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Essential skills profile

This profile contains a list of example tasks that illustrate how each of the 9 essential skills is generally performed by most workers in this occupation. The levels of complexity estimated for each task are ranked between 1 (basic) and 5 (advanced).

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Electronic Service Technicians (2242)

Electronic service technicians service and repair household and business electronic equipment, such as audio and visual systems, computers and peripherals, office equipment and other consumer electronic equipment and assemblies.

Reading Help - Reading
  • Read warnings, instructions and other text passages on product labels, packaging and computer screens, e.g. scan text on labels to learn how to avoid electrical hazards. (1)
  • Read short text entries in forms, e.g. read short text entries in work orders and requisition forms to learn about equipment malfunctions and repair particulars, such as deadlines and budgets. (1)
  • Read a variety of notes, email, memos and notices, e.g. skim notes and email from customers to learn about required services, repair approvals and deadlines. (2)
  • Read newsletters, brochures, catalogues and trade magazines to stay current about new equipment, tools and industry practices, e.g. audiovisual service technicians read articles to learn about new home theatre systems, equipment and related installation guidelines. (3)
  • May read short reports, e.g. electronic repair technicians with supervisory responsibilities read incident and appraisal reports to learn about actions and the performance of their employees. (3)
  • Read a wide variety of manuals for set-up and calibration, operating, repair, maintenance, testing and quality control procedures, e.g. photocopier repair technicians read operating manuals for instructions on how to operate complex multi-function photocopiers. (4)
Document use Help - Document use
  • Identify symbols on labels, material packaging, technical drawings and equipment screens, e.g. photocopier service technicians determine pixel counts, print densities and the location of paper jams and other faults by referring to icons on equipment screens. (1)
  • Review labels on parts, product packaging, equipment and technical drawings to locate data, such as dimensions, part identification numbers and operating specifications, e.g. audiovisual service technicians scan service labels to locate reference numbers and service dates. (1)
  • Complete entry forms, such as work orders, quotations, invoices, travel reimbursement forms, requisitions, releases, maintenance records, inspection worksheets and inventory tracking forms, e.g. office equipment service technicians complete work orders to record customers' contact information, charges for service operations and the quantity and cost of repair parts. (2)
  • Extract data, such as frequencies, voltages and the performance characteristics of parts and components, from graphs generated by equipment, such as oscilloscopes and spectrum analyzers. (2)
  • Obtain data from lists and tables, e.g. locate times, dimensions, clearances, pixel counts, performance curves, voltages, amperages, frequencies, measurements and other data in specification tables. (2)
  • Locate data in a variety of technical drawings, e.g. tube-amplifier repairers use scale drawings to identify the location and dimension of chassis parts and assemblies. (3)
  • May study complex schematics for electrical and electronic systems to understand configurations, learn how these systems operate and identify various circuits, components and specifications, e.g. television repairers view complex schematics to locate the values of burnt resistors on main boards and to understand the faults that caused the damage. (4)
Writing Help - Writing
  • Write reminder notes and short log book entries, e.g. write comments in log books to remind themselves of items, such as serial numbers, component settings and parts bin locations. (1)
  • Write text entries in forms to record their observations and recommendations, e.g. home electronics repair technicians may write brief comments in work orders to outline equipment faults and provide details about the diagnostic tests and repairs performed. (2)
  • Write short email on a variety of topics, e.g. email customers to explain the outcomes of diagnostic testing and to ask for additional information about equipment faults. (2)
  • May write memos and business letters, e.g. write business letters to manufacturers to inform them of issues, such as frequently encountered product faults and shipping problems. (3)
  • May write short reports to outline recommendations and justify requests, e.g. electronic service technicians may write reports for supervisors to detail and justify the purchase of expensive equipment, such as digital microscope cameras. (3)
Numeracy Help - Numeracy
  • May receive payments from customers and make change. (1)
  • Take measurements and readings using basic measuring tools, e.g. computer repair technicians measure lengths of cable and fasteners and distances between workstations. (1)
  • Compare prices of used, reconditioned, aftermarket and original manufacturers' parts to determine lowest prices. They may have to calculate unit prices when container sizes differ. (1)
