Electrical Engineering Technician
Electrical engineering technicians test or modify electrical machinery, electrical control equipment and circuitry.
What does an Electrical Engineering Technician do?
Electrical engineering technicians test or modify developmental or operational electrical machinery or electrical control equipment and circuitry in industrial or commercial plants or laboratories. They usually work under direction of electrical engineers or electrical engineering technologists.
As an electrical engineering technician you would install, maintain and repair electrical equipment and controls. You might work in a range of industries, including:
- power generation and transmission – installing turbines, switchgear and power lines and street lighting networks
- industrial machinery and equipment – making, fitting and repairing drives, motors and programmable logic control (PLC) panels
- transport – upgrading rail electrification and signalling systems
- building services infrastructure – installing and maintaining lighting, heating, air conditioning, lifts and escalators.
You would follow engineering instructions and use wiring and circuit diagrams when working on installations and repairs. You would also use a range of tools to calibrate, inspect and test equipment and machinery to make sure they are working correctly and safely.
As an experienced technician you may be responsible for drawing up preventative maintenance rosters and carrying out quality control checks, for example on production line machinery.
Key skills and interests
To become an electrical engineering technician, you would need:
- ability in maths, science and IT
- excellent problem-solving skills
- excellent practical skills
- the ability to communicate with staff at all levels
- the ability to read engineering drawings and circuit diagrams
- a willingness to keep up to date with new developments
- normal colour vision.
Working hours and conditions
You would usually work a standard week which could include shiftwork and overtime. You might also be on-call to respond to out-of-hours problems.
Your working environment would depend on your exact job, but could include an office, factory, workshop, power station or research facility.
You would usually need a drivers’ licence.
How to become an Electrical Engineering Technician?
Entry Level Education
To become an electrical engineering technician you would usually need to complete a VET qualification in electrical or electronics engineering technology. To get into these courses you usually need to gain your junior secondary school certificate or equivalent.
Alternatively, you could complete a degree in engineering, engineering technology or engineering science with a major in electrical or electronic engineering. To get into these courses you usually need to gain your senior secondary school certificate or equivalent. English, mathematics, chemistry and physics would be appropriate subjects to study prior to university.
Employment opportunities for electrical engineering technicians are expected to grow about as fast as the average for all occupations.
Preventative maintenance will still need to be done on a wide range of buildings and infrastructure, and breakdowns will need to be fixed. However, technology is increasingly being used for diagnostic maintenance and plant and machinery is often cheaper to replace than maintain.