This post provides detailed information on the panel technician job description, including the key duties, tasks, and responsibilities they commonly perform.
It also highlights the major requirements you may be expected to fulfill to be hired for the panel technician role.
What Does a Panel Technician Do?
A panel technician installs, maintains, troubleshoots and repairs control panels and automated systems across industrial, commercial, and infrastructure settings.
They are also referred to as control panel assemblers, industrial control technicians, or automation technicians.
Panel technicians typically report to a controls engineer, maintenance manager, or production supervisor.
They work in a wide range of industries including manufacturing, power generation, oil and gas, food processing, mining, and commercial facilities.
The role requires an Associate’s degree or technical certificate in electrical engineering technology, mechatronics, robotics, or a related field.
Apprenticeship programs providing on-the-job training are also common. Licensure as a professional engineer is sometimes required for leadership positions.
The core duties that make up the panel technician job description usually include assembling, wiring, programming, and testing control panels according to specifications.
When issues arise, panel technicians troubleshoot faults, perform repairs, and verify proper operation.
They also document configurations and maintain installation reports.
Additional responsibilities can include installing and upgrading programmable logic controllers (PLCs), as well as implementing automation systems to monitor and control industrial machinery, processes and infrastructure.
Safety and compliance with regulations are paramount.
Strong attention to detail, technical aptitude, and communication skills are valued for succeeding as a panel technician across global industry.
Their specialized skills keep mission-critical operations running efficiently.
Given complex equipment reliability needs and technology advancements, employers favor candidates with electrical/mechanical prowess, communication ability, discipline and aptitude for continuous skills upgrading.
National and local regulations like NEC, NFPA and UL standards apply towards panel fabrication while individual facilities specify compliance requirements for the role.
Panel Technician Job Description Example/Sample/Template
The panel technician job description typically consists of the following duties, tasks, and responsibilities:
- Assemble control panels by installing PLCs, terminals, relays, timers, breakers, wiring, and mounts according to specifications
- Connect functional wiring and circuitry between controls, sensors, equipment, and power sources
- Program PLCs and HMIs using ladder logic and other languages to meet sequence of operation needs
- Configure communication between controllers, I/O modules, networks, and SCADA as required
- Test panel functionality by simulating operation and tuning components as needed
- Troubleshoot faults in sensors, wiring, connections or controllers following diagnostics protocols
- Repair or replace defective components according to safety procedures
- Document configurations, calibration values, faults and corrective actions thoroughly
- Install control panels on-site using hand and power tools, sealing environmental enclosures
- Connect field wiring and devices to panels according to schematics
- Commission panels and automation systems by validating programmed functions
- Perform preventive maintenance and minor repairs on-site to maximize uptime
- Monitor automated operation and fine-tune system performance as needed
- Upgrade legacy systems by retrofitting PLCs, HMIs, networks to integrate new functions
- Comply with all safety regulations including lock out/tag out procedures
- Maintain accurate as-built records, manuals and technical documentation
- Coordinate with engineers regarding control strategy implementation
- Train production personnel to navigate HMIs and emerging interfaces
- Provide automation project support including budget estimates
- Identify obsolete components and recommend new products and solutions
- Ensure work complies with NEC, NFPA, UL, CE and other codes
- Obtain pertinent certifications to handle refrigerants, hazardous locations, etc.
- Foster partnerships with vendors to optimize spare parts inventory
- Continuously expand PLC programming knowledge and analytical skills
- Advise management on emerging automation technologies or process improvements.
Panel Technician Job Description for Resume
If you have worked before or are presently working in the role of a panel technician and are making a new resume or CV, then you can apply the sample panel technician job description provided above in making a compelling Professional Experience section for the resume.
You can highlight the major duties and responsibilities you have carried out are presently performing as a panel technician in your resume’s Professional Experience by utilizing the ones in the panel technician job description example above.
This will show to the recruiter/employer that you have been successful performing the panel technician duties, which can greatly boost your chances of being hired for the new job that you are seeking, especially if it requires someone with some panel technician work experience.
Panel Technician Requirements: Skills, Knowledge, and Abilities for Career Success
To excel as a panel technician and increase your chances of being hired for the role, the following expertise, developed through training and experience, are vital:
- Broad electrical knowledge – able to read and interpret schematics, understand motor control circuits, sequence of operations, power distribution, safety systems and instrumentation concepts
- PLC programming expertise – experienced with ladder logic, function block, structured text and various PLC brands
- HMI configuration skills – adept at OI display creation, alarm handling, data visualization using major HMI platforms
- Robotics integration knowledge – basics of common industrial robots and ability to provide support connections
- Control panel construction techniques – wiring standards, mounting, environmental ratings, proper strain relief and termination
- Communication protocols – set up networks like DeviceNet, Profinet, EtherNet/IP between controllers and field devices
- Computer literacy – intermediate MS Office with strong Excel; database ability for maintenance records
- Mechanical aptitude and dexterity – to handle parts assembly and use necessary tools
- Multi-meter usage and signal testing – validate voltage, continuity, inputs and outputs
- Critical thinking and complex troubleshooting aptitude
- Math and analytical skills – for I/O configuration, PLC memory allocation, tradeoff analysis
- Attention to detail and procedural work discipline
- Additionally, communication, teamwork and an aptitude for continuous learning are essential soft-skills for the career advancement of panel technicians across competitive global industries.
Panel Technicians Salary
According to the latest stats from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the typical yearly pay for panel technicians across the country was $64,120 in 2022.
Now, check out the top 5 highest paying states for the panel technician jobs in 2022.
Taking the crown at #1 is Washington with an impressive $81,270. Oregon trails closely behind at #2 with $76,930.
Then you’ve got California at #3 taking home $74,390.
Colorado and Nevada stand at #4 and #5, making $72,380 and $70,610 respectively.
So, if you’re looking to get into this field, it might not be a bad idea to head out West where the salaries are looking pretty sweet.
But, no matter where you are, the nationwide median of over 64k definitely beats out many other options out there.
For those interested in a hands-on, high-paying career with excellent job prospects, becoming a panel technician is a rewarding path to consider.
We’ve covered the key duties and responsibilities that commonly make up the panel technician job description, as well as required expertise for hiring and salary data.
Panel technicians fill a crucial niche role in maintaining and advancing automated systems across far-reaching industries.
As modernization investments continue, their unique blend of electrical, mechanical and programming knowledge will be increasingly high in demand.
While the work requires technical certifications, manual dexterity and continuous learning, the long-term career potential is immense.
Panel technicians enjoy stimulating troubleshooting work vital to operational continuity and public services.
Experienced specialists can progress to senior engineering, project management or training roles over time.
In summary, base electrical skills and intrinsic motivation to work with ever-evolving technology are prerequisites for success.
If this sounds like a good fit, excellent job opportunities with lucrative salaries lie ahead. Being a behind-the-scenes hero, keeping essential equipment running can be very rewarding on multiple fronts.