Electro-mechanical technicians typically need either an associate’s degree or a postsecondary certificate.
Associate’s degree programs for electro-mechanical technicians usually take 2 years and are offered at vocational–technical schools and community colleges. Vocational–technical schools include postsecondary public institutions that serve local students and emphasize training needed by local employers. Community colleges offer programs similar to those in technical institutes but may include more theory-based and liberal arts coursework.
Most associate’s degree programs that are accredited by ABET (formerly the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology) include at least college algebra and trigonometry as well as basic science courses. ABET-accredited programs offer training in engineering technology specialties.
In community college programs, prospective electro-mechanical technicians can concentrate in fields such as the following:
There are also bachelor’s degree programs in electrical engineering technology and mechanical engineering technology, although most technicians earn an associate’s degree. Graduates of bachelor’s degree programs work as electrical engineering technologists and mechanical engineering technologists, rather than as technicians. Earning an associate’s degree in electronic engineering technology eases entry into a bachelor’s degree program.
Detail oriented. Electro-mechanical technicians must make and keep the precise, accurate measurements that mechanical engineers need.
Information ordering skills. To carry out engineers’ designs, inspect designs for quality control, and assemble prototypes, technicians must be able to read instructions and to follow a logical sequence or a specific set of rules.
Interpersonal skills. Electro-mechanical technicians must be able to take instruction and offer advice when needed. In addition, they often need to coordinate their work with that of others.
Manual dexterity. Electro-mechanical engineering technicians in particular must be able to use handtools and soldering irons on small circuitry and electronic parts to create detailed electronic components by hand.
Math skills. Electro-mechanical engineering technicians use mathematics for analysis, design, and troubleshooting in their work.
Mechanical skills. Electro-mechanical technicians must be able to apply the theory and instructions of engineers by creating or building new components for industrial machinery or equipment. They must be adept at operating machinery, including drill presses, grinders, and engine lathes.
Writing skills. These technicians must write reports on onsite construction, the results of testing, or problems they find when carrying out designs. Their writing must be clear and well organized so that the engineers they work with can understand the reports.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition