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What Electrical and Electronics Installers and Repairers Do About this section

Electrical and electronics installers and repairers
Electrical and electronics installers and repairers use diagnostic equipment to troubleshoot electric motors.

Electrical and electronics installers and repairers install or repair a variety of electrical equipment in telecommunications, transportation, utilities, and other industries.

Duties

Electrical and electronics installers and repairers typically do the following:

  • Discuss problems and requirements with customers
  • Inspect and test equipment
  • Reproduce, isolate, and diagnose problems
  • Disassemble equipment as necessary to access problematic components
  • Clean, repair, and replace components
  • Reassemble and test equipment after repairs
  • Keep records of repairs, tests, parts, and labor hours

Modern manufacturing plants and transportation systems use a large amount of electrical and electronics equipment, from assembly line motors to sonar systems. Electrical and electronics installers and repairers fix and maintain these complex pieces of equipment.

Because automated electronic control systems are becoming more complex, repairers use software programs and testing equipment to diagnose malfunctions. Among their diagnostic tools are multimeters—which measure voltage, current, and resistance—and advanced multimeters, which measure the capacitance, inductance, and current gain of transistors.

Repairers also use signal generators, which provide test signals, and oscilloscopes, which display signals graphically. In addition, repairers often use hand tools such as pliers, screwdrivers, and wrenches to replace faulty parts and adjust equipment.

The following are examples of types of electrical and electronics installers and repairers:

Commercial and industrial electrical and electronics equipment repairers adjust, test, repair, or install electronic equipment, such as industrial controls, transmitters, and antennas.

Electric motor, power tool, and related repairerssuch as armature winders, generator mechanics, and electric golf cart repairers—specialize in installing, maintaining, and repairing electric motors, wiring, or switches.

Electrical and electronics installers and repairers of transportation equipment install, adjust, or maintain mobile communication equipment, including sound, sonar, security, navigation, and surveillance systems on trains, watercraft, or other vehicles.

Electronic equipment installers and repairers of motor vehicles install, diagnose, and repair sound, security, and navigation equipment in motor vehicles. These installers and repairers work with a range of complex electronic equipment, including digital audio and video players, navigation systems, and passive and active security systems.

Powerhouse, substation, and relay electrical and electronics repairers inspect, test, maintain, or repair electrical equipment used in generating stations, substations, and in-service relays. These workers also may be known as powerhouse electricians, relay technicians, or power transformer repairers.

Work Environment About this section

Electrical and electronics installers and repairers
Electrical and electronics installers and repairers usually work in a clean shop.

Electrical and electronics installers and repairers held about 121,700 jobs in 2019. Employment in the detailed occupations that make up electrical and electronics installers and repairers was distributed as follows:

Electrical and electronics repairers, commercial and industrial equipment 61,200
Electrical and electronics repairers, powerhouse, substation, and relay 23,000
Electric motor, power tool, and related repairers 17,900
Electronic equipment installers and repairers, motor vehicles 10,400
Electrical and electronics installers and repairers, transportation equipment 9,200

The largest employers of electrical and electronics installers and repairers were as follows:

Manufacturing 19%
Utilities 13
Repair and maintenance 11
Wholesale trade 10
Federal government, excluding postal service 9

Many electrical and electronics installers and repairers work in repair shops or in factories, and some may work outside when they travel to job sites.  

Installers and repairers may have to lift heavy equipment and work in awkward positions. They spend most of their day walking, standing, or kneeling.

Work Schedules

The majority of electrical and electronics installers and repairers work full time.

How to Become an Electrical or Electronics Installer and Repairer About this section

Electrical and electronics installers and repairers
Many technical colleges have basic electronics programs that include practical experience labs.

Electrical and electronics installers and repairers need at least a high school education, but most specializations require further preparation through advanced education, work experience, or both.

Education

Electrical and electronics installers and repairers must understand electrical equipment and electronics. As a result, employers often prefer applicants who have taken courses in electronics at a community college or technical school. Courses usually cover AC and DC electronics, electronic devices, and microcontrollers. It is important for prospects to choose schools that include hands-on training in order to gain practical experience.

Training

In addition to technical education, workers usually receive training on specific types of equipment. This may involve manufacturer-specific training for repairers who will perform warranty work.

Before working independently, entry-level repairers usually develop their skills while working with experienced technicians who provide technical guidance.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Some electrical and electronics installers and repairers need prior work experience. Electric motor, power tool, and related repairers typically begin by helping in machine or electrical workshops, where they gain experience with tools and motors.

