Electromechanical Engineering Technician
Electromechanical Engineering Technician
Education and Training: High school plus two years of training
Salary: Median—$41,440 per year
Employment Outlook: Good
Definition and Nature of the Work
Electromechanical engineering technicians work with equipment that uses electric power to operate mechanical controls. Technicians who work on this equipment understand the basic laws of electricity and electronics as well as mechanics. They design, develop, test, and manufacture electrical and computer-controlled mechanical systems. Their work often overlaps the work of electrical and electronics engineering technicians, and mechanical engineering technicians.
Most electromechanical engineering technicians work in the computer and office machines industries. Electromechanical equipment in these industries includes photocopy and facsimile machines as well as computers and related hardware. Electromechanical engineering technicians working in the computer and office machines industries work on the design and manufacture of new equipment. They also work as customer engineers who service computers and office machines.
Electromechanical engineering technicians work in a wide variety of other industries that use electromechanical equipment, such as automatic pilot systems, elevator controls, vending machines, and guided missile systems. Electromechanical equipment is used to take photographs of distant stars and regulate cancer treatments. It is also used in many manufacturing processes. Often the electromechanical equipment measures the size, shape, color, weight, or temperature of a product. It is generally linked to systems that adjust the manufacturing process automatically. For example, electromechanical devices used in the manufacture of paper control the texture of the fibers as well as the thickness of the final product. Electromechanical controls are also used in steel rolling mills and factories that make ball bearings, plastics, and many other kinds of goods.
Still other technicians work in factories in which electromechanical equipment is made. Many electromechanical engineering technicians work with the mechanical and electrical engineers who design and develop new equipment. They help the engineers by performing tests, recording information, preparing written reports, and taking care of other details. Technicians may also be directly involved in the production of new electromechanical equipment.
Education and Training Requirements
Many colleges and technical institutes offer training that can lead to a career as an electromechanical engineering technician. Some of these schools have specific training programs in electromechanical technology. Others offer programs in related areas, such as electronics or electrical or mechanical engineering technology. Most companies prefer to hire technicians who are graduates of one of these programs, which usually take two years to complete and provide the graduate with an associate degree. A few employers will hire people with less education, provided they have a good background in science and mathematics. Because the field of electromechanical technology is changing so rapidly, technicians should keep up with new trends throughout their careers.
Getting the Job
Your technical school or college may be able to help you find a job as an electromechanical engineering technician. You can also apply directly to companies that hire electromechanical engineering technicians. Your state employment service may be able to help you with job information. Jobs are often listed in newspaper classifieds or job banks on the Internet.
Advancement Possibilities and Employment Outlook
Electromechanical engineering technicians can advance by specializing. They can also become supervisors or managers of a group of technicians or other workers. Some technicians advance by becoming technical writers, sales representatives, or instructors. Those who continue their educations can become engineers.
Overall employment of engineering technicians is expected to increase about as fast as the average for all occupations through 2014. Trained technicians should be in demand. Most job openings will occur from the need to replace workers who retire or leave the field.
Working conditions may vary according to the type of job. Electromechanical engineering technicians usually work with engineers in small teams. They may work in modern shops or laboratories, and they usually work regular forty-hour weeks.
Where to Go for More Information
American Society for Engineering Education
1818 N St. NW, Ste. 600
Washington, DC 20036
Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology
111 Market Place, Ste. 1050
Baltimore, MD 21202-4012
National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies
1420 King St.
Alexandria, VA 22314-2794
In some kinds of jobs electromechanical engineering technicians need to work well under pressure. Most jobs require them to get along well with other people—either customers or their coworkers. Electromechanical engineering technicians need to be careful and accurate workers who can follow detailed instructions. They should be good at science and mathematics and must work well with their hands.
Earnings and Benefits
Salaries vary depending on the education and experience of the technician and the type and location of the job. In 2004 the median annual wage for electromechanical engineering technicians was $41,440. Benefits generally include paid holidays and vacations, health insurance, and retirement plans.