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Career and Education Opportunities for Equipment Engineering Technicians in Elgin, Illinois

Equipment engineering technician career and educational opportunities abound in Elgin, Illinois. The national trend for equipment engineering technicians sees this job pool shrinking by about 2.2% over the next eight years. In general, equipment engineering technicians apply electrical theory and related knowledge to test and modify developmental or operational electrical machinery and electrical control equipment and circuitry in industrial or commercial plants and laboratories.

Equipment engineering technicians earn about $26 hourly or $54,800 annually on average in Illinois and about $25 hourly or $53,240 annually on average nationally. Earnings for equipment engineering technicians are better than earnings in the general category of Engineering Technologies in Illinois and not quite as good as general Engineering Technologies category earnings nationally. Jobs in this field include: electrical technician, electrical equipment technician, and electronic engineering technician.

The Elgin area is home to sixty-one schools of higher education, including eleven within twenty-five miles of Elgin where you can get a degree as an equipment engineering technician. Equipment engineering technicians usually hold some college courses, so you can expect to spend a short time training to become an equipment engineering technician if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Equipment Engineering Technician

In general, equipment engineering technicians apply electrical theory and related knowledge to test and modify developmental or operational electrical machinery and electrical control equipment and circuitry in industrial or commercial plants and laboratories. They also usually work under direction of engineering staff.

Equipment engineering technicians collaborate with electrical engineers and other personnel to pinpoint and solve developmental problems. Finally, equipment engineering technicians furnish technical assistance and resolution when electrical or engineering problems are encountered before and after construction.

Every day, equipment engineering technicians are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. They need to listen to and understand others in meetings. It is also important that they write clearly and communicate well.

It is important for equipment engineering technicians to assemble and operate test apparatus to evaluate effectiveness of developmental parts or systems under simulated operating conditions, and record results. They are often called upon to assemble electrical and electronic systems and prototypes in line with engineering data and knowledge of electrical principles, using hand tools and measuring instruments. They also analyze and interpret test data to deal with design-related problems. They are sometimes expected to set up and maintain electrical control systems and solid state equipment. Somewhat less frequently, equipment engineering technicians are also expected to conduct inspections for quality control and assurance programs, reporting findings and recommendations.

Equipment engineering technicians sometimes are asked to ready project cost and work-time estimates. They also have to be able to ready contracts and initiate, review and direct modifications to contract specifications and plans throughout the construction process and evaluate engineering proposals, shop drawings and layout comments for sound electrical engineering practice and conformance with established safety and layout criteria, and recommend approval or disapproval. And finally, they sometimes have to furnish technical assistance and resolution when electrical or engineering problems are encountered before and after construction.

Like many other jobs, equipment engineering technicians must be thorough and dependable and be reliable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Elgin include:

  • Architectural Drafter. Prepare detailed drawings of architectural designs and plans for buildings and structures according to specifications provided by architect.
  • CAD/CAM Specialist. Prepare detailed working diagrams of machinery and mechanical devices, including dimensions, and other engineering information.
  • Civil Engineering Technician. Apply theory and principles of civil engineering in planning, designing, and overseeing construction and maintenance of structures and facilities under the direction of engineering staff or physical scientists.
  • Electronics Engineering Technician. Lay out, build, and modify developmental and production electronic components, parts, and systems, such as computer equipment, missile control instrumentation, electron tubes, and machine tool numerical controls, applying principles and theories of electronics, electrical circuitry, engineering mathematics, electronic and electrical testing, and physics. Usually work under direction of engineering staff.
  • Industrial Engineering Technician. Apply engineering theory and principles to problems of industrial layout or manufacturing production, usually under the direction of engineering staff. May study and record time, motion, and speed involved in performance of production, maintenance, and other worker operations for such purposes as establishing standard production rates or improving efficiency.
  • Mechanical Engineer. Perform engineering duties in planning and designing tools, engines, and other mechanically functioning equipment. Oversee installation, operation, and repair of such equipment as centralized heat, gas, and steam systems.
  • Mechanical Engineering Technician. Apply theory and principles of mechanical engineering to modify, develop, and test machinery and equipment under direction of engineering staff or physical scientists.
  • Survey Technician. Adjust and operate surveying instruments, such as the theodolite and electronic distance-measuring equipment, and compile notes, make sketches and enter data into computers.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Equipment Engineering Technician Training

College of DuPage - Glen Ellyn, IL

College of DuPage, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn, IL 60137-6599. College of DuPage is a large college located in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 25,668 students. College of DuPage has a less than one year program in Computer Technology/Computer Systems Technology which graduated two students in 2008.

College of Lake County - Grayslake, IL

College of Lake County, 19351 W Washington St., Grayslake, IL 60030-1198. College of Lake County is a large college located in Grayslake, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 16,359 students. College of Lake County has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Electrical, Electronic & Communications Engineering Technology/Technician which graduated one and three students respectively in 2008.

