Electro-Mechanical Technicians Overview
Those who have an associate degree or other postsecondary training in electro-mechanical technology or engineering technology should enjoy the best opportunities. Negative economic conditions that affect engineers also have an impact on the employment of electro-mechanical technicians.
Nature of the Work for Electro-Mechanical Technicians
Electro-mechanical technicians are a sub-sector of engineering technicians, who solve technical problems in manufacturing, research and development, construction, inspection, sales and maintenance using the principles and theories of science, mathematics and engineering. Electro-mechanical technicians work under the direction of engineers or scientists, usually in research and development. In quality control, electro-mechanical technicians inspect processes and products, perform tests and gather data. Those who work in manufacturing may help with development, production or product design.
In research and development, electro-mechanical technicians set up or build equipment, perform experiments, gather data and record results or help engineers and scientists in other ways. Using computer-aided design and drafting (CADD) equipment, they also assist in design work.
Typically, electro-mechanical technicians perform similar tasks as engineers, combining understanding of mechanical engineering technology with that of electrical and electronic circuits. They create, develop, test and build computer-controlled and electronic mechanical systems. For example, they may work to build robotic assembly machine, or they may operate these machines in other worksites and factories. Their works sometimes overlaps that of mechanical engineering technicians and electronic engineering technicians.
The standard 40-hour workweek is typical for electro-mechanical technicians. They usually work in laboratories and manufacturing or industrial plants. In some cases, they may be exposed to equipment hazards, but as long as proper procedures are follows, the incidents are rare.
Training, Other Qualifications and Advancement for Electro-Mechanical Technicians
Most employers prefer to hire applicants with a 2-year associate degree or other postsecondary training in engineering technology, although some jobs are given to individuals without formal training. High school students interested in becoming an engineering technician should take as many courses in math and science.
Algebra and trigonometry and one or two basic science courses are usually required at 2-year associate degree programs accredited by the Technology Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). There are approximately 700 ABET-accredited programs that provide degrees in engineering technology.
Technical courses that should be taken by electro-mechanical technicians include fluid mechanics, thermodynamics, mechanical design, microprocessors, digital electronics and electrical circuits.
Community colleges provide more general education and theory than technical institutes. Programs run at most technical institutes that provide 2-year associate degree programs are part of or similar to a State university system or community college. The technical institutes that are run by private organizations have programs that vary significantly in length and the courses that are provided.
After graduating from an accredited technical institutes or community colleges, some electro-mechanical technician graduates continue their education at a 4-year college, while others begin their careers. Those with an associates degree in pre-engineering may find it hard to find employment as an engineering technician without then completing a 4-year program because pre-engineering programs typically focus more on academic preparatory work and less on hands-on applications. Usually, 4-year programs do not offer an engineering technician major, but students may take courses in engineering, science and mathematics that will help in landing a job as an electro-mechanical technician. Students may attend a 4-year program in engineering technology, but those graduates usually become employed as applied engineers or technologists, but not technicians.
Aspiring electro-mechanical technicians may attend training at a vocational-technical school that caters to local students and emphasizes training specific to local employers needs. A high school diploma or its equivalent is usually the minimum education requirement for most schools that offer training to become an electro-mechanical technician.
The Armed Forces also provides training in technical areas. Although many employers look favorably upon those who receive their training through the Armed Forces, many military programs are less applicable to the civilian industry, which usually requires more broader training. Thus, sometimes additional training may be required for electro-mechanical technicians, based on the kind of job and the acquired skills of the applicant.
Creativity is a great skill for electro-mechanical technicians to have because they often assist scientists and engineers with design work. Excellent communication skills and good interpersonal skills are also important because they are generally part of a team of other technicians or engineers.
Under direct supervision of an experience technologist, engineer or scientist, a beginning electro-mechanical technician typically performs routine tasks. As they are given more difficult assignments and gain more experience, they start to work only under general supervision. Sometimes, an electro-mechanical technician will become a supervisor.
Top 10 Most Popular Electromechanical Technology/Electromechanical Engineering Technology Schools
1. Excelsior College (Albany, New York)
2. Mech-Tech College, Caguas (Caguas, Puerto Rico)
3. The Refrigeration School (Phoenix, Arizona)
4. Automeca Technical College, Aguadilla (Aguadilla, Puerto Rico)
5. Mayland Community College (Spruce Pine, North Carolina)
6. Rochester Institute of Technology (Rochester, New York)
7. Hopkinsville Community College (Hopkinsville, Kentucky)
8. The University of Toledo, Health Science Campus (Toledo, Ohio)
9. Utah Valley University (Orem, Utah)
10. Western Dakota Technical Institute (Rapid City, South Dakota)
Employment and Job Outlook for Electro-Mechanical Technicians
Number of People in Profession
Changing Employment (2008-2018)
Employment is projected to decline slowly or moderately (decrease 3 - 9%)
Of the 497,300 engineering technician jobs, approximately 15,640 of those jobs are held by electro-mechanical technicians.
Employment of electro-mechanical technicians is projected to decline moderately by 5 percent in the next decade. As productivity increases in the design and manufacture of electro-mechanical products, including robotic equipment and unmanned aircraft, electro-mechanical technicians are losing their jobs. Because employment is influenced by economic conditions that are similar to those which affect engineers, job prospects will vary depending on location and specialty. Individuals with an associates degree in electro-mechanical technology or other postsecondary training should expect the best employment prospects. Employers will continue to search for electro-mechanical technicians who are trained in new technology and require a small amount of additional training as technology becomes more sophisticated. Even though job declines are expected, there will still be job openings created from the need to replace technicians who retire or leave the labor force for some other reason.
Earnings and Salary for Electro-Mechanical Technicians
Electro-mechanical technicians have a median annual salary of $48,010. In the semi-conductor and other electronic component manufacturing industry, electro-mechanical technicians earn a median annual wage of $44,580.
Annual Salary for Electro-Mechanical Technicians
On average, Electro-Mechanical Technicians earn $48,010 per year.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook