Online training in electronics repair exists through technical schools and community colleges, apprenticeships and professional associations. Learning how to repair, maintain and install electronic devices, parts or equipment is a mostly hands-on task, so many schools either offer academic programs strictly on-campus or as a combination of online and campus-based instruction. Distance learning or hybrid options that have coursework in electronics repair may include associate's degrees, diplomas, certificates in basic electronics, electronics technology or electronics engineering technology.
Program Information and Requirements
To be eligible for admission to these undergraduate training programs, students generally need to have a high school diploma or GED. Schools may require applicants to take placement tests in general education subjects as well. In some cases, those wanting to enter electronics engineering technology programs need to have successfully completed certain high school math courses, such as those in geometry and algebra, to be eligible for enrollment. Once admitted, online or hybrid diploma and certificates may take around six months to a year to earn while associate's degrees take about two years.
For the online portions of a program, distance learners log on to their school's virtual classroom environment to download lectures, assignments, tests and other instructional materials. They may interact with their peers and instructors through e-mail, class chat rooms and message boards.
Online academic programs in this field contain coursework designed to prepare students for positions as electronics technicians, field service technicians, electronics engineering assistants, maintenance technicians and other similar roles. Certificate and diploma programs take less time because they usually require little to no general education classes.
Two-year associate's degree programs, however, contain a significant amount of classes in areas like math, science, English and the humanities. Even schools that don't offer their electronics programs online may still have many general education classes available through distance learning, which would reduce the amount of time spent on campus. Courses that may be included in an online or hybrid electronics program include the following:
- Circuit analysis
- Conductors and insulators
- Types of circuits
- Digital and analog electronics
- Computer applications and repair
Professional Certification Details
The two most well-known organizations offering online training and certification options are the Electronics Technician Association (ETA) and the International Society of Certified Electronics Technicians (ISCET). Both work with technical schools and community colleges that meet their standards for certification. Lists of cooperating/approved schools are available on each company's website.
Electronics Technician Association
The Electronics Technician Association has provided certification in multiple areas since 1978, with opportunities for progression throughout a career from basic through senior, master and journeyman. There are online self-study programs as well as opportunities to obtain more than 50 specialized electronics certifications (www.eta-i.org). Online self-study courses prepare students for certification, but testing is required. ETA also offers certification in alternative energy, communications, computers, fiber optics and SmartHome fields. The FreedomTest program, available online through ETA-approved schools, provides test-takers with instant results.
ETA online training ranges from basic through journeyman competencies in fields from appliance and automotive repair through alternative energy. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) licensing and Motorola certifications are also available, as are self-study opportunities to maintain or renew certifications. ETA provides study guides and online courses on topics including, but not limited to the following:
- Industrial electronics applications
International Society of Certified Electronics Technicians
The International Society of Certified Electronics Technicians provides training, certification and licensing opportunities; it not only supplies FCC licenses, but also awards its own National Appliance Service Technician Certification (NASTC) credential and trains workers to maintain in-home appliances (www.iscet.org).
ISCET hosts training through interactive, instructor-led courses on the Internet, generally on weekday evenings. Students receive study guides and practice tests to prepare for certification in their selected areas. Additional specialized coursework includes preparation for the ISCET Certified Service Manager test. Bilingual English/Spanish material is available for some courses. Opportunities are also available to earn continuing education units online.
Online electronics repair programs are typically offered through either certificate or degree programs for various educational levels. Through coursework in numerous topics--including electricity, semiconductors and telecommunications--students prepare for a variety of careers, such as maintenance technicians and electronics engineering assistants.