What to Know About Being an Electrical Engineering Technician

Learn how to become an electrical and electronics engineering technician. Discover where a degree in electrical engineering can take you.

portrait of Christina Payne
by Christina Payne

Published on February 18, 2022 · Updated on May 12, 2022

Edited by Giselle M. Cancio
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What to Know About Being an Electrical Engineering Technician


Electrical engineering technicians design, build, and calibrate electrical systems and equipment. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that electrical and electronic engineering technologists and technicians earned a median annual salary of $67,550 in May 2020. In general, an electrical engineering technician needs an associate degree to find a position in the workforce.

A degree in electrical engineering can lead to a career in industries such as tech and healthcare. Companies need electrical engineering technicians to create and test devices for everyday use, including computers and medical monitoring devices. These professionals often work as part of a team, though many also find work as independent contractors.

In the following sections, readers can learn how to become an electronic technician. Readers can discover what electrical engineering technicians do and what the career outlook is for this position. This page also provides answers to frequently asked questions about electrical engineering technologists.

What Does an Electrical Engineering Technician do?

Electronics technicians often work in consultation with other electrical engineering professionals to develop all kinds of equipment, including communications devices and computers. These professionals may need to assemble electrical engineering prototypes to meet exact client specifications and provide solutions to any potential prototype failures.

An electronic technician understands basic circuitry and knows how to machine parts for electrical engineering projects. These professionals often must draw up schematics of new projects or be able to build electrical devices from schematics provided by another electrical engineering technician.

Some electrical engineering technicians also perform maintenance work on existing machines. They must identify issues correctly and deliver an effective fix for the problem. These professionals may work in factories, labs, and offices. In most cases, electronics technicians work as part of a team of electrical engineers.

Like many science and engineering careers, electrical engineering technologist positions often appeals to individuals with INTJ personality types, who are usually motivated, organized, and logical. These professionals are detail-oriented and understand how to translate ideas from a client into reality.

Electrical technicians need a thorough grasp of both electrical engineering theory and practical skills, which they often learn through completing an associate degree and through on-the-job training.

What Is an Electronics Engineering Technician's Career Outlook?

The BLS projects 2% growth for electrical and electronic engineering technicians between 2020 and 2030. This rate is slower than the national average and slower than the overall average for all architecture and engineering careers, which the BLS projects will grow 6% during the same period.

Job growth depends on several factors, including the location of the job. Readers should research electrical engineering career opportunities in their area. They may want to consider relocating elsewhere if career availability is higher in another city. Aspiring electrical engineers should also consider looking at many different industries — such as healthcare and business — for work.

A college degree can help professionals find a job, even in a competitive market. Colleges usually provide students with career resources, including internships, career counseling, and recruiting opportunities. College degrees from an accredited university look good on a resume and may impress an employer more than just a certificate.

What Is an Electronics Engineering Technicians Salary and Growth Potential?

The BLS found that the median annual salary for electrical and electronic engineering technologists and technicians was $67,550 per year in May 2020. Readers should note that no salary is guaranteed. Compensation rates differ depending on many factors, including the location of the job and how competitive the field is nationally and locally.

Level of education can also make a difference in compensation. In general, professionals with more advanced degrees earn more than their counterparts. Electrical engineering technicians typically only need an associate degree. However, earning a bachelor's degree may allow employees to negotiate higher salaries.

Level of experience is another determining factor for salary rates. According to Payscale, entry-level electrical engineering technologists earned an average annual salary of $54,000 in January 2022. Professionals with 1-4 years of experience earned an average of $64,000 per year. Individuals with 10-19 years of work experience in this field made an average of $74,000 annually.

Frequently Asked Questions About Becoming an Electrical Engineering Technician

true Are engineering technicians in demand?

The BLS projects 2% job growth for electrical engineering technologists between 2020 and 2030 — a rate that is slower than the national average. The BLS projects 6% growth for all engineering careers across the country.

Readers should research job availability in their areas and other cities to assess prospects. College students enrolled in electrical engineering programs can take advantage of career counseling services at their schools.

true Can you become an electrical engineer without a degree?

In general, an electrical engineering technologist needs an associate degree to land an entry-level position. Many employers look for potential employees who graduated from accredited schools and/or electrical engineering programs.

Readers may pursue an electrical engineering certificate or diploma if a two-year degree is not an option. However, an aspiring electrical engineering technologist may find it difficult to meet resume requirements when job searching without an associate degree.

true Where do I start to become an electrical engineer technician?

As most electrical engineering technician positions require an associate degree, a good place to start is exploring two-year colleges and online programs. On average, associate degrees take two years to complete. However, readers may find accelerated study programs or transfer in credits to reduce the time to graduation.

Readers should also weigh the pros and cons of an online program. Online programs often provide increased flexibility and may offer cheaper tuition.

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