Electronics Engineering Technicians
Education and Training Requirements
A high school diploma is necessary for anyone wishing to pursue a career as an electronics engineering technician. While in high school, you should take algebra, geometry, physics, chemistry, computer science, English, and communications classes. Courses in electronics and introductory electricity are also helpful, as are shop courses and courses in mechanical drawing.
Most employers prefer to hire graduates of two-year postsecondary training programs. These programs provide a solid foundation in the basics of electronics and supply enough general background in science, as well as other career-related fields such as business and economics to aid the student in advancing to positions of greater responsibility.
Two-year associate-degree programs in electronics technology or electrical or electronics engineering technology are available at community colleges and technical institutes. Programs vary quite a bit, but in general, a typical first-year curriculum includes courses in physics for electronics, technical mathematics, communications, AC/DC circuit analysis, C++ programming, physics, microprocessors, electronic amplifiers, transistors, and instruments and measurements.
Typical second-year courses include physics, applied electronics, computer information systems, electronic drafting, electronic instruments and measurements, communications circuits and systems, digital electronics, technical writing, and control circuits and systems.
Students unable to attend a technical institute or community college should not overlook opportunities provided by the military. The military provides extensive training in electronics and other related fields.
In addition, some major companies, particularly utilities, hire people straight out of high school and train them through in-house programs. Other companies promote people to technicians' positions from lower-level positions, provided they attend educational workshops and classes sponsored by the company.
Other Education or Training
All electronics technicians will need to pursue additional training during their careers in order to keep up to date with new technologies and techniques. Many employers offer continuing education in the form of in-house workshops or outside seminars. Professional associations also offer seminars and classes on newer technologies and skill building. For example, IEEE provides career enhancement, professional development, and technical knowledge webinars; an eLearning Library; conference seminars and workshops; and other continuing education opportunities. Contact this organization for more information.
Certification, Licensing, and Special Requirements
Certification or Licensing
Electronics engineering technicians may obtain voluntary certification from the International Society of Certified Electronics Technicians, International Society of Automation, National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies, and ETA International. This certification is regarded as a demonstration of professional dedication, determination, and expertise.
Experience, Skills, and Personality Traits
Experience working with electronics via school clubs, competitions, internships, and other activities is highly recommended for aspiring electronics engineering technicians.
You should have an interest in and an aptitude for mathematics and science and should enjoy using tools and scientific equipment. On the personal side, you should be patient, methodical, persistent, and able to get along with different kinds of people. Because technology changes so rapidly, you will need to pursue additional training throughout your career. To work in electronics engineering, you also need to have the ability and desire to learn quickly, an inquisitive mind, and the willingness to read and study materials to keep up to date.