Technological advances have resulted in a new breed of service technician – no longer just nuts-and-bolts laborers, service technicians are now highly educated, computer-literate professionals who must be able to keep easy stride with the rapid advancements in their field.

In addition, the role of today’s service technician has expanded to include caring for customers as well as maximizing the return on investment in their customer’s equipment purchases. In today’s market, customer service is just as valued as technical know-how.

A closer look at the industry of today – and tomorrow – reveals several driving forces behind this evolution. Technology changes frequently and computers have become an integral part of equipment design. About five years ago, fewer than 15% of the parts of industrial equipment were computerized. Today, this number has jumped to more than 50%, a statistic that demands technicians continue to keep pace with the newest technologies.

Future Service Techs Will Need High-Level Thinking, Problem-Solving Skills

Features in the equipment also have changed with the times. Modern equipment now include such high-tech perks as touchscreen, Ethernet and Bluetooth communications. In addition to computers and electronics, the rise of new technologies such as smart phone applications to control scale information is also shaping the role of the service technician.

Today’s technicians – and those of the future – must have high-level thinking and problem-solving skills. Additionally they must have an increasingly broad knowledge of how the complex components of the equipment works and interacts, as well as an understanding of the electronic diagnostic and computer-based technical reference materials. Adept use of traditional hand tools is still important, but now this skill set must be complemented by a sharp understanding of computerized equipment, such as industrial robots, as well as customer service know-how.