Electrical Technician Job Description, Skills, and Salary
Get to know about the duties, responsibilities, qualifications, and skills requirements of an electrical technician. Feel free to use our electrical technician job description template to produce your own. We also provide you with information about the salary you can earn as an electrical technician.
Who is an Electrical Technician?
The maintenance industry is constantly in need of competent, skilled, and licensed electrical employees to perform a variety of electrical jobs. One of those electrical employees is the electrical technician. Electrical technicians are always in high demand. Being a vital part of the construction industry, their services are not only required for new construction; they are needed for electrical fittings and other jobs as well. But some questions beckon when discussing electrical technicians. Who or what is an electrical technician? What does an electrical technician do? What is the process of becoming an electrical technician? Is an electrical technician the same as an electrician? Do electrical technicians require licensing and certification to practice? What are the qualifications or requirements for electrical technicians? What skills does an individual need to excel as an electrical technician? Can the construction and maintenance industries thrive without the services of an electrical technician? Are electrical technicians paid well by their employers or organizations? Answers to these questions and more will be provided in various sections of this article.
An electrical technician performs all the duties related to installing and maintaining electrical equipment in homes, businesses, factories, and infrastructure. Because every building requires electrical power, lighting, and communications, trained electrical technicians enjoy competitive salaries and consistent employment. Electrical technicians may be required to work in cramped spaces or have to stand or kneel for long periods. They risk exposure to dirt, fumes, noisy machinery, and inclement weather. The job of an electrical technician can be hazardous as they sometimes work at great heights and risk falls, electrical shocks, and burns. For this reason, they must be trained in safety and wear protective clothing, safety glasses, and hearing protection. Ideally, the employer or organization provides these safety gears, but most electrical technicians tend to possess their protective equipment or gears.
Generally, it takes four to five years of training to become a licensed electrical technician at the journeyman level. Most apprentices gain about 2000 hours of hands-on experience per year. However, successful enrolment at a technical school and military can shorten the length of the apprenticeship. Electrical technicians qualify for many jobs such as residential electrical installers, panel builders, commercial electrical installers, maintenance electricians, automotive electrical technicians, appliance installation contractors, and instrument electricians. Employment opportunities for electrical technicians are expected to increase by ten percent in the next ten years according to reports. The anticipated rise in construction spending and the ever-growing demand for alternative energy sources such as wind and solar are the driving forces for this positive job outlook.
Besides installing all of the wires, circuits, and outlets needed to power lights, appliances, and equipment within a building, an electrical technician is responsible for troubleshooting wiring systems to make sure they are working properly. Hence, knowledge of how to repair or replace parts, circuit breakers, fixtures, wiring, and other components is crucial. As an electrical technician, you will work in offices or factories either supervising electricians or as part of a production team following a device’s design plan, inspecting, constructing, and repairing electrical systems. To be successful as an electrical technician, you should be able to read electrical system design plans and recommend improvements as well as calibrate instruments and diagnose faulty equipment.
Electrical Technician Job Description
Below are the electrical technician job description examples you can use to develop your resume or write an electrical technician job description for your employee. Employers can also use it to sieve out job seekers when choosing candidates for interviews.
The duties and responsibilities of an electrical technician include the following:
- Read blueprints and technical diagrams to determine the placement of outlets and fixtures.
- Install and maintain wiring, lighting, and control systems.
- Inspect electrical components like circuit breakers and transformers to ensure they are up to code.
- Identify electrical problems using specialized tools like voltmeters and cables.
- Repair or replace wiring and equipment using hand and power tools.
- Follow state and local building regulations, policies, and procedures according to the International Electrical Code.
- Supervise other workers in installment, maintenance, and repair of electrical equipment.
- Assemble, evaluate, and maintain electronic wiring, apparatus, and equipment.
- Troubleshoot and repair malfunctioning equipment, appliances, and apparatus.
- Construct and fabricate parts using hand tools and specifications.
- Read and interpret electrical and electronic circuit blueprints, diagrams, and schematics.
- Advise management on continued use of unsuitable equipment, appliances, and apparatus.
- Supervise electricians and order electrical supplies and equipment.
- Test customers’ electrical items to ensure they operate properly.
- Ensure various electrical parts of an item are safe.
- Remain aware of product safety regulations.
- Use crucial thinking skills to repair any broken electrical item.
- Construct electrical devices following a design plan.
- Apply preventive measures to ensure products don’t harm customers.
Qualifications and Requirements
To get a job in the electrical field, classes and on-the-job training are required. The candidate should study writing, electrical applications, motors and control, and grounding. As an electrical technician, you will repair electrical systems on various devices and products. You will typically collaborate with electrical engineers to view and follow design plans to build or repair a product’s electrical system. Similarly, electrical technicians may draw their diagrams to construct and repair products and request approval from electrical engineers once the final project is complete. Thus, the major qualifications for an electrical technician are;
- Education requirements: Electrical technicians usually need a minimum of a high school diploma to fulfill the educational requirements for the field. Usually, they need a certificate or associate degree to do their job. Associate degrees that apply to working as an electrical technician can include electronic technology or electrical engineering technology; although the major they choose may vary depending on their school, location, and interests. Nevertheless, some employers also consider candidates that attended a trade school. Beyond this education, electrical technicians may learn many of their skills at work.
