8 Electrical Technician Skills You Need To Succeed
By Indeed Editorial Team
Updated October 23, 2022 | Published September 29, 2021
Updated October 23, 2022
Published September 29, 2021
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
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If you want to become a successful electrical technician, having a mix of hard and soft skills, such as communication or mechanical aptitude, can be beneficial. These skills can help you work successfully with your team while maintaining and repairing electrical systems. Understanding the skills you need and how to develop or improve them can make you a stronger job candidate. In this article, we explain what an electrical technician is, provide examples of eight skills you can develop, and offer steps you can follow to improve them.
What is an electrical technician?
Not to be confused with an electrician, electrical technicians inspect, construct, and repair electrical systems. They split their time between an office and the field and can work in several environments, such as factories or homes. Here are some of their main responsibilities:
Assemble, evaluate, test, and maintain electrical equipment
Analyze and repair malfunctioning electrical equipment
Read and interpret blueprints, diagrams, and schematics to construct electrical systems
Work closely with electrical engineers to create engineering plans
Order the electrical supplies and equipment they need
Follow local building regulations
Supervise electricians to ensure they're working safely
Related: 20 Skilled Trade Jobs In-Demand
8 electrical technician skills
Electrical technicians require a mix of hard and soft skills to succeed. Every employer has different expectations and requirements, but here are some skills most employers look for in an electrical technician candidate:
Problem-solving is one of the most important skills for electrical technicians. They constantly analyze electrical problems their customers are having and come up with a solution that benefits them. Having strong problem-solving skills can help electrical technicians quickly and independently find solutions to electrical issues.
Electrical technicians rarely work alone. Depending on the company, they may work with other electrical technicians, electricians, electrical engineers, project managers, or supervisors. To work together successfully, electrical technicians may require strong teamwork skills. These skills ensure they can create professional relationships with their team so they can rely on one another in the field.
3. Physical skills
As electrical technicians spend a lot of time in the field, they must be physically fit to complete their work successfully. They may have to stand for extended periods, bend over and crouch to get to the electrical systems, go up and down ladders or stairs, and lift heavy materials.
Similarly, electrical technicians must have excellent motor skills to work with small objects and tools without dropping them. A steady hand and excellent hand-eye coordination are essential. Employers typically also look for candidates with good vision, as colour-blind candidates may have trouble with colour-coded wires and other materials.
Excellent written and verbal communication skills are important for electrical technicians. These skills ensure they can understand spoken and written information, such as instructions or blueprints. They also ensure electrical technicians can successfully relay information or give detailed instructions to their team members. Active listening is another important communication skill for electrical technicians to have, as they need to listen to their customers' needs and ask questions when appropriate.
5. Analytical thinking
Similar to problem-solving skills, analytical thinking skills are essential for helping electrical technicians develop solutions for their customers. Analytical thinking skills allow electrical technicians to use their education and training to develop custom solutions. Having these skills ensures electrical technicians can analyze each situation thoroughly before choosing the best solution.
Most employers require candidates to have at least basic math skills. These skills allow them to perform routine calculations and measurements when creating blueprints or other plans. This ensures electrical technicians can determine the amount of material they need or the size of the tools they should use. Most candidates learn these skills in school when pursuing the necessary training.
7. Time management
Electrical technicians often have to adhere to strict deadlines, so having good time-management skills is important. Time-management skills help electrical technicians complete their tasks on schedule so the rest of their team can adhere to their deadlines as well. These skills also help electrical technicians prioritize their tasks appropriately.
8. Mechanical aptitude
Having a mechanical aptitude can be an asset for any technician. It means a person enjoys taking things apart and seeing how they function. It's an essential skill for electrical technicians that helps them be more confident and passionate about their work.
How to improve your electrical technician skills
While you may learn many of the skills you need as an electrical technician in school, there are other ways to improve or develop these essential skills. Here are some steps you can take:
1. Participate in continuing education opportunities
If you notice you're lacking any technical skills employers are looking for, consider enrolling in courses or programs aimed at these specific skills. For example, if you aren't confident in your ability to use a particular design software, such as AutoCAD, look for courses that teach you how to use it. This allows you to build on your foundational knowledge and develop new skills.
2. Pursue soft skills training opportunities
Soft skills, such as communication and teamwork, are also important for electrical technicians to have. These can be easier to develop, as you can learn soft skills through any job or personal experience. If you think you're lacking specific soft skills, you can also look for additional training opportunities, such as workshops or seminars. For example, there are plenty of seminars and workshops that help attendees improve their communication skills.
3. Use on-the-job training
Another way to develop and improve your skills is to pursue on-the-job training. Many electrical technician training programs require candidates to complete an apprenticeship program. This allows students to receive training in a classroom and the field. This is a great opportunity to gain hands-on experience with performing electrical tasks. As someone will heavily supervise your work, you can ask questions and learn from any mistakes you make.
If you're already an electrical technician, you can seek further training from your employer. Many companies offer new learning opportunities to ensure their employees are up to date with the industry. If your company doesn't, consider asking a colleague you admire to mentor you. Having a mentor gives you access to guidance, support, and advice from a professional. Observe how your mentor performs their job and mimic their actions or techniques to improve your own work. You can also ask your mentor for feedback on your performance to identify your strengths and improve your weaknesses.
4. Stay up to date on electrical standards
Although you may learn about the Canadian Electrical Code in school or during your training, you need to stay up to date with these standards regularly. The Canadian Standards Association (CSA) publishes these standards to regulate the installation and maintenance of electrical equipment. The first edition was published in 1927, but the CSA has updated the Canadian Electrical Code 24 times since.
Try to review the current edition of the Canadian Electrical Code as often as you can to ensure you're familiar with the standards. When a new edition comes out, you may need to learn new techniques or methods, which is a great way to update your skill set.
How to highlight electrical technician skills
When applying for electrical technician roles, you can highlight the skills employers are looking for in the following ways:
Electrical technician skills for resumes
Start by analyzing the job posting or description to determine what hard and soft skills employers are seeking. If you have these skills, include them in the skills section of your resume. This section can include five to 10 bullet points describing your skills in a single word or short phrase. This allows prospective employers to skim your resume to ensure you have the skills they want in a candidate.
Electrical technician skills for cover letters
To go into more detail about your skills, you can create a cover letter. Employers may not require a cover letter, but including one can help you stand out over other candidates. Choose one or two of your strongest, most relevant skills to discuss in your cover letter. Then, describe examples of times you used these skills successfully. This allows you to show prospective employers how valuable you are.
Electrical technician skills for job interviews
If your resume and cover letter are successful, you may receive an invitation to interview. Prepare for your interview by thinking of potential answers to questions hiring managers may ask you. Craft answers that incorporate specific instances where you used certain skills. This can help you feel more confident and assured during the interview. You can also demonstrate certain soft skills, such as communication or interpersonal skills, during the interview. Maintain eye contact and positive body language to show that you're engaged in the conversation. Be polite and use active listening techniques by asking questions to connect with the interviewer.
Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.
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