Electrical and Electronics Installers and Repairers


Quick Facts: Electrical and Electronics Installers and Repairers
2017 Median Pay $57,210 per year 
$27.51 per hour
Typical Entry-Level Education See How to Become One
Work Experience in a Related Occupation See How to Become One
On-the-job Training See How to Become One
Number of Jobs, 2016 135,000
Job Outlook, 2016-26 1% (Little or no change)
Employment Change, 2016-26 1,000

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Electrical and Electronics Installers and Repairers Career, Salary and Education Information

What Electrical and Electronics Installers and Repairers Do

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

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Duties of Electrical and Electronics Installers and Repairers

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 for Electrical and Electronics Installers and Repairers

Electrical and electronics installers and repairers held about 135,000 jobs in 2016. 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: 68,300

Electrical and electronics repairers, powerhouse, substation, and relay: 23,400

Electric motor, power tool, and related repairers: 17,300

Electrical and electronics installers and repairers, transportation equipment: 13,900

Electronic equipment installers and repairers, motor vehicles: 12,100

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

Manufacturing: 20%

Wholesale trade: 13%

Utilities: 12%

Repair and maintenance: 11%

Federal government, excluding postal service: 8%

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 worked full time in 2016.


How to Become a Electrical and Electronics Installers and Repairers

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.


Salaries for Electrical and Electronics Installers and Repairers

The median annual wage for electrical and electronics installers and repairers was $57,210 in May 2017. 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 $31,940, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $90,590.

 

Median annual wages for electrical and electronics installers and repairers in May 2017 were as follows:

Electrical and electronics repairers, powerhouse, substation, and relay: $78,410

Electrical and electronics installers and repairers, transportation equipment: $60,840

Electrical and electronics repairers, commercial and industrial equipment: $57,190

Electric motor, power tool, and related repairers: $42,580

Electronic equipment installers and repairers, motor vehicles: $34,530

In May 2017, the median annual wages for electrical and electronics installers and repairers in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:

Utilities: $80,020

Federal government, excluding postal service: $60,990

Manufacturing: $55,980

Wholesale trade: $48,170

Repair and maintenance: $44,960

The majority of electrical and electronics installers and repairers worked full time in 2016.


Job Outlook for Electrical and Electronics Installers and Repairers

Overall employment of electrical and electronics installers and repairers is projected to show little or no change from 2016 to 2026. Growth rates will vary by occupation.

Employment of electrical and electronics installers and repairers of commercial and industrial equipment, which represents about half of this profile’s 2016 employment, is projected to grow 2 percent from 2016 to 2026, slower than the average for all occupations. As the industrial sectors of the economy expand, these workers will be needed to service and repair equipment.

Employment of powerhouse, substation, and relay electrical and electronics installers and repairers is projected to grow 4 percent from 2016 to 2026, slower than the average for all occupations. Although the installation of new, energy-efficient technologies will likely spur demand for some new workers, slow employment growth in the utilities industries is expected to temper demand for these workers.

Employment of electric motor, power tool, and related repairers is projected to grow 7 percent from 2016 to 2026, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Improvements in electrical and electronic equipment design, as well as the increased use of disposable tool parts, are expected to result in slow employment growth.

Employment of electrical and electronics installers and repairers of transportation equipment is projected to grow 3 percent from 2016 to 2026, slower than the average for all occupations. Increasing employment in local governments is expected to drive most of the employment growth.

Employment of motor vehicle electronic equipment installers and repairers, which represents less than 10 percent of this profile’s 2016 employment, is projected to decline 26 percent from 2016 to 2026. Motor vehicle manufacturers continue to install more and higher quality sound, security, entertainment, and navigation systems in new vehicles. These new electronic systems require less maintenance and will limit installation of aftermarket products.

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 retiring workers should result in many job openings. 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 Repairer, 2016-26

Employment, 2016: 135,000

Projected Employment, 2026: 136,000

Change, 2016-2026: +1%, +1,000


Careers Related to Electrical and Electronics Installers and Repairers

Aircraft and Avionics Equipment Mechanics and Technicians

Aircraft and avionics equipment mechanics and technicians repair and perform scheduled maintenance on aircraft.

Electrical and Electronics Engineering Technicians

Electrical and electronics engineering technicians help engineers design and develop computers, communications equipment, medical monitoring devices, navigational equipment, and other electrical and electronic equipment. They often work in product evaluation and testing, and use measuring and diagnostic devices to adjust, test, and repair equipment. They are also involved in the manufacture and deployment of equipment for automation.

Electrical and Electronics Engineers

Electrical engineers design, develop, test, and supervise the manufacturing of electrical equipment, such as electric motors, radar and navigation systems, communications systems, and power generation equipment. Electronics engineers design and develop electronic equipment, including broadcast and communications systems, such as portable music players and Global Positioning System (GPS) devices.

Electricians

Electricians install, maintain, and repair electrical power, communications, lighting, and control systems in homes, businesses, and factories.

Elevator Installers and Repairers

Elevator installers and repairers install, fix, and maintain elevators, escalators, moving walkways, and other lifts

General Maintenance and Repair Workers

General maintenance and repair workers fix and maintain machines, mechanical equipment, and buildings. They paint, repair flooring, and work on plumbing, electrical, and air-conditioning and heating systems, among other tasks.

Industrial Machinery Mechanics, Machinery Maintenance Workers, and Millwrights

Industrial machinery mechanics and machinery maintenance workers maintain and repair factory equipment and other industrial machinery, such as conveying systems, production machinery, and packaging equipment. Millwrights install, dismantle, repair, reassemble, and move machinery in factories, power plants, and construction sites.

Telecommunications Equipment Installers and Repairers

Telecommunications equipment installers and repairers, also known as telecom technicians, set up and maintain devices that carry communications signals, such as telephone lines and Internet routers.

OccupationENTRY-LEVEL EDUCATION2017 MEDIAN PAY
ElectriciansHigh school diploma or equivalent$54,110
Aircraft and Avionics Equipment Mechanics and Technicians$61,260
Telecommunications Equipment Installers and RepairersPostsecondary nondegree award$53,380
Elevator Installers and RepairersHigh school diploma or equivalent$79,480
General Maintenance and Repair WorkersHigh school diploma or equivalent$37,670
Electrical and Electronics EngineersBachelor's degree$97,970
Electrical and Electronics Engineering TechniciansAssociate's degree$63,660
Industrial Machinery Mechanics, Machinery Maintenance Workers, and MillwrightsHigh school diploma or equivalent$50,440

Citation:

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Electrical and Electronics Installers and Repairers, on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/installation-maintenance-and-repair/electrical-and-electronics-installers-and-repairers.htm