What Does an Electro-Mechanical Technician Do?
Some of the most advanced machinery in the manufacturing realm relies on the expertise of skilled technicians. You could be one of them.
Electro-mechanical technicians install, operate, test and maintain simple or complex manufacturing equipment, including automated or robotic parts. Technicians focus on the point where mechanical technology, electronics, computers and electrical systems meet.
Their expertise is increasingly needed as manufacturing evolves to include robotics and mechatronics. That helps explain the many names for this job, which include mechatronics technician or robotics technician.
Their skills are needed in many sectors, including energy, computers, medicine, automotive and aerospace. As a result, where they work can vary — from a factory in Chicago to an oil drilling rig in the middle of the ocean.
They work alongside mechanical and electrical engineers to streamline manufacturing processes and keep specialized machines running smoothly.
Their skills save businesses time and money, which is why these skilled technicians are so valuable. And because processes and machines change, this is a career where learning never stops.
If this sounds interesting, keep reading to learn more about training and next steps.
- Read blueprints to determine how equipment should function
- Use precise measuring instruments
- Inspect equipment to ensure it meets design specifications
- Install and repair parts
- Troubleshoot hydraulic, electrical and robotic systems
- Help design and program robotics equipment
- Test equipment using oscilloscopes, electronic voltmeters or bridges
- Document test results
How To Become a Robotics Technician or Electro-Mechanical Tech: FAQs
What steps do I need to take to get into robotics?
First, you’ll need to earn your high school diploma or equivalent.
Next, you’ll need to attend a technical school or community college to earn a certificate or associate degree in electro-mechanics, electronic or mechanical technology.
Programs will cover math and science fundamentals, mechanical systems, electronic systems, control systems and computer systems — especially programmable logic controllers (PLC), the type of industrial computer components used in many manufacturing processes. Programs typically include a mixture of classroom time and hands-on training.
Programs are often specialized, focusing on mechatronics, industrial maintenance or process control. It’s notable that specialization is also common for employed workers who learn new skills through micro credentials.
Are there any other qualifications to consider?
Certification isn’t required for electro-mechanical or robotics technicians, but it will open up new job opportunities. Certifications require that you pass a written exam. They cover areas such as electrical power testing or industrial instrumentation and result in resume-boosting validation, such as Certified Control Systems Technician (CCST) or Certified Automation Professional (CAP).
Many groups offer certifications, including the International Society of Automation and the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET).
Recertification is required every few years.
How long does it take to become an electromechanical technician?
A certificate program typically takes a year, though program lengths vary. An associate degree takes two years. Continuing education is ongoing.
What’s the difference between electro-mechanics and mechatronics?
Sometimes these terms are used interchangeably. However, electro-mechanics is generally defined as the combination of electrical and mechanical components, while mechatronics includes chip-based controls, software and networking.
Is there a demand for robotics technicians or electro-mechanical technicians?
Job growth in manufacturing isn’t as robust as it is in some industries, but manufacturers need specific skills. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts about 1,100 openings for electro-mechanical and mechatronics technicians every year from 2021 to 2031.
What skills and qualities would make someone a good fit for this job?
Successful electro-mechanical technicians or robotics techs tend to share certain traits:
- Good dexterity for tool use
- Excellent at math
- Strong mechanical skills
- Basic computer skills
- Good communication skills
There’s always something new to learn in this line of work. As robotic and mechatronic systems improve, there will be continued opportunities to grow as the technology changes — and you could be on the cutting edge of it. Check out the training opportunities near you. For a relatively short commitment of time, you could be on your way to a new career!