How to Become a Master Electronics Technician

The master electronics technician designation is an advanced credential for electronics technicians. Read an in-depth description of this credential, and learn how you can become qualified to test for it. Review your educational options in the electronics technology field. Schools offering Appliance Repair degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Does A Master Electronics Technician Do?

Master electronics technicians are highly trained and have extensive experience in working on electrical systems. They qualify to take the CETma certification required to be a master electronics technician because of the extent of their experience. Electronics technicians are also known as electronics engineering technicians. They are involved in developing and designing electrical devices, such as computers, navigation equipment, and medical devices. Master electronics technicians need to understand how to put these devices together, how to run diagnostic tests to determine what's wrong with a device, and how to improve the function of the device and make adjustments and repairs. They build prototypes and test systems and evaluate the performance of the device as part of the development of the device.

Degree Required Associate's Degree
Training Required Extensive Professional Experience
Key Responsibilities Designing and Developing Electronic Systems; Assessing Products; Performing Diagnostic Tests on Devices
Licensure or Certification CETma Certification
Job Growth (2014-2024) -2%* (for electrical and electronics engineering technicians)
Median Salary (2015) $61,130* (for electrical and electronics engineering technicians)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

What is a Master Electronics Technician?

Master electronics technicians are individuals who have gained enough professional experience and knowledge to earn a specific certification. The master electronics technician (CETma) certification is offered by the Electronics Technician Association International (ETA-I). This designation is aimed at professional electronics service technicians, technician-managers, consultants and electronics educators, according to the ETA-I. That organization says that CETma certification is not required for employment, although it may help in finding opportunities for advancement (www.eta-i.org). To qualify for the master electronics technician certification, a technician with at least six years of experience and education must earn six other certifications through the ETA-I.

Among the certifications offered by the ETA-I are those for fiber optics designers, audio and video distributors, aerospace fiber optics fabricators, residential electronics systems integrators, satellite installers, wireless network technicians and telecommunications industry professionals. Your professional experience may help to determine which of these certifications you are qualified for. For example, fiber optics designer certification includes knowledge of the relationship between wavelengths and frequency, construction and classification of fiber optic cable and the differences between LED and laser. Wireless network technician certification requires an understanding of wireless network operation and maintenance. To earn the telecommunications certification, you must show proficiency in analog telephony, safety, transmission service protocols, distribution methods, wiring, testing and troubleshooting.

What Testing is Required?

The ETA-I requires that candidates for the CETma certification first pass an associate-level certification test to earn the Associate Certified Electronics Technician (CETa) designation. This exam covers topics like electrical theory, the use and reading of diagrams, industry tools and safety procedures. For this test, you are expected to explain the use of audio and video components in common electronic equipment, name common electronic display devices and show understanding of computer systems and digital circuitry. After obtaining the CETa, the CETma candidate must complete tests in each of the six additional certification areas they choose.

What Educational Options are Available?

According to the ETA-I, there is no specific education required for master electronics technicians. Experience and knowledge are the qualifications that are specifically required to earn this designation. If you are just starting out in an electronics career, or if you want formal education to supplement existing work experience, you can earn a 1-year electronics technician certificate program. A 2-year Associate of Science or Associate of Applied Science degree in Electronics Technology is also available.

In an electronics technician certificate program, you can expect to study varying types of circuits and patterns, including linear, audio and video circuits. You will learn to troubleshoot malfunctioning electronic equipment. Electronics technology associate degree programs cover topics like automation, electromechanical processes and microcontrollers. These programs may also include preparation for CETa designation.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Electrical and electronics engineers, electro-mechanical technicians and mechanical engineering technicians all perform some tasks that are comparable to things master electronics technicians do. Electrical and electronics engineers design and develop electronic devices, similar duties performed by master electronics technicians. A bachelor's degree is required for this position. An associate's degree is required to be an electro-mechanical technician or mechanical engineering technician. Mechanical engineering technicians perform the same tasks as master electronics technicians, except they work on mechanical devices. Electro-mechanical technicians combine knowledge of electronics and mechanics and work on things such as robotic or automated devices.

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