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What Does a Sonar Technician Do?

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  • Written By: YaShekia King
  • Edited By: E. E. Hubbard
  • Last Modified Date: 22 August 2014
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Sonar technicians are professionals who work in submarines or on ships and must keep track of the sonar systems used to identify objects in the water. A sonar technician should be able to handle dangerous conditions without panicking and also be comfortable working in various weather conditions and climates while at sea. This type of professional usually must have a four-year bachelor’s degree or a two-year master’s degree in a field such as physics or engineering, and achieve the standards required to enter the military. He or she handles sonar equipment, maintains equipment, and leads groups of ship employees.

Using sonar systems correctly is an important duty of a sonar technician. This individual should understand how sound wave technologies function and how sound works in water so that he or she can track enemy submarines and other relevant items around him or her. A sonar professional aims to ensure that his or her ship or submarine does not strike an item that makes noise. If this does happen, the sonar technician must find out exactly what he or she hit and the item's whereabouts. The individual then provides this information to his or her ship's weapon systems team.

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Professionals in the sonar field also are responsible for keeping equipment up to par and pinpointing electronic signals in water. A person in this industry maintains the sonar equipment used to identify other watercraft. He or she additionally makes necessary repairs to his or her ship's or submarine's meteorological instruments, as well as the computer local area networks and ship speed systems. In addition, sonar technicians try to find out other ships’ electronic signals and analyze them for their own military purposes. A sonar technician should be strong in the area of electronics so as to diagnose and fix equipment problems in a timely fashion.

Supervising other employees is another task of a sonar technician. For this reason, a sonar technician must possess solid leadership and project management skills. Sonar technicians sometimes are responsible for leading a team of engineers, creating employee work schedules, and even training new technicians in the field. In this situation, they often demonstrate to other employees how to perform tasks related to all of the ship’s combat systems.

Overseeing a budget, managing paperwork, and responding promptly in stressful situations are valuable sonar technician responsibilities as well. A professional in this field should work well in emergencies and make decisions to solve uncommon problems quickly. He or she also must be able to allocate funds to various types of sonar system equipment appropriately and handle classified information with attention to confidentiality.

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