Electronic and Electrical Equipment Repair Occupations

Each job description is preceded by an indication of which branches of the service the job is available in, as not all branches of the service offer the same careers. For additional information beyond what we offer here, you can also visit: careersinthemilitary.com and todaysmilitary.com/careers.

Aircraft Electricians

Army
Navy
Air Force
Marine Corps
Coast Guard

Airplanes and helicopters house complex electrical systems. Instruments, lights, weapons, ignition systems, landing gear, and many other aircraft parts are powered by electricity. Aircraft electricians maintain and repair electrical systems on airplanes and helicopters.

What They Do

Aircraft electricians in the military perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Troubleshoot aircraft electrical systems using test equipment
  • Repair or replace defective generators and electric motors
  • Inspect and maintain electrical systems
  • Replace faulty wiring
  • Solder electrical connections
  • Repair or replace instruments, such as tachometers, temperature gauges, and altimeters
  • Read electrical-wiring diagrams

Where They Work

Aircraft electricians usually work indoors, in aircraft hangars, airplanes, and repair shops. They may also work on aircraft parked outdoors.

Opportunities in Civilian Life

Civilian aircraft electricians work mainly for airlines and aircraft maintenance firms. They may also work for aircraft manufacturers and other organizations that have fleets of airplanes or helicopters. Their duties are similar to those of military aircraft electricians.

Physical Requirements

Normal color vision is required to work with color-coded wiring.

Communications Equipment Repairers

Army
Navy
Air Force
Marine Corps
Coast Guard

The military relies on communication equipment to link ground, sea, and air forces. This equipment allows the military to track and direct troop, aircraft, and ship movements. Communications equipment repairers ensure that this equipment operates properly.

What They Do

Communications equipment repairers in the military perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Maintain, test, and repair communications equipment using frequency meters, circuit analyzers, and other electrical and electronic test equipment
  • Install and repair circuits and wiring using soldering irons and hand tools
  • Calibrate and align equipment components using scales, gauges, and other measuring instruments
  • String overhead-communications and electric cables between utility poles

Where They Work

Communications equipment repairers usually work in repair shops, laboratories, and outdoors, depending on the specialty.

Opportunities in Civilian Life

Civilian communications equipment repairers often work for firms that design and make communications and electronic equipment. They may also work for the federal government. They perform duties similar to those of military communications equipment repairers. They may be called radio repairers, radio mechanics, teletype repairers, or station installers and repairers, depending on their specialty.

Physical Requirements

For some specialties, normal color vision is required. Some repairers may work from ladders or on tall utility poles.

Computer Equipment Repairers

Army
Navy
Air Force
Marine Corps

The military relies on computers to support weapons systems, communications, and administration. Keeping systems “up” is crucial for all military operations. Computer equipment repairers install, test, maintain, and repair computers and related data-processing equipment.

What They Do

Computer equipment repairers in the military perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Install computers and other data-processing equipment
  • Inspect data-processing equipment for defects in wiring, circuit boards, and other parts
  • Test and repair data-processing equipment using electrical voltage meters, circuit analyzers, and other special testing equipment
  • Locate defective data-processing parts using technical guides and diagrams

Where They Work

Computer equipment repairers usually work indoors in repair shops or data-processing centers on land or aboard ships. Some specialties involve flying.

Opportunities in Civilian Life

Civilian computer equipment repairers work for computer manufacturers, repair services, and other businesses with large computer facilities. They perform duties similar to those of military computer equipment repairers. They may also be called computer service technicians.

Physical Requirements

Specialties that involve flying require passing a special physical exam. Normal color vision is required to work with color-coded wiring.

Electrical Products Repairers

Army
Navy
Marine Corps
Coast Guard

Much of the military’s equipment is electrically powered. Electric motors, electric tools, and medical equipment require careful maintenance and repair. Electrical products repairers maintain and repair electrical equipment. They specialize by type of equipment.

What They Do

Electrical products repairers in the military perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Maintain, test, and repair electric motors in many kinds of machines, such as lathes, pumps, office machines, and kitchen appliances
  • Inspect and repair electrical, medical, and dental equipment
  • Inspect and repair electric instruments, such as voltmeters
  • Replace worn gaskets and seals in watertight electrical equipment
  • Maintain and repair portable electric tools, such as saws and drills
  • Maintain and repair submarine periscopes

Where They Work

Electrical products repairers usually work in repair shops on land or aboard ships.

