what is a technician?

As a technician, you ensure equipment and machines are in good shape and health. You perform routine maintenance procedures to identify any problems in the machines. The regular inspections ensure prompt detection of repair and troubleshooting needs. Technicians don't just solve mechanical problems; they also deal with electrical faults and issues within manufacturing systems. You ensure the manufacturing process is operational to avoid output reduction, downtimes and substandard quality. The maintenance routines work towards providing high-quality production standards.

Often, maintenance work done by a technician is divided into preventative, general and predictive maintenance. A preventive maintenance technician monitors equipment or machines, and they complete necessary repairs to prevent malfunctions or improve the equipment's useful life. Machine producers set periodic maintenance schedules, which are crucial after pre-determined operational cycles. During preventive maintenance, you work with engineers to develop monitoring and repair schedules to keep the machines' performance faultless.

Predictive maintenance technicians operate with the expectation that a machine will not be in operation in the future. They work to prolong the useful life of the equipment. As a technician, you install performance-tracking tools to help you pinpoint the causes of failure. You also conduct tests and regular checks to determine the working capacity and cost-effective maintenance methods. As a general maintenance technician, you handle emergency repairs and issues like electrical faults.

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average technician salary

The typical salary of a technician in Australia is $75,000 per year. When you are new to the role, you start with a remuneration package of $65,000 annually. With experience and educational qualifications, you are likely to earn over $85,000 yearly. The remuneration package depends on experience and the industry you work in. When you have entry-level experience, you take home a lower salary. However, you can negotiate a higher salary after gaining over five years of experience.

Your area of expertise also influences your earnings. For instance, if you work as a dental technician, you earn an average salary of $80,000 annually. Laboratory technicians earn an average salary of $70,000 per year. Aside from the area of specialisation, the company's size influences your earnings. Large companies pay higher salaries due to the higher number of resources they have.

Want to know what you will earn as a technician? Check out what you are worth with our salary checker.


types of technicians

Instead of working as a general technician, specialise in a specific field, such as industrial, building, information technology (IT) or equipment maintenance. As an industrial technician, you maintain machinery in factories and manufacturing. You also troubleshoot machines to ensure they function as expected. In case of a problem or failure, you perform the repairs.

Working as a building technician involves routine maintenance in properties and residential buildings. After construction, you ensure the plumbing, heating and ventilation systems are in working condition. As a technician in public works, you construct, maintain and repair sidewalks and city streets. You also inspect roads and railway lines to ensure the safety of trains and vehicles.

As an IT technician, you are in charge of detecting issues in computer systems and finding solutions. You also regularly troubleshoot and run diagnostic tests to check for problems, ensuring every part of the computer system works.

Male blue-collar worker in tech environment. Wearing protective ear covers, safety gloves. and safety goggles. Caucasian man. Groomed beard and mustache. Factory. Primary color blue. Secondary color cream.
Male blue-collar worker in tech environment. Wearing protective ear covers, safety gloves. and safety goggles. Caucasian man. Groomed beard and mustache. Factory. Primary color blue. Secondary color cream.

working as a technician

Becoming a technician allows you to develop remarkable technical skills and build your career. Discover the tasks technicians undertake daily and the work environment.


education and skills

To work as a technician in Australia, you require relevant educational qualifications. The requirements vary depending on your area of specialisation and the industry you want to work in. For instance, an IT technician should complete a bachelor’s degree or diploma in information technology and gain the relevant certifications required of IT technicians, including CompTIA A+. When you work in the automotive, manufacturing or mining industries, pursue a diploma in technical engineering to learn the necessary skills for repairing machines and maintaining equipment.

Technicians working in laboratories, such as dental or lab technicians, require qualifications in laboratory technology and should register with the Royal Australian Chemical Institute. Other types of lab technicians register with the Australian Society for Microbiology.

technician skills and competencies

The required skill set for aspiring technicians includes the following:

  • problem-solving skills: the primary task of a technician is to resolve mechanical problems that prevent equipment from functioning properly. That means you need creative problem-solving skills to develop solutions and execute repairs that will restore the performance of a plant or machinery. Deductive reasoning boosts your problem-solving skills and helps you isolate the root causes of failure from production team reports or observations.
  • manual dexterity: whether you are determining the cause of a problem or fixing damages, you use specific tools. That means to manipulate components of machines during installation, you need skills in using your hands and the tools at your disposal. Sometimes, you replace machine parts during repairs, which is physically demanding.
  • attention to detail: when you are a technician, you spot glitches in systems or machine functions by observing or listening to the noises they produce during operation. If you understand the routine operations of the equipment, your attentiveness to detail helps you pinpoint problems in the system.
  • communication skills: your communication skills help you pass on clear instructions to other technicians or explain a solution to machine failure. Exceptional written communication enables you to create maintenance procedures and maintain the documentation to comply with manufacturing guidelines.
  • time management: you schedule and plan maintenance routines to ensure they are completed on time. It is also important to allocate time in your schedule for unexpected problems in the machinery or troubleshooting requests.

FAQs about working as a technician

Here, you will find the answers to the most frequently asked questions about the profession of a technician.

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