Electronic Service Technician Careers: Salary & Job Description

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Learn about an electronic service technician's job duties, salary and education/training requirements. Get straight talk about the pros and cons of becoming an electronic service technician.
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Pros and Cons of an Electronic Service Technician Career

Electronic service technicians install, repair and service various types of electrical equipment in telecommunications, utilities, transportation and other industries. Reading the pros and cons of being an electronic service technician may help you decide if this is the right career for you.

Pros of Being an Electronic Service Technician
Decent wage potential ($55,000 mean wage in 2014)*
Technical training sufficient for entry-level position*
May work in a variety of industries*
Work usually full time*

Cons of Being an Electronic Service Technician
Little or no change in employment (2% expected from 2012-2022)*
Heavy lifting may be involved*
May be subjected to noise and dirt*
High rate of injuries due to electric tools used on the job*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Essential Career Information

Job Description

Electronic service technicians often perform many of the same duties as electrical and electronics installers and repairers. They install, repair, service and replace electrical and electronics equipment in homes and businesses. Electronic service technicians may fall in the category of bench technicians or field technicians. Bench technicians typically work in shops and repair small items that customers bring to them. Field technicians travel to businesses or customers' homes and repair large electronics and electrical equipment, such as computers, home stereo systems or televisions. Electronic service technicians must take precautions when servicing electronics to avoid electrical shock. They use manufacturer's specifications, schematics or service guides when assembling and reassembling electronics. Electronic service technicians usually work full time.

Job Growth and Salary Info

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) combines electronic service technicians into a category with the similar careers of electrical and electronics installers and repairs. The BLS reported that these workers would see an employment growth of only 2% from 2012-2022. However, the organization did state that workers with associate's degrees in electronics and certification would see the best employment opportunities. As of May 2014, these workers earned annual wages of around $55,000 on average.

Education and Training Requirements

Candidates with high school diplomas may be hired and receive on-the-job training; however, most electronic service technicians have completed formal training programs. Community colleges and technical schools offer certificate and associate's degree programs for aspiring electronic service techs and for individuals who are in the business but wish to enhance their skills. The curriculum includes coursework and extensive hands-on training. Typical courses may include testing equipment, AutoCAD, AC & DC circuits, soldering, computer science, electronic manufacturing, schematics, basic electronics and semiconductors.

What Do Employers Look for?

As stated above, some employers may hire high school graduates and have their experienced technicians provide on-the-job training. Employers do prefer to hire individuals with formal education in electronics, such as associate's degree programs. Potential employers also value work experience. Because electronic service technicians may spend a lot of time talking to customers and explaining work-related procedures, employers look for candidates who have good communication skills. Those with technical and problem-solving skills are also an asset in this business. Aspiring electronic service technicians must also have good color vision because matching color-coded wires and components is a large part of repairing and installing electronics.

Job Postings from Real Employers

  • A Pennsylvania dental facility is in need of an electronic technician to evaluate, troubleshoot and repair dental equipment. Applicants should have a high school diploma and a degree or certificate in electronic theory, as well as two years of experience troubleshooting and fixing equipment in a comparable environment. Candidates must be familiar with using a digital voltmeter, oscilloscope and other testing equipment. Knowledge of Microsoft Windows OS and Microsoft Office products is a plus. Job duties include troubleshooting and repairing equipment as per manufacturer specifications, preparing estimates and service quotes, documenting all repair and service orders and communicating with customers. Applicants must have good communication skills and the ability to read and understand technical information.
  • An electronics computer manufacturing company in Orlando is seeking an entry-level field service technician to assist in the installation of a new product into the Department of Defense fleet vehicles. Applicants must have a 2-year degree in mechanical, electrical or computer networking fields, and experience in this area. A solid knowledge of Microsoft Office products is a plus. Candidates must have a valid driver's license and willingness to travel and work in inclement weather. Job duties include providing hands-on training on company computers, installing and servicing company equipment and communicating with customers throughout the job.
  • A Kentucky electronics engineering company is seeking an electronics technician to work in their Louisville stores. Applicants should have experience performing electronic repairs on various kinds of equipment and the ability to assist with support during point of sale. Job duties also include evaluating store electrical and electronic equipment, providing service to all assigned locations, training other technicians, providing preventative maintenance on electronic equipment and assisting with ordering of inventory. Candidates should have good communication skills as he/she will be communicating with store management, store personnel and the engineering staff.

How to Beat the Competition

Although certification is voluntary, it can be beneficial to obtain certifications. Several organizations offer certification. The International Society of Certified Electronics Technicians (ISCET) offers various certifications based on the candidate's level of competence. Some examples include the Associate Level Electronics, Electronics Systems Associate and Journeyman Level. Applicants must meet academic requirements and pass examinations to become certified. The Electronics Technicians Association International (ETA International) offers more than 80 certification programs, also covering levels of competency. Applicants can choose not only their level of competence, but also their areas of interests when obtaining certifications.

Alternative Career Paths

Although becoming an electronic service technician may have always been your goal, you may find the slow employment growth somewhat worrisome. If this is the case, you may want to look at other career paths. Some may have better job potential or higher wages, but you'll never know until you look. Here are a couple possibilities worth considering.

Electrician

Becoming an electrician can keep you doing the kind of work you enjoy, and it comes with strong employment growth. According to the BLS, electricians were predicted to see an employment growth of 23% from 2010-2020. Additionally, these workers earned a mean wage of almost $53,000 as of May 2011. To become an electrician, you can enroll in a program at a technical or community college. As with most electricians, you'll probably have to complete an apprenticeship, which includes a designated number of hours of both technical and on-the-job training. Apprenticeships typically take four years to complete. As an electrician, you will need to be licensed.

Elevator Installer and Repairer

People seldom enter a building two stories or higher without seeing an elevator. You could become part of the valuable crew who installs or repairs elevators. To become an elevator installer or repairer, you must complete a 4-year apprenticeship where you'll combine technical training with on-the-job training. Some states do require licensure to work as an elevator repairer or installer. The BLS reported that these workers earned about $74,000 as of May 2011. The BLS also predicted elevator installers and repairers would see an 11% job growth from 2010-2020.

Popular Schools

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    1. ECPI University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor's - Mechatronics
      • Bachelor's - Electronics Engineering Technology
    Associate's
      • Associate's - Electronics Engineering Technology
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    2. Lincoln Tech

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    Certificate
      • Electrical/Electronics
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    3. Brightwood College

    Program Options

    Certificate
      • Computer Support Technician
      • Electrical Technician Diploma
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    4. Penn Foster High School

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    High School Diploma
      • Penn Foster High School with Early College Courses
      • HS Diploma
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    5. Penn Foster Career School

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    Certificate
      • Career Diploma: Electronics Technician
      • Career Diploma: PC Maintenance and Repair
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    Southwestern College

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  • Valdosta, GA

    Wiregrass Georgia Technical College

Featured Schools

ECPI University

  • Bachelor's - Mechatronics
  • Bachelor's - Electronics Engineering Technology
  • Associate's - Electronics Engineering Technology

What is your highest level of education?

Lincoln Tech

  • Electrical/Electronics

What year did you graduate High School / Receive GED?

Brightwood College

  • Computer Support Technician
  • Electrical Technician Diploma

What is your highest level of education?

Penn Foster High School

  • Penn Foster High School with Early College Courses
  • HS Diploma

What is your age?

Penn Foster Career School

  • Career Diploma: Electronics Technician
  • Career Diploma: PC Maintenance and Repair

What is your highest level of education?

Southwestern College