Fully online diploma programs are available in electronics technology, but hybrid program options are more common due to the hands-on nature of the field. Hybrid programs combine online coursework with occasional sessions on campus, where students can get hands-on training under the supervision of instructors. Courses cover circuits, transmission lines, industrial electronics and programming. Graduates of these programs may seek entry-level work as electronic technicians in industries as wide ranging as healthcare and mobile technology. Some online programs prepare students for Electronics Technicians Association, International (ETA-I) certification. Before applying, prospective students must have a high school diploma or the equivalent.
Electronics Technician Diploma
Diploma programs in electronics technology offer students training in the fundamentals of electricity - from the properties and laws of electricity to the design and development of electrical circuitry. Generally, students can opt to specialize in a specific area, such as computer electronics or industrial electronics. Students need a high school diploma or its equivalent to begin an electronics technician diploma program.
Information and Requirements
A few schools provide fully online electronics technician diploma programs, although these are less common than hybrid programs. In hybrid programs, students take some classes over the Internet while attending some on-campus courses. It usually takes full-time students 1-2 years to complete hybrid diploma programs.
Students in online electronics programs often complete their coursework and exams via the Internet. Some programs may include equipment or tools that students use to complete hands-on learning and experiments at home. Some programs include all course materials and textbooks in the cost of tuition, although this is typically not the case with hybrid programs.
While fully online programs do not usually include general education classes, students of hybrid programs may be required to take math and English courses in addition to core electronics classes. The core curriculum of some hybrid programs is supplemented with classes preparing students for specialized work in computer or industrial electronics.
Fundamentals of Electricity
In this class, students explore the basics of electrical theory and principles, such as Ohm's Law. Students also acquire an introduction to circuit analysis.
Direct Current Circuits
Students study direct current (DC) circuitry in this class. Class topics include electrical laws as well as the uses and theories associated with DC circuits. Additionally, students learn proper safety skills for electrical workers.
Alternating Current Circuits
This class explores alternating current (AC) circuitry, including AC wave generation and resonance. Students are also taught construction and troubleshooting principles associated with the practical uses of AC circuitry.
In this course, students examine the types and uses of integrated circuits. Amplifiers and voltage regulators are also studied.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that as of May 2015, the median annual salary of the 139,080 electrical and electronics engineering technicians employed throughout the U.S. was $61,130 (www.bls.gov). Those states with the highest salaries for electronics technicians in 2015 were the District of Columbia, Alaska, Maryland, Nevada, and Hawaii. The BLS anticipates a 2% decline in the number of jobs from 2014-2024; however, certain specialized sectors, such as computer electronics technology, may experience higher growth than the field as a whole.
Continuing Education Information
Those who have earned their electronics technician diploma may seek continuing education through an associate's degree program in electrical engineering technology or bachelor's degree program in electrical engineering. New entrants into the field may benefit from an internship after completing their diploma, as professional experience is crucial in this field. For those graduates seeking professional certification, over 80 different types of certification examinations are offered to aspiring electrical technicians through the ETA-I.
Online electronics technology diploma programs provide aspiring technicians with a comprehensive overview of electrical concepts. They also include hands-on practical coursework, which may be completed on campus or from home.