Electronics Repairers, Commercial and Industrial Equipment

Significant Points

  • Job opportunities will be best for applicants with a thorough knowledge of electronics, as well as repair experience.
  • Growth will result from the increasing use of commercial and industrial electronic equipment as businesses strive to lower costs by implementing automation.

Nature of the Work [About this section]  Index

Businesses and other organizations depend on complex electronic equipment for a variety of functions. Industrial controls automatically monitor and direct production processes on the factory floor. Transmitters and antennae provide communications links for many organizations. The Federal Government uses radar and missile control systems to provide for the national defense. These complex pieces of electronic equipment are installed, maintained, and repaired by electronics repairers of commercial and industrial equipment.

Many repairers, known as field technicians, travel to factories or other locations to repair equipment. These workers often have assigned areas where they perform preventive maintenance on a regular basis. When equipment breaks down, field technicians go to a customer’s site to repair the equipment. Bench technicians work in repair shops located in factories and service centers. They work on components that cannot be repaired on the factory floor.

Some industrial electronic equipment is self-monitoring and alerts repairers to malfunctions. When equipment breaks down, repairers first check for common causes of trouble, such as loose connections or obviously defective components. If routine checks do not locate the trouble, repairers may refer to schematics and manufacturers’ specifications that show connections and provide instructions on how to locate problems. Repairers use software programs and testing equipment to diagnose malfunctions. Multimeters measure voltage, current, and resistance; signal generators provide test signals; and oscilloscopes graphically display signals. Repairers also use handtools such as pliers, screwdrivers, soldering irons, and wrenches, to replace faulty parts and to adjust equipment.

Because component repair is complex, and factories cannot allow production equipment to stand idle, repairers on the factory floor usually replace defective units, such as circuit boards, instead of fixing them. Defective units are usually sent back to the manufacturer or to a specialized repair shop for repair. Bench technicians at these locations have the training, tools, and parts to thoroughly diagnose and repair components. These workers also locate and repair circuit defects, such as poorly soldered joints on circuit boards. Electronics repairers of commercial and industrial equipment often coordinate their efforts with other workers installing and maintaining equipment. (See the statements on industrial machinery repairers and millwrights elsewhere in the Handbook.)

Working Conditions [About this section]  Index

Many repairers work on factory floors where they are subject to noise, dirt, vibration, and heat. Bench technicians work primarily in repair shops where the surroundings are relatively quiet, comfortable, and well lighted. Field technicians spend much time on the road, traveling to different customer locations.

Because electronic equipment is critical to industries and other organizations, repairers work around the clock. Their schedules may include evening, weekend, and holiday shifts; shifts may be assigned on the basis of seniority.

Repairers may have to do heavy lifting and work in a variety of