Opportunities in Civilian Life

Civilian electrical products repairers work in many industries, including hospitals, manufacturing firms, and governmental agencies. They also work in independent repair shops. They perform duties similar to those of military electrical products repairers. They may be called electric tool repairers, electrical instrument repairers, electromedical equipment repairers, or electric motor repairers.

Physical Requirements

Normal color vision is required to work with color-coded wiring.

Electronic Instrument Repairers

Army
Navy
Air Force
Marine Corps
Coast Guard

The military uses electronic instruments in many areas, including health care, weather forecasting, flight control, and combat, to name a few. Electronic instrument repairers maintain and repair electronic instruments, such as precision-measuring equipment, navigational controls, photographic equipment, and biomedical instruments. Electronic instrument repairers normally specialize by type of equipment or instrument being repaired.

What They Do

Electronic instrument repairers in the military perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Test meteorological and medical instruments, navigational controls, and simulators using electronic and electrical test equipment
  • Read technical diagrams and manuals in order to locate, isolate, and repair instrument parts
  • Replace equipment parts such as resistors, switches, and circuit boards

Where They Work

Electronic instrument repairers usually work in repair shops and laboratories.

Opportunities in Civilian Life

Most civilian electronic instrument repairers work for manufacturing, medical research, or satellite communications firms, or commercial airlines. They may also work for government agencies, such as the Federal Aviation Administration, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, or the National Weather Service. They perform the same kind of duties as military instrument repairers. They are called electronics mechanics, dental equipment repairers, or biomedical equipment technicians, depending on their specialty.

Physical Requirements

Normal color vision is required to work with color-coded wiring. Some specialties require a minimum age of 18 to enter.

Photographic Equipment Repairers

Navy
Air Force
Marine Corps

The photographic equipment used by the military is composed of many sensitive mechanisms. Still cameras, video cameras, and photographic-processing equipment require regular attention to stay in working order. Photographic equipment repairers adjust and repair cameras, projectors, and photoprocessing equipment.

What They Do

Photographic equipment repairers in the military perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Adjust and repair camera shutter mechanisms, focus controls, and flash units
  • Maintain and repair aerial cameras mounted in airplanes
  • Maintain aerial sensors that detect foreign military activities
  • Maintain and repair motion picture cameras and sound-recording equipment
  • Repair photoprocessing equipment such as enlargers, film processors, and printers
  • Diagnose problems in all types of cameras

Where They Work

Photographic equipment repairers work in repair shops on land or aboard ships.

Opportunities in Civilian Life

Civilian photographic equipment repairers work for photographic laboratories, engineering firms, and government agencies. They perform duties similar to those performed in the military. Depending on the specialty, they may also be called camera repairers, motion-picture-equipment machinists, or
photographic-equipment technicians.

Physical Requirements

Normal color vision is required to work with color-coded wiring.

Power Plant Electricians

Army
Navy
Air Force
Marine Corps
Coast Guard

Each military base – anywhere in the world – must provide its own electricity. Power plant electricians maintain and repair electricity-generating equipment in mobile and stationary power plants.

What They Do

Power plant electricians perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Maintain and repair motors, generators, switchboards, and control equipmen
  • Maintain and repair power and lighting circuits, electrical fixtures, and other electrical equipment
  • Detect and locate grounds, open circuits, and short circuits in power distribution cables
  • Connect emergency power to the main control board from an emergency switchboard
  • Operate standard electrical and electronic test equipment
  • Read technical guides and diagrams to locate damaged parts of generators and control equipment

Where They Work

Power plant electricians work in repair shops on land, aboard ships, or wherever generating equipment needing repair is located.

Opportunities in Civilian Life

Civilian power plant electricians often work for construction companies, manufacturers, and utility companies. They perform duties similar to those of military power plant electricians.

Physical Requirements

Normal color vision is required to work with color-coded wiring.

Precision Instrument Repairers

Army
Navy
Air Force
Marine Corps

Precision instruments are measuring devices. They can be as simple as a thermometer or as complex as a gyrocompass. Precision instruments are used by the military to measure distance, pressure, altitude, underwater depth, and many other physical properties. Precision instrument repairers keep measuring devices in good working order. They calibrate (adjust) gauges and meters to ensure correct readings.

