How to Become an Electronics Technician: Degree, Training & Certification

An electronics technician works with engineers to design, test, and repair the cutting edge electronics and machinery that keep modern life running smoothly. The delicate nature of the work that electronics technicians do requires specialized education and training, as well as certification, to prove experience and know-how. Schools offering Appliance Repair degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

How to Become an Electronics Technician

Due to the complexity of working with electronics, electronics technicians must receive specialized electronics schooling and undergo extensive on-the-job training through apprenticeships in order to become a full-fledged electronics technician. Despite this, the steps to become an electronics technician are quite straightforward.

  1. Complete an electronics technician degree program
  2. Participate in an electronics technician apprenticeship
  3. Obtain electronics technician certification

Electronics technicians are supervised members of development teams that assemble and testing new electronics.

To become an electronics technician, you'll need to learn how to design circuit diagrams, draft sketches, and work on prototypes. Other duties might include repairing existing machines on site or maintaining automated systems.

Obtain an Electronics Technician Degree

In order to get started on the path to becoming an electronics technician, it is important to gain an education in relevant areas.

Education for electronics technicians is available at the diploma, certificate, and associate's degree levels.

Diploma programs offer training in the skills necessary for entry to this career and might be completed within a matter of months. Certificate programs are highly focused and may require or suggest some education in related areas, such as mathematics, before signing up, and can often be completed within 2 years or less. Associate's degrees often contain similar content to the other programs, but pair them with a general education. Some associate's degree programs include extra courses towards developing a specialty.

Prospective electronics technicians study mathematics and science in order to understand the basic concepts behind their work. Students receiving education towards one of these credentials might take electronics technician courses such as:

  • The Nature of Electricity
  • Precalculus
  • Digital Circuits
  • Microprocessors
  • Solid State Devices

It is possible to obtain electronics technician training online; however, prospective students should be careful to ensure the program meets state requirements and, if possible, aligns with guidelines from certifying organizations. Do your research on schools offering online electronics certificates to ensure the programs will fulfill your personal needs.

Find an Electronics Technician Apprenticeship

Apprenticeships for electronics technicians are somewhat common, although competition to obtain them can be intense. Apprentice programs typically last between 3 and 4 years, where the apprentice will receive paid, on-the-job training from an experienced electronics technician, while working on real projects. Electronics technician apprenticeships can be obtained through companies and some government programs, including organizations like NASA. The kind of electronics technician training an apprentice will receive can vary, and apprenticeships may list particular specialties, such as automated systems or information technology. Be sure that the apprenticeship you seek will put you on the path to the career you want.

Earn an Electronics Technician Certification

Optional certification for electronics technicians is done primarily through the Electronics Technicians Association International (ETA), although other certifying organizations do exist. Certification is offered at several different levels, with the entry-level certification being known as the Associate Certified Electronics Technician, or CETa. After passing the CETa exam and confirmation of certification, an electronics technician may begin developing a specialty in which they will certify further, such as biomedical or fiber optics. This specialty, combined with 2 years of experience, can allow for progression to the journeyman level certification, which is simply known as CET. From there, it is possible to progress to senior or even master CET, once adequate experience has been gained and an applicant has proven their competency through the required exams. Certification serves as proof that a technician is knowledgeable and experienced, and it can be beneficial when applying for jobs.

ETA International requires that all certified electronics technicians renew their certification every 4 years through continuing education. Continuing education can be achieved through teaching and mentoring, attending courses, and participating in manufacturer-based education.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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