estimate operational costs.
- Design electrical equipment or systems.
- Estimate time requirements for development or production projects.
- Test products for functionality or quality.
- Evaluate the characteristics of green technologies.
- Electronic Mail — 85% responded “Every day.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 72% responded “Every day.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 57% responded “Extremely important.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 59% responded “Extremely important.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 51% responded “Some freedom.”
- Contact With Others — 40% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 65% responded “Every day.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 49% responded “Some freedom.”
- Telephone — 48% responded “Every day.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week — 52% responded “More than 40 hours.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 37% responded “Very important results.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 55% responded “Very important.”
- Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 44% responded “Every day.”
- Time Pressure — 41% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 35% responded “More than half the time.”
- Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — 40% responded “Moderate responsibility.”
- Physical Proximity — 52% responded “Moderately close (at arm's length).”
- Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 42% responded “Important.”
- Spend Time Sitting — 44% responded “More than half the time.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 39% responded “Once a year or more but not every month.”
- Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 37% responded “High responsibility.”
- Exposed to Hazardous Conditions — 32% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Exposed to Contaminants — 41% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
- Consequence of Error — 31% responded “Extremely serious.”
|Title||Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed|
|Education||Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.|
|Related Experience||Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.|
|Job Training||Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.|
|Job Zone Examples||These occupations usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include food service managers, electricians, agricultural technicians, legal secretaries, occupational therapy assistants, and medical assistants.|
|SVP Range||(6.0 to < 7.0)|
Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
|17||Some college, no degree|
This occupation may require a background in the following science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) educational disciplines:
Interest code: RIC
- Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
- Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
- Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
- Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
- Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
- Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
Wages & Employment Trends
Median wages data collected from Electrical and Electronic Engineering Technicians.
Employment data collected from Electrical and Electronic Engineering Technicians.
Industry data collected from Electrical and Electronic Engineering Technicians.
|Median wages (2014)||$28.76 hourly, $59,820 annual|
|Employment (2012)||147,000 employees|
|Projected growth (2012-2022)||Little or no change (-2% to 2%)|
|Projected job openings (2012-2022)||30,400|
|Top industries (2012)|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2014 wage data and 2012-2022 employment projections . "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2012-2022). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.
Job Openings on the Web
Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
- Electrical and Electronics Engineering Technicians . Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition.
- Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) , 111 Market Pl., Suite 1050, Baltimore, MD 21202. Phone: (410) 347-7700. Fax: (410) 625-2238.
- National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET) , 1420 King St., Alexandria, VA 22314-2794. Phone: (888) 476-4238.