Electrical and electronics engineering technologists and technicians (NOC 2241)

About this job

Electrical and electronics engineering technologists and technicians:

  • may work independently or provide technical support and services in the design, development, testing, production and operation of electrical and electronic equipment and systems.
  • work for electrical utilities, communications companies, manufacturers of electrical and electronic equipment, consulting firms, and in governments and a wide range of manufacturing, processing and transportation industries.
  • should have an aptitude for science, mathematics and programming, as well as a practical, hands-on approach to system design and assembly
  • should be precise and detailed in their work, skilled at problem-solving and able to communicate technical information clearly
Common job titles
  • designer, circuit - railway
  • flight simulator technician
  • inspector-tester, computer
  • technologist, design - electrical
  • technologist, distribution planning
  • technologist, electrical engineering
  • designer, circuit - railway
  • flight simulator technician
  • inspector-tester, computer
  • lead flight simulator technician
  • repairer, audio amplifier
  • repairer, electronics production

Duties

Electrical and electronics engineering technologists:

  • Design, develop and test power equipment and systems, industrial process control systems, telecommunication, broadcast, recording and audiovisual systems, micro-electronic systems and circuits, computers, computer systems and networks, and computer software
  • Supervise the building and testing of prototypes according to general instructions and established standards
  • Conduct or supervise the installation, commissioning, and operation of electrical and electronic equipment and systems other than aircraft electronics or instruments
  • Carry out applied research in fields of electrical and electronic engineering and physics under the direction of scientists or engineers
  • Set up and operate specialized and standard test equipment to diagnose, test and analyze the performance of electrical and electronic components, assemblies and systems
  • Write specifications, schedules and technical reports and control schedules and budgets.

Electrical and electronics engineering technicians:

  • Assist in the design, development and testing of electrical and electronic components, equipment, and systems
  • Assist in inspection, testing, adjusting and evaluation of incoming electrical, electro-mechanical and electronic components and assemblies to ensure conformance with product specifications and tolerances
  • Conduct life tests (burn-ins) on assemblies and record and analyze results
  • Assist in building and testing prototypes to specifications
  • Carry out a limited range of technical functions in support of research in electrical and electronic engineering and physics
  • Install, operate and maintain electrical and electronic equipment and systems
  • Calibrate electrical or electronic equipment and instruments according to technical manuals and written instructions
  • Collect and compile operational or experimental data and assist in the preparation of estimates, schedules, budgets, specifications and reports.

Work environment

Workers in this occupational group typically work a regular 37 to 40-hour week, however, overtime may be required in order to complete projects within time frames or repair critical machinery.

Technologists and technicians work indoors in offices, industrial complexes, production plants, power generation facilities and construction sites. Outdoor work may occur occasionally, during which workers are exposed to various weather conditions. Workers may also be required to lift heavy objects and must take safety precautions against exposure to electrical equipment, machinery and toxic chemicals.

Insights from industry

Job opportunities are expected to arise due to both retirement and the creation of new jobs.

Despite the lower number of openings expected in upcoming years as compared to other occupations, there is a shortage of graduates available to fill the jobs that arise. Industry sources report that technically-skilled graduates are in very high demand.

Expanding networks for communications services such as cellular phones, wireless email and broadband Internet have increased the demand for workers in associated technical occupations. The high-tech industry is growing rapidly, and the expansion of computers and computer equipment will require additional support by workers in this occupational group. Electrical utility companies have also experienced growth as B.C.'s population increases, which has also increased their demand for electrical and electronics engineering technologists and technicians.

However, as a result of much of the manufacturing moving offshore or out of the province, electronics technologists and technicians are currently not as highly sought after by employers.

Electrical and electronics engineering technologists and technicians tend to be employed by a wide variety of industries, including communications, electrical and electronics manufacturing, government, utilities, wholesale trade and computer services. This broad employment base helps to diversify the employment opportunities for these workers.

Technical occupations in engineering have become increasingly computerized. In order for technicians and technologists to keep up to date with recent advances, they may need to undergo periods of training or professional development. Workers who continually upgrade their skills have an advantage over others seeking employment in these occupations.

Industry sources also report that movement away from the use of fossil fuels towards alternate energy sources means that individuals with specialization in alternate energy and transportation fields will be in higher demand.

Career paths and resources

Career paths

Graduates typically obtain entry level jobs with municipalities, communications and power utilities, and consulting engineering companies while also obtain sales and consulting positions.

Workers have many opportunities for specialization and also have the ability to move into related occupations such as technical sales, electronics service technology, instrument technology and avionics technology. A significant proportion of workers can expect to be recruited to supervisory or management positions within five to 10 years after graduating and may consider completing appropriate business-related courses in preparation.

Workers may progress to managerial positions in engineering, production or operations with experience.

Additional resources

  • Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of British Columbia (ASTTBC)
    www.asttbc.org
  • Association of Consulting Engineering Companies | Canada
    www.acec.ca
  • Association of Consulting Engineering Companies of British Columbia (ACEC-BC)
    www.acec-bc.ca
  • BC Tech Association
    www.wearebctech.com
  • Canadian Council of Technicians and Technologists (CCTT)
    www.cctt.ca
  • Canadian Technical Employment Network (CTEN)
    www.cten.ca
  • Canadian Technology Immigration Network (CTIN)
    www.ctin.ca
  • Careers at Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of BC (ASTTBC)
    careers.asttbc.org
  • Electronics Technicians Association (ETA) International
    www.eta-i.org
  • Immigrant Employment Council of BC (IECBC) – MentorConnect
    www.eta-i.org
  • Industry Training Authority (ITA)
    www.itabc.ca
  • Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
    www.ieee.org
  • Progressive Intercultural Community Services (PICS)
    pics.bc.ca