Electrical Certification and Certificate Program Options

Certificates in electrical engineering are available at both the undergraduate and graduate level. These programs provide education in power systems, communications systems, microcomputers and other relevant topics.

Essential Information

Electrical and electronic engineering certificates are available at the undergraduate level through community colleges, technical schools and universities. At the graduate level, they are available through universities, both on campus and online. Applicants to undergraduate certificate programs will need a high school diploma, while applicants for graduate certificate programs will need to have completed a bachelor's degree in a related field and may also need to have work experience.

  • Program Levels in Electrical Engineering: Undergraduate and graduate certificates
  • Prerequisites: High school diploma or GED; some programs may require enrollment in a degree program to qualify; for graduate certificates, a bachelor's degree in a related field is required.
  • Program Specializations: Examples include nanotechnology, information theory, and Stochastic estimation, among others.
  • Program Length: Time required varies from a few days to 18 months.

Electrical Engineering Undergraduate Certificate

Undergraduate certificate programs in electrical and electronic engineering provide students with a foundation in the theory of electronics though classroom instruction and laboratory work. Program graduates are qualified for entry-level work as electronics technicians and may continue their education into a bachelor's degree program in electrical engineering or a related field.

Electrical certificate programs focus on computer and electronic equipment, and students learn how to use the latest electrical engineering equipment. The length of certificate programs may be a few days to 18 months. These programs may require students to complete college-level courses, especially in math, or to be enrolled in a related bachelor's degree program.

Undergraduate electrical certificate programs cover topics such as power systems, communications systems or microcomputers. Courses may include:

  • Circuits
  • Digital logic
  • Electronic devices
  • Precalculus

Electrical Engineering Graduate Certificate

Graduate certificate programs generally allow students to specialize in a particular area of electrical engineering. These programs also help professional engineers remain current with industry trends. A graduate certificate program may also prepare students for a master's degree program. Applicants need a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering or a related field. Acceptance into a program may be determined by an admissions committee.

Students may specialize in an area of electrical engineering such as telecommunications or nanotechnology. Other areas of research may include:

  • Radio frequency
  • Information theory
  • Stochastic estimation
  • Communications theory
  • Power systems

Popular Career Options

Electrical and electronic technician engineers may be employed in a variety of industries to design, develop, improve, test and repair electronic equipment. The BLS noted job growth in this area is expected because of developing and emerging technology. Wireless telecommunications and computer systems are two areas of job growth. Other areas of employment include:

  • Semiconductor manufacturing
  • Navigational, measuring, and control instrument manufacturing
  • Architectural and engineering services
  • Product evaluation
  • Electronic equipment repair
  • Electronics installation

Continuing Education Information

Along with continuing their education, certificate graduates may want to seek a professional credential that demonstrates their knowledge and competency in electrical engineering. The Electronic Technicians Association offers several electrical engineering certifications, including the Associate Certified Electronics Technician Certification, the Student Electronics Technician Certification and the Apprentice Certification.

To earn an Associate Certified Electronics Technician credential, applicants must have trade school training or less than two years of professional experience. The Student Electronics Technician Certification is designed for high school students. These credentials may be renewed through annual continuing education and training.

Employment Outlook & Salary Info

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the employment outlook for electrical engineers was expected to see a five percent increase in job growth between 2012 and 2022 (www.bls.gov). Jobs for electrical and electronic engineering technicians were expected to show little or no change over this same period. The BLS noted that in 2014 the median pay for electrical and electronic engineering technicians was $59,820 per year, while electrical and electronics engineers had a median pay of $91,410 per year.

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