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Electronics Technology Training Schools

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Summary

Electronic technician training helps many technically minded individuals gain the expertise needed to install, maintain, and repair electronic components and systems. This is a huge sector with a wide variety of potential specialties. And it doesn't take much time to get started: With two years or less of training, you can be prepared to join this dynamic and well-paying field.

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Career Snapshot

Median Salary
Electronics Repairers

Career Outlook
Little change from 2018-2028

Job Openings
Average Yearly Openings

Length of Training
Most Common Length

Work Settings

Specializations

Relay and substation equipment, commercial and industrial equipment, transportation equipment, motor vehicles, electric motors and power tools

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Lincoln Tech

  • East Windsor
  • New Britain
  • Shelton
  • Marietta
  • Melrose Park
  • Indianapolis
  • Columbia
  • Mahwah
  • Union
  • Queens
  • Allentown
  • Electrical/Electronics

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YTI Career Institute

  • York, Pennsylvania
  • Electronics Engineering Technology

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Porter and Chester Institute

  • Hamden
  • Rocky Hill
  • Stratford
  • Waterbury
  • Worcester
  • Electronics Systems Technician

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Grantham University

  • Online
  • Electronics and Computer Engineering Technology
  • Electronics Engineering Technology

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Baker College

  • Cadillac, Michigan
  • Flint, Michigan
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Mechatronics

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ECPI University

  • Charlotte
  • Greensboro
  • Raleigh
  • Charleston
  • Columbia
  • Greenville
  • San Antonio
  • Manassas (Northern VA)
  • Newport News
  • Richmond
  • Virginia Beach
  • Not available to residents of California.
  • Electronic Systems Engineering Technology
  • Electronic Systems Mechatronic
  • Electronics Engineering Technology
  • Electronics Engineering Technology, Medical Imaging Equipment Technology
  • Mechatronics

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Miller-Motte College

  • Fayetteville, North Carolina
  • Raleigh, North Carolina
  • Mechatronics

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Island Drafting and Technical Institute

  • Amityville, New York
  • Electronics & Computer Service Technology

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Remington College

  • Shreveport, Louisiana
  • Memphis, Tennessee
  • Electronics & Computer Technology
  • Electronic Technology

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Eastwick College

  • Nutley, New Jersey
  • Electronics and Computer Technology

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Penn Foster Career School

  • Online & Distance Education
  • Basic Electronics
  • Electronics Technician

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Ashworth College

  • Online
  • Basic Electronics

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Career Information

Electronic technicians are the people who come to the rescue when electronic components, devices, and systems go haywire. For those with a technical bent and a love of hands-on work, this field offers plenty of satisfying opportunities.

Earnings

Technicians who install and repair electronic equipment earn a median salary of $59,080, according to the Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH). The highest earners make $93,650 or more annually.

Job Openings & Outlook

The OOH says that employment of electrical and electronics installers and repairers is expected to show very little change between 2018 and 2028.

However, employment projections from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that an average of 11,200 jobs in this sector should still become available each year over that time period due to people retiring or transferring out of the occupation.

That figure includes jobs for technicians who specialize in areas like transportation equipment, power tools, motor vehicles, substation and relay equipment, and commercial and industrial equipment.

Key Benefits

  1. Opportunity to work with your hands: You can instantly see the results of your efforts.
  2. Low barrier to entry: The relevant training can be done in two years or less.*
  3. High earning potential: Median wages for installing and repairing electronics are far above the national median for all occupations, according to the OOH.

What an Electronic Technician Does

Man in glasses using a soldering iron, pliers, and stationary magnifying glass to work on an electronic componentElectronic technicians install and service a wide range of electronic instruments, devices, and equipment. They can work with anything from microwaves and stereos to industrial motors and communications equipment.

Technicians often:

  • Install new equipment or components
  • Run diagnostic tests on existing systems and replace parts as needed
  • Calibrate electronic equipment
  • Interpret wiring diagrams and schematics
  • Perform regular maintenance on equipment
  • Keep logs and write reports
  • Communicate with colleagues and customers

Work Settings

Depending on their specialty, technicians may work in:

  • Repair shops
  • Factories
  • Garages
  • Power stations

They are employed in a diverse range of industries, including:

  • Utilities
  • Communications
  • Consumer electronics
  • Manufacturing
  • Home automation
  • Telecommunications
  • Engineering

Careers

Post-secondary training in electronic technology can prepare you to take on a range of roles, including:

Telecommunications technician: Work on things like routers, modems, switches, and phone lines.

Computer or office machine repairer: Install and maintain things like printers, fax machines, photocopiers, and automated teller machines.

Power line installer: Set up and repair the lines that keep the power grid going. In addition to your electronics training, you will likely need to complete an apprenticeship.

Avionics technician: Inspect and maintain the electronic instruments and control panels on an aircraft. An associate degree in electronics is a good starting point, but you will also need to complete certification through the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Specializations

Many technicians concentrate on a particular type of system. You could choose to focus on:

  • Relay and substation equipment: Keep electrical equipment in generating stations functioning.
  • Commercial and industrial equipment: Maintain things like transmitters and antennas.
  • Transportation equipment: Work on navigation, surveillance, and security systems in trains and boats.
  • Motor vehicles: Service security, sound, and navigation systems in cars and trucks.
  • Electric motors and power tools: Install and fix switches and wiring in things like drills and electric golf carts.

