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Test Technician Career Guide

Are you analytical, possess excellent written communication skills, and exceptional math skills? Do you have a passion for testing and good attention to detail? As a test technician, you can put your outstanding skills to work. 

Test technicians are responsible for testing products and equipment to ensure quality and performance. They must also ensure that the products comply with all applicable regulations, including safety. Excellent written communication skills are required as they record test outcomes, write reports, and make written recommendations to stakeholders. As a test technician, you might work in a variety of industries, such as transportation, software, and manufacturing. A test technician must be able to understand objectives and expectations from stakeholders, diagrams, and other materials to develop appropriate tests to verify quality and performance standards are being met. 

Test technicians should be familiar with applicable testing methods and techniques and be able to troubleshoot issues with relevant testing equipment. They also should be able to make changes to testing equipment or procedures as needed. Attention to detail is essential to excel as a test technician, as are solid math skills when working with data and numbers. If you fit this profile, you could be the perfect match!

Sample job description

We’re looking for a new test technician to work at [Your Company Name]. The job will be full-time. The test technician will be responsible to ensure the quality of products and ensure that products are not defective in any way. Test technicians should have a good understanding of how to ensure that a product is working properly. Previous experience is not required but would be beneficial. The technician will be required to perform daily functions as well as monitor tests and quality assurance of equipment. Ideally, the candidate should have impressive problem-solving skills and be able to properly diagnose, troubleshoot, and report problems that arise with any specific product or equipment. An associate degree is required. If this sounds like you and you are interested, don’t hesitate to apply to this position!

Typical duties and responsibilities

  • Inspect components before assembly
  • Test trial products during development
  • Test finished goods
  • Record testing data and analyze results to determine whether products meet quality standards
  • Maintain testing methods and equipment
  • Assemble and calibrate testing equipment
  • Use testing data to recommend improvements to the production process

Education and experience

This position requires an associate degree in engineering technology or a related field.

Required skills and qualifications

  • Analytical, problem-solving and critical-thinking skills
  • Basic engineering and scientific knowledge
  • Teamwork and interpersonal communication skills
  • Keen attention to detail
  • Experience using mathematical concepts such as geometry, trigonometry, ratios, fractions, and proportions
  • Ability to define problems verbally and in writing
  • Experience analyzing data and drawing valid conclusions from that data

Preferred qualifications

  • Desire and ability to learn 
  • Ability to meet deadlines while overseeing multiple projects
  • Must be detailed and organized
  • Excellent written and verbal skills to communicate with a demonstrated ability to produce technical reports
  • Proficiency with data handling in Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides
  • Ability to work in a cross-functional group environment

Typical work environment

Test technicians may work in a large variety of fields, including manufacturing, factory quality ensuring, and software troubleshooting. The location of the test technician position may vary, and test technicians may be required to stand on their feet for multiple hours at a time. Test technicians are required to ensure that a product or specific aspect of a product performs properly and follows the correct standards and guidelines of production. Monitoring, calibrating, and ensuring the quality of the relevant testing equipment is also often times required in this position. Test technicians will usually work full-time, and an associate’s degree is often required with this position. Technicians may specialize in the mechanical aspect of certain projects or the electronic aspect. Duties can vary depending on the specialization of the technician.

Typical hours

The typical work hours for a test technician are from 9 AM to 5 PM, Monday through Friday.

Available certifications

Testing technicians can benefit from certifications and degrees, as this field is highly technical. Some of the relevant degrees would be:

  • NETA Certified Technician. Becoming a NETA Certified Technician can be extremely beneficial for technicians in general as well as test technicians in order to prove competency and quality of work and skills. NETA provides examinations, testing, and certifications relevant to the technician fields. NETA is a nationally recognized certification agency, so this certification can be beneficial to any technician.
  • Acceptance Test Technician Certification Providers (ATTCP). The Acceptance Test Technician Certification Providers aim to provide quality assurance as well as training, certifications, oversight, and testing for test technicians. This certificate is available in restricted districts but can be extremely beneficial for a test technician to have, especially depending on the location where the technician operates and the field in which they work.

Career path

This position requires an associate degree in engineering technology or a related field. Certification from the American Society for Quality (ASQ) can also be attractive to potential employers or for career advancement. Successful test technicians can advance to team leader positions, and from there, into quality assurance management roles.

US, Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job outlook

SOC Code: 51-9061

2020 Employment557,900
Projected Employment in 2030489,800
Projected 2020-2030 Percentage Shift 12% decrease
Projected 2020-2030 Numeric Shift68,100 decrease

According to the professional services firm Accenture, several current trends will bring change to the field of quality assurance and product testing. The first is the use of big data and applied analytics. With companies finding ways to obtain new types of data about their processes, test technicians have more tools at their disposal to use in collecting test data.

Another trend in product testing is the use of machine learning or artificial intelligence (AI). These new processes will help optimize the tests that test technicians use. They’ll provide extra speed and accuracy, leading to even more sophisticated quality monitoring systems.