Job Outlook for Electronics Trades

Lots of jobs but limited growth for most

The amount of jobs in each of these areas is expected to grow an average amount at best and at worst decline. But there are so many electronics career paths possible that it's pretty safe to say graduates of electronics schools will always have a backup in another specialty, as long as they stay current on new technology.

Electrical and electronics installers and repairers

Overall, employment numbers in this profession are expected to rise slower than average. A good number of openings will be due to workers leaving or transferring jobs. Areas with average growth will be commercial and motor vehicle. Employment in powerhouse, substation and relay will decline while the others will grow slower than average.

Commercial and industrial equipment

Commercial and industrial electronics technicians working in government made about $24.00 in 2004, while those working for building equipment contractors made about $18.00.

  • Median hourly earnings - $20.48
  • Middle 50 percent - $16.04 to $25.07
  • Top 10 percent - over $28.68
  • Bottom 10 percent - under $12.55

Motor vehicles

  • Median hourly earnings - $12.79
  • Middle 50 percent - $10.27 to $16.55
  • Top 10 percent - over $22.02
  • Bottom 10 percent - under $8.85

Electric motor, power tool and related repairers

  • Median hourly earnings - $15.54
  • Middle 50 percent - $12.12 to $19.71
  • Top 10 percent - over $23.90
  • Bottom 10 percent - under $9.48

Powerhouse, substation and relay

  • Median hourly earnings - $25.86
  • Middle 50 percent - $22.47 to $29.73
  • Top 10 percent - over $33.82
  • Bottom 10 percent - under $18.01

Transportation equipment

  • Median hourly earnings - $19.25
  • Middle 50 percent - $15.06 to $23.57
  • Top 10 percent - over $27.70
  • Bottom 10 percent - under $11.86

Electronic home entertainment equipment installers and repairers

This area is expected to be slow-growing because of less demand for repair work due to cheaper and higher quality products. Replacing broken electronics is often cheaper than repairing them. There will still be job growth as long as new, expensive equipment continues to be introduced on the market. Wages should be slightly higher for those working in electronics and appliance stores. One in three of these professionals are self-employed.

  • Median hourly earnings - $13.44
  • Middle 50 percent - $10.39 to $17.10
  • Top 10 percent - over $21.36
  • Bottom 10 percent - under $8.17

ATM, Computer technicians and office machine repairers

Worker retirement and an increase in computer and ATM use will mean job openings despite slower than average growth in this occupation.

  • Median hourly earnings - $16.90
  • Middle 50 percent - $13.11 to $21.36
  • Top 10 percent - over $26.28
  • Bottom 10 percent - under $10.31

Radio and Telecommunications Equipment Installers and Repairers

This is one area where the number of available positions is expected to decline. This is due to higher capacity equipment that can self-monitor and self-diagnose. There will be more need for installation and upgrading than repair. Applicants with knowledge of current technologies such as optical switching and routing systems (required for VoIP and video on demand) will fare best.

  • Median hourly earnings - $23.96
  • Middle 50 percent - $19.46 to $27.07
  • Top 10 percent - over $30.85
  • Bottom 10 percent - under $14.65

Statistics courtesy the Bureau of Labor Statistics 2004