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How to Become an Electrical or Electronic Engineering Technician

Electrical and electronic engineering technicians typically need an associate’s degree.


Programs for electrical and electronic engineering technicians usually lead to an associate’s degree in electrical or electronic engineering technology. Vocational–technical schools include postsecondary institutions that serve local students and emphasize training needed by local employers. Community colleges offer programs similar to those in technical institutes but include more theory-based and liberal arts coursework.

Prospective electrical and electronic engineering technicians usually take courses in C++ programming, physics, microprocessors, and circuitry. The Technology Accreditation Commission of ABET (formerly the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology) accredits programs that include at least college algebra, trigonometry, and basic science courses.

There are also bachelor’s degree programs in electrical engineering technology. Graduates of these programs work as electrical engineering technologists, rather than technicians. In some cases, they are considered applied electrical or electronic engineers because they put electrical engineering concepts to use in their work. Earning an associate’s degree in electronic engineering technology eases entry into a bachelor’s degree program.

Important Qualities

Deductive-reasoning skills. Electrical and electronic engineering technicians must isolate and then identify problems for the engineering staff to work on. They need good reasoning skills to figure out what the problems are to avoid losing time and money to fix them.

Information-ordering skills. To carry out engineers’ designs, inspect designs for quality control, and put together prototypes, technicians must be able to read instructions and to follow a logical sequence or specific set of rules.

Manual dexterity. Electronic engineering technicians in particular must be able to use handtools and soldering irons on small circuitry and electronic parts to create detailed electronic components by hand.

Math skills. Electrical and electronic engineering technicians use mathematics for analysis, design, and troubleshooting in their work.

Monitoring skills. Electrical engineering technicians sometimes visit a construction site to make sure that electrical engineers’ designs are being carried out correctly. They are responsible for evaluating the project onsite and reporting problems to the engineer.

Problem-solving skills. Electrical and electronic engineering technicians create what engineers have designed and often test the designs to make sure that they work. Technicians help to resolve any problems that come up in carrying out the engineers’ designs.

Writing skills.  These technicians must write reports on onsite construction, the results of testing, or problems they find when carrying out designs. Their writing must be clear and well organized so that the engineers they work with can understand the reports.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition