Pros and Cons of Working as an Electrical Mechanic
Electrical mechanics work on factory floors to repair and install electrical equipment in a variety of industries, ranging from automotive to power tool manufacturing.
|PROS of an Electrical Mechanic Career|
|Few educational requirements (2-year associate's degree common)*|
|Ability to work in a number of industries*|
|Most mechanics work a standard full-time schedule*|
|A high degree of job turnover may create positions for new mechanics*|
|CONS of an Electrical Mechanic Career|
|Physically demanding job*|
|Mechanics are often susceptible to injury*|
|Slow job growth is expected (4% increase in jobs between 2012 and 2022)*|
|Employment opportunities will be dependent on industry and occupational specialty*|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Job Duties and Career Information
Electrical mechanics typically work on factory floors and are responsible for the functionality of electrical equipment used in the manufacturing process. Electrical mechanics assemble, test and repair equipment, replace parts, generate cost estimates and maintain records of the equipment they work on. Bench mechanics usually work in repair shops or service centers and work on smaller parts and machinery. Field mechanics perform their work in manufacturing plants or factories and will typically handle larger pieces of equipment.
Career Path and Education
Mechanics with a high school diploma may sometimes obtain entry-level jobs and receive their technical training on the job. Typically, these mechanics will work under experienced technicians who help them develop their skills. However, many mechanics are hired after they complete an associate degree program at a community college or technical school. According to O*Net Online, 7% of electrical mechanics have some college education, but no degree, while 46% have an associate's degree and 46% have a postsecondary certificate.
Job Outlook and Salary Information
In May of 2014, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) determined that electrical mechanics earned a median annual salary of approximately $54,000. The BLS also projects that job opportunities for electrical mechanics will grow very slowly during the next decade. Specifically, the agency predicts a 4% increase in jobs between 2012 and 2022. The BLS notes that job prospects are expected to be best for mechanics who have acquired an associate degree or who have professional experience.
What Are The Requirements?
Mechanics need to be meticulous and have excellent troubleshooting skills. Electrical mechanics should also have superior communication skills in order to write reports and communicate with clients and other mechanics.
Real Job Listings
When you begin your job search, you will find that most employers are interested in hiring mechanics with some professional experience. Additionally, you may be required to know local electrical codes and regulations. The available jobs listed below were posted on the Internet in May of 2012.
- A New Jersey company is interested in hiring an electrical mechanic with at least two years of professional experience. The company needs someone who is knowledgeable about electrical schematics and electrical code requirements. The company prefers a mechanic who has experience with conveyors and programmable controls.
- A Texas company would like to hire an electrical mechanic with a high school diploma or a minimum of two years of professional experience. The successful candidate should be able to lift a minimum of 25 pounds and should be able to work from heights of 50 feet. The company prefers a mechanic who can troubleshoot control valves, pressure transmitters and gas burners.
- An airport in California is in the market for an electrical mechanic who has at least four years of experience working with conveyors. The mechanic should have experience working with and be able to operate airport baggage systems. The successful candidate should also have experience with motor controls and power distribution.
How Can I Stand Out In This Field?
In addition to advancing your education and training, you may find other ways to distinguish yourself as an electrical mechanic. For example, there are organizations you can join that offer networking opportunities for mechanics and employers. These organizations also so often offer continuing education and training options. One such organization is The Electrical Apparatus Service Association, Inc. (EASA). This is an internationally recognized organization that updates members on new technologies and skills and also connects potential employers with skilled mechanics.
You may decide that you are not interested in pursuing a career as an electrical mechanic. However, you can find some similar jobs that may appeal to you and utilize some of the same technical skills you'd need as an electrical mechanic.
Office Machine Repairer
If the idea of working in a factory is not your cup of tea, you may utilize your technical experience to repair and maintain office equipment and machinery. The BLS notes that in May of 2010, office machine repair technicians earned a median annual salary of around $37,000. Jobs for these technicians are projected to increase by 7% between 2010 and 2020.
If you would like to work in a variety of settings, you can look into working as an electrician. Electricians may work in factories, but also install and repair equipment in homes and commercial buildings. The BLS determined that electricians earned a median annual salary of close to $48,000 in May of 2010. Additionally, the agency projects a 23% increase in electrician jobs between 2010 and 2020.
Aircraft and Aviation Mechanic
If you are interested in the aviation industry, you can use your electrical skills to work on aircraft and aviation equipment. The BLS projects a 6% increase in aircraft mechanic jobs between 2010 and 2010. The BLS also determined that in May of 2010, aircraft and aviation mechanics earned a median annual salary of around $53,000.