Inside Electrical Technician Careers

Things you need to know, but nobody tells you

Biggest Surprises

"Not Happy With My Career Change...
I was surprised to be making less money a year now that I'm a electrician. I was expecting more hours, overtime." (Electrician; 2013)

Career: 3 years of experience, currently based in Georgia, male
School: Studied Electronic Technology at GNTC in Georgia; completed Associate degree in 2012

"I was surprised that being an electronics technician had so much versatility. Also that you have to know a little about every field in order to be competent in one." (Satellite / Radar Technician; 2013)

Career: 9 years of experience, currently based in California, male
School: Studied Satellite Communications, Electronic Technology, RF, Microwave at Military Electronics School (Ft. Gordon) in Georgia; completed Certificate degree in 2005

"Electronics Is A Multifaceted And Constantly Evolving Field...
I think what surprises others the most is that the electronics field is very multifaceted and covers many different types and areas of electronics. People assume that because someone attended electronics school and worked on radios and radar systems, they then should automatically know how to repair things such as televisions. After all, it's all electronics, right? They don't realize that the circuitry involved with televisions requires specific training and skills, especially considering all of the new technology that is arising these days. Just because you know how to repair a radio doesn't mean you automatically know how to repair a television. I think this is the thing that surprises people the most about the electronics field." (Electronics Technician; 2013)

Career: 28 years of experience, currently based in Tennessee, male
School: Studied Electronic Technology at United States Coast Guard Electronics Technician School in New York; completed Certificate degree in 1985

"Electronic Skills Always In Demand...
I was surprised how in demand my skills were, especially when working with older systems. I learned that a lot of companies want to stick with what works, and as those systems become outdated, they are really concerned with preventative maintenance." (Electronics Technician; 2013)

Career: 25 years of experience, currently based in Washington, male
School: Studied Electronic Technology at Olympic College in Washington; completed Associate degree in 2010

"Easier Than You Think...
What surprised me the most was how easy it was to learn and just jump right into the career. You can't really go to school to learn how to become an appliance technician you must be taken under someone's wing. The field combines hard physical work with exceptional mental diagnosis skills, the best of all worlds and great pay." (Appliance Technician; 2013)

Career: 1 years of experience, currently based in Florida, male
School: Studied Electrical Engineering at College Of Central Florida in Florida; completed Associate degree in 2010

"Customers Don't Understand Technology...
It has surprised me how much people shut down when it comes to using electronics, as if they're not capable of learning new things about devices." (IT Consultant; 2014)

Career: 10 years of experience, currently based in Virginia, male
School: Studied Information Technology at Arnold R. Burton Technical Center in Virginia; completed Certificate degree in 2007

"Importance Of Specific Skills To My Paycheck...
I was surprised at how my wage increases were tied closely to my importance to a particular company and to a specific engineer I was working with. In the beginning of my career, I thought there would be step increases that related to skills. There were raises given for time served at a company, but to received significant pay increases, my technician skills had to be closely related to what a company was doing. These are the type of skills that are not easily transferred to another job if they apply all." (Electronic Technician; 2013)

Career: 27 years of experience, currently based in Nevada, male
School: Studied Electronics at Golden West College in California; completed Certificate degree in 1986

"In dealing with the public, I am surprised at how stupid people actually are. It is amazing that some of them are still alive." (Information Technology; 2013)

Career: 13 years of experience, currently based in Colorado, male
School: Studied Information Technology at University Of Phoenix in Colorado; completed Master degree in 1998

"There Are Hoops To Jump Through To Get A Degree...
I was surprised how many non relevant classes you have to take to get some degrees." (Computer Assistant.; 2013)

Career: 1 years of experience, male
School: Studied Electronic Technology at South Central College in Minnesota; completed Certificate degree in 2012

"Use Multiple Skill Sets Daily...
I have had to perfect and constantly maintain my troubleshooting skills. Having a broad field of knowledge is very helpful. I am able to apply quite a bit of my work experiences to open all kinds of doors." (Fire Alarm Technician (Fire, Burglar, Access, Data, POS Systems); 2013)

Career: 12 years of experience, currently based in Virginia, male
School: Studied Electronics at Westmoreland County Community College in Pennsylvania; completed Associate degree in 1986

"I was surprised to find that most jobs in the electronics technology field require a great deal of knowledge in electricity. Which by the way electrical and electronics are two very different things. To be successful in industrial electronics/instrumentation you have to know industrial electricity which not all colleges teach in the same field. Mine did not, but I was lucky to have the opportunity to learn in the job. They have quite a bit of training and education in the job that I have. Technology is always advancing and you have to have the ability to read and follow instructions well. Your basic understanding of how things work will help you keep up with all the latest technology." (Electrical And Electronics Technician; 2012)

Career: 6 years of experience, currently based in Texas, female
School: Studied Electronics Technology at Dona Ana Branch Community College NMSU in New Mexico; completed Associate degree in 1998

"You have A LOT of freedom. I repair concert lights, you know, when You go to a concert? All those lights above a performers head? When the tour is over, the roadies bring me the lights and I repair them. Now, there are some problems that are rote. We know what the problem is, just by the description on the tech sheet. Those we repair quickly and then move on. However, there are always some problems, that you really have to study them, and THINK! That's the freedom I like. It sometimes takes me days, to figure out 1 single problem. All of that time, I am on the manufacturers website, reading schematics. To me, this is fun. The surprise to me is, my bosses walk by and see my computer screen full of schematics, shake their head, and walk away! I'm just surprised that THEY KNOW I'm deep into something, and don't question how long it takes to figure a problem out." (Electronics Technician; 2012)

Career: 15 years of experience, currently based in Tennessee, male
School: Studied Computer And Electronics Engineering at ITT Technical Institute in Tennessee; completed Associate degree in 2003

Career Background

Electrical Technician

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Career Tips

"Learning Doesn't Stop After School...
Keep up with current trends in tech, don't get left behind and don't expect to get by on just what you learn in school" (IT Consultant; 2014)

"Learn The Fundamentals Of Electronics And Master Them...
If you want to be a successful electronic technicians, then learn all of the fundamentals well and be ready to adapt to a specific job." (Electronic Technician; 2013)

"Put Yourself Out There...
To get into the field of appliance repair you need to be taken under someone's wing. Usually there is more work than technicians so appliance repair companies are always hiring. You just have to put yourself out there and make an impression on someone and hope that they'll try you out." (Appliance Technician; 2013)

"The More Skill Sets You Have, The Better...
My advice is to get as much training as you can, while you can. During my tenure in the military, I attended many training sessions that proved to be useful after I left the military. You never know what type of electronics you might be expected to work on. In addition, the more skill sets you have, the better your chances of finding employment." (Electronics Technician; 2013)

"Stay Abreast Of Current Technology...
I would recommend taking math related courses, and also subscribing to trade publications to keep you up to date on changes in technology." (Electronics Technician; 2013)

"Brain Is Always In "Training"...
I would try to gain as much experience working with different people and situations. Seeing how others do the same task different ways can add to the knowledge database in your brain." (Fire Alarm Technician (Fire, Burglar, Access, Data, POS Systems); 2013)

"Choose A Career You Love...
Only do it if you truly love computer technology." (Computer Assistant.; 2013)

Being a electrician is a awesome job. But make sure its with a good company." (Electrician; 2013)

"You Have More To Learn After College...
I would suggest that you don't go into the field after graduation thinking you know everything, because you don't. There is no end to what you can learn. Also, watch everything that everyone else does and learn from them. Don't be afraid to ask questions!" (Satellite / Radar Technician; 2013)

"Keep Pace With Computer Technology...
It is very important to make sure you plan for changes in technology. Computers are taking over everything and if you fail to keep up with basic technology, then you will fall behind in all career paths quickly." (Information Technology; 2013)