  • Compare data, such as frequencies, rewind speeds, electrical energies, temperatures, transfer rates and decibel levels to specifications, e.g. radio repair technicians compare radio power ratings to allowable pull ranges. (1)
  • Estimate the time required to complete equipment maintenance and repairs. They consider the requirements of the tasks, the availability of parts and the times previously taken to complete similar maintenance and repairs tasks. (1)
  • May calculate expense claim amounts for travel, meals and accommodation, e.g. calculate reimbursements for using personal vehicles at set per kilometre rates. (2)
  • May manage small inventories of parts, materials and supplies, e.g. calculate quantities of parts, materials and supplies to replace those that have been used. (2)
  • Schedule repair and maintenance tasks to use time efficiently and meet deadlines, e.g. computer and television repair technicians may schedule equipment tests to run overnight. (2)
  • Calculate component values and specifications for replacement parts, e.g. electronic service technicians use Ohm's Law to calculate the value of a resistor needed to achieve specific drops in a transistor's bias voltage. (2)
  • Calculate summary measures, e.g. calculate the average loading time of a computer application. (2)
  • Estimate percentages of wear and useful life remaining for parts, such as drums, heads, rollers and drives. They consider the extent of wear and the parts' operational life. (2)
  • May calculate and approve amounts for invoices and repair estimates. They calculate labour charges by multiplying hours worked by shop rates. They add amounts for parts and materials, subtract pre-payments and calculate applicable taxes. (3)
  • Take precise measurements using specialized equipment, e.g. amplifier repair technicians set-up, calibrate and use specialized equipment, such as multimeters, oscilloscopes and tone generators, to collect multiple electrical readings from amplifiers operating under loads. (3)
  • May evaluate sets of data collected from trials and simulations to troubleshoot faults and assess equipment performance and the progression of faults and wear, e.g. audio-video repair technicians troubleshoot malfunctioning videocassette recorders by analyzing multiple voltage readings taken from a variety of electrical components and circuits. (3)
Oral communication Help - Oral communication
  • Discuss price, availability and specifications for repair parts, tools and supplies with storeroom clerks, parts people and dispatchers, e.g. talk to storeroom clerks to determine if replacement transistors are available. (1)
  • Talk to their supervisors about a variety of topics, such as work orders, installation status reports, equipment and inventory requirements, hours of work, workloads and procedures. (2)
  • Communicate with customers to promote products, learn about equipment faults, explain procedures, answer questions and address complaints, e.g. consumer electronics repair technicians may describe and promote products they believe will best meet customers' needs by outlining their benefits. (3)
  • Exchange diagnostic and troubleshooting information with apprentices, co-workers, colleagues, supervisors and manufacturers' service representatives, e.g. television repairers may discuss unusual signal reception problems with technical representatives on manufacturers' help lines. (3)
  • May provide detailed instructions to junior technicians, e.g. technicians in larger shops explain repair and maintenance procedures to new technicians, answer their questions and provide advice on electronic equipment repairs. (3)
Thinking Help - Thinking
  • May encounter dissatisfied customers. They determine why customers are dissatisfied and explain their actions and repair procedures. They may refer unresolved complaints to supervisors for follow-up and resolution. (1)
  • Decide to replace, refurbish and repair parts, e.g. audiovisual equipment repairers replace leaking filter capacitors when power supply ripple exceeds specifications. (1
  • Experience delays due to shortages of parts and supplies. They inform supervisors and customers of the delays and perform other work until the necessary parts, materials and supplies arrive. (2)
  • Are unable to complete repairs and modifications because data, such as specifications and instructions, are unavailable. They consult with supervisors, co-workers, colleagues, suppliers and manufacturers for advice and research websites to locate useable information. (2)
  • Are unable to meet repair deadlines due to heavy workloads. They organize job tasks by priority, enlist the help of co-workers and work overtime as required. (2)
  • May select parts suppliers. They consider the selection, pricing and timeliness of deliveries from multiple suppliers. (2)
  • May decide upon fees for services, such as installations, repairs and inspections, e.g. self-employed amplifier repair technicians consider the fees charged by competing businesses and factors, such as market demand and the size of their existing customer base. (2)
  • Select the processes, parts, tools and equipment required to perform tasks. They consider the scope of repairs, manufacturers' specifications, company practices and the availability and interchangeability of parts and equipment, e.g. to lower repair costs, electronic service technicians may first attempt to replace components on a circuit board rather than replace the whole board, as the repair procedure suggests. (2)
