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How to become a Technician

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What do Technicians do?

Technicians are qualified to perform specialist tasks within their field. Training in the installation, operation and maintenance of specific machines or equipment is often a requirement. There are technicians in almost every industry so their duties and functions vary accordingly.

If you’re practical and great at paying attention to details, problem solving and communications, then you could be ideally suited to working as a Technician.

 

About you:

  • Dexterous (great with your hands) with strong maths and mechanical skills
  • Patient with excellent customer service focus and great at communicating
  • Reliable, self-motivated, and able to work independently
  • Willing to learn, you’ll also need to be good at team working with a positive “can-do” attitude

 

Industry Specific Technicians Roles

Technicians’ duties vary depending on the industry you choose and the specific job you’re hired to do.

Essentially, you can expect to turn up to work, diagnose problems related to specific equipment and fix them, install or operate the same kinds of equipment, or carry out maintenance works, do a standard 40-hour week, and then go home.

Whilst the job is important, it may not be critical and most often won’t require you to work outside normal business hours or impact too highly on your lifestyle.

 

Art

In this industry, technicians’ roles could include safely packing, moving, unpacking, installing and de-installing art without damaging the items. You could also be providing production, recording and broadcasting services, or specialising in lighting, special effects or sound.

Projected Job Growth to 2024: Moderate (Source: joboutlook.gov.au)

Average Salary 2019: $69,000 per year (Source: joboutlook.gov.au)

Design

Technicians in this industry could be designing anything from bridges to electronic units, constructing and testing mechanical parts, collecting and interpreting data, researching ideas, running complex equations, calculating cost estimates, or generating models and reviewing reports.

Projected Job Growth to 2024: Very Strong (joboutlook.gov.au)

Average Salary 2019: $70,000 per year (Source: Seek.com.au)

Aviation & Transport

Automotive technicians diagnose and repairs technical faults in cars, repair and replace defective and worn parts, or carry out planned, preventative maintenance. In the aviation industry you could be responsible for the testing, maintenance and repair of all kinds of aircraft.  Or you could be maintaining communication, navigation, safety and weapons systems.

Projected Job Growth to 2024: Moderate (joboutlook.gov.au)

Average Salary 2019: $60,000 per year (joboutlook.gov.au)

Business

As a business equipment technician, you could be installing, commissioning, maintaining, or repairing computers, switchboards, photocopiers, and cash registers, for example. You could specialise in IT and be responsible for networking, security and updates.

Projected Job Growth to 2024: Moderate (joboutlook.gov.au)

Average Salary 2019: $64,000 per year (payscale.com)

Law

Within the legal industry you could be advising lawyers on the legal technology available, sourcing it, then be responsible for installing it, maintaining it, and providing trainer for the users.

Projected Job Growth to 2024: Strong (joboutlook.gov.au)

Average Salary 2019: $60,000 per year (seek.com.au)

Construction

In this role, you may provide technical assistance to professionals including Engineers, Surveyors, Architects and Construction Managers during commercial and residential construction projects. You could be preparing plans, calculating costs, preparing bids, inspecting sites, supervising works progress, liaising with different stakeholders, or installing, repairing and maintaining various building systems.

Projected Job Growth to 2024: Stable (joboutlook.gov.au)

Average Salary 2019: $80,000 per year (joboutlook.gov.au)

Education

You could find yourself working in a library, school, university or other training organisation providing support services to teachers. Daily duties could include providing educational support to students in the classroom, helping to design and create activity plans, preparing materials for classes and activities, or assisting with administrative duties.

Projected Job Growth to 2024: Stable (joboutlook.gov.au)

Average Salary 2019: $60,000 per year (seek.com.au)

Hospitality

In this industry as a technician, you could be inspecting and repairing lifts and escalators, heating and cooling systems, plumbing and irrigation, lighting or kitchen equipment. You might also carry out other jobs like repairing floors, roofs, doors and other fittings, or installing new products such as windows, carpets, and light fixtures. You could also be responding to guests complaints and carry out daily or annual maintenance duties.

Projected Job Growth to 2024: Strong (joboutlook.gov.au)

Average Salary 2019: $70,000 per year (seek.com.au)

IT

As an IT technician you could be supporting users, installing and configuring soft- and hardware, carrying out maintenance and monitoring, or writing reports.

Projected Job Growth to 2024: 24.5% (Source: seek.com.au) Strong (joboutlook.com.au)

Average Salary 2019: $77,000 per year (joboutlook.com.au)

Communication and Marketing

You could be working in an office designing brochures, posting on social media, setting up and using CRM software, creating digital products, or analysing data.