- Training: Electrical technician learns many of their skills at school as well as through training at work. There are some apprenticeships for electrical technicians but so many of these on-the-job skills are taught informally and are targeted at learning the skills that apply to the workplace. For instance, an electrical technician who works in a manufacturing facility may learn how to repair and maintain the systems and machinery there, which may or may not apply to future work. Generally, recruiters and employers prefer candidates with at least one year of training.
- Certification and Licensing: It generally takes four to five years of apprenticeship training to become licensed as an electrical technician at the journeyman level. Apprentices gain about 2000 hours of hands-on experience per year. Each certification level for electrical technicians requires a certain number of hours working under the supervision of a master electrician in addition to passing a licensing examination.
- Residential wireman: The first level requires 4000 hours of supervised training and then passing an examination. Wiremen specializes in installing and distributing electricity to single-and-multi-family residential dwellings.
- Journeyman electrical technician: To advance to this level, electrical technicians need 8000 hours of training before sitting for an exam. A journeyman installs and maintains multiple types of electrical systems in homes, apartment buildings, businesses, and factories.
- Master electrical technician: Before qualifying for the master level, an electrical technician must have a journeyman license for at least 2 years plus 12,000 supervised hours of training and then pass an examination. A master electrical technician can supervise other electrical technicians, work as a foreman on jobs, and pull work permits. Master electrical technician is also permitted to open their own electrical companies.
Electrical technicians should have skills for staying safe and doing their job correctly. Working with electricity is a dangerous job and electrical technicians must take precautions against injuries in this field. Proper professional electrical technician training is important to learn about and steer clear of injuries like electrical shocks, burns, and falls which can potentially be fatal. Therefore, an electrical technician must possess the following set of skills to successfully do the job and stand out;
Critical thinking: Electrical technicians must be able to perform tests, think critically, diagnose problems, and determine the best course of action to solve electrical issues.
Color vision: Electrical technicians must be able to identify wires by color; this requires excellent color vision.
Physical stamina: Electrical technicians must be in good physical shape to move around all day while running wires and connecting fixtures to those wires.
Physical strength: Electrical technicians have to be strong enough to lift and move heavy equipment around the construction or maintenance sites.
Troubleshooting skills: To find, diagnose, and repair problems, an electrical technician must be good at troubleshooting.
Customer service skills: Working with people regularly is the main part of an electrical technician’s job. Electrical technicians must be friendly and able to not only answer customers’ questions but work in a team if needed.
How to Become an Electrical Technician
Electrical technicians offer a vital skill set that is needed for modern life to function efficiently. The technical knowledge required and risk involved with this profession makes excessive training and strict qualifications necessary. Thus, follow the steps below to become an electrical technician;
- Earn a high school diploma: Before pursuing a career as an electrical technician, you will need to earn a high school diploma or the equivalent. Though a majority of the job relies on specific skills related to the industry, there are plenty of academic concepts that electrical technicians can utilize daily. Some school subjects that offer valuable skills for this career are;
- Algebra and trigonometry
- Shop and mechanical drawing classes
- Earn an associate’s degree or certificate: You can earn a maintenance or electrical certificate to learn repair techniques. You can also receive your associate’s degree in applied science which teaches you how to fix electrical circuits.
- Consider attending a trade or vocational school: Though attending a trade or vocational school isn’t mandatory, it can offer valuable training and greatly aid students in the process of obtaining certification as well as job placement. The experience accrued from these institutions will give you comprehensive lab-based and classroom training. Students are given foundational tools and introductions to basic electrical principles that could give them an edge when applying for an apprenticeship.
- Complete an apprenticeship: An apprenticeship will be the core of your training to become an electrical technician. It combines classroom instruction with on-the-job training as well as mentorship and supervision from a master electrician. An apprenticeship will cover training on topics like deciphering technical diagrams and construction blueprints for electrical plans, using special devices to test and inspect electrical systems for issues, and ensuring that all work is done in compliance with national, state, and local regulations.
- Receive your certification: To stand out from other candidates, you can earn your Electrical Power Testing Certificate to gain more electrical circuit knowledge to improve your work performance.
- Pursue an advanced education: To advance in your career you can pursue a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering to move up as an electrical engineer or work in a management role
Where to Work as an Electrical Technician
An electrical technician works more with engineering systems or maintaining existing systems. Electrical technicians regularly work in a factory or office setting. They often receive a product or design plan and begin building or repairing the product according to the plan. Typically, an electrical technician works full-time hours and stays on a regular work schedule. Therefore, the major employers of electrical technicians include the construction industries or firms, maintenance industries, engineers and engineering firms, private companies and corporations, and factories.
Electrical Technician Salary Scale
An electrical technician is a trade professional who works with electrical systems sometimes within an office and sometimes in the field. They often work in support of electrical engineers helping them create their engineering plans but they may also maintain electrical equipment and systems as field technicians. Hence, the average salary for an electrical technician is $25.61 per hour according to research. In addition, electrical technicians enjoy up to $8,000 overtime pay per year.