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Career and Education Opportunities for Equipment Engineering Technicians in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Equipment engineering technician career and educational opportunities abound in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. 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 $24 per hour or $50,870 per year on average in Iowa and about $25 per hour or $53,240 annually on average nationally. Compared with people working in the overall category of Engineering Technologies, people working as equipment engineering technicians in Iowa earn more. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Engineering Technologies nationally. Equipment engineering technicians work in a variety of jobs, including: project engineer, engineering technician, and engineering lab technician.

There are thirteen schools of higher education in the Cedar Rapids area, including one within twenty-five miles of Cedar Rapids where you can get a degree to start your career 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 Cedar Rapids 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.
  • 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.
  • Materials Engineer. Evaluate materials and develop machinery and processes to manufacture materials for use in products that must meet specialized design and performance specifications. Develop new uses for known materials. Includes those working with composite materials or specializing in one type of material, such as graphite, metal and metal alloys, ceramics and glass, plastics and polymers, and naturally occurring materials.
  • 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.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Equipment Engineering Technician Training

Kirkwood Community College - Cedar Rapids, IA

Kirkwood Community College, 6301 Kirkwood Blvd SW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52406-2068. Kirkwood Community College is a large college located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,241 students. Kirkwood 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 15 students in 2008.
  • Telecommunications Technology/Technician, associate's degree which graduated 6 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: Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Cedar Rapids, Iowa photo by Davumaya

Cedar Rapids is located in Linn County, Iowa. It has a population of over 128,056, which has grown by 6.0% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Cedar Rapids, 78, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Cedar Rapids are valued at $103,900 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, two hundred ninety-nine new homes were built in Cedar Rapids, up from two hundred ninety-eight the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Cedar Rapids are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 17 minutes. More than 28.4% of Cedar Rapids residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.4%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Cedar Rapids is 6.0%, which is less than Iowa's average of 6.1%.

The percentage of Cedar Rapids residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.0%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Seventh Day Church of God, Sevanth-Day Adventist Church and Hope Lutheran Church are some of the churches located in Cedar Rapids. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Cedar Rapids is home to the Brucemore and the Admissions Office as well as Tomahawk Park and Noelridge Park. Shopping centers in the area include Mays Shopping Center, Lindale Plaza Shopping Center and Town and Country Shopping Center. Visitors to Cedar Rapids can choose from Howard Johnson, Marriott Cedar Rapids and Clarion Hotel & Convention Center for temporary stays in the area.