Why it's so hard to find good techs these days

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12/16/2008
I'm not trying to shame anyone, so I won't say where I found this, but here's a recent employment wanted ad posted by a security integrator: Job opportunity for Electronics Technician Experience: 1. Three years of field experience installing and designing security, fire, access control, computer network wiring, or similar low voltage systems. 2. Knowledge of 120 volt wiring and conduit installation. 3. Computer experience with Windows and computer aided drafting. Education: 1. Degree in electronics or computer repair or 2. Military training in electronics or 3. Company based training programs in electronics with minimum of three years field experience. Restrictions: 1. Individual must have a clean criminal record. An FBI background search will be required for this position. 2. A maximum of three moving traffic violations in the previous three years. 3. Clean and neat appearance. 4. Non smoking environment. Description: Individual will be required to understand electronic circuits and make field modifications for the system to operate within the designed criteria. He or she must be able to read engineering design drawings and build prototype circuits to be used in integrating multiple systems from different manufactures. Install cable, conduit, and electronic devices at the job site and program equipment to perform as specified. Develop CAD drawings for closed circuit TV, access control, and fire alarm systems. Compensation and Benefits: Based on experience, starting pay will be $10.00 to $12.00 per hour. Normal working hours will be 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM Monday through Friday. So, this person has three years of experience installing, has a clean criminal record, has a degree or military experience, and can develop CAD drawings. And you want to pay him/her $10-$12 an hour. That's, oh, say, $20,800-$24,960 a year or so. Maybe you can get to $27,000 with overtime. No mention of benefits. Hey, that's a little over the federal poverty level for a family of four, so not that bad, I guess. Of course, I pay my babysitter $10 an hour. She's 14. Look at that job description above. That person is going to be a major touchpoint with your customer and basically ensure whether the system you put in works or not. I'm thinking you want people who value themselves more highly in that position. Maybe I can see a total rookie coming out of a 2-year program getting that for what amounts to an apprenticeship. But someone with three years already on the job? Is this a sign of the economy? Is unemployment that bad? Am I completely out of touch on this? I made $24,600 my first year out of school as a teacher. In 1996. Seriously. As a teacher. They don't get paid much, remember. Now I know why people are balking at hiring IT professionals to help get into the IP security installation world. I'm guessing the networking guys are looking for more than $25k a year.