Triton College - River Grove, IL

Triton College, 2000 5th Ave, River Grove, IL 60171-1995. Triton College is a large college located in River Grove, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,547 students. Triton College has 2 areas of study related to Equipment Engineering Technician. They are:

  • Electrical, Electronic & Communications Engineering Technology/Technician, associate's degree which graduated 2 students in 2008.
  • Computer Technology/Computer Systems Technology, less than one year and associate's degree which graduated seven and one students respectively in 2008.

Harper College - Palatine, IL

Harper College, 1200 W Algonquin Rd, Palatine, IL 60067-7398. Harper College is a large college located in Palatine, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,250 students. Harper College has an associate's degree program in Electrical, Electronic & Communications Engineering Technology/Technician which graduated twelve students in 2008.

ITT Technical Institute-Mount Prospect - Mount Prospect, IL

ITT Technical Institute-Mount Prospect, 1401 Feehanville Road, Mount Prospect, IL 60056-9823. ITT Technical Institute-Mount Prospect is a small school located in Mount Prospect, Illinois. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 534 students and an admission rate of 40%. ITT Technical Institute-Mount Prospect has an associate's degree and a bachelor's degree program in Electrical, Electronic & Communications Engineering Technology/Technician which graduated forty-eight and twenty-three students respectively in 2008.

Elgin Community College - Elgin, IL

Elgin Community College, 1700 Spartan Drive, Elgin, IL 60123-7193. Elgin Community College is a medium sized college located in Elgin, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 9,821 students. Elgin Community College has an associate's degree program in Electrical, Electronic & Communications Engineering Technology/Technician which graduated one student in 2008.

Kishwaukee College - Malta, IL

Kishwaukee College, 21193 Malta Rd, Malta, IL 60150-9699. Kishwaukee College is a small college located in Malta, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 4,134 students. Kishwaukee College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Electrical, Electronic & Communications Engineering Technology/Technician which graduated two and one students respectively in 2008.

Oakton Community College - Des Plaines, IL

Oakton Community College, 1600 E Golf Rd., Des Plaines, IL 60016-1268. Oakton Community College is a large college located in Des Plaines, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 10,552 students. Oakton Community College has 2 areas of study related to Equipment Engineering Technician. They are:

  • Electrical, Electronic & Communications Engineering Technology/Technician, associate's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.
  • Computer Technology/Computer Systems Technology, one to two year which graduated 2 students in 2008.

McHenry County College - Crystal Lake, IL

McHenry County College, 8900 US Hwy 14, Crystal Lake, IL 60012-2761. McHenry County College is a medium sized college located in Crystal Lake, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,374 students. McHenry County College has a less than one year program in Computer Technology/Computer Systems Technology which graduated two students in 2008.

ITT Technical Institute-Burr Ridge - Burr Ridge, IL

ITT Technical Institute-Burr Ridge, 7040 High Grove Blvd, Burr Ridge, IL 60527. ITT Technical Institute-Burr Ridge is a small school located in Burr Ridge, Illinois. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 357 students and an admission rate of 40%. ITT Technical Institute-Burr Ridge has an associate's degree and a bachelor's degree program in Electrical, Electronic & Communications Engineering Technology/Technician which graduated thirty-eight and zero students respectively in 2008.

Waubonsee Community College - Sugar Grove, IL

Waubonsee Community College, Rte 47 at Waubonsee Drive, Sugar Grove, IL 60554-0901. Waubonsee Community College is a medium sized college located in Sugar Grove, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 9,218 students. Waubonsee Community College has 2 areas of study related to Equipment Engineering Technician. They are:

  • Electrical, Electronic & Communications Engineering Technology/Technician, less than one year and associate's degree which graduated four and one students respectively in 2008.
  • Computer Technology/Computer Systems Technology, less than one year which graduated 2 students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Calibration Technician: The Certified Calibration Technician tests, calibrates, maintains and repairs electrical, mechanical, electromechanical, analytical and electronic measuring, recording and indicating instruments and equipment for conformance to established standards.

For more information, see the American Society for Quality website.

Geometric Dimensioning & Tolerancing Professional - Technologist: ASME GDTP Certification provides the means to recognize proficiency in the understanding and application of the geometric dimensioning and tolerancing (GD&T) principles expressed in the ASME Y14.

For more information, see the American Society of Mechanical Engineers International website.

Certified Lighting Efficiency Professional: AEE's Certified Lighting Efficiency Professional (CLEP) program is designed to provide recognition for professionals who have distinguished themselves as leaders in the field of lighting efficiency.

For more information, see the Association of Energy Engineers website.

Consumer Electronics Service Technician: Consumer Electronics Service Technicians are expected to have knowledge and abilities to operate, install and service home.

For more information, see the ETA International website.

Certified Industrial Electronics Technician: A technician with two or more years of combined work and electronics training may apply for the Journeyman exam.

For more information, see the ETA International website.

