Individuals wishing to become electronic repair technicians must develop a thorough understanding of electronic systems, including how to wire, repair, and troubleshoot. Diploma programs may include courses in commercial wiring, circuitry, and microcomputers. They might also consist of laboratory components and internship experiences. Program advisers will help students set up coursework that meets their needs and works around their schedules.
Most programs run two years or less and require students be at least 16 years old and have a high school diploma or its equivalent.
Certification - Associate Level Electronics
The International Society of Certified Electronics Technicians (ISCET) offers several certification programs for electrical technicians and students of electronics. These certifications are earned through tests and are valid for four years. Graduates who score 75% or higher on the test are eligible to join the International Society of Certified Electronics Technicians. The Associate Level Electronics test covers:
- Basic electronics
- AC and DC circuits
Certification - Journeyman-level Certified Electronics Technician (CET)
Another certification offered by ISCET is the journeyman-level CET. This certification is made up of individual tests that are specialty-oriented. To become a journeyman-level CET, an individual must pass one specialty test. Tests cover the following specialties:
Certification - National Appliance Service Technician
The National Appliance Service also offers certifications in the home appliance service industry. There are four levels of certification, and those who pass all four tests are certified as universal technicians, which is the highest expertise given in the major home appliance service industry. The four levels are:
- Refrigeration and air conditioning
- Laundry and dishwashing
- Universal technician (combines all three technical specialties)
Diploma - Industrial Electrical Technology Program
Industrial electrical technology programs are a sequence of courses given at 2-year community colleges and technical schools that prepare students for careers in the technical industry. Students gain the knowledge and skills for job acquisition by studying theory in the classroom and participating in practical application through labs and internships. Technical electrician diplomas are often completed with 88 quarter hour credits. They include both general education courses and technical and electronics classes. They may include:
- Commercial wiring
- Electrical schematics and symbols
- Industrial safety procedures
- Industrial PLCs
- Current circuits
Popular Career Options
Those graduating from an electronics technician diploma program have several career choices. They can choose to work in industrial, commercial or residential electricity. Some programs offer specializations within these three categories. Possible career choices are:
- Construction electrician
- Industrial electrician
- Motor control electrician
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov), there is growing demand for electricians because of the rise in new construction projects and the need to maintain older equipment. Job growth for this occupation will rise by 14% from 2014-2024. The BLS also reports the median wage earned by electricians to be $51,880 in 2015.
Electricians are always in high demand and many earn more certifications to enhance their careers or increase their marketability. Electricians may choose to go on to own their own business. This may require earning a degree in business administration through a 2-year community college or technical school. Students may opt to earn their business degree at a 4-year university and, depending on the school, apply credits earned in their diploma program towards the degree.
Several different certifications in electronic repair exist for aspiring electricians to choose from, depending on their employment and educational goals. Multiple certifications in more than one area of expertise should increase job opportunities.