Electrical Technology Degree and Certificate Program Information

Oct 11, 2019

Essential Information

Electrical technology programs prepare future electronic maintenance technicians to read blueprints, program logic controllers, and plan electrical installations. Training programs in electrical technology are available as certificate and associate degree programs at community colleges, vocational schools, and through the extension schools of colleges and universities.

Electrical Technology Certificate

Students prepare for entry-level positions in electrical technology by learning the fundamentals of circuit operation, logic controllers, and wiring. Graduates are prepared to work for utility and construction companies doing building maintenance.

The certificate programs take up to two years to complete and typically have no prerequisites for entrance. Topics of study include:

  • AC and DC circuits
  • Blueprint reading
  • Electrical maintenance
  • Residential wiring
  • Programmable controllers
  • Industrial math

Associate Degrees in Electrical Technology

Students in associate-level programs prepare for positions ranging from technical writers to field service technicians by learning the basics of math and theories behind different types of electrical currents. They also learn to troubleshoot, fix, and program electrical machinery, controls, and other equipment. Some schools allow students to specialize in a specific field, such as renewable energy or robotics. Students often transfer credit earned in an associate degree program to a 4-year program.

These 2-year programs typically require no additional prerequisites of applicants other than a GED or high school diploma; though a background in algebra and a physical science is recommended. Coursework includes:

  • Algebra and trigonometry
  • Electrical codes and motor control
  • Logic controls
  • Physics
  • Industrial electronics and robotics
  • Commercial wiring

Popular Career Options

Graduates from certificate programs find work in entry-level jobs for utility companies, railroads, contractors and building maintenance departments of universities. Among these, entry-level workers are employed as:

  • Electrician
  • Electronic technician
  • Electrical designer
  • Utility lineman
  • Electrical designer

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

Projections by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) show that employment of electricians is anticipated to grow by 10% from 2018-2028 (www.bls.gov). According to the BLS, the median annual wage of electricians was $55,190, or about $26.53 per hour, as of May 2018. The BLS reports also show that the natural gas distribution industry paid the highest average wages to electricians.

Continuing Education Information

Further training is available for students interested in designing electronics, telecommunications, and computer networks from scratch. Bachelor's and graduate degree programs in electrical engineering technology and electrical engineering are available for students wishing to advance their careers. These degree programs prepare graduates for jobs in a wide range of fields, including medicine and information technology.

Electrical technology certificate and associate degree programs are available to students wishing to learn how to safely work with electrical wiring and circuitry in order to become electricians and electronic technicians. Bachelor's and master's degrees are available in the field to prepare students for a wider range of careers.

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