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BILL HANSEN COULDN'T HAVE BEEN happier, as well as being surprised. At 28, and only three years out of a two-year technical college in Los Angeles, he had just landed a lucrative electronics technician's position at Advanced Electronics, Inc., winning out over a dozen other candidates. "Why me," he wondered out loud? "Why was I the chosen one?"
John Parry, one of the twelve applicants who didn't make it, was speculating, too. With 18 years of experience as an electronics technician, the last 12 working for Hughes Aircraft Co. as a high-frequency antenna specialist, "Surely I should have had the edge for that job," he mused.
Why had Bill succeeded where John and the other applicants failed? Because, as we shall see later, Bill possessed what it takes to make it as an electronics technician in the 1990s. He had the knowledge, the skills, and, most important, the attitude required for success. Unfortunately, many of "yesterday's" highly specialized electronics technicians do not.
This article will update you on what it means to be--and what it takes to become--a professional electronics technician in the 1990s. Are you a hobbyist or experimenter thinking about parlaying your interest in electronics to the career level? Or perhaps you're a seasoned electronics technician who wants to keep up on how your profession is changing and what you can do to broaden your opportunities?
The times, they are a-changing
Global competition and major transformations in the electronics industry are combining to inject significant change into the career of the electronics technician. Automation, fierce business competition, and corporate downsizing are the principal causes of that change. They make the immediate post World War II era of job stability, predictability, and specialization in all fields seem a dim memory.
At the same time, the electronics industry is seeing enormous increases in the demand for electronic products and services, unparalleled technological innovation resulting in a continuous flood of new hitech products, and a downward pricing spiral that makes such products affordable.
Together, these influences are expanding the role of today's electronics technician. At a time when it is often cheaper to replace than to repair electronic products, technicians have seen their activities extend outward from component replacement to systems maintenance. As a consequence of these new challenges, new opportunities are opening up to the astute and enterprising electronics technician who is ready to take charge of his or her career.
Replacement to …