Careers In Technology: What Is A Production Technician

There are plenty of jobs available in companies specializing in technology. Here's some information about a career as a production technician.

While jobs in traditional manufacturing companies have dried up in the past decade, advances in technology have created the need for trained personnel to work in various roles in companies that specialize in software and hardware development. Production technicians are needed for a wide variety of companies and the field is growing annually. Here's what you need to know about becoming a production technician.

Job Description: A production technician is responsible for assembling and testing production materials. Additionally a person in this position frequently will build and test prototypes, and is responsible for maintaining the company's quality standards and procedures, while at the same time, supporting corporate and department goals. Most companies have adapted a "team" based work atmosphere, and an individual in this position must be able to cooperate with other members of the group.

Organizational Relationship: Normally, a production technician reports to the manufacturing or production manager, although in a team setting, this position may report to the team leader who ultimately reports to the appropriate manger.

General Duties: Depending on the nature of the product, a production technician may be called upon to do the following:

-Assemble and test equipment either for sale to the customer or internal use for testing or prototyping.

-Follow detailed instruction as outlined in controlled documentation and manufacturing policies and procedures.

-Create and maintain records for the quality department

-Become familiar with company policy regarding engineering change notice processes, and initiate action when discrepancies are identified.

-Troubleshoot and repair equipment used in the production process.

-Calibrate and maintain any test equipment used in the process

-Follow company procedures for non-conforming products, return goods, and other defective material, completing reports and advisories.

-Assist engineering or development personnel in the testing of prototype products.

-Perform other duties as assigned by supervisory personnel.

-Follow all safety and ESD procedures.

-Demonstrate leadership skills and the ability to work with others.

Qualifications: Most companies require a minimum of a high school diploma or GED with some experience in a production position. For more sophisticated operations, a two-year technical degree is usually required along with a minimum of two years experience. Additionally, many companies involved in electronics production require security clearances, either for work on government projects or for their own security concerns.

A production technician must be able to closely follow written instructions, and communicate clearly with engineering, technical support, sales and management.

Potential for Advancement: A good production technician can advance into a team leadership role, and ultimately, with additionally education, even a management position. Many production technicians also moved into customer service or technical support roles in that they understand the product and have knowledge of troubleshooting and installation procedures.

Opportunities: Positions are available for production technicians in a wide variety of companies nationwide. Any firm that manufactures computer-related components, such as boards, circuits, cables, connectors, or resistors uses production technicians, and the field is growing every year.

Salary: Compensation varies depending on the level of experience and education. Most production technicians are paid hourly, and can earn overtime when production is at its peak. More senior positions are usually salaried.

Training: Many high schools now offer the option of training in electronics to students in lieu of standard course work. There are also courses available through local educational cooperatives and community colleges. For more advanced skills, consider a specialty training company or even online courses. Some companies will train individuals from within who exhibit interest and potential.

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