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Career and Education Opportunities for Electronics Engineering Technicians in Birmingham, Alabama

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for electronics engineering technicians in the Birmingham, Alabama area. The national trend for electronics engineering technicians sees this job pool shrinking by about 2.2% over the next eight years. In general, electronics engineering technicians lay out, build, and modify developmental and production electronic components, parts, and systems, such as computer equipment, missile control instrumentation, electron tubes, and machine tool numerical controls, applying principles and theories of electronics, electrical circuitry, engineering mathematics, electronic and electrical testing, and physics.

Electronics engineering technicians earn about $22 per hour or $47,670 per year on average in Alabama and about $25 per hour or $53,240 annually on average nationally. Electronics engineering technicians earn less than people working in the category of Engineering Technologies generally in Alabama and less than people in the Engineering Technologies category nationally. People working as electronics engineering technicians can fill a number of jobs, such as: certified control systems technician, calibration and instrumentation technician, and failure analysis technician .

There are fifteen schools of higher education in the Birmingham area, including three within twenty-five miles of Birmingham where you can get a degree to start your career as an electronics engineering technician. Given that the most common education level for electronics engineering technicians is an Associate's, or other 2-year degree, you can expect to spend about two years training to become an electronics engineering technician if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Electronics Engineering Technician

In general, electronics engineering technicians lay out, build, and modify developmental and production electronic components, parts, and systems, such as computer equipment, missile control instrumentation, electron tubes, and machine tool numerical controls, applying principles and theories of electronics, electrical circuitry, engineering mathematics, electronic and electrical testing, and physics. They also usually work under direction of engineering staff.

Electronics engineering technicians adjust and remove faulty or improperly functioning circuitry and electronics components, using hand tools and soldering irons. They also test electronics units, using standard test equipment, and analyze results to review performance and decide on need for adjustment. Equally important, electronics engineering technicians have to read blueprints and engineering instructions for assembling electronics units, applying knowledge of electronic theory. Finally, electronics engineering technicians furnish user applications and engineering support and recommendations for new and existing equipment with regard to installation, upgrades and enhancement.

Every day, electronics engineering technicians are expected to be able to listen to and understand others in meetings. They need to read and understand documents and reports. It is also important that they prioritize information for further consideration.

It is important for electronics engineering technicians to perform preventative maintenance and calibration of equipment and systems. They are often called upon to maintain working knowledge of state-of-the-art tools or software by reading or attending conferences, workshops or other training. They also assemble and maintain circuitry or electronic components in line with engineering instructions and knowledge of electronics, using hand and power tools. They are sometimes expected to maintain system logs and manuals to document testing and operation of equipment. Somewhat less frequently, electronics engineering technicians are also expected to write computer or microprocessor software programs.

Electronics engineering technicians sometimes are asked to layout basic circuitry and draft sketches for clarification of details and layout documentation under engineers' direction, using drafting instruments and computer aided layout (CAD) equipment. They also have to be able to survey satellite receival sites for proper signal level and furnish technical assistance in dish location and installation, transporting dishes as needed and build prototypes from rough sketches or plans. And finally, they sometimes have to assemble and maintain circuitry or electronic components in line with engineering instructions and knowledge of electronics, using hand and power tools.

Like many other jobs, electronics engineering technicians must be reliable and believe in cooperation and coordination.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Birmingham include:

  • Civil Engineering Technician. Apply theory and principles of civil engineering in planning, designing, and overseeing construction and maintenance of structures and facilities under the direction of engineering staff or physical scientists.
  • Equipment Engineering Technician. Apply electrical theory and related knowledge to test and modify developmental or operational electrical machinery and electrical control equipment and circuitry in industrial or commercial plants and laboratories. Usually work under direction of engineering staff.
  • Industrial Engineering Technician. Apply engineering theory and principles to problems of industrial layout or manufacturing production, usually under the direction of engineering staff. May study and record time, motion, and speed involved in performance of production, maintenance, and other worker operations for such purposes as establishing standard production rates or improving efficiency.
  • Mechanical Engineer. Perform engineering duties in planning and designing tools, engines, and other mechanically functioning equipment. Oversee installation, operation, and repair of such equipment as centralized heat, gas, and steam systems.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Electronics Engineering Technician Training

ITT Technical Institute-Bessemer - Bessemer, AL

ITT Technical Institute-Bessemer, 6270 Park South Drive, Bessemer, AL 35022. ITT Technical Institute-Bessemer is a small school located in Bessemer, Alabama. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,104 students and an admission rate of 48%. ITT Technical Institute-Bessemer has an associate's degree and a bachelor's degree program in Electrical, Electronic & Communications Engineering Technology/Technician which graduated thirty-seven and five students respectively in 2008.

Lawson State Community College-Birmingham Campus - Birmingham, AL

Lawson State Community College-Birmingham Campus, 3060 Wilson Rd SW, Birmingham, AL 35221-1717. Lawson State Community College-Birmingham Campus is a small college located in Birmingham, Alabama. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 3,507 students. Lawson State Community College-Birmingham Campus has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Electrical, Electronic & Communications Engineering Technology/Technician which graduated zero and one students respectively in 2008.

Herzing College - Birmingham, AL

Herzing College, 280 West Valley Ave, Birmingham, AL 35209. Herzing College is a small college located in Birmingham, Alabama. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 314 students and an admission rate of 82%. Herzing College has an associate's degree and a bachelor's degree program in Telecommunications Technology/Technician which graduated fourteen and five students respectively in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Calibration Technician: The Certified Calibration Technician tests, calibrates, maintains and repairs electrical, mechanical, electromechanical, analytical and electronic measuring, recording and indicating instruments and equipment for conformance to established standards.

