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How to Become an Electronics Technician

Electronics technicians are needed now more than ever. For this specific position, no college degree is required, but a high school diploma or graduation from a trade school is. Depending on the employer and job you apply for, some will ask for an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in a related field. 

Those wanting to become an electronics technician need skills that include having experience in using loss meters, antenna line analyzers, transmission line analyzers, and spectrum analyzers. Your everyday duties for this job position will include testing electrical systems, repairing and sustaining electrical systems, keeping track of electronic inventory, installing equipment, helping train new employees, and promoting upgrades to customers to improve their electrical systems. 

Sample job description

Electronics technicians needed! [Your Company Name] is looking to hire a new electronics technician capable of maintaining and upgrading electronic equipment. Electronics technicians will be required to troubleshoot and upgrade technology systems in the office. Strong troubleshooting skills and problem-solving skills are essential for this position. The position is full-time. The technician will also be required to occasionally conduct system installations as well as analyze blueprints and user manuals in order to learn new concepts and apply problem-solving skills to new systems. If you are confident in your ability to solve problems and apply yourself to multiple tasks and users at once, this position may be for you! Strong problem-solving ability and communication skills are a major benefit, as well as relevant certifications and previous experience.

Typical duties and responsibilities

  • Test and implement electrical systems and products based on specifications
  • Monitor maintenance and inspection plans
  • Repair and maintain electronic systems as needed
  • Perform system testing to evaluate performance and functionality
  • Maintain inventory control of electronic components and tools
  • Recommend upgrades and modifications to improve system performance

Education and experience

This position requires a high school diploma or its equivalent. Some employers prefer candidates with an associate or bachelor’s degree in electronics technology or a related field.

Required skills and qualifications

  • Analytical, problem-solving, and critical-thinking skills
  • Teamwork and interpersonal communication skills
  • Mechanical aptitude and ability to understand wiring diagrams and schematics
  • Strong hand-eye coordination and proficiency in using tools like soldering equipment
  • High-level organization skills

Preferred qualifications

  • Experience using antenna and transmission line analyzers
  • Experience using power and loss meters and OTDRs
  • Experience terminating RF connectors 
  • Experience working outdoors in variable weather conditions
  • Experience using spectrum analyzers
  • Ability to lift 20+ pounds
  • Desire to learn new systems

Typical work environment

An electronics technician is required to maintain, upgrade, troubleshoot, repair, and install electronics systems. Electronics technicians will often work in factories, office areas, telecommunication industries, and other locations where electronics play a crucial role in the functioning of the system. Electronics technicians are required to ensure power tools and electronic equipment are up to OSHA and other required standards. These technicians can have jobs in various industries, so their specific duties will vary greatly depending on the position, location, and specialization of their position. Electronics technicians will also occasionally have to deal with customers, system users, and supervisors and instruct them on the workings of the electronic or technological systems.

Typical hours

The work hours for an electronics technician are usually from 9 AM to 5 PM, Monday through Friday. However, many electronics technicians work non-traditional shifts depending on the needs of their company.

Available certifications

Electronics technicians benefit greatly from relevant certifications for their position, as this job is highly technical. Some common certifications are:

  • Master Certified Electronics Technician (MCET). The Master Certified Electronics Technician certificate was created for technicians with over six years of experience in a relevant field. This certification was created for master electronics technicians to showcase their ability and certified level of skill in electronics. This certification is extremely well recognized and a must for any electronics technician that wants to advance their career.
  • Fiber Optics Installer (FOIC). The Fiber Optics Installer certificate gives a general understanding of fiber, splicing, and fiber installation. This certificate is extremely helpful for electronics technicians due to the common use of cable and fiber in modern electronic fields. This certificate ensures that a Fiber Optics Installer is proficient in the common fiber types, cable types, and common techniques and practices.

Career path

This position requires a high school diploma or its equivalent. Some employers prefer candidates with an associate or bachelor’s degree in electronics technology or a related field for more technical positions or career advancement. Several companies also require electronics technicians to obtain an Associate Certified Electronics Technician (CETA) certification, such as the one offered by the trade organization ETA International.

US, Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job outlook

SOC Code: 17-3023

2020 Employment117,000
Projected Employment in 2030118,900
Projected 2020-2030 Percentage Shift 2% increase
Projected 2020-2030 Numeric Shift1,900 increase

According to the international engineering firm Skelia, one major trend that is changing the electronics field is the growing popularity of wearable wireless technology. Many electronics technicians are not only developing various wireless devices such as health and fitness monitors, they are also using them to do their jobs. There are now watches that tell the wearer when they are too close to high-voltage electricity and boots equipped with sensors to detect overheating and other job site dangers.