Certified electronics technicians install and repair a variety of electronics equipment in communications, utilities, home consumer electronics, and many other industries. Becoming a technician requires a high school diploma at a minimum, with additional education and certifications available. The following article details the educational requirements and job outlook information for this field.
Electronics technicians construct, repair and maintain electronic equipment. A certified electronics technician may undergo training in the form of on-the-job training, apprenticeships, certificate programs or associate's degree programs. At minimum, they need to hold a high school diploma. They may be certified by many different organizations, such as the Electronics Technicians Association or International Society of Certified Electronics Technicians, depending on the type of job they intend to take.
|Required Education||High school diploma and on-the-job training|
|Optional Education||Associate's degree, apprenticeship at a vocational school or certificate program|
|Certification||Required by some employers; options include Electronics Technicians Association certification and International Society of Certified Electronics Technicians certification|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)*|| -4% for all electrical and electronics installers and repairers,
1% for all aircraft and avionics equipment mechanics and technicians
|Average Salary (2015)*|| $60,200 per year for avionics technicians,
$38,820 per year for home appliance repairers
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
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Education and Training Requirements for Electronics Technicians
An electronics technician builds or services equipment with electronic components, such as sewing machines, microwaves, refrigerators, washers and dryers, stereos, televisions, radios and other such devices. Education requirements for an electronics technician depend on the work field. Some fields, like avionics, normally require schooling; others areas, like appliance repair, may only require on-the-job training.
There are several types of education programs an aspiring electronics technician can opt for. Apprenticeship training programs are available at many vocational schools and combine classes with paid hands-on training. Many apprenticeship programs have three levels of education, including apprentice, journeyman and master.
Another type of education program available to electronics technicians is a certificate of completion program. A certificate may be earned from a community college or vocational school. Courses cover AC and DC circuits, electronics fabrication, electronic test equipment and computer hardware.
Prospective electronics technicians may also choose to enroll in an electronics technology associate's degree program. Electronics technicians who earn an associate's degree normally specialize in some particular field of electronics, such as avionics, the study of electronics as they are used in the aerospace industry.
Electronics technicians are not required by law to undergo state or federal licensing. Many employers do require their technicians to be certified, however, and due to the wide variety of electronics technology jobs available, there are several different certification organizations.
The Electronics Technicians Association certifies electronics professionals in areas ranging from alternative energy electronics to Federal Communications Commission tests for the operation of radio and radar equipment. The International Society of Certified Electronics Technicians also provides several levels of certification, including one for appliance service technicians. There are several other organizations that offer various specialized certifications and competency standards as well, including the Consumer Electronics Association, North American Retail Dealers Association and National Coalition for Electronics Education.
A certified electronics technician works with a wide variety of electronic components in many of the systems and devices that are used in daily life. While a high school diploma is a minimum entry-level requirement, training and education is available within many electronic specialties. In addition, technicians may become certified through the appropriate professional agency or association representing their specialty.