A certified electronics technician performs installations and repairs on various types of industrial equipment, vehicles, or consumer electronics. Most technicians have a broad range of skills and knowledge regarding electronics principles, though they usually specialize by working with a very particular type of product. Technicians may work in repair shops or travel to different places to install, test, and troubleshoot equipment on-site. Becoming certified involves gaining formal training in the field and passing an extensive exam administered by a respected organization.
Professionals who work in electronics, automobile, or machinery repair shops receive broken or damaged products from customers. They take equipment apart and carefully inspect internal parts to identify problems. Some repair jobs are straightforward and simple, such as replacing a battery or taping a bare wire. Others require hours of intensive investigation and trial-and-error repairs to get a device back into proper working order.
A certified electronics technician who works for a retail store or telecommunications company visits customers at their homes or businesses to install new equipment. The technician may need to check the facility's wiring, identify phone and cable lines, and connect new wires. With equipment in place, the certified electronics technician performs test runs to make sure everything is working properly. He or she also explains to the customer how to use the new device. If problems occur after installation, the technician may return to troubleshoot and make the necessary repairs.
A person who wants to become a certified electronics technician can improve his or her chances of finding entry-level work by enrolling in an electronics program at a community college or technical school. A one- to two-year program provides both classroom instruction and hands-on training. Students learn about the principles of electricity, different types of currents and circuits, and the role of transistors and capacitors. In laboratories or workshops, they have the chance to practice working with the tools and equipment they will use in the field. After earning a degree, a person can start applying for jobs at manufacturing plants, repair shops, and telecommunications companies.
Certification is not always required to work as an electronics technician, but it can be very helpful in landing good jobs and pursuing advancement opportunities. Many different organizations offer certification to experienced workers, including the International Society of Certified Electronics Technicians (ISCET). In order to earn ISCET credentials, a person must pass a written or computerized test that covers a wide variety of topics related to engineering, design, installation, and maintenance.
A newly certified electronics technician can often quickly advance within his or her company. Many experienced technicians eventually become supervisors or office administrators. In addition, a worker may choose to pursue continuing education to become an electronics engineer, where he or she can actually design and build new innovative products.