  • May evaluate the performance of apprentices and junior technicians, e.g. they may judge workers' performances by considering their ability to repair equipment and to locate information on forms, tables and technical drawings. (2)
  • Evaluate the severity of equipment faults and abnormalities by considering the nature of the defects and the effect they will have on equipment performance, e.g. audiovisual equipment technicians may evaluate the performance of audiovisual equipment by considering the range of tone and colour and the severity of distortion. (2)
  • Judge the suitability of parts, components and modifications, e.g. point-of-sale equipment repair technicians judge the suitability of substitute parts when specified parts are no longer available. (2)
  • Judge the conditions of individual parts and devices and the adequacy of repairs, e.g. photocopy repair technicians measure and visually inspect fusers, drums and other components to determine wear and identify defects. (2)
  • Organize their daily jobs according to the amount and type of work booked by customers, clerks, dispatchers and supervisors. They generally complete one repair at a time, but may perform tasks on other repair jobs when waiting for parts and supplies. Technicians involved in the repair of equipment, such as business computers and point-of-sale scanners, may be required to work extended hours to complete emergency repairs. (2)
  • Learn about new products by reading brochures and information on websites and by speaking with suppliers. (2)
  • Find information about repair procedures. They read service bulletins and manuals and talk to co-workers and help desk technicians to locate the required information. (2)
  • Find information about equipment faults. They talk to customers, co-workers and supervisors to gather information about faults and necessary repairs. They review the repair histories of products and conduct a series of diagnostic tests to determine the cause of the faults. (3)
Digital technology Help - Digital technology
  • May use calculators and personal digital assistant (PDA) devices to complete numeracy-related tasks, such as calculating material requirements. (1)
  • May use basic features of word processing applications to prepare quotes, work orders and business letters. (2)
  • May create spreadsheets to track inventory and bin locations of parts, such as jigs. (2)
  • May enter data into spreadsheets to tally amounts for invoices and estimates. (2)
  • May access online databases to record problems and to locate troubleshooting and other repair information. They may access suppliers' parts databases to check prices and inventory counts. (2)
  • May use intranets and email applications to exchange information and documents with co-workers, supervisors and manufacturers. (2)
  • Use Internet browsers to access manufacturers' websites to locate service bulletins, repair procedures, manuals, specifications and product information. (2)
  • Use the Internet to download applications that run diagnostic tests, enhance computer security and provide protection against viruses. (2)
  • May use the Internet to access blogs and Web forums where they seek and offer advice about the repair of electronic equipment. (2)
  • May use the Internet to access training courses and seminars offered by suppliers, employers and trainers. (2)
  • Use diagnostic equipment, such as oscilloscopes, to troubleshoot system faults. (2)
  • Load and configure software applications to customers' specifications. (3)
  • May use applications to create programs that simulate the performance of electronic circuits. (3)
  • May use a wide variety of diagnostic, benchmarking and utility software applications to configure, load and execute computer programs, e.g. computer repairers use command line interfaces, programming scripts and batch files to instruct computers to load and execute programs. (4)
  • May use application-specific measurement and diagnostic software to test the robustness of computer systems and to measure data processing speeds, e.g. audiovisual technicians may use specialized software programs to determine the optimal locations of speakers and sound buffers. (4)
Additional information Help - Additional information Working with Others

Electronic service technicians generally perform service and repair tasks independently. They may coordinate job tasks with apprentices and junior technicians to ensure the timely completion of repairs and the efficient use of resources, such as diagnostic equipment and technician time. Some electronic repair technicians, such as those involved in the installation of point-of-sale equipment, may work in teams comprised of system planners, other technicians and cabling contractors.

Continuous Learning

Electronic service technicians must continually update their technical skills to maintain current knowledge of changing technology and repair procedures. They keep up-to-date on new technologies and changing repair procedures by speaking with supervisors, co-workers, colleagues and manufacturers and by reading service bulletins, marketing brochures, trade magazines and a variety of installation, maintenance and repair manuals. They may be required to complete technical training by their employers and manufacturers.

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