What is an electrical engineering technician (EET)? What do they do? How are they different than engineers?

In celebration of the new associate degree program for electrical engineering technicians, announced as part of the partnership between TI and the Dallas County Community College District (DCCCD), we’re debunking myths associated with EETs and looking at a real day-in-the-life of an electrical engineering technician and their impact on our world.

Myth #1: Being an EET is boring.

Don’t like the thought of a desk job? EETs work on complex, hands-on projects based on new technologies that are constantly keeping them busy. From working with robots, to wafers, to giant industrial machines, a technician’s job is anything but boring. 

Here are just a few of the exciting responsibilities of our TI technicians:

  • Troubleshoot, repair, calibrate and perform preventative maintenance on wafer fab equipment
  • Create a manufacturable process for new technologies that come into the fab
  • Improve and maintain tool and process performance
  • Identify root cause of die-level failures through collecting and analyzing data

Learn more about being a technician at TI here.

Myth 2: You don’t need an education to be an EET.

An EET career requires a specific set of skills and knowledge that can’t be acquired without formalized education. Top companies pay top salaries to technicians with quality education and training.

The new associate degree program for EETs at DCCCD provides the quality education employers desire– providing the knowledge of electrical engineering technology and critical skillsets including:

  • Learning how to manage resources and costs
  • Working with broad groups of people
  • Understanding the importance of communicating with and teaching others
  • Knowing how systems operate (for safety and also to understand and repair sub-assemblies in larger systems)
  • Using technical knowledge of broader tool sets and process tools.

All DCCCD EET graduates will be trained to meet the same baseline competencies: DC circuits, AC circuits, discrete components, digital circuits, chemical concepts, physical concepts, industrial controls, power supply concepts, mechanics and electrical/machine shop and hydraulics and pneumatics.

Learn more about the DCCCD EET associate degree program here.

Myth 3: EETs are all high school dropouts.

EETs are of all ages and interest. As heard in Infant’s story, he received prior training in the U.S. Navy before graduating with his associate degree to become an EET.

“We wanted to help create a program that will be worthy of veterans who have served our country and are now seeking additional education and training after serving their military assignments,” said Steve Lyle, director of engineering, workforce development and university marketing at TI. “A program that could take their military skillsets and refine or retool them for great civilian jobs by earning an associate degree in electrical engineering technology is a win-win.”

Funds from a federal grant to Richland College of the DCCCD will continue to support the Veterans-Focused Engineering Technology Project, which helps meet the needs of local veterans and other individuals who seek training to enter or re-enter the local job market.

Myth 4: EETs don’t make an impact.

Technicians in one of TI’s manufacturing facilities.

This myth is far from the truth. Our people are the champions and drivers of quality throughout TI ­- especially our EETs. The first step in creating our technology starts with the machines our technicians maintain. EETs must ensure quality from the very beginning of product development or none of the remaining steps matter.

Without technicians to ensure that equipment and parts are up and running, and maintain high quality standards, we could be at risk of our devices not working properly. Your power might not stay on consistently. Your thermostat could fail to provide heating or cooling for your house. Your phone would not make calls when needed. Technology as we know it would cease to work properly, much less advance over time.

Myth 5: You cannot become an EET.

This is most certainly not correct.

Now that we’ve debunked myths about technicians and you know what technicians do and how valuable they are, what’s stopping you from becoming one? Find out more about getting your associate degree in electrical engineering technology at DCCCD. Who knows, you might be one of TI’s next electrical engineering technicians!