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How to Become an Industrial Electrical Technician: Frequently Asked Questions

Posted Wednesday, Oct 13, 2021 by Altierus

Interested in an electrical career path? There’s more than one way to work in the industry. Altierus Career College provides training for two types of electrical technicians: electrical construction technicians and industrial electrical technicians. The knowledge and skills required for these two occupations overlap in many areas, but they have different purposes.

On this FAQ page, we focus on industrial electrical technicians. You can find out what they are, what duties and responsibilities they have, salary and job growth data, and what you can learn in our training programs. We hope you find this page informative as you explore your career path options!

What Is an Industrial Electrical Technician?

What’s the difference between an electrician and an electrical technician?

Let’s clear up the difference between an electrician and an electrical technician before we begin.

Electricians are licensed professionals who install, maintain, and repair electrical system components. They often work on a call-out basis (when someone has an electrical problem that needs fixing) or on construction sites or renovation jobs. Electricians train for their roles by completing an apprenticeship after high school. Once they’ve built up a certain number of hours of supervised work experience, they can obtain licensure from their state. The hours required vary, but typically, apprentices need about two years’ worth of full-time work before they can apply for a license.

Electrical technicians build, install and maintain electrical systems under the direction of a master electrician or electrical engineer. Electrical technicians usually complete a post-secondary certificate, which frequently takes a year or less to finish.

What do industrial electrical technicians do?

Industrial electrical technicians help keep production machinery and electrical systems operating in factories, utility companies, commercial buildings, and other similar sites. They may also travel from industrial site to industrial site completing jobs on a call-out basis. To complete their work, they use various hand tools, power tools, and testing equipment.

The duties of an industrial electrical technician may include:

  • Reading and interpreting blueprints, electrical diagrams, and instrumentation diagrams
  • Understanding the different purposes and uses of hand tools, power tools, and testing equipment
  • Troubleshooting and documenting problems
  • Repairing motors, hydraulic, and pneumatic machinery components
  • Installing and repairing commercial lighting
  • Installing, repairing, and maintaining electrical control systems
  • Keeping accurate records of the work they carry out
  • Ensuring their work meets National Electrical Code standards as well as state and local building codes

How to Become an Industrial Electrical Technician

What do industrial electrical technicians need to know?

Applicants to our industrial electrical technician training program need to be high school graduates (or hold a GED) and be at least 18 years of age by the time they graduate. Applied math and science play a major role in the day-to-day work of any electrical technician, so it helps if you enjoy those subjects.

There are also some physical requirements for the job. You will need good hand motor skills (that is, you need to be able to control your hands well) and be capable of climbing, crawling, and moving or lifting heavy objects, such as tool kits or motor components.

How long does electrical technician training take?

Usually no more than one year. For example, you can complete our Industrial Electrical Technician diploma program, in as few as nine months.

What classes do you take in an industrial electrical technician training program?

In our program, you learn a blend of math and science concepts, professional  knowledge (including the National Electrical Codes), and hands-on skills for testing, repairing, and installing electrical components.

Course topics for this program include:

  • Basic Construction Safety
  • Electrical Theory
  • Electrical Craft Skills
  • Residential Wiring
  • Residential and Commercial Lighting
  • Electric Motors
  • Industrial Control Systems
  • Basic PLC Operations and Maintenance
  • Process Control and Automated Systems

To help students balance life and school while they prepare for their new career, our program combines online coursework and in-person, hands-on lab classes.

Do industrial electrical technicians need to be licensed?

No. Because industrial electrical technicians perform their jobs while supervised by licensed electricians or electrical engineers, they don’t to hold a license to work.

Why Become an Industrial Electrical Technician?

Is it worth it to earn an industrial electrical technician diploma?

Training to become an industrial electrical technician could be the right choice for you if you like machinery, working with your hands, and solving problems.

Plus, job prospects in this field are projected to be strong over the 2020–2030 period. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects jobs will grow by up to 9% nationwide.[1]

How much does an industrial electrical technician earn?

At this time, the BLS doesn’t track electrical technician salaries. The median annual salary for electricians, however, was $56,900 nationwide in May 2020. The bottom 10% of earned less than $33,810 while the top 10% of earners made more than $98,720.[2]

It’s important to note that wages will vary by job market. Actual salaries will vary depending on the city where you work, the employer you work for, and other factors.

Learn More About Our Industrial Electrical Technician Program

Ready to get started on a new career path? Find out more about the Industrial Electrical Technician diploma program at Altierus Career College!


[1] https://www.bls.gov/ooh/construction-and-extraction/electricians.htm#tab-6  

[2] https://www.bls.gov/ooh/construction-and-extraction/electricians.htm#tab-5   

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