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Career Profile: What Do Electrical Technicians Do?

Electrical technician at work

What is an Electrical Technician?

The employment rate for electrical technicians is projected to rise 9 percent by 2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics1. But what is an electrical technician?

Electrical technicians are trade professionals that are responsible for monitoring and repairing power and communications systems inside homes, offices and many more locations, making this a professional ideal for those who enjoy working with their hands. Specific duties and required skills of an electrical technician can include installation, maintenance and repair of electrical, communications, power and control systems, reading blueprints, using power tools and running wiring.

Electrical Technician Job Duties

Electrical technician job duties include:

  • Reading and interpreting blueprints and electrical diagrams
  • Installing and maintaining wiring, control and light systems
  • Inspecting transformers, circuit breakers and other electrical components
  • Identifying electrical problems
  • Using hand tools and power equipment for repairs

Electrical technicians are the experts when it comes to the wiring and electrical systems that keep buildings powered and running properly and efficiently. When these systems encounter problems or malfunctions, electrical technicians are hired to offer their expertise and work to bring the malfunctioning system back to its optimal performance level.

Electrical technicians also work both during a building’s construction and after its completion. They build out, set up and ensure the functionality of electrical systems during construction, and afterward, they often maintain them and provide fixes or maintenance that may be needed afterward.

Electrical Technician Skills

Careers in the electrical technician field require workers who can be detail-oriented, active and willing to drive long distances for a job. The following traits are also critical for success in the electrical technician field:

  • Color vision. Electrical technicians must be able to identify electrical wires by color.
  • Hand-eye coordination and mechanical skills. Working with machinery often requires precision and coordination to ensure all parts are correctly in place.
  • Communication and customer service skills. Electrical technicians must be well-versed in describing and explaining complex system problems to home and business owners so that they understand the problem and how their problem will be addressed.
  • Attention to detail. Electrical professionals not only need to keep records of their jobs and maintenance requests but also of their equipment amounts, their time spent on projects and system specifications and requirements.

How to Become an Electrical Technician

Many electrical technicians get their start by attending a technical or trade school and graduate from a program specific to this profession. After receiving their education, many work in apprenticeships or in training with subcontractors who offer paid training and work.

Most states require electricians to pass a test and be licensed, but requirements can vary by state. Many state requirements can be found on the National Electrical Contractors Association’s website.

Electrical Technician Salary

Almost all Electrical Technicians work full-time. Some work evenings, weekends and overtime. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics2, Electrical Technicians can make between $32,180 and $92,690 annually. The median annual wage for Electrical Technicians was $54,110 in 2017.

Interested in pursuing a career as an Electrical Technician? Find out more about how with Virginia College.

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Virginia College does not guarantee employment or advancement.