Electronic Home Entertainment Equipment Installer and Repairer Job Description, Career as an Electronic Home Entertainment Equipment Installer and Repairer, Salary, Employment
Definition and Nature of the Work, Education and Training Requirements, Getti
Education and Training: High school
Salary: Median—$13.44 per hour
Employment Outlook: Poor
Definition and Nature of the Work
Electronic home entertainment equipment installers and repairers set up and service televisions and radios, VCR and DVD equipment, video cameras, and stereo components such as CD players. Some technicians also install home theaters, satellite television dishes, home security systems, and intercoms.
Most of their work involves fixing electronic entertainment equipment that malfunctions because of defective parts, faulty circuits, or poor connections. Technicians use test instruments to find the problem. These instruments include voltmeters, signal generators, frequency counters, and oscilloscopes. Electronic home entertainment equipment installers and repairers also use hand tools in their work. These include screwdrivers, pliers, wire cutters, soldering irons, and wrenches. Another aid is the repair manual, which shows how the wiring of a given machine is laid out. These diagrams help technicians determine which circuits need repairing and how to make the right electrical connections.
Electronic home entertainment equipment installers and repairers may work for the firms that manufacture the equipment or the stores that sell them. Some own their own shops. These workers often make house calls, fixing the faulty equipment on the spot with tools and parts they store in their trucks or vans. More difficult jobs are usually done in the shop, where the technicians use their test equipment.
Education and Training Requirements
Students interested in a career as an electronic home entertainment equipment installer or repairer should have training in electronics. High schools, vocational schools, and junior colleges offer courses in electronics repair. These training programs last from one to two years and usually include math, physics, schematic reading, and actual repair work.
Some technicians learn the trade in three-year or four-year apprenticeships. The people who sell or repair equipment may offer on-the-job training.
In addition to the initial training, technicians must attend seminars, study manuals, and read technical journals so that they are able to repair new types of equipment—such as digital consumer electronics—that hit the market. Technicians must have excellent eyesight and color vision, normal hearing, and good hand-eye coordination.
Getting the Job
Interested individuals should apply directly to the service centers of companies that make and sell the equipment and inquire about on-the-job training. Classified ads in local newspapers, Internet job sites, and state employment offices also feature job listings.
Trade and technical schools often help their graduates find jobs. Because 98 percent of all homes in the United States have television sets, most areas of the country have repair shops that hire technicians.
Advancement Possibilities and Employment Outlook
Electronic home entertainment equipment installers and repairers who work for large companies can advance to supervisor or service manager, depending on schooling and work experience. Workers who open their own shops need at least two or three years' experience, a considerable amount of start-up money, a background in running a business, and good customer relations skills.
The need for electronic home entertainment equipment installers and repairers will grow more slowly than the average through 2014. Due to the declining costs of electronic products, it is often cheaper to replace televisions, VCRs, and stereo equipment than to pay for repairs. Technicians who can install and repair expensive digital equipment are most likely to find jobs, since consumers feel that costly, high-end items such as high-definition digital televisions and digital camcorders are worth repairing.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were about 47,000 electronic home entertainment equipment installers and repairers working in the United States in 2004. Most work in electronics repair shops and service centers or in stores that sell and service electronic products.
Service technicians generally work in pleasant places—shops, offices, and homes. Working for a large company or repair shop means job security and a regular forty-hour week. Electronic home entertainment equipment installers and repairers who own their own businesses typically put in longer hours, including nights and Saturdays.
Because technicians often travel to make repairs, they sometimes lift and carry heavy equipment. In addition, their work involves some danger from electric shock or falls from roofs.
Earnings and Benefits
Salaries depend on schooling, experience, and whether a worker belongs to a union. According to the BLS, in 2004 the median wage for electronic home entertainment equipment installers and repairers was $13.44 per hour.
Benefits depend on the employer. Some provide paid vacations and holidays. Others pay or help pay for health and life insurance programs. Union members receive full benefits, including medical and health insurance, paid vacations, and retirement plans.
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