Industrial Electronics

Read about industrial electronics, including the degree programs that can help you prepare for a position as an engineer or a technician. Find information about useful courses and earnings for engineers and technicians here, and make an informed decision about your future career.

Is Industrial Electronics Right for Me?

Career Overview

Industrial electronics is a broad occupational field that includes aerospace or medical technology, electronic control systems and industrial instrumentation. Security, transportation and telecommunications are also associated with industrial electronics. Installation, maintenance and repair of new or existing electronic systems can be performed by certified electronics technicians, industrial electricians or electronics repairers. You can also work in avionics repair.

Job Duties

As an industrial engineer, electronics engineer or an electronic engineering technician, you'll test and analyze electronic systems and electrical parts. You'll also determine how electronic products or systems can be produced in the most efficient manner. In your position as an electronics engineer, you'll use your knowledge of mathematics to develop new systems based on electrical and electronic components. Engineers are supported in their work by electronic engineering technicians, who use their analytical, evaluation and diagnostic skills to help them develop new systems.

Employment and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected minimal to no change in employment for electrical and electronics installers and repairers nationwide from 2012-2022. As of May 2013, electrical and electronics repairers of commercial and industrial equipment earned median annual salaries of $53,400. Repairers working with transportation equipment earned $52,830, while those employed at powerhouses, substations and relays were paid a median annual wage of $69,720.

The BLS also projected minimal to no change in employment for electrical and electronics engineering technicians nationwide from 2012-2022. In May 2013, the median annual wage for a technician was $58,540. By comparison, electrical and electronic engineers can expect a 4%, or slower-than-average, growth in jobs through 2022. As of May 2013, electrical and electronics engineers earned median annual salaries of $89,180 and $94,250, respectively (www.bls.gov).

How Can I Work in Industrial Electronics?

Educational Requirements

The educational requirements for industrial electronics positions can vary significantly according to the position. Licensing and certification may also play an important role in obtaining a position. Although postsecondary education may not be strictly required for installer, repairer and technician positions, some employers prefer graduates of associate's degree programs. To become an engineer, you'll need at least a bachelor's degree in your engineering specialty.

Educational Options

Technical schools, community colleges and universities offer associate's degree programs in electronics technology and electronics engineering technology; online programs in industrial engineering technology are also available. In a 2-year program, you may study physics, mathematics, electrical circuitry and microprocessors, as well as learn how to troubleshoot equipment. Bachelor's degree programs in electronic engineering or avionics can allow for further studies in robotics engineering and automated systems. For advanced study, you may also choose to pursue a master's degree in electrical engineering.

Certification and Licensing

Engineers who serve the public must be licensed. While licensure requirements may vary slightly by state, they commonly include completion of an engineering bachelor's program, years of field experience and two exams.

Although not always required, some aviation mechanics pursue a professional certification from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which can increase opportunities for employment and salary potential. Candidates for certification must be at least 18 years old, have experience in the field and achieve a passing score on an exam.

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