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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.
Electro-mechanical technicians typically do the following:
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.
Electro-mechanical technicians also test, operate, or maintain robotic equipment at worksites. This equipment may include unmanned submarines, aircraft, or similar types of equipment for uses that include oil drilling, deep-ocean exploration, or hazardous-waste removal. These technicians also work on energy projects involving solar power and wind.
Electro-mechanical technicians hold about 13,800 jobs. 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|
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.
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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.
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.
The median annual wage for electro-mechanical technicians is $55,610. 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 $34,820, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $85,440.
The median annual wages for electro-mechanical technicians in the top industries in which they work are as follows:
|Transportation equipment manufacturing||$59,030|
|Semiconductor and other electronic component manufacturing||57,710|
|Navigational, measuring, electromedical, and control instruments manufacturing||51,060|
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.
Employment of electro-mechanical technicians is projected to grow 4 percent over the next ten years, 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.
Demand for electro-mechanical technicians is likely to grow as demand increases for engineers to design and build new equipment in various fields. Consequently, employers will likely seek out electro-mechanical technicians with knowledge of photonics to help implement and maintain automated processes.
|Occupational Title||Employment, 2016||Projected Employment, 2026||Change, 2016-26|