Associate's degree programs in electrical technology may be completed exclusively online or as a blend of online and classroom instruction. Some schools may require an initial appearance on campus for orientation or a laboratory training residency. Other institutions require exams to be taken in a proctored environment of the student's choosing. Individuals can take courses in the fundamentals of electricity, circuits, electric motors and AutoCAD drafting. Online students need access to a video-capable browser, word processing and spreadsheet software, and may need to install some proprietary software. Students of these programs can go on to work as electrical technicians, installers and maintenance workers.
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Associate's Degree in Electrical Technology
An online associate's degree program in electrical technology explains the North American electrical generation and transmission system and the procedures used to keep it operational, reliable and safe. Students learn the system as a collection of individual components and as a whole entity. A high school diploma or GED is the minimum requirement to enroll in an associate's degree program. Some programs may also specify or give preference to students with prior training in electrical or mechanical systems.
Program Information and Requirements
All program materials for an electrical technology associate's degree program - including assignments, readings, virtual demonstrations and lectures - are available through a school's website at the student's convenience. Assignments generally have a deadline date, however. An associate's degree is typically completed in two years.
A personal computer, Internet access and basic video player software are the minimum technical requirements for an electrical technology program. Some schools also require a webcam, and others require students to install special software that protects the content of online exams.
List of Common Electrical Technology Courses
An online associate's degree program includes a liberal arts component, which may require courses in composition, the humanities and the social sciences.
Power Industry Introductory
This course provides a broad overview of the electrical power distribution system in the U.S. and the responsibilities of those who manage it. Students also survey the history and evolution of the power industry.
Students learn to read logic and schematic diagrams in this course. Subject matter emphasizes the role diagrams play in the operation and maintenance of a power system.
This course explores the duties of system operators in assuring a continuous flow of electrical power to users. Topics covered in the course also include training and certification requirements, the personal characteristics of operators and codes of conduct.
Recognition and rapid response to system failure is the primary focus of this course. Students learn protection and prevention schemes, safety protocols and switching procedures to restore power delivery.
An online associate's degree program in electrical technology prepares students for positions as electrical power-line installers and repairers and maintenance personnel. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts very slow change in job prospects for electrical line workers; employment was projected to grow 11% over the years 2014-2024. As of May 2015, the median salary of electrical power-line installers and repairers was $66,450.
Continuing Education Information
Associate's degree holders who want to improve their prospects for career advancement can consider transferring their credits into a bachelor's degree program in electrical engineering; after completing a 4-year degree, they might choose to advance to a master's degree program. A few bachelor's degree and master's degree programs are available online, but the vast majority are offline.
Students may complete courses like system operation, power emergencies and more in an online associate's degree program for electrical technology. Many graduates will move on to bachelor's or master's degree programs in the field, but graduates will be qualified to work as electrical power-line installers and repairers.