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Electrical Technician: Educational Requirements

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become an electrical technician. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about schooling and job duties to find out if this is the career for you.

Electrical technicians take on a number of jobs within various industries. Most electrical technicians have completed an associate's degree program in a related field to remain competitive in a career with a predicted decline in job growth.

Essential Information

Electrical technicians assemble, install, test, maintain and repair electrical wiring and equipment. They work in a variety of industries, including manufacturing, research and electronics, using their knowledge of blueprint reading to work on electrical systems. Although certificate programs exist in areas like electrical maintenance, it's most common for electrical technicians to hold an associate's degree in electrical technology or electrical and computer engineering technology. These programs might feature internships and further specialization options.

Required Education Associate's degree in a field related to electrical technology
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024) -2% for all electrical and electronics engineering technicians*
Median Salary (2015) $61,130 annually for all electrical and electronics engineering technicians*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Educational Requirements

Individuals interested in careers as electrical technicians often get their education and training through vocational schools or community colleges. While some schools offer certificate programs that can be completed in less than a year, becoming an electrical technician typically requires a 2-year associate's degree. Below are some examples of academic options for aspiring electrical technicians.

Electrical/Maintenance Certificate

Completion of this program results in a certificate of completion. Graduates have knowledge of electrical and mechanical maintenance issues. Courses include industrial wiring, control circuits, power tools, DC/AC machines and mechanical installation.

Associate in Applied Science in Electrical Technology

This 2-year program provides students with lectures and hands-on study of electrical circuits and devices. Topics of study include motors and controls, rotational machinery, automation, beginning and advanced electricity and industrial electronics. Students might participate in internships in local industries offering their area of interest.

Associate of Applied Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology

This program prepares students for careers in engineering technology as engineering technicians. Students interested in the electrical aspect can choose a specialization in electronics. They learn about circuit analysis, digital systems, electronics and electromechanical devices. Graduates might seek immediate employment or pursue a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering.

Salary Information and Occupational Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual salary for electrical and electronics engineering technicians was $61,130 in 2015 (www.bls.gov). Salaries vary by location, experience and position. The BLS also stated that due to a decline in manufacturing companies, there was not expected to be any employment growth for electrical and electronics engineering technicians between 2014 and 2024.

Understanding the training and education required to become an electrical technician is a good first step in pursuing this career. It is also important to consider the projected future job growth before entering the field.


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