Industrial electronics repairers maintain, service, and repair a wide variety of electronic equipment used in the commercial and industrial manufacturing sectors. They are highly skilled and have a thorough knowledge of electronics theory and circuitry. In addition to the more common electronically operated and controlled systems, repairers also operate electromechanical, vacuum, or pneumatic systems that have some electronic components. They usually align, adjust, and calibrate the automated equipment regularly. They also may create new industrial electronic devices to meet company specifications and needs.
Industrial electronics repairers are summoned when a malfunction in the assembly line occurs and the line comes to a halt. They work quickly to locate and fix any problems so the assembly line can restart as soon as possible. Repairers also maintain the testing and diagnostic equipment necessary to determine problems on larger electronic equipment. They also install such systems as AM and FM intercommunication transmitters and receivers, public address systems, fire alarms, audio recorders, and electronic emergency systems. They use equipment such as oscilloscopes, signal generators, multimeters, pressure gauges, and soldering tools in their jobs.
Industrial electronics repairers must have an analytical aptitude. They need to have color vision and excellent manual dexterity. They should have the ability to work independently for long periods of time. They need to know how to work from blueprints, schematic diagrams, sketches, and verbal instructions.
Industrial electronics repairers earn an average hourly wage of about $16. They typically work 40 hours per week, Monday through Friday. Some work swing and night shifts in addition to day shifts. Those who work nights usually receive 10 to 15% higher wages. Some repairers work on an on-call basis during off-duty hours, and they are compensated time and a half for overtime. Benefits usually include holidays, paid vacation and sick leave, and insurance. Some employers offer stock options, profit-sharing, and bonuses.
Training and Education
Industrial electronics repairers are almost always required to have some type of formal electronics theory training. Applicants must typically have not only a high school diploma and background in math and physical sciences, but also a certificate or Associate of Science degree in electronics technology. Many community colleges, adult education programs, and private technical schools offer programs in electronics technology that last 1 to 2 years. Most offer courses in related subjects. Certification by trade associations is voluntary, but may increase the applicants job options. Those who have leadership skills may be able to advance to supervisory positions. Repairers who have earned a bachelor’s degree may find it possible to advance to electronic engineering or management positions. Visit this page about trade schools for more information on related careers.
Between 2002 and 2012, employment of industrial electronics repairers is expected to increase more slowly than the average. This is because of the increased use of electronically controlled, automated assembly line systems and processing machines. More employers are installing automated equipment, reducing the need for industrial electronics repairers. Those repairers who have experience in analog and digital circuitry, as well as knowledge of test equipment and power supplies will have the best job prospects.