Electrical and Electronics Installers and Repairers
Electrical and electronics installers and repairers install, repair, or replace a variety of electrical equipment in telecommunications, transportation, utilities, and other industries.
Electrical and electronics installers and repairers typically do the following:
- Prepare cost estimates for clients
- Refer to service guides, schematics, and manufacturer specifications
- Repair or replace defective parts, such as motors, fuses, or gaskets
- Reassemble and test equipment after repairs
- Maintain records of parts used, labor time, and final charges
Electrical and electronics installers and repairers work on complex pieces of electronic equipment.
Automated electronic control systems are becoming increasingly complex. As a result, repairers use software programs and testing equipment to diagnose malfunctions. Among their diagnostic tools are multimeters—which measure voltage, current, and resistance—and advanced multimeters, which measure the capacitance, inductance, and current gain of transistors.
Repairers also use signal generators, which provide test signals, and oscilloscopes, which display signals graphically. In addition, repairers use handtools such as pliers, screwdrivers, soldering irons, and wrenches to replace faulty parts and adjust equipment.
Commercial and industrial equipment electrical and electronics repairers repair, test, adjust, or install electronic equipment, such as industrial controls, transmitters, and antennas.
Electrical and electronics installers and repairers of transportation equipment install, adjust, or maintain mobile communication equipment, including sound, sonar, security, navigation, and surveillance systems on trains, watercraft, or other vehicles.
Powerhouse, substation, and relay electrical and electronics repairers inspect, test, maintain, or repair electrical equipment used in generating stations, substations, and inservice relays. These workers may be known as powerhouse electricians, relay technicians, or power transformer repairers.
Electric motor, power tool, and related repairers—such as armature winders, generator mechanics, and electric golf cart repairers—specialize in installing, maintaining, and repairing electric motors, wiring, or switches.
Electronic equipment installers and repairers of motor vehicles install, diagnose, and repair sound, security, and navigation equipment in motor vehicles. Motor vehicle installers and repairers work with an increasingly complex range of electronic equipment, including DVD players, navigation systems, and passive and active security systems.
Electrical and electronic installers and repairers may specialize, according to how and where they work:
Field technicians often travel to factories or other locations to repair equipment. When equipment breaks down, field technicians go to a customer's site to repair the equipment. Because repairing components is a complex activity, workers on the factory floor usually remove and replace defective units, such as circuit boards, instead of fixing them. Defective units are discarded or returned to the manufacturer or a specialized shop for repair.
Bench technicians work in repair shops in factories and service centers, fixing components that cannot be repaired on the factory floor. These workers also locate and repair circuit defects, such as poorly soldered joints, blown fuses, or malfunctioning transistors.
Home Entertainment Equipment Installers and Repairers
Home entertainment equipment installers and repairers set up and fix household audio and video equipment, such as televisions, stereo components, and home theater systems.
Home entertainment equipment installers and repairers typically do the following:
- Install electronic equipment and devices, such as televisions and speaker systems
- Inspect malfunctioning equipment and devices
- Read and interpret electronic circuit diagrams, specifications, and service manuals
- Take apart equipment and repair or replace loose, worn, or defective parts and wiring
- Calibrate, tune, or adjust equipment and instruments to specified performance levels
- Test equipment and parts after installing or repairing them
- Make service calls to customers’ homes or bring equipment or parts to shops for major repairs
- Teach customers the safe and proper use of audio and video equipment
Home entertainment equipment installers and repairers, also called service technicians install, troubleshoot, and fine-tune sound and picture quality, ensuring that a client’s home entertainment system works at its peak capability.
They work on many types of equipment, including customer’s televisions, stereos, satellite dishes, and surround-sound systems. They may specialize in one or many kinds of products.
When working on small portable equipment, such as DVD players and video cameras, technicians generally work in central repair shops. When repairing less mobile equipment, such as big-screen televisions, however, they must travel to the customer’s location. If the job is overly complex, technicians may take the equipment back to the shop for further work.
Service technicians’ work involves many different tools. For example, they may use basic handtools, such as screwdrivers, hammers, and wrenches, to disassemble and reassemble components.
They may also use more sophisticated diagnostic tools, including multimeters, voltmeters, oscilloscopes, and digital storage scopes, to identify electronic malfunctions, such as short circuits and failed capacitors. Because of the growing complexity of home entertainment systems, service technicians frequently consult schematics and manufacturers' specifications for instructions on how to repair certain problems.
Most service technicians keep records of bills, payments, parts used, and hours worked. Technicians also show customers how to use new equipment or explain the repairs they made.