Electronics Engineering Degree and Certificate Program Overviews

Students pursuing a career in electronics engineering have many educational opportunities available to them. Certification and associate's programs equip students to become technicians, while bachelor's programs prepare students to become engineers.

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Essential Information

Those who want to study electronics engineering can choose from a variety of 1-year certificate and 2-year associate's degree programs, both of which require a high school diploma. While certificate programs don't include general education coursework, associate's programs do. Each of these programs allow for the study of circuit components, industrial controls, transistors, and transformers, and they emphasize the importance of hands-on experience. Graduates might go on to become electronics or robotics technicians.

Students interested in becoming professional engineers can enroll in a bachelor's degree program, which meets the education requirements for professional engineer licensure. Requiring a high school diploma and prerequisite math and science courses, this 4-year program includes laboratory experiences. It focuses on engineering science, physics, and electrical laws. Organizations such as the International Society of Certified Electronics Technicians grant certifications to experienced individuals who pass examinations.

Certificate in Electronics Engineering Technology

Program requirements primarily focus on electronics engineering courses and do not include general education course requirements. Students can learn to work in teams on engineering projects and solve engineering problems with chemistry and physics principles, mathematical equations, and statistical analysis.

Certificate courses teach math skills and concepts in motors, controls, and circuits. Other focus areas include:

  • Contactors
  • Motor starters
  • Circuit components
  • Circuit software
  • Industrial controls

Associate's Degrees in Electronics Engineering

Associate's degree programs related to electronics engineering typically award the Associate of Applied Science. The curriculum primarily covers electrical components, electronic systems, circuit theories and computer technologies used in electrical design, analysis, and testing. Students can also gain hands-on experience working with computers, digital systems, and circuits in student engineering labs.

Electronics engineering courses cover topics like integrated circuits, power systems, information technology, and more. Other topic areas are:

  • Sequential circuits
  • AC/DC circuit analysis
  • Engineering ethics
  • Transistors
  • Transformers

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Bachelor of Science in Electronic Engineering

The bachelor's degree program is designed to train future engineers through studies in mathematics, physics, chemistry, and engineering science. The program of study includes classroom coursework and laboratory experiences where students conduct experiments and design and test electronic devices and systems. Study areas include electrical circuits, digital systems, microprocessors, and more.

Coursework in the program consists of studies in math, science, business, and computer science. Electronics engineering topics include:

  • Logic simplification
  • Interfacing techniques
  • Electrical laws
  • Prototype boards
  • Radio frequencies

Popular Career Options

Graduates may consider jobs in manufacturing, telecommunications computer repair services, and jobs similar to the following:

  • Electronics technician
  • Wireless communications technician
  • Robotics technician

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

Graduates can pursue entry-level jobs as engineering technicians in research and development, manufacturing and other electronics areas. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that in 2015 electrical and electronics engineering technicians earned $61,130 as a median annual wage (www.bls.gov).

According to the BLS, electronics engineers earned a median annual salary of $98,270 and held 135,390 jobs in 2015. The BLS noted in the same year that the top-paid workers earned $151,990 or more. The BLS estimated that electronics engineers will see no job growth for the years 2014 through 2024.

Licensing and Certification Information

Engineers are required to obtain a professional engineer (PE) license in their state. Initially, graduates can take the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam, which is offered by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying leads to the engineer intern (EI) or engineer in training (EIT) designations. After working under the supervision of a PE for four years, EIs and EITs can take the Principles and Practices of Engineering (PE) exam and apply for PE licensure.

Although electronics engineers are not required to be certified, professional certification can enhance a resume and improve job prospects. Graduates with qualifying experience can take the Certified Biometrics Professional (CBP), Certified Software Development Associate (CSDA), Certified Software Development Professional (CSDP), or Wireless Communications Engineering Technologies (WCET) exams, administered by The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

Associate's and bachelor's degrees, as well as certificates, exist in electronics engineering fields, teaching them about working with electronics and electricity to become technicians or engineers. Engineers will need licensure, and professional certification is available in a number of fields.

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