Electronic home entertainment installers and repairers, who are also known as service technicians, are responsible for installing and repairing a wide variety of different types of video and audio equipment. They may choose to specialize in one particular type of equipment or they may be trained to work on many types of equipment. The most common types of equipment include radios and televisions, stereos, video cameras and digital video disc players. Other job duties include installing and repairing satellite TV dishes as well as home theater systems. This can include large screen TVs and surround sound components.
Electronic Home Entertainment Equipment Installation and Repair Job Responsibilities
Products are typically brought to repair shops by customers. Workers employed at such locations are referred to as bench technicians. In the case of large equipment that is not as mobile, technicians may need to come to the home of a customer to make the repair. These technicians are referred to as field technicians. In the event the project is too complex, the technician may bring the components that are defection back to the repair shop to diagnose and repair them.
When equipment is malfunctioning, the repairer will check the equipment for defective components. If a routine check is not able to locate the source of the problem, the technician may refer to specifications and schematics from the manufacturer to locate the problem. Technicians may use a wide array of different types of equipment to diagnose as well identify the source of the malfunction. A repair may also involve the removal and replacement of failed fuses, which can involve using small hand tools such as screwdrivers, pliers, wrenches and soldering irons. Technicians may also need to make adjustments like fine tuning picture quality for a television or the sound on an audio system.
Most technicians work in repair shops that are well lit. Field technicians spend much of their time traveling to the residences of customers in service vehicles.
The employment outlook for this field is anticipated to grow about as fast as all other occupations. Employment prospects will be best for candidates who are certified, had a broad knowledge of electronics, associated work experience and excellent customer service skills. The increase of sales of home entertainment systems and equipment will drive the demand within this field. Due to the fact that the prices for home entertainment equipment have declined, the need for technicians is expected to increase at a slow rate. Technology has improved equipment reliability. Consequently the demand for services involving repair has also declined. When a problem does occur it is usually less expensive for consumers to simply replace the equipment than to pay for a repair.
Most technicians work a standard 40 hour work week. Depending on where they are employed, evening and weekend work may sometimes be necessary in order to meet the needs of customers. This can be common in retail establishments as well as with field technicians who must travel to the residence of customers to make repairs. While technicians who work in retail establishments may need to rarely if ever travel, it is a routine part of the job for field technicians. Overtime may also sometimes be necessary, depending on where the technician is employed. Most job opportunities stem from retail establishments.
Electronic Home Entertainment Equipment Installation and Repair Training and Education Requirements
Employers typically prefer applicants who have extensive knowledge of electronics as well as excellent problem solving skills and previous experience involving making repairs. Excellent customer service skills are also important for field technicians. Most applicants will gain necessary skills at community colleges and vocational-training programs. Training programs may include both theoretical education and hands-on experience. Field technicians usually must have a driver’s license and excellent driving record if they are to drive a company vehicle, particularly for insurance purposes. Workers with increased education and experience may advance to supervisory positions or open their own repair shops.
Electronic Home Entertainment Equipment Installation and Repair Salary and Wages
In 2008 the median hourly earnings for electronic home entertainment equipment repairers and installers were $15.42 per hour. Wages and salary can depend upon the employer, geographic location and education and experience level. Certification can provide improved employment opportunities and the chance to earn higher wages.*
*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/
Electronic Home Entertainment Equipment Installation and Repair Certifications
Certification is offered for entry-level technicians as well as experienced workers interested in advancement. An increasing number of employers are now requiring technicians to be certified. Certification is offered through a number of different organizations including the Electronics Technicians Association, which offers programs for certification in multiple electronics specialties. Certification for multimedia and electronic systems is offered through the International Society of Certified Electronics Technicians. In order to achieve certification, candidates must meet multiple prerequisites as well as pass an online or written exam. Improved job prospects can be gained through certification, particularly in multiple areas of this field.
Electronic Home Entertainment Equipment Installation and Repair Professional Associations
Professional associations for electronic home entertainment equipment repair and installation workers include the Electronics Technicians Association International and the International Society of Certified Electronics Technicians.