What Is a Field Electronics Technician?

Oct 20, 2021

A field electronics technician specializes in the on-site maintenance, installation, and repair of complex electrical equipment. Most employers prefer to hire field electronics technicians who have undergone some form of postsecondary education, such as the completion of a two-year associate's degree program focused on electronics. An internship may be a good way to gain some hands-on work experience as well.

Essential Information

Field electronics technicians are experts in the function and mechanics of complicated electrical equipment. They install, maintain and repair this equipment on-site. Field electronics technicians use software and meters to diagnose malfunctions and complete repairs. Most field electronics technicians have formal training from technical college programs.

Recommended Education Specialized training
Other Requirements Optional certification
Projected Job Outlook -1% between 2019 and 2029*
Median Salary (2020) $70,200 for transportation field techs;
$62,010 for commercial and industrial field techs*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Job Duties of a Field Electronics Technician

Field electronics technicians are responsible for installing and maintaining complicated electrical equipment for private businesses and government agencies. They use sophisticated software and tools, such as multimeters, to help locate, diagnose and repair malfunctions. Field electronic technicians usually travel to their clients' location on a regular schedule to perform preventative maintenance.

Education Requirements for a Field Electronics Technician

Some employers accept a high school diploma for an entry-level position; however, most employers prefer an associate degree (www.bls.gov). These programs provide students with fundamental electronics knowledge including installation and repair of computer and security electronic systems. Some programs may provide hands-on experience through labs or internships. An associate's degree program usually takes two years of full-time courses.

In addition to a formal education, field electronics technicians may also be required to possess a driver's license to travel to customer locations. It is also recommended that field technicians have adequate communication and customer service skills to deal with customers.

Certification

Certification for field electronics technicians is available through the Electronics Technicians Association (ETA) and the International Society of Certified Electronic Technicians. The ETA offers several certifications at a variety of different levels including basic, journeyman, senior and master. Certification applicants must typically possess some formal education and experiences, as well as pass a written and practical exam to become certified.

Career and Salary Information for a Field Electronics Technician

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that field electronics technicians - counted as electrical and electronics installers and repairers - could expect a 1% decline in employment opportunities from 2019-2029 (www.bls.gov). Those who worked in industrial and commercial settings earned a median salary of $62,010 in 2020; those who worked in transportation earned a median salary of $70,200 that same year.

Field electronics technicians generally need to have a valid driver's license, as most of their work is completed at various client locations. They need to be able to pinpoint problems with equipment by using specialized software and diagnostic tools. Most have some type of specialized training, and professional certification is available by meeting education and experience requirements and passing an exam.

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