Powerhouse, substation, and relay electrical and electronics repairers often gain experience by first working as electricians.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

While certification is not required, a number of organizations offer it, and it can be useful in getting a job. For example, the Electronics Technicians Association International (ETA International) offers more than 50 certification programs in numerous electronics specialties for various levels of competency. The International Society of Certified Electronics Technicians (ISCET) also offers certification for several levels of competence. The ISCET focuses on a broad range of topics, including basic electronics, electronic systems, and appliance service. To become certified, applicants must meet prerequisites and pass a comprehensive exam.

Important Qualities

Color vision. Electrical and electronics installers and repairers must be able to identify the color-coded components that are often used in electronic equipment.

Communication skills. Electrical and electronics installers and repairers work closely with customers, so they must listen to and understand customers’ descriptions of problems and explain solutions in a simple, clear manner.

Physical stamina. Some electrical and electronics installers and repairers must stand at their station for their full shift, which can be tiring.

Physical strength. Electrical and electronics installers and repairers may need to lift heavy parts during the repair process. Some components weigh over 50 pounds.

Technical skills. Electrical and electronics installers and repairers use a variety of mechanical and diagnostic tools to install or repair equipment.

Troubleshooting skills. Electrical and electronics installers and repairers must be able to identify problems with equipment and systems and make the necessary repairs.

Pay About this section

Electrical and Electronics Installers and Repairers

Median annual wages, May 2019

Electrical and electronics installers and repairers

$59,080

Electrical and electronic equipment mechanics, installers, and repairers

$52,570

Total, all occupations

$39,810

 

The median annual wage for electrical and electronics installers and repairers was $59,080 in May 2019. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $33,730, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $93,650.

Median annual wages for electrical and electronics installers and repairers in May 2019 were as follows:

Electrical and electronics repairers, powerhouse, substation, and relay $82,780
Electrical and electronics installers and repairers, transportation equipment 62,530
Electrical and electronics repairers, commercial and industrial equipment 59,300
Electric motor, power tool, and related repairers 44,070
Electronic equipment installers and repairers, motor vehicles 37,380

In May 2019, the median annual wages for electrical and electronics installers and repairers in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:

Utilities $85,170
Federal government, excluding postal service 61,990
Manufacturing 59,820
Wholesale trade 48,420
Repair and maintenance 46,760

The majority of electrical and electronics installers and repairers work full time.

Job Outlook About this section

Electrical and Electronics Installers and Repairers

Percent change in employment, projected 2019-29

Total, all occupations

4%

Electrical and electronic equipment mechanics, installers, and repairers

0%

Electrical and electronics installers and repairers

-1%

 

Overall employment of electrical and electronics installers and repairers is projected to decline 1 percent from 2019 to 2029. Growth will vary by occupation (see table below).

Improvements in electrical and electronic equipment design, as well as the increased use of disposable tool parts, are expected to reduce the need for more electrical and electronic equipment installers and repairers.

Motor vehicle manufacturers continue to install more and higher quality sound, security, entertainment, and navigation systems in new vehicles. These electronic systems require less maintenance and will limit installation of aftermarket products, reducing demand for electrical and electronics installers and repairers.

Job Prospects

Overall job opportunities should be good for qualified workers who are familiar with electronics, especially those with an associate’s degree in electronics.

The best job opportunities should be for commercial and industrial equipment installers and repairers, as the need to replace those who leave the occupation permanently should result in some openings for these workers. Conversely, few opportunities will be available for motor vehicle equipment installers and repairers as the amount of aftermarket installations continues to decline.

Employment projections data for electrical and electronics installers and repairers, 2019-29
Occupational Title SOC Code Employment, 2019 Projected Employment, 2029 Change, 2019-29 Employment by Industry
Percent Numeric

SOURCE: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program

Electrical and electronics installers and repairers

121,700 120,600 -1 -1,000

Electric motor, power tool, and related repairers

49-2092 17,900 18,600 4 700 Get data

Electrical and electronics installers and repairers, transportation equipment

49-2093 9,200 9,400 2 200 Get data

Electrical and electronics repairers, commercial and industrial equipment

49-2094 61,200 62,400 2 1,200 Get data

Electrical and electronics repairers, powerhouse, substation, and relay

49-2095 23,000 22,200 -3 -700 Get data

Electronic equipment installers and repairers, motor vehicles

49-2096 10,400 8,000 -23 -2,400 Get data

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