Technicians are among the fastest-growing group of workers in the U.S., with a total annual growth rate of nearly 20 percent since 2005.
But there are other important things they need to do to keep their jobs safe.
A recent report from the National Association of Technical Professionals (NTPT) says these skills aren’t always taught in schools.
In fact, some experts warn that teaching the right skills to the right people can lead to dangerous situations.
Troubleshooting can be the biggest one, and it can be harder to know when a problem is a “probable” one because technicians don’t always have the right tools to diagnose a problem and correct it.
But the NTPT’s study found that many technical workers fail to properly understand and diagnose common problems like plumbing leaks, gas leaks, and electrical issues.
“I know it sounds crazy, but the only way to get a problem resolved is to take a test and go back and make sure that everything is correct,” said James Luecke, who has taught engineering and computer science at the University of Tennessee and is a consultant to the National Science Foundation.
“There’s no reason why you can’t teach them to diagnose problems when they are.”
When a technician goes on a break from their work, they often need to stay away from home for extended periods.
In some cases, they have to drive to work in order to get to their job sites.
If technicians are out of work for a prolonged period of time, they may not have the time or training to keep working.
This is especially true for younger workers.
The NTPT study found there were more than 700,000 technicians in the United States who were either working or on vacation in 2011, which is more than double the number in 2010.
Many of those who need to return to their jobs are young and inexperienced, with a high risk of getting sick or injured while working.
“The best way to ensure a safe working environment is to train technicians to diagnose their own illnesses, avoid working on hazardous materials, and take appropriate precautions,” Luecek said.
According to the study, the most common cause of medical errors among technicians is a lack of communication.
When someone has an illness or injury, a technician must take a medical history and get tested for that ailment.
If they are sick, the technician must also report the symptoms and report the severity to the employer.
Lueck said that many technicians fail to do that.
He added that technicians are often asked to go on breaks from their jobs, which can leave them with less time to get the correct equipment and to be able to diagnose and fix problems.
“It is extremely difficult to diagnose your own illness when you are not on a job,” he said.
Luescott also recommends that technicians work in a group.
“When you are in a small group of people you need people to talk to and share information,” he explained.
“If a technician is working alone, the rest of the group will have to deal with the problems that the technician is dealing with.
But when the technicians are working together, there is much more communication and teamwork.”
Trying to fix problems with the wrong tools can lead technicians to make bad decisions.
“Some people will think they can do something that they would never think of doing,” Luescke said.
“This is dangerous because the technician could be making a mistake, or could be just being lazy.
If technicians are not working together to fix the problem, it could lead to them making bad decisions and potentially creating more problems.”
Lueckel also recommended that technicians learn the proper way to clean up spilled or spoiled equipment.
“A lot of people don’t know how to clean equipment properly,” he added.
“You need to learn how to do it.
You don’t have to use chemicals or bleach.”