Projected Job Growth to 2024: Very Strong (joboutlook.com.au)

Average Salary 2019: $60,000 per year (seek.com.au)

Health

Fulfilling support roles to medical professionals, you could be operating equipment in emergency rooms or operating theatres, carrying out laboratory tests, stocking pharmacies, organising and managing data, or making prosthetics.

Projected Job Growth to 2024: Very strong (joboutlook.gov.au)

Average Salary 2019: $60,000 per year (seek.com.au)

Police, Fire and ADF

You could be working in a forensic lab, maintaining fire trucks or sprinkler systems, or working in the ADF in roles as aircraft technicians or marine submariner technicians.

Projected Job Growth to 2024: Strong (joboutlook.gov.au)

Average Salary 2019: $70,500 per year (defencejobs.gov.au)

Environment

Technicians in this industry could be collecting and testing earth and water samples, recording observations and analysing data, identifying and collecting living organisms, or conducting field and laboratory studies. You could also be carrying out lab tests e.g. on fuels, agricultural products, food, pharmaceuticals, paints, metals, plastics, textiles, detergents, paper, or fertilisers.

Projected Job Growth to 2024: Stable (joboutlook.gov.au)

Average Salary 2019: $75,000 per year (joboutlook.gov.au)

STEM

You could be performing tests and experiments, helping with research, designing products and solutions, working in production environments, working out in the field, writing reports, carrying out quality control, or maintaining, calibrating and repairing equipment.

Projected Job Growth to 2024: Stable (joboutlook.gov.au)

Average Salary 2019: $70,000 per year (seek.com.au)

 

How to become a Technician in Australia

 

Depending on the industry you plan to enter the qualifications that you may need will vary.

 

Step 1 – Decide which industry you’re most passionate about and explore Technician roles within that industry.

 

Step 2 – Find out which qualifications you’ll need and complete them.

There are dozens of Certificates to consider that could provide you with the skills and knowledge to work as a Technician in many industries.

Have a look on My Skills to find out more, or speak to a TAFE or RTO near you to find out what course might be appropriate, as well as their career outcomes.

Apprenticeships and traineeships might also be an option worth considering. You’ll obtain a nationally recognised qualification, on the job experience and training and you’ll be getting paid to work as well.

A technical degree may be required in some fields such as Health & STEM, in which case you may need a relevant Bachelor’s Degree. Explore the jobs in fields you’re interested in and look at the entry requirements, then delve in the university courses available. Don’t forget you could also study online if the course you want isn’t nearby or it suits your lifestyle better.

 

Step 3 – Check whether there are any other additional requirements you’ll need to make you eligible for the job, e.g. licenses or registrations, white card, working with children and police checks.

 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

 

  • What qualifications do I need to become a Technician? 

Qualifications for this role vary due to the diverse number of industries you could choose to work in. The good news is that means there are lots of pathways and opportunities to pursue. Some jobs might require that you have a Certificate II or Diploma, whilst others might specify that you need a Bachelor or postgraduate equivalent to be able to apply.

 

  • What skills and knowledge does a Technician need?

The skills and knowledge you’ll need are specific to each role, therefore changes between industries and employers, but as a general rule you’ll need:

  • customer service skills
  • problem solving
  • attention to detail
  • hands-on
  • analytical skills
  • time management
  • independence
  • team player
  • specific, relevant, technical skills

 

  • What the difference between a technician and an engineer?

To become a technician you’ll need industry relevant technical skills; you’ll be turning up every day and performing your duties, getting the job done and going home. You’ll probably be reporting to someone more senior than yourself.You may be able to become a technician without lots of qualification requirements.

Engineers must be able to understand in detail how and why things work, find solutions even when the problem is complex or new, and they must constantly update their learning to be able to keep up with new technology and ideas. You’ll definitely need a Bachelor’s Degree as a minimum, and you are likely to have more seniority and responsibility than a technician, and therefore earn higher wages.

 

  • Where do Technicians work?

 

Technicians can work in offices, workshops, laboratories, in classrooms or out in the field. For some roles you could even find yourself working remotely – e.g. IT technicians.

 

  • What are 3 things I can do right now to work help me become a Technician?

If you’re at high school and think a career as a Technician would be perfect for you, here’s a few things you could start doing right now:

  1. Work on finding your passion and narrow down the industry you’d love to work in
  2. Develop the technical skills you’ll need in the role by gaining work experience, taking specific subjects at school, taking extra-curricular classes or workshops, or finding a mentor
  3. Work on your customer service skills by getting a part time job or volunteer position.
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