Home Technology Integrator Careers: Job Description & Salary Info

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What are the pros and cons of a home technology integrator career? Get real job duties, career outlook and salary info to see if becoming a home technology integrator is right for you.
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Pros and Cons of Being a Home Technology Integrator (HTI)

Home technology integrators repair, install and maintain electronics. Continue reading the pros and cons to help you decide if this field is right for you.

Pros of an HTI Career
Best opportunities for workers with customer service experience*
Technological advances may increase demands for new product installations, and thus new business*
Most employers only require a high school education*
Broad electronic maintenance skills allow for a diverse range of career options*

Cons of a HTI Career
High potential for on-the-job injuries*
May be required to work overtime*
Entry-level positions may offer low pay potential (bottom 10% earned about $21,690 or less in May 2014)*
Job might require heavy lifting and being in awkward positions to install or repair systems*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Career Information

Job Descriptions and Duties

HTIs are responsible for merging entertainment, energy management, lighting, security, communication and other systems and technologies in a home. They examine the current systems in a home, and then design and install wiring to allow all systems to be controlled with one device or with one signal.

HTIs have a broad range of skills and knowledge in various technologies. An HTI can advise clients on the pros and cons of certain equipment and ensure that upgrades can be easily added at any time.

Career Outlook and Salary

According to the BLS, the field of home entertainment equipment installers and repairers was expected to grow more slowly than average at 2% between 2014 and 2024. As of May 2014, the BLS estimated that workers in this field earned a median salary of around $36,090.

Career Skills and Requirements

HTIs should be good problem-solvers to be able to deal with any post-installation issues. They must also have strong communication skills and be able to build relationships with their customers. To be successful in this field, you need to understand automated home systems, technical support systems, various types of cables and wires, and lighting systems. A high school education is usually sufficient to work in this field, however, employers may prefer you to have completed some technical training or an associate's degree in electronics. If you are new to the field, many of your skills can be earned through on-the-job training.

Useful Skills

When looking for HTI-related careers, many employers are looking for prospects that have previous experience in areas related to customer service, installation, communications and field equipment control. Potential employees are often suggested to have experience coinciding with their employer's area of focus. Most employers are looking for workers who have the following traits:

  • Ability to work efficiently in a fast-paced environment
  • Ability to multi-task and effectively organize projects
  • Exceptional productivity with power tools
  • Understanding of basic computer functions

Job Postings from Real Employers

Many employers don't advertise jobs with the title HTI. Instead, you may want to look for installation, integration or cable technician jobs. You may find that many positions have you working at heights and following strict safety protocol. Although this isn't a comprehensive look at the field, the following examples were what real employers were looking for in April 2012:

  • An event management company in Tulsa was looking for an installation technician that had experience with video, lighting and audio system installation.
  • A security system company in New York City advertised for an advanced integration and installation technician that was knowledgeable in networking and electrical circuits.
  • A security electronics company in Ohio was looking for a service technician that understood relay logic and how to fix complex service issues. This job requires three years of experience in electronic security.
  • A Pennsylvania audio and video company was looking for someone with three years of experience who was familiar with electro-mechanical installation and rack fabrication.
  • A telecommunications company in New Jersey was looking for an installer that was able to install fiber optic cables and fix communications systems.

How to Make Your Skills Stand out

Although formal education may not be required in most cases, there are associate's degree and certificate programs available. These programs offer training in integration techniques, computer technology, safety procedures, network development, home automation integration, electrical setup and blueprint fundamentals. Some programs also offer opportunities for professional development through skill application courses and internships.

Get Certified

Although certification is voluntary, earning the Basic Residential Electronics Systems Integrator (RESI) designation from the Electronics Technicians Association International (ETA) may help you stand out. To earn the Basic RESI designation, you need to pass an examination covering topics in industry standards, cabling, pre-wiring, electrical systems, fiber optics, residential management and troubleshooting procedures. You are also able to choose from specialized sub-certification options in closed-circuit television, audio and video, environmental control, computer networking and security surveillance. If you are interested earning an advanced certification, the ETA also offers the Master RESI designation. To maintain certification, you need to complete ten hours of continuing education every year.

Alternative Career Paths

If you would like work with a wider range of electronic and mechanical equipment, you may be interested in working as a general repair or maintenance worker. As an employee in this field, you are responsible for maintaining storage and work rooms, repairing electrical switches, cleaning properties, routinely inspecting building machinery to ensure proper upkeep, estimating repair costs and repairing machinery according to blueprints. A high school education is usually required and many employers offer on-the-job training. According to a BLS report in May 2011, employees in this field earned an estimated median salary of about $35,000.

If you prefer to specialize in one type of technology, you might want to be a a telecommunications equipment repairer and installer. In this job, you install home and office communications equipment, train clients to use equipment, upgrade older communication devices and make sure that phone jacks are functional. For entry-level positions, employers require an associate's degree or certificate education. If you would like to advance your career, a bachelor's degree in a related field is needed. You may also find that some employers require you to have related certifications. As of May 2011, the BLS estimated that workers in this field earned a median salary of around $54,000.

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