An electronic service technician repairs, installs, tests or manufactures devices that are computer-controlled or employ circuit boards as primary substructures. A number of employers use electronic service technicians to provide maintenance for leased equipment at the customer’s location or in the dealer’s shop. Manufacturers employ electronic service technicians in assembly and quality control tasks, and defense contractors use these technicians to install components in equipment.
Digital audiovisual equipment, computers, copiers and telecommunications equipment are examples of items that require on-site repair and maintenance. Some manufacturers may use technicians to refurbish equipment that has been returned for warranty claims. Electronics retailers will usually hire an electronic service technician to perform bench or in-store repairs and testing functions. Some may even hire technicians to do installation of home theater or car audio components.
Industrial employers need electronic service technicians as computerization becomes more common in the manufacturing process. Digital imaging in quality control, microprocessor-equipped measuring devices and electromechanical machinery provide steady work for technicians, and a technician with experience or education in mechanical or electrical engineering is especially valuable. Technicians are also needed in the healthcare industry to calibrate and maintain computer-controlled medical devices.
Some electronic service technicians are self-employed. Many rebuild and resell computers, and others offer both on-site installation and repair or bench service for computers or audiovisual equipment. One advantage of the casual nature of this type of operation is the flexibility it affords. An electronic service technician can offer his or her services through classified ads, storefronts or farmer’s-type markets. In this type of business model, formal educational certification is not as important as experience.
Educational requirements for an electronic service technician range from a certificate to advanced degrees in electronics engineering. An associate’s degree in electronic engineering technology or computer science may be required for positions with larger corporate employers. Firms hiring a technician to work on their own equipment will usually only require certification or experience. Further coursework may be required to effectively work with highly specialized technologies such as fiber optics.
While educational requirements minimal in 2010, competition is likely to increase as advancing technologies and better training programs becoming available. Becoming an electronic service technician offers an individual with a passion for technology and attention to detail the opportunity to enter a trade quickly and to work with the latest technology.