Electrical maintenance programs are not typically available online. Instead, associate degree programs in electrical technology, which cover this area of study, are available albeit still rare.
Although these programs are available as online options, students will need to complete a hands-on component due to the technical nature of the curriculum. Some programs allow students to do this requirement independently or at local universities. A capstone project may also be expected.
While educational programs (online or otherwise) will not offer certification themselves, graduates of these programs may be qualified to seek certification through organizations such as the International Society of Certified Electronics Technicians.
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Associate Degree in Electrical Technology
An online associate degree program in electrical technology, which may also encompass instruction in computer technology, provides students the training necessary to evaluate, install, test and maintain a variety of electronic systems. Students become familiar with the fundamentals of electrical systems, electronic controls and basic industrial computer systems. Programs allow students to gain proficiency in building and troubleshooting integrated electronics systems, preparing them to apply learned concepts and skills to real-world situations.
Information and Requirements
Distance-based electrical technology programs usually take two years to complete, and the coursework may be completed entirely online. However, they usually require students to attend lab training at schools near the students home in order to provide hands-on experience in instrumentation, reporting techniques and equipment maintenance.
With a high-speed Internet connection, course materials are accessible via an online format 24 hours a day. Web-based demonstrations and study tools help enhance student learning, and instructor lectures can be viewed utilizing streaming video. Online students can also take advantage of a variety of web-based resources, often including access to a virtual library.
Coursework in online associate degree programs in electrical technology usually includes in-depth study of electrical components and systems, as well as computer hardware used to program and operate a variety of electronic devices.
Fundamentals of Electricity
Associate degree candidates study the nature of electricity, including electrical energy distribution, conductors, insulators and batteries. Other topics include direct current (DC) motor and generator theory, electromagnetism and alternating current (AC) circuits.
This course covers the basics of electronic systems, devices and amplifications. Specific lessons cover electronic power supply systems, control systems, troubleshooting for electronic equipment, measuring techniques and industrial receivers.
Quality Control Systems
Coursework introduces the fundamentals and practical application of quality system controls. Enrollees study inspection tools and equipment, quality systems, statistical process control and acceptance procedures.
Those who have completed an online program in electrical technology or on-campus program in electrical maintenance are prepared for employment in electrical installation, manufacturing and repair fields. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employers prefer to hire candidates who have an associate degree in the field and often require professional certification (www.bls.gov).
Overall employment opportunities of electrical installers and repairers were projected by BLS to decline by 4% during the 2014-2024 decade. BLS reported that electrical and electronics repairers within the commercial and industrial equipment industry earned an annual median salary of $55,690 as of May 2015.
Electrical professionals, who provide installation, repair and maintenance services, can obtain certification credentials through a variety of organizations. The Electronics Technicians Association International provides a number of certifications in several electronics specialties at varying levels of competency. The International Society of Certified Electronics Technicians also offers certification credentials in a range of topics, such as appliance service, electronic systems and basic electronics. In order to obtain certification, candidates are usually required to earn a passing score on a comprehensive exam.
Associate's programs in electrical technology are available online but do require a hands-on element. Common courses include topics related to electronic circuitry, design, and control systems.