|Quick Facts: Electro-mechanical Technicians|
|2017 Median Pay||$56,740 per year
$27.28 per hour
|Typical Entry-Level Education||Associate's degree|
|Work Experience in a Related Occupation||None|
|Number of Jobs, 2016||13,800|
|Job Outlook, 2016-26||4% (Slower than average)|
|Employment Change, 2016-26||500|
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Electro-mechanical Technicians Career, Salary and Education Information
What Electro-mechanical Technicians Do
Electro-mechanical technicians combine knowledge of mechanical technology with knowledge of electrical and electronic circuits. They operate, test, and maintain unmanned, automated, robotic, or electromechanical equipment.
Duties of electro-mechanical technicians
Electro-mechanical technicians typically do the following:
Read blueprints, schematics, and diagrams to determine the method and sequence of assembly of a part, machine, or piece of equipment
Verify dimensions of parts, using precision measuring instruments, to ensure that specifications are met
Operate metalworking machines to make housings, fittings, and fixtures
Inspect parts for surface defects
Repair and calibrate hydraulic and pneumatic assemblies
Test the performance of electro-mechanical assemblies, using test instruments
Install electronic parts and hardware, using soldering equipment and hand tools
Operate, test, or maintain robotic equipment
Analyze and record test results, and prepare written documentation
Electro-mechanical technicians test and operate machines in factories and other worksites. They also analyze and record test results, and prepare written documentation to describe the tests they performed and what the test results were.
Electro-mechanical technicians install, maintain, and repair automated machinery and computer-controlled mechanical systems in industrial settings. This kind of work requires knowledge and training in the application of photonics, the science of light. The technological aspects of the work have to do with the generation, control, and detection of the light waves so that the automated processes can proceed as designed by the engineers.
Work Environment for Electro-mechanical Technicians
Electro-mechanical technicians held about 13,800 jobs in 2016. The largest employers of electro-mechanical technicians were as follows:
Semiconductor and other electronic component manufacturing: 13%
Navigational, measuring, electromedical, and control instruments manufacturing: 10%
Transportation equipment manufacturing: 9%
Engineering services: 8%
Machinery manufacturing: 7%
Electro-mechanical technicians work closely with electrical engineers and mechanical engineers. They work in many industrial environments, including energy, plastics, computer and communications equipment manufacturing, and aerospace. They often work both at production sites and in offices.
Because their job involves manual work with many machines and types of equipment, electro-mechanical technicians are sometimes exposed to hazards from equipment or toxic materials. However, incidents are rare as long as they follow proper safety procedures.
Electro-mechanical technicians often work for large companies in manufacturing or for engineering firms. Like others at these firms, these technicians tend to work regular shifts. However, sometimes they must work longer hours to make repairs so that manufacturing operations can continue.
How to Become an Electro-mechanical Technicians
Electro-mechanical technicians typically need either an associate’s degree or a postsecondary certificate.
Associate’s degree programs and postsecondary certificates for electro-mechanical technicians are offered at vocational–technical schools and community colleges. Vocational–technical schools include postsecondary public institutions that serve local students and emphasize teaching the skills needed by local employers. Community colleges offer programs similar to those in technical institutes, but they may include more theory-based and liberal arts coursework.
ABET accredits associate’s and higher degree programs. Most associate’s degree programs that are accredited by ABET include at least college algebra and trigonometry, as well as basic science courses.
In community college programs, prospective electro-mechanical technicians can concentrate in fields such as the following:
Earning an associate’s degree in electronic or mechanical technology facilitates entry into bachelor’s degree programs in electrical engineering and mechanical engineering. For more information, see the profiles on electrical and electronics engineers and mechanical engineers.
Training in mechatronics provides an understanding of four key systems on which this occupation works: mechanical systems, electronic systems, control systems, and computer systems.
Detail oriented. Electro-mechanical technicians must make and keep the precise, accurate measurements that mechanical engineers need.
Dexterity. Electro-mechanical technicians must use hand tools and soldering irons on small circuitry and electronic parts to create detailed electronic components by hand.
Interpersonal skills. Electro-mechanical technicians must take instruction and offer advice when needed. In addition, they often need to coordinate their work with that of others.
Logical-thinking skills. To carry out engineers’ designs, inspect designs for quality control, and assemble prototypes, electro-mechanical technicians must read instructions and follow a logical sequence or a specific set of rules.
Math skills. Electro-mechanical technicians use math for analysis, design, and troubleshooting in their work.
Mechanical skills. Electro-mechanical technicians apply the theory and instructions of engineers by creating or building new components for industrial machinery or equipment. They must be adept at operating machinery, including drill presses, grinders, and engine lathes.
Writing skills. Electro-mechanical technicians must write reports that cover onsite construction, the results of testing, or problems they find when carrying out designs. Their writing must be clear and well organized so that the engineers they work with can understand the reports.
Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations
Electro-mechanical technicians can gain certification as a way to demonstrate professional competence.
The International Society of Automation offers certification as a Certified Control Systems Technician. This requires, at a minimum, 5 years of experience on the job, or 3 years of work experience if the technician has completed 2 years of postsecondary education.
The National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET) offers certification in electrical power testing, industrial instrumentation, and other specialties.
salaries for Electro-mechanical Technicians
The median annual wage for electro-mechanical technicians was $56,740 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 $36,550, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $87,970.
In May 2017, the median annual wages for electro-mechanical technicians in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:
Engineering services: $61,320
Transportation equipment manufacturing: $58,910
Semiconductor and other electronic component manufacturing: $55,650
Machinery manufacturing: $53,810
Navigational, measuring, electromedical, and control instruments manufacturing: $51,380
Electro-mechanical technicians often work for large companies in manufacturing or for engineering firms. Like others at these firms, these technicians tend to work regular shifts. However, sometimes they must work additional hours to make repairs so that manufacturing operations can continue.
Job Outlook for electro-mechanical technicians
Employment of electro-mechanical technicians is projected to grow 4 percent from 2016 to 2026, slower than the average for all occupations. Many of these technicians are employed in manufacturing industries that are projected to experience employment declines.
Electro-mechanical technicians are generalists in technology, and their broad skill set will help sustain their employment, especially as their skills working with machines wired to computer control systems grow in importance in the manufacturing sector. These technicians may play a role in assisting with the automation of various production processes. For example, technicians may be needed to operate and maintain mechanical sensors that are increasingly used in the automation of manufacturing plants and warehouses.
Employment projections data for Electro-Mechanical Technicians, 2016-26
Employment, 2016: 13,800
Projected Employment, 2026: 14,300
Change, 2016-2026: +4%, +500
Careers Related to electro-mechanical technicians
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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.
Electrical and electronics installers and repairers install or repair a variety of electrical equipment in telecommunications, transportation, utilities, and other industries.
Machinists and tool and die makers set up and operate a variety of computer-controlled and mechanically controlled machine tools to produce precision metal parts, instruments, and tools.
Mechanical engineering technicians help mechanical engineers design, develop, test, and manufacture mechanical devices, including tools, engines, and machines. They may make sketches and rough layouts, record and analyze data, make calculations and estimates, and report their findings.
Mechanical engineers design, develop, build, and test mechanical and thermal sensors and devices, including tools, engines, and machines.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Electro-mechanical Technicians,
on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/architecture-and-engineering/electro-mechanical-technicians.htm