Electro-mechanical technicians essential career information:
- 2011 median pay: $51,220
- 2011, number of jobs: 16,620
- Employment growth forecast, 2010-2020: 1 percent
- Entry level education requirements: Associate’s degree
Electro-mechanical technicians; what they do:
People with a steady hand, an incredible eye for detail and skilled at fixing technical problems may enjoy a career as an electro-mechanical technician. Electro-mechanical technicians combine the know-how of mechanical technology with the understanding of electrical and electronic circuits.
An electro-mechanical technician career involves aligning, assembling, inspecting, repairing, and upgrading electronic and computer-controlled parts and hardware, such as robotic assembly machines. An electro-mechanical technician career may also involve operating unmanned submarines, aircraft or other equipment such as hazardous waste removal equipment.
An electro-mechanical technician career includes reading blueprints, schematics, and technical orders to determine methods of assembly as well as scrupulously checking size and scope of parts with detailed instruments and calibrating hydraulic assemblies to meet operational specifications.
Upon completion of technical operations and testing procedures, electro-mechanical technicians analyze and report test results.
Electro-mechanical technicians job titles:
- Mechanical Technician
- Test Technician
- Product Test Specialist
- Electronic Instrument Technician
- Laboratory Technician
- Maintenance Technician
Electro-Mechanical Technicians Education, Certification and License Requirements
Electro-mechanical technicians usually need an associate’s degree or a postsecondary certificate. Some colleges offer an Associate in Electronic Engineering Technology degree program. An associate’s degree program for electro-mechanical technicians typically take two years to complete. Vocational and technical schools and community colleges provide these programs.
Technical institutes offer many certificates, sometimes called an Associate of Technical Study degree or ATS which vary in length and scope serving regional students and emphasize training needed for local companies.
Community colleges provide education programs similar to those provided by technical schools but the education programs may include more theory-based and liberal arts coursework.
Most ABET (formerly the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology) accredited associate’s degree programs include at least college trigonometry and algebra and basic science courses. These accredited programs also offer specialties in engineering technology.
Some colleges offer a Bachelor in Mechanical Engineering Technology degree program or a Bachelor in Electrical Engineering Technology degree program; however, graduates of these degree programs typically work as mechanical engineering technologists or electrical engineering technologists, rather than as technicians. An associate’s degree in electronic engineering technology makes it easier to enter a bachelor’s degree program.
Electro-mechanical technicians programs cover subjects such as:
- DC/AC circuits
- Digital electronics
- Programmable logic
- Electrical generators and power systems
Electro-mechanical technicians who pursue a bachelor’s degree may be eligible to obtain a state license as a professional engineer. This involves passing the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying exams. Voluntary professional certifications are available through the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technology.
Electro-Mechanical Technicians Job Outlook
Forecast: 1 percent employment growth from 2010 to 2020 for electro-mechanical technicians, meaning little to no change expected largely due to the forecasted decline in manufacturing industries. However, electro-mechanical technicians are generalists in technology, their broad range of skills help sustain demand for their services in various fields such as the oil and gas industry.
For example, engineers studying drilling in the Arctic Ocean need assistance from electro-mechanical technicians to control underwater robotics.
Mechatronics, another field electro-mechanical technicians may enter, gives technicians more versatile training across a wide range of industries, which combine mechanical engineering with electronic systems. In addition, it allows an electro-mechanical technician to play a role in a product from concept and design to delivery.
Electro-Mechanical Technicians Salary
- 2011 median annual wage: $51,220
- 2011, workers at the 75th percentile annual wage: $63,220
- 2011, workers at the 25th percentile annual wage: $41,050
- Navigational, electromedical and control instruments manufacturing
- Semiconductor manufacturing
- Architectural, engineering and related services
- Communications manufacturing
- Scientific research and development