Electrical and Electronics Installers and Repairers

Career, Salary and Education Information

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What Electrical and Electronics Installers and Repairers Do[About this section] [To Top]

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

Duties of Electrical and Electronics Installers and Repairers

Electrical and electronics installers and repairers typically do the following:

  • Prepare cost estimates for clients
  • Refer to service guides, schematics, and manufacturer specifications
  • Repair or replace defective parts, such as motors, fuses, or gaskets
  • Reassemble and test equipment after repairs
  • Maintain records of parts used, labor time, and final charges

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Electrical and electronics installers and repairers may also specialize, according to how and where they work:

Field technicians often travel to factories or a customer’s site to repair broken down equipment. Because repairing components is a complex activity, workers usually remove and replace defective units, such as circuit boards, instead of fixing them. Defective units are discarded or returned to the manufacturer or a specialized shop for repair.

Bench technicians work in repair shops in factories and service centers, fixing components that cannot be repaired on a factory floor. These workers also locate and repair circuit defects, such as poorly soldered joints, blown fuses, or malfunctioning transistors.

Work Environment for Electrical and Electronics Installers and Repairers[About this section] [To Top]

Electrical and electronics installers and repairers held about 136,100 jobs in 2014.

Employment in the detailed occupations that make up this group in 2014 was distributed as follows:

Electrical and electronics repairers, commercial and industrial equipment 67,800
Electrical and electronics repairers, powerhouse, substation, and relay 22,700
Electric motor, power tool, and related repairers 19,300
Electrical and electronics installers and repairers, transportation equipment 14,800
Electronic equipment installers and repairers, motor vehicles 11,500

Some electrical and electronics installers and repairers work in factories, which can be noisy and sometimes warm. Bench technicians work primarily in repair shops, which are quiet and well lit. Motor vehicle electronic equipment installers and repairers normally work in repair shops or in electronics stores.

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

Electrical and Electronics Installer and Repairer Work Schedules

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

How to Become an Electrical and Electronics Installer or Repairer[About this section] [To Top]

Get the education you need: Find schools for Electrical and Electronics Installers and Repairers near you!

Most electrical and electronics installers and repairers need specialized courses at a technical college prior to employment. Gaining certification is common and can be useful in getting a job.

Electrical and Electronics Installer and Repairer 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.

Electrical and Electronics Installer and Repairer Training

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

Entry-level repairers usually begin by working with experienced technicians who provide technical guidance and work independently after developing their skills.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

While certification is not required, a number of organizations offer certification which can be useful in getting a job. A number of organizations offer certification. 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 for Electrical and Electronics Installers and Repairers

Color vision. Workers must be able to identify the color-coded components that are often used in electronic equipment.

Communication skills. Field technicians 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 workers must stand at their station for their full shift, which can be tiring.

Physical strength. Workers may need to lift heavy parts during the repair process. Some components weigh over 50 pounds.

Technical skills. Workers use a variety of mechanical and diagnostic tools to install or repair equipment.

Troubleshooting skills. Workers must be able to identify problems with equipment and systems and make the necessary repairs.

Electrical and Electronics Installer and Repairer Salaries[About this section] [More salary/earnings info] [To Top]

The median annual wage for electrical and electronics installers and repairers was $55,160 in May 2015. 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 $30,020, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $82,710.

Median annual wages for electrical and electronics installers and repairers in May 2015 were as follows:

Electrical and electronics repairers, powerhouse, substation, and relay $73,810
Electrical and electronics installers and repairers, transportation equipment 58,990
Electrical and electronics repairers, commercial and industrial equipment 55,690
Electric motor, power tool, and related repairers 40,520
Electronic equipment installers and repairers, motor vehicles 31,360

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

Electrical and Electronics Installer and Repairer Union Membership

Compared with workers in all occupations, electrical and electronics installers and repairers had a higher percentage of workers who belonged to a union in 2014.

Job Outlook for Electrical and Electronics Installers and Repairers[About this section] [To Top]

Overall employment of electrical and electronics installers and repairers is projected to decline 4 percent from 2014 to 2024. Growth rates will vary by occupation.

Employment of motor vehicle electronic equipment installers and repairers, which represents less than 10 percent of this profile’s 2014 employment, is projected to decline 50 percent from 2014 to 2024. 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.

Employment of powerhouse, substation, and relay electrical and electronics installers and repairers is projected to decline 5 percent from 2014 to 2024. Although the installation of new, energy-efficient technologies will likely spur demand for some new workers, privatization in the utilities industries should improve productivity and more than offset any employment gains.

Employment of electric motor, power tool, and related repairers is projected to grow 4 percent from 2014 to 2024, slower than the average for all occupations. Improvements in electrical and electronic equipment design, as well as the increased use of disposable tool parts, will result in slow employment growth.

Employment of electrical and electronics installers and repairers of transportation equipment is projected to grow 4 percent from 2014 to 2024, slower than the average for all occupations. Increasing employment in the rail transportation industry—the largest employing segment of these specialists—drives most of the employment growth.

Employment of electrical and electronics installers and repairers of commercial and industrial equipment, which represents about half of this profile’s 2014 employment, is projected to show little or no change from 2014 to 2024. As competition increases, businesses strive to lower costs by increasing and improving automation. Equipment that needs service and repair would generally increase the demand for electrical workers, but improved reliability of equipment is expected to offset that demand and temper overall employment growth.

Electrical and Electronics Installers and Repairers Job Prospects

Overall job opportunities should be excellent for qualified workers with technical education—including an associate’s degree in electronics—along with certification.

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 Repairers, 2014-24
Occupational Title Employment, 2014 Projected Employment, 2024 Change, 2014-24
Percent Numeric
Electrical and electronics installers and repairers 136,100 130,700 -4 -5,400
  Electric motor, power tool, and related repairers 19,300 20,000 4 700
  Electrical and electronics installers and repairers, transportation equipment 14,800 15,400 4 700
  Electrical and electronics repairers, commercial and industrial equipment 67,800 67,800 0 100
  Electrical and electronics repairers, powerhouse, substation, and relay 22,700 21,700 -5 -1,000
  Electronic equipment installers and repairers, motor vehicles 11,500 5,800 -50 -5,800


*Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Used by permission.

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