Electronics engineering focuses on all aspects of electronic equipment from the construction and operation of the product to maintenance and repairs when malfunctions or breakages occur. People who obtain an associate degree in electronic engineering can begin their career in an entry-level position in this area. They will find jobs working as a technician alongside an electronics engineer.
When a person earns an associate degree in electronics technology, they demonstrate knowledge of computers and technology. They have studied the fundamentals of electronic theory and completed lab work to prepare them for their career choice. It also prepares them to continue their education with a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree in electronics engineering.
Why an Associate Degree in Electronics Engineering?
An online associate degree in electronics engineering technology offers students the opportunity to complete the program in just two years and immediately begin working. Many community colleges and trade schools offer the associate program, and this option tends to be less expensive than programs offered at four -year universities.
Getting into an Electronics Engineering Associate Program
In order for a student to be accepted into an associate of electronics engineering program, he or she will need a high school diploma and a solid foundation in math, including algebra and trigonometry. A class in computers will also be helpful. Some colleges require the student to obtain a specific score on the math portion of either their ACT or SAT tests. They may also have to take a placement test to determine their eligibility for the program.
Inside an Electronics Engineering Associate Degree Program
Much of the program for an associate degree in electronic engineering is made up of technical, hands-on training. Many programs are blended, meaning that traditional lab classes are supplemented with online course materials. The student may have to purchase their own tool kit to complete the hands-on aspect of the program. Some of the items they may be expected to obtain prior to the first day of class include:
- Hand tools, such as wire cutters and needle-nose pliers
- Solderless breadboards
- Digital multimeter
- Wire jumper kit
- Electronic components, such as resistors, diodes, and inductors
Students who enter this type of associate program can expect to learn about electronics safety, digital electronics, data control, and electrical circuits. In addition, more math classes may be required. At the same time, the student will also take some general classes such as English and communication.
What’s Next for Electronics Engineering Associate Degree Holders
Most people who graduate with an associate degree in electronics engineering become technicians. They may work as a power technician or quality assurance technician, where they test products before they are available for the public use. They may also work as a field service technician, assisting in repairs of electronic devices. Another career option is a systems test engineer where they will actually test new products before they are put on the market.
Salary rates vary considerably by career within the electronics engineering industry, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). For example, the median salary for a repair technician with transformers is $65,230. A technician who works on electronics in automobiles, on the other hand, earns a median salary of $28,450. A repair technician that works with transportation equipment earns a median salary of $48,410, while a technician for commercial equipment would earn a median salary of $51,820.
The job outlook for graduates with an associate in electronic engineering degree is expected to be relatively low based on the area where they work. For example, the growth rate for repair technicians in transportation equipment is projected to be 3% while those who work in powerhouses or substations will see a projected growth rate of 5%. The lowest projected growth rate comes in commercial and industrial equipment at just 1%.