Electronic bench testers examine finished goods and components to make sure that they match specifications and safety standards. They check finished goods and components against a list of specifications. This involves reading diagrams and making calculations, using measuring equipment such as voltmeters, oscilloscopes and computers. They may also use purpose-built test equipment. If a fault is found, the item is rejected or returned to production for repair.
Some electronic bench testers do a great deal of routine testing on batches of identical goods. Others test prototypes or one-off items specially designed for individual customers. After testing each batch or item, they fill in a worksheet or attach an inspection label. Sometimes it may be necessary to produce a written report.
The work is closely linked to quality control.
Bench testers work a 37.5 to 39-hour week. Shift work, night work and overtime are possible.
Electronic goods are usually manufactured in a controlled environment, which is clean and dust-free.
To be an electronic bench tester you will need:
Electronics is a major industrial employer. The main areas are communications, computers, television and audio systems, defence and component manufacture.
These industries change their design and manufacturing techniques as technology develops. Employees have to keep their skills and knowledge up to date, by re-training if necessary.
There may be some prospects for promotion to more senior posts. Craft workers may advance to technician level. Technicians may supervise craft workers.
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National Training Organisations (NTOs) ceased to be recognised by the government on 31 March 2002. However, some will continue operating for several months. Please contact individual NTOs with queries regarding their current status.
From March 2002, the Secretary of State for Education and Skills began licensing new Sector Skills Councils - charged with boosting skills and productivity in business sectors. For information about Sector Skills Councils, their roles and responsibilities, please visit the Sector Skills Development Agency website: www.ssda.org.uk