Career FAQs

Smiling young man sitting at a worktable and using a torque screwdriver on a piece of computer hardwareWhat do you need to be a good electronic technician?

You should be detail-oriented, enjoy problem solving, and be comfortable working with your hands. Successful technicians also possess:

  • Technical aptitude: Interpreting wiring schematics and using hand tools are basic parts of the job.
  • Hand-eye coordination: You'll often be repairing small components like wires and circuits.
  • Color vision: You need to be able to distinguish color-coded wires and electrical components.
  • Strength and stamina: You might be called upon to stand at a bench for long periods of time or lift and move heavy components on a job site.
  • Communication skills: The ability to clearly explain problems, test results, and solutions (either to customers or in written reports) is essential.

What's the difference between electronic technicians and electronic engineering technicians?

The two careers have a lot of overlap, but there are some important differences.

Electronic technicians focus on installation, troubleshooting, maintenance, and operation. They tend to have hands-on service jobs that involve a lot of contact with customers. These types of technicians generally need to complete a certificate or associate degree program in electronics, although some positions require only a high school diploma and on-the-job training.

Electronic engineering technicians support the work of engineers by helping to design, test, and evaluate electronic components and equipment. They build prototypes and refine designs based on tests and observations. These types of technicians typically need to have an associate degree in electronic engineering technology.



Education & Training

Electronic technology programs are designed to help students like you develop the technical know-how and practical skills that are prized in many different industries. Completing such a course of study can lead to a vast range of rewarding opportunities.

Length of Training

It can take anywhere from nine months to two years to become qualified as an electronic technician, depending on the program you choose and the credential you pursue.*

Most Common Length of School*
(range in months)

  • Basic electronics
    4-12
  • Electronic technology
    9-24
  • Engineering technology
    24

Program Options

Technical institutes, vocational schools, and community colleges typically offer certificate, diploma, and associate degree programs in electronics technology. Bachelor's degree programs are also available, but they are not as common.

Certificate or diploma programs can take from four months to a year or more to complete.* They cover the fundamentals of circuits, hardware, testing equipment, and repair methods.

Associate degree programs are usually 18 to 24 months long.* They include more general education classes and sometimes allow you to specialize in a certain area, such as industrial controls or avionics.

Bachelor's degree programs generally take four years to complete.* They typically provide more advanced coursework in areas like physics, math, computer programming, and business management.

Typical Courses

Electronic technology programs provide training in areas like:

  • AC and DC circuits
  • Semiconductors
  • Digital electronics
  • Power supplies
  • Electronic sensors
  • Integrated circuit theory
  • Wiring principles
  • Microcontrollers
  • Soldering
  • Programming languages
  • Math
  • Physics
  • Safety protocols

Skills You Can Learn

Electronics technician training can help you become adept at:

  • Understanding circuit diagrams
  • Using equipment like soldering irons, oscilloscopes, and multimeters
  • Calculating voltage, current, and resistance
  • Fixing or replacing defective components
  • Disassembling, testing, and reassembling equipment
  • Identifying hazards and avoiding electrical shocks

Tools & Technology

In the course of their work, electronic technicians use a variety of tools and diagnostic equipment. Examples include:

  • Soldering irons: To melt and fuse metal pieces
  • Multimeters: To measure voltage, resistance, and current
  • Oscilloscopes: To measure waveforms and visually see how voltage varies over time
  • Signal generators: To produce electrical impulses for testing purposes
  • Pliers and screwdrivers: To adjust and disassemble equipment
  • Tweezers: To manipulate tiny components

Some programs provide students with the multimeter and soldering equipment. Some also supply a breadboard (i.e., a rectangular piece of plastic full of tiny holes that allows you to create temporary circuits without soldering).

Certification

No special licensing or certification is required to work in this field. However, some employers do prefer to hire technicians who have achieved certification from a relevant authority.

Here are two of the most common:

ETA International offers more than 80 certifications in areas like industrial electronics, fiber optics, photonics, wireless communications, and renewable energy.

The International Society of Certified Electronics Technicians (ISCET) offers several levels of certifications related to topics like radar systems, industrial electronics, and home appliance repair.

Education & Training FAQs

What should I look for in an electronics technology program?

Consider course length and scheduling flexibility. And research each program to see what areas of electronics it focuses on. If you're interested in a particular specialty (like telecommunications or security systems), make sure the program you choose offers training in that area.

Can I train online?

While some electronic technology programs require you to be on-site for hands-on training, others are delivered entirely online through Web-based videos and simulations. Some programs will even send you basic tools like a multimeter, breadboard, and soldering supplies.

Do I have to renew my certification?

Most ETA International certifications require annual maintenance. That means you must complete a certain number of continuing education hours and pay a fee each year.

Certifications from ISCET are valid for two to four years, depending on which credential you hold. To renew, you must either pass an exam or log a certain number of continuing education hours.


* Length of training information is based on a combination of information from the Occupational Outlook Handbook, the U.S. Department of Education, and a wide sampling of relevant program lengths from about 30 individual school websites. They are a mix of public, private non-profit, and private for-profit institutions.