Electronic Home Entertainment Equipment Installers and Repairers
- Employers prefer applicants who have basic knowledge and skills
in electronics; many applicants gain these skills at vocational
training programs and community colleges.
- Employment is expected to grow more slowly than the average
for all occupations because it often is cheaper to replace equipment
than to repair it.
- Job opportunities will be best for applicants with knowledge
of electronics and with related hands-on experience.
Electronic home entertainment equipment installers and repairers,
also called service technicians, repair a variety of equipment,
including televisions and radios, stereo components, video and
audio disc players, video cameras, and video recorders. They also
install and repair home security systems, intercom equipment,
satellite television dishes, and home theater systems, which consist
of large-screen televisions and sophisticated surround-sound audio
Customers usually bring small, portable equipment to repair shops
for servicing. Repairers at these locations, known as bench
technicians, are equipped with a full array of electronic
tools and parts. When larger, less mobile equipment breaks down,
customers may pay repairers to come to their homes. These repairers,
known as field technicians, travel with a limited set of
tools and parts, and attempt to complete the repair at the customer’s
location. If the job is complex, technicians may bring defective
components back to the shop for thorough diagnosis and repair.
When equipment breaks down, repairers check for common causes
of trouble, such as dirty or defective components. Many repairs
consist simply of cleaning and lubricating equipment. If routine
checks do not locate the trouble, repairers may refer to schematics
and manufacturers’ specifications that provide instructions on
how to locate problems. Repairers use a variety of test equipment
to diagnose and identify malfunctions. Multimeters detect short
circuits, failed capacitors, and blown fuses by measuring voltage,
current, and resistance. Color-bar and dot generators provide
onscreen test patterns, signal generators test signals, and oscilloscopes
and digital storage scopes measure complex waveforms produced
by electronic equipment. Repairs may involve removing and replacing
a failed capacitor, transistor, or fuse. Repairers use handtools,
such as pliers, screwdrivers, soldering irons, and wrenches, to
replace faulty parts. They also make adjustments to equipment,
such as focusing and converging the picture of a television set
or balancing the audio on a surround-sound system.
Improvements in technology have miniaturized and digitized many
audio and video recording devices. Miniaturization has made repair
work significantly more difficult because both the components
and the acceptable tolerances are smaller. For example, an analog
video camera operates at 1,800 revolutions per minute (rpm), while
a digital video camera may operate at 9,000 rpm. Also, components
now are mounted on the surface of circuit boards, instead of plugged
into slots, requiring more precise soldering when a new part is
installed. Improved technologies have lowered the price of electronic
home entertainment equipment to the point where customers often
replace broken equipment instead of repairing it.
Most repairers work in well-lighted electrical repair shops.
Field technicians, however, spend much time traveling in service
vehicles and working in customers’ residences.
Repairers may have to work in a variety of positions and carry
heavy equipment. Although the work of repairers is comparatively
safe, they must take precautions against minor burns and electric
shock. Because television monitors carry high voltage even when
they are turned off, repairers need to discharge the voltage before
servicing such equipment.
|Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement
Employers prefer applicants who have basic knowledge and skills
in electronics. Applicants should be familiar with schematics
and have some hands-on experience repairing electronic equipment.
Many applicants gain these skills at vocational training programs
and community colleges. Training programs should include both
hands-on experience and theoretical education in digital consumer
electronics. Entry-level repairers may work closely with more
experienced technicians, who provide technical guidance.
Field technicians work closely with customers and must have good
communication skills and a neat appearance. Employers also may
require that field technicians have a driver’s license.
Various organizations offer certification for electronic home
entertainment equipment installers and repairers. Repairers may
specialize in a variety of skill areas, including consumer electronics.
To receive certification, repairers must pass qualifying exams
corresponding to their level of training and experience.
Experienced repairers with advanced training may become specialists
or troubleshooters, helping other repairers to diagnose difficult
problems. Workers with leadership ability may become supervisors
of other repairers. Some experienced workers open their own repair
Electronic home entertainment equipment installers and repairers
held about 47,000 jobs in 2004. Most repairers worked in electronics
and appliance stores that sell and service electronic home entertainment
products or in electronic and precision equipment repair and maintenance
shops. About 1 electronic home entertainment equipment installers
and repairers in 3 were self-employed, more than 4 times the proportion
for all installation, maintenance, and repair occupations.
Employment of electronic home entertainment equipment installers
and repairers is expected to grow more slowly than average through
2014, due to decreased demand for repair work. Nevertheless, job
openings will come about because of employment growth; some openings
will also result from the need to replace workers who retire or
who transfer to higher paying jobs in other occupations requiring
electronics experience. Opportunities will be best for applicants
with knowledge of electronics and with related hands-on experience.
The need for repairers is expected to grow slowly because home
entertainment equipment is less expensive than in the past. As
technological developments have lowered the price and improved
the reliability of equipment, the demand for repair services has
decreased. When malfunctions do occur, it often is cheaper for
consumers to replace equipment rather than to pay for repairs.
Employment growth will be spurred somewhat by the introduction
of sophisticated digital equipment, such as DVDs, high-definition
digital televisions, and digital camcorders. So long as the price
of such equipment remains high, purchasers will be willing to
hire repairers when malfunctions occur. There also will be demand
to install sophisticated home entertainment systems, such as home
Median hourly earnings of electronic home entertainment equipment
installers and repairers were $13.44 in May 2004. The middle 50
percent earned between $10.39 and $17.10. The lowest 10 percent
earned less than $8.17, and the highest 10 percent earned more
than $21.36. In May 2004, median hourly earnings of electronic
home entertainment equipment installers and repairers were $12.86
in electronics and appliance stores and $12.28 in electronic and
precision equipment repair and maintenance.
Other workers who repair and maintain electronic equipment include
broadcast and sound engineering technicians and radio operators;
computer, automated teller, and office machine repairers; electrical
and electronics installers and repairers; and radio and telecommunications
equipment installers and repairers.
|Sources of Additional Information
For information on careers and certification, contact:
- ACES International, 5241 Princess Anne Rd., Suite 110, Virginia
Beach, VA 23462. Internet: http://www.acesinternational.org/
- Electronics Technicians Association International, 5 Depot
St., Greencastle, IN 46135.
- International Society of Certified Electronics Technicians,
3608 Pershing Ave., Fort Worth, TX 76107-4527. Internet: http://www.iscet.org/
- Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics,
U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook,