Associates Degree in Electronics Technology
Read about electronics technology associate's degree programs here. The following article discusses education prerequisites, program coursework and employment outlook statistics.
Electronics technology is an area that covers the construction, operation, maintenance and repair of electrical and electronic equipment. A program leading to an associate's degree in electrical technology provides the basics that prepare an individual for an entry-level position in the field.
While electronic theory and fundamentals are extensively explored, hands-on lab work helps students develop a thorough understanding of the field. In addition to preparing the individual to enter the work force, an Associate of Applied Science in Electronics Technology degree program also serves as excellent preparation for students hoping to pursue a bachelor's degree in the fields of electrical engineering or electronics engineering technology. Graduates may go on to earn voluntary professional certifications.
Typically, students who seek a degree in electronics technology must have a high school diploma or a GED. A solid foundation in mathematics, including algebra and trigonometry, is often required. Because of the technical nature of the program, applicants should also have taken a lab science class during high school and have a good understanding of computers. Some schools require a minimum score on the math portion of the ACT or SAT examinations. Students may be required to sit for a placement test in order to determine their skill levels and suitability for admission.
In addition to general education courses, which may include English, expository writing, communication and composition, the program leans heavily toward mathematics and electronics. Coursework includes:
- Electronic circuits
- Computer software
- Analytic trigonometry
- Applied technical mathematics
- Communications circuits
- Digital basics
- Technical writing
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov), the overall job outlook for individuals with an associate's degree in electronics technology is slightly positive. Although growth rates will vary depending on occupational specialties, employment for the field as a whole is expected to increase by three percent over the 10-year period from 2010-2020. This increase is somewhat slower than the national average for all occupations.
In May 2012, the pay rate for electrical and electronics installers and repairers varied according to specialty. For example, those professionals who specialized in transportation equipment earned median salaries of $51,240 per year. Electronics installers and repairers who specialized in motor vehicles made a considerably smaller median salary in that year, at $31,340.
Continuing Education Information
Although graduates can transfer to a 4-year college in pursuit of a bachelor's degree, many individuals use their associate's degrees to immediately enter the workforce. In many cases, employers require prospective employees to hold certification in addition to a degree. Individuals can become certified in specific areas such as avionics, satellite installation, fiber optics or wireless communication.
In a more general sense, they can choose to become a Certified Electronics Technician (CET). Various national and international organizations such as the Electronics Technicians Association, International Society of Certified Electronics Technicians and the Electrical Systems Professionals Alliance, administer examinations that lead to certification. Certification in various specialties typically leads to job advancement, more responsibilities and a higher pay rate.
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