Electrical technician jobs vary widely, depending on the location and type of work required of the employee. Technicians can work as electrical installers, repairers, or engineers. Additionally, an electrician may work within an industrial or residential setting, or even offshore on a man-made oil rig.
One of the main electrical technician jobs is installation. An electrician that specializes in installation must understand wiring schematics and basic wiring arrangements through a building. The installer will normally have an active position; they must crawl through small areas to lay out electrical wiring and connect them to circuit breaker panels. Troubleshooting the finalized circuitry is another key job duty so that the building has a safe and functional electrical supply.
Repair technicians respond to business or residential electrical problems. Many of these workers are independent contractors that earn a living by fixing bad circuit breakers and broken electrical wiring in local neighborhoods. Repair workers may also be employed by large electrical companies so they can troubleshoot company breakdowns that affect residential customers.
Engineering positions are electrical technician jobs that focus on creating new circuit systems. These technicians work on the electrical design portion of a residential or business system; they create schematics and troubleshoot circuit designs to form the best electrical system for a particular building. Once the electrical system is physically installed, the engineer may test it to verify that the overall design works in real life.
Electrical technician jobs that are within an industrial setting usually require complex troubleshooting skills. For example, troubleshooting a bad circuit at the electric company's main power station is much more involved than repairing a faulty residential system. These electrical technician jobs tend to pay more and require extensive training for overall safety.
Residential electricians use basic troubleshooting skills to fix these small circuit systems. These technicians will need good communication skills so they can explain any electrical issues to the homeowner. Clients may ask to watch the electrician during his or her work so that they can understand the problem involved.
A specialized technician position is working offshore. Oil rigs, residing out in the ocean, use complicated and extensive electrical wiring systems to power day to day operations. A power outage can easily stop the entire rig from working; the offshore electrical technician must be able to work under pressure and rapidly solve any power issues quickly. This position typically requires the worker to stay on the rig for weeks or months at a time.