The beginning of 2019 saw manufacturing post its biggest annual job gains in 20 years, yet the industry still faces many challenges.
While the “skills gap” remains a hot topic that spurs much debate, some core truths continue to shape the many industries propelling our future forward.
- The economy and labor market are changing rapidly — and significantly — across the board
- High-tech skills are a critical piece of operational success in nearly every industry
- Students are preparing today for jobs that don’t even exist
- Automation and artificial intelligence (AI) are changing the way work gets done
- Industry reports suggest that 2.4 million manufacturing positions could go unfilled between 2018 and 2028 due to retirements and new job growth
For these reasons and more, the need for technical skills has never been greater, especially in North Texas where business is barreling forward at a lightning-fast pace.
In this series, we will spotlight specific tech skills to learn why they are important, what role they play in our economic future, and how area schools are feeding the talent pipeline.
Career: Electronics Engineering Technologist
General job description:
Assist electronics engineers in such activities as electronics systems and instrumentation design or digital signal processing.
Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate degree.
Wage & Employment Trends:
- Median wages (2017) — $29.92 hourly, $62,230 annual
- Employment (2016) — 77,000 employees
- Projected growth (2016-2026) — Average 5 percent to 9 percent
- Projected job openings (2016-2026) — 7,100
- Modify, maintain, or repair electronics equipment or systems to ensure proper functioning.
- Replace defective components or parts, using hand tools and precision instruments.
- Set up and operate specialized or standard test equipment to diagnose, test, or analyze the performance of electronic components, assemblies, or systems.
- Prepare or maintain design, testing, or operational records and documentation.
- Assemble circuitry for electronic systems according to engineering instructions, production specifications, or technical manuals.
- Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
- Telecommunications — Knowledge of transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
- Engineering and Technology — Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Customer and Personal Service
In North Texas, a variety of educational institutions offer certificate and degree programs related to electronics engineering technology.
For example, in Ellis County, Texas State Technical College (TSTC) offers an associate degree Electrical Power and Control program which prepares students for careers ranging from electronic engineering technician and electrical repair (industrial equipment) to electrical utility designer and powerhouse, substation, and relay positions, and more.
For employers in Midlothian and surrounding areas, these educational opportunities translate into students empowered to hit the ground running in a variety of work environments ranging from industrial and manufacturing operations to energy and HVAC applications, and high-tech data center positions.
Jumpstart Your Career at TSTC
In partnership with local industry, Midlothian Economic Development (MED) is contributing initial funding to the TSTC Foundation’s Texan Success Scholarship to advance technical education and help fuel the community’s talent pipeline. Each scholarship will be $1,000, offering traditional and non-traditional TSTC students a sizeable jumpstart on their tuition.