What They Do

Precision instrument repairers in the military perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Calibrate weather instruments, such as barometers and thermometers
  • Repair gyrocompasses
  • Adjust and repair weapon-aiming devices, such as range finders, telescopes, periscopes, and ballistic computers
  • Calibrate engineering instruments, such as transits, levels, telemeters, and stereoscopes
  • Calibrate and repair instruments used in aircraft
  • Repair watches, clocks, and timers
  • Calibrate electrical test instruments

Where They Work

Precision instrument repairers usually work in repair shops on land or aboard ships.

Opportunities in Civilian Life

Civilian precision instrument repairers work for firms that manufacture or use precision instruments, including manufacturing firms, airlines, machinery repair shops, maintenance shops, and instrument makers. Civilian precision instrument repairers perform duties similar to those of military precision instrument repairers. They may also be called instrument mechanics or calibration specialists.

Physical Requirements

Normal color vision is required to work with color-coded wiring and repair manuals.

Radar and Sonar Equipment Repairers

Army
Navy
Air Force
Marine Corps
Coast Guard

Radar and sonar equipment locates objects by bouncing radio and sound waves off them. This equipment is used to detect and track enemy ships, planes, and missiles. It is also used for ship and plane navigation and weather observation. Radar and sonar equipment repairers install, maintain, repair, and operate sonar and radar equipment.

What They Do

Radar and sonar equipment repairers perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Test radar systems using electronic and electrical test equipment
  • Monitor the operation of air traffic control, missile tracking, air defense, and other radar systems to make sure there are no problems
  • Repair sonar and radar components (parts), using soldering irons and other special hand and power tools
  • Install receivers, transmitters, and other components using technical manuals and guides
  • Read wiring diagrams, designs, and other drawings to locate parts and components of radar equipment

Where They Work

Radar and sonar equipment repairers work in repair shops and laboratories on land or aboard ships. Some specialties involve flying.

Opportunities in Civilian Life

Civilian radar and sonar equipment repairers work for engineering firms, the federal government, or aircraft and military hardware manufacturers. They
perform duties similar to those of military radar and sonar equipment repairers. They may also be called communications technicians.

Physical Requirements

Specialties involving flying require passing a special physical exam. Normal color vision is required to work with color-coded wiring.

Ship Electricians

Navy
Coast Guard

Electrical systems supply power to operate ships and submarines. Lights, radar, weapons, laundry and cooking appliances, and machinery all need electricity. Ship electricians operate and repair electrical systems on ships. They keep electrical power plants, wiring, and machinery in working order.

What They Do

Ship electricians in the military perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Install wiring for lights and equipment
  • Troubleshoot electrical wiring and equipment using test meters
  • Inspect and maintain devices that distribute electricity throughout ships, such as circuits, transformers, and regulators
  • Monitor and maintain electrical devices connected to the ship’s main engines or nuclear reactors
  • Repair motors and appliances

Where They Work

Ship electricians usually work indoors, aboard ships or submarines. They also work in ship repair shops on land.

Opportunities in Civilian Life

Civilian ship electricians work for shipbuilding and dry-dock firms and shipping lines. They perform duties similar to those of military ship electricians. Other civilian electricians, such as building electricians and electrical products repairers, also perform similar work. Civilian nuclear power plant electricians perform duties similar to those of ship electricians who work with nuclear plants on ships and submarines.

Weapons Maintenance Technicians

Army
Navy
Air Force
Marine Corps
Coast Guard

Combat forces use many different types of weapons, ranging from small field artillery to large ballistic missiles. Weapons may be fired from ships, planes, and ground stations. Most modern weapons have electronic components and systems that assist in locating targets, aiming weapons, and firing them. Weapons maintenance technicians maintain and repair weapons used by combat forces.

What They Do

Weapons maintenance technicians in the military perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Repair and maintain artillery, naval gun systems, and infantry weapons
  • Clean and lubricate gyroscopes, sights, and other electro-optical fire-control components
  • Repair and maintain missile mounts, platforms, and launch mechanisms
  • Test and adjust weapons firing, guidance, and launch systems

Where They Work

Weapons maintenance technicians work in workshops when testing and repairing electronic components. They may work outdoors while inspecting and repairing combat vehicles, ships, artillery, aircraft, and missile silos.

Opportunities in Civilian Life

Civilian weapons maintenance technicians work for firms that design, build, and test weapons systems for the military. They perform duties similar to those of military weapons maintenance technicians. They may also be called electronic mechanics, avionics technicians, or missile facilities repairers.

Physical Requirements

Some specialties involve moderate to heavy lifting. Normal color vision is required to read color-coded charts and diagrams.