Low Voltage Technicians are the people in charge of installing as well as helping clients choosing and maintaining low-voltage systems and cables. The most common wiring and cable jobs that low voltage technicians work with are TV and security alarm wiring and cables.
What exactly is low-voltage wiring?
Low voltage wiring is everywhere, from communications to entertainment systems. Televisions and telephones are prime examples, though it also can include small electronic devices like doorbells and thermostats.
What do Low Voltage Technicians do?
The Low Voltage Technician will set up the various controls that a client needs to use (like the thermostat) and then go through the wiring and cables, making sure that installation is correct, up to code, and will not lead to any malfunctions.
In addition to original installations, Technicians will just as often be called in for repairs. As a matter of course these repairs could be something as simple as a frayed wired, or something fat more extensive like a poor wiring job that needs to be ripped out and replaced.
Once the technician has diagnosed any problems, and determined that a new installation is necessary, the technician will typically help the owners pick out a system that is going to fit their needs while staying under the client’s budget.
The training, and the traits, of a Low Voltage Technician.
The Low Voltage Technician’s job is one of those few and quickly disappearing professions that are skilled, but do not rely on a college degree. Rather the technician only needs a high school diploma, be reliable, detail oriented and trustworthy. Especially since the technician is going to be working in people’s homes and businesses finding one that is trustworthy is incredibly important.
There is a different between Electricians and Low Voltage Technicians, though most of the time anyone who has run any sort of wires, at any length, will have more experience than 90% of electrician apprentices. It is true that Electricians can specialize in low voltage, and perform the same tasks as many technicians, while technicians can’t really perform the same tasks as an electrician. This is for a variety of reasons, some are because certain tasks have to be completed by a person who is licensed and certified and some are because of a simple lack of knowledge and specialization.
Low Voltage Technicians, in general, deal with working with wiring for security, voice and data, and house controls. Technicians tend to be incredibly well rounded within their area of expertise. Electricians will specialize within their field; dealing with high voltage, 3 phase amps, connecting buildings to power etc. After all why call (and pay) a Master Electrician when you only have need of a low voltage technician.
That is part of the paradox that is playing out across the country for technicians and electricians. The office and home are quickly becoming integrated, and there is an increasing need for technicians but not enough technicians available.
The responsibilities of Low Voltage Technicians are far greater today than they have ever been before. What techs do now goes way beyond things like installing door contacts and motion detectors for security systems and has become much more than just pulling wires. Some have equated what the Low Voltage Technician does now means being part craftsman and part IT expert, and the old adage that low voltage means low tech is almost dead and gone if not gone entirely.
Homes are increasingly becoming smarter. Smart appliances, smart cars, smart phones, smart fixtures, have all started to make their presence in homes known. All of these items can usually be accessed while away from home and are interconnected with the other wireless devices in the home. Low Voltage Technicians keep up with these new technologies and often receive ongoing training that allows them to blend both wiring and installation with the Wi-Fi capable devices. This gives them a much broader skill set than their electrician counterpart. This training usually goes beyond installing the new devices, also including customer service skills.
Odds are when the new device is installed (a smart doorbell that lets a person see who is at the door through your phone for example), the person receiving the new doorbell will need to know how to use it. Increasingly Low Voltage Technicians learn how to demonstrate and explain to the client or customer how to use the newly installed device. This demonstration (most of the time) will be done on site at the customer’s home or business.
Not nearly as appreciated as their electrician counterparts, Low Voltage Technicians are the unsung heroes of the modern home and business. They help businesses and home owners install, power, and connect the newest technologies. Businesses can become more efficient, homes can become more convenient, and both can become more energy efficient and safe.