Electro-Mechanical Technician Vs. Electrical Engineering Technician

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Some skilled trades occupations have simple and to-the-point definitions, such as cable installation technician: a professional who installs cables. However, other career titles can be a bit more confusing. Take the example of electro-mechanical technician and electrical engineering technician. Both careers involve handling electrical devices, but they are different in terms of job setting, skill set, salaries and projected job growth.

Electro-Mechanical Technicians

Electro-mechanical technicians work with computer-controlled, servo-mechanical, or electromechanical equipment. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) 1, this may include repairing, troubleshooting, upgrading, or installing automated mechanical systems. For example, an electro-mechanical technician would be responsible for ensuring optimal functioning of robotic assembly machines or unmanned equipment used on oilrigs.

Job Setting and Skill Set

Electro-mechanical technicians routinely work in manufacturing, research and development centers, engineering services. Electro-mechanical technicians are responsible for reading blueprints or diagrams to ensure the sequence of assembly is not altered. Furthermore, they monitor manufacturing processes for adherence to given dimensions, operate metalworking machines, and repair and calibrate hydraulic and pneumatic assembly machines to ensure that all processes maintain optimal performance.

Compensation and Projected Job Growth

In May 2012, electro-mechanical technicians made an average of $51,820 per year. Furthermore, the demand for electro-mechanical technicians is expected to grow by at least 4% by 2022. The low growth rate can be attributed to the fact that many of these technicians are employed in declining manufacturing industries. Yet, the broad skill set of electro-mechanical technicians will likely help them sustain employment, especially as computer control systems are becoming increasingly important in manufacturing. Job prospects are best for those who completed electro-mechanical technologies training.

Electrical Engineering Technicians

Electrical engineering technicians are responsible for the design and development of computers, communications devices, medical monitoring devices, and navigational equipment, as per the BLS 2. Electrical engineering technicians are routinely involved in product evaluation and testing to ensure equipment operates at optimum efficiency. Overall, electrical engineering technicians are more involved with the design rather than the implementation and use of a given technology.

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Job Setting and Skill Set

Electrical engineering technicians work in manufacturing industries, utility industries, research and development labs, and office settings, as the job requires both assembly-line production and theorized designs. Electrical engineering technicians are responsible for assembling electrical and electronic systems and prototypes prior to use on the market. They create, repair, and adjust electrical and electronic testing equipment and visit construction sites to determine if proposed machinery will perform a given function appropriately. In addition, they draw the diagrams, schematics, or blueprints use by other occupations within the field of electronics.

Compensation and Projected Job Growth

Electrical engineering technicians make an average of $57,850 annually; however, the limited number of engineers needed for designing new technologies and cutbacks in traditional manufacturing industries have resulted in little to no projected job growth by 2022, the BLS reports. However, this is not to say that there will be no room for new technicians in the future—demand is expected to grow as computer and electronics systems become more integrated, however, the overall number of jobs for this career will likely remain the same over the course of the next decade.

When deciding upon a skilled trades career path, it’s wise to weigh your options. Choosing the right vocational training program can be a huge decision, so don’t hesitate to contact the knowledgeable staff at RSI to discuss your options.

Additional Sources

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