LIFE AS AN ENGINEER IN THE MILITARY
Electronic Instrument and Equipment Repairers
The military uses electronic instruments and equipment in many different areas, including health care, weather forecasting, and combat, to name a few. Electronics repairers maintain and repair instruments and equipment, such as computers, communications equipment, radar and sonar systems, precision measuring equipment, and biomedical instruments. Electronic instrument and equipment repairers normally specialize by type of equipment or instrument being repaired.
WHAT DO MILITARY ENGINEERS DO
What They Do
Electronic instrument and equipment repairers in the military perform some or all of the following duties:
- Maintain, test, adjust, and repair electronic equipment using frequency meters, circuit analyzers, and other specialized test equipment.
- Install and repair circuits and wiring using soldering iron and hand tools
- Install computers and other data processing equipment
- Use technical guides and diagrams to locate defective parts and components of equipment
- String overhead communications and electric cables between utility polls
- Monitor the operation of air traffic control, missile tracking, air defense, and other radar systems to make sure there are no problems.
Helpful school subjects include math, electricity or electronic repair, shop mechanics, and or physics. Helpful attributes include:
- Ability to apply electronic principles and concepts
- Interest in solving problems
- Interest working with electrical, electronic, and electrochemical equipment
Job training varies between 8 to 40 weeks of classroom instruction, including practice in repairing electronic instruments and equipment. Training length varies depending on specialty. Course content typically includes:
- Mechanical, electronic, and electrical principles
- Maintenance and repair procedures
- Line installation and wiring techniques
- Use of test equipment
Normal color vision is required to work with color-coded wires. Some repairers may work from ladders or tall utility polls.
Electronic instrument and equipment repairers usually work in repair shops and laboratories on land or aboard ships.
Civilian electronic instrument and equipment repairers work for a variety of organizations, such as manufacturing firms, communications firms, commercial airlines, and government agencies. They perform the same kind of duties as military electronic instrument and equipment repairers. Depending on their specialty, they may be called electronics mechanics, telecommunications equipment installers and repairers, radio mechanics, or computer technicians.
The services have about 58,000 electronic instrument and equipment repairers. Each year, they need new repairers due to changes in personnel and the demands of the field. After job training, they are assigned to an operations or equipment maintenance unit where they perform routine repair jobs. In time, they may perform more difficult repairs and supervise other repair personnel. Eventually, they may become supervisors or managers of electronic equipment maintenance units.
Leong Chow Wei
Faculty of Electrical Eng.
University of Technology Malaysia.