Student Electronics Technician (High School Level): Training electronics workers as entry level, apprenticed, installer personnel should include the following 19 Categories: Electrical Theory, Electronic Components, Soldering-Desoldering and Tools, Block Diagrams, Schematics-Wiring Diagrams, Cabling, Power Supplies, Test Equipment & Measurements, Safety Precautions, Mathematics and Formulas, Electronic Circuits: Series and Parallel, Amplifiers, Interfacing of Electronics Products, Digital Concepts and Circuitry, Computer Electronics, Computer Applications, Audio & Video Systems, Optical Electronics, Telecommunications Basics, and Technician Work Procedures.

For more information, see the ETA International website.

RF Line Sweeping: RF Line Sweeping, or FDR, Frequency Domain Reflectometry, certification by the Electronics Technicians Association, Internationa, has two assessments: The 16 category knowledge written multiple-choice examination, and the practical hands-on physical abilities and skills demonstration documented during a formal training course.

For more information, see the ETA International website.

Associate Certified Electronics Technician: Knowledge areas include: Electrical Theory, Electronic Components, Soldering-Desoldering & Tools, Block Diagrams - Schematics - Wiring Diagrams, Cabling, Power Supplies, test Equipment & Measurements, Safety Precautions, Mathematics & Formulas, Radio Communication Technology, Electronic Circuits: Series & Parallel, Amplifiers, Interfacing of Electronics Products, Digital Concepts & Circuitry, Computer Electronics, Computer Applications, Audio & Video Systems, Optical Electronics, Telecommunications Basics, Technician Work Procedures.

For more information, see the ETA International website.

Certified Apprentice Lighting Technician: NALMCO offers a home study certification program, the Certified Apprentice Lighting Technician (CALT), which is indispensable for both entry-level and midlevel lighting management personnel.

For more information, see the International Association of Lighting Management Companies website.

Certified Senior Lighting Technician: NALMCO offers a home study certification program, the Certified Senior Lighting Technician (CSLT) which is indispensable for both entry-level and midlevel lighting management personnel.

For more information, see the International Association of Lighting Management Companies website.

Electron Microscopy Technologist: The Microscopy Society of America (MSA), the world's largest professional association of microscopists, provides the only certification of technologists in biological transmission electron microscopy available in the Americas.

For more information, see the Microscopy Society of America website.

Corrosion Technician: This certification is geared towards personnel with little experience but who possess some basic knowledge of corrosion and corrosion control, who are capable of performing routine, but well-defined work under the close direction of Specialist or Senior Technologist personnel.

For more information, see the NACE International website.

EMC (Electromagnetic Compatibility) Technician: iNARTE's EMC certification is applicable to professional engineers and technicians practicing in EMC fields to include bonding, grounding, shielding, EMI prediction, EMI analysis, conducted and radiated interference, lightning protection and more.

For more information, see the National Association of Radio and Telecommunications Engineers, Inc. website.

ESD (Electrostatic Discharge) Technician: ESD Control certification is appropriate for engineers and technicians whose training and experience have primarily focused on problems, engineering design and corrective measures associated with minimizing or eliminating electrostatic discharge.

For more information, see the National Association of Radio and Telecommunications Engineers, Inc. website.

Junior Telecommunications Technician: Telecommunications certification is applicable to professionals involved in the science and practice of communications by electromagnetic means.

For more information, see the National Association of Radio and Telecommunications Engineers, Inc. website.

System Operator Certification: The System Operator Certification Program awards certification credentials to those individuals who demonstrate that they have attained sufficient knowledge relating to NERC reliability standards and the basic principles of bulk power system operations by passing one of four specialty examinations.

For more information, see the North American Electric Reliability Corporation website.

Broadband Distribution Specialist: Certifies proficiency in the subject matter related to the RF distribution of signals.

For more information, see the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers website.

Certified Manufacturing Technologist: This certification primarily benefits new manufacturing engineers and experienced manufacturers without other credentials.

For more information, see the Society of Manufacturing Engineers website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Elgin, Illinois

Elgin, Illinois
Elgin, Illinois photo by James Jordan

Elgin is located in Kane County, Illinois. It has a population of over 106,330, which has grown by 12.5% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Elgin, 104, is above the national average. New single-family homes in Elgin cost $156,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, three hundred thirty-two new homes were constructed in Elgin, down from seven hundred fifty-six the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Elgin are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, metal and metal products, and administrative and support and waste management services. The average travel time to work is about 26 minutes. More than 20.5% of Elgin residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.0%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Elgin is 12.4%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Elgin residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 56.0%, is more than both the national and state average. Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Seventh Day Adventist Church and Saint Thomas More Roman Catholic Church are some of the churches located in Elgin. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Lutheran Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Elgin is home to the Fox Bluff Corporate Center and the Elgin Fire Station Number 2 as well as Wing Park and College Park. Shopping malls in the area include Wing Park Manor Shopping Center, Tyler Creek Plaza Shopping Center and Town and Country Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Elgin can choose from Elgin-Days Inn, Colonial Lodge Motel and Crowne Plaza for temporary stays in the area.