For more information, see the American Society for Quality website.

Geometric Dimensioning & Tolerancing Professional - Technologist: ASME GDTP Certification provides the means to recognize proficiency in the understanding and application of the geometric dimensioning and tolerancing (GD&T) principles expressed in the ASME Y14.

For more information, see the American Society of Mechanical Engineers International website.

Certified Lighting Efficiency Professional: AEE's Certified Lighting Efficiency Professional (CLEP) program is designed to provide recognition for professionals who have distinguished themselves as leaders in the field of lighting efficiency.

For more information, see the Association of Energy Engineers website.

Consumer Electronics Service Technician: Consumer Electronics Service Technicians are expected to have knowledge and abilities to operate, install and service home.

For more information, see the ETA International website.

Certified Industrial Electronics Technician: A technician with two or more years of combined work and electronics training may apply for the Journeyman exam.

For more information, see the ETA International website.

Student Electronics Technician (High School Level): Training electronics workers as entry level, apprenticed, installer personnel should include the following 19 Categories: Electrical Theory, Electronic Components, Soldering-Desoldering and Tools, Block Diagrams, Schematics-Wiring Diagrams, Cabling, Power Supplies, Test Equipment & Measurements, Safety Precautions, Mathematics and Formulas, Electronic Circuits: Series and Parallel, Amplifiers, Interfacing of Electronics Products, Digital Concepts and Circuitry, Computer Electronics, Computer Applications, Audio & Video Systems, Optical Electronics, Telecommunications Basics, and Technician Work Procedures.

For more information, see the ETA International website.

RF Line Sweeping: RF Line Sweeping, or FDR, Frequency Domain Reflectometry, certification by the Electronics Technicians Association, Internationa, has two assessments: The 16 category knowledge written multiple-choice examination, and the practical hands-on physical abilities and skills demonstration documented during a formal training course.

For more information, see the ETA International website.

Associate Certified Electronics Technician: Knowledge areas include: Electrical Theory, Electronic Components, Soldering-Desoldering & Tools, Block Diagrams - Schematics - Wiring Diagrams, Cabling, Power Supplies, test Equipment & Measurements, Safety Precautions, Mathematics & Formulas, Radio Communication Technology, Electronic Circuits: Series & Parallel, Amplifiers, Interfacing of Electronics Products, Digital Concepts & Circuitry, Computer Electronics, Computer Applications, Audio & Video Systems, Optical Electronics, Telecommunications Basics, Technician Work Procedures.

For more information, see the ETA International website.

Certified Apprentice Lighting Technician: NALMCO offers a home study certification program, the Certified Apprentice Lighting Technician (CALT), which is indispensable for both entry-level and midlevel lighting management personnel.

For more information, see the International Association of Lighting Management Companies website.

Certified Senior Lighting Technician: NALMCO offers a home study certification program, the Certified Senior Lighting Technician (CSLT) which is indispensable for both entry-level and midlevel lighting management personnel.

For more information, see the International Association of Lighting Management Companies website.

Electron Microscopy Technologist: The Microscopy Society of America (MSA), the world's largest professional association of microscopists, provides the only certification of technologists in biological transmission electron microscopy available in the Americas.

For more information, see the Microscopy Society of America website.

Corrosion Technician: This certification is geared towards personnel with little experience but who possess some basic knowledge of corrosion and corrosion control, who are capable of performing routine, but well-defined work under the close direction of Specialist or Senior Technologist personnel.

For more information, see the NACE International website.

EMC (Electromagnetic Compatibility) Technician: iNARTE's EMC certification is applicable to professional engineers and technicians practicing in EMC fields to include bonding, grounding, shielding, EMI prediction, EMI analysis, conducted and radiated interference, lightning protection and more.

For more information, see the National Association of Radio and Telecommunications Engineers, Inc. website.

ESD (Electrostatic Discharge) Technician: ESD Control certification is appropriate for engineers and technicians whose training and experience have primarily focused on problems, engineering design and corrective measures associated with minimizing or eliminating electrostatic discharge.

For more information, see the National Association of Radio and Telecommunications Engineers, Inc. website.

Junior Telecommunications Technician: Telecommunications certification is applicable to professionals involved in the science and practice of communications by electromagnetic means.

For more information, see the National Association of Radio and Telecommunications Engineers, Inc. website.

System Operator Certification: The System Operator Certification Program awards certification credentials to those individuals who demonstrate that they have attained sufficient knowledge relating to NERC reliability standards and the basic principles of bulk power system operations by passing one of four specialty examinations.

For more information, see the North American Electric Reliability Corporation website.

Broadband Distribution Specialist: Certifies proficiency in the subject matter related to the RF distribution of signals.

For more information, see the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers website.

Certified Manufacturing Technologist: This certification primarily benefits new manufacturing engineers and experienced manufacturers without other credentials.

For more information, see the Society of Manufacturing Engineers website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Birmingham, Alabama

Birmingham, Alabama
Birmingham, Alabama photo by Eric_in_SF

Birmingham is located in Jefferson County, Alabama. It has a population of over 228,798, which has shrunk by 5.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Birmingham, 81, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Birmingham cost $187,300 on average, which is well above the state average. In 2008, one hundred thirty-two new homes were built in Birmingham, down from two hundred thirty-two the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Birmingham are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 24 minutes. More than 18.5% of Birmingham residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.6%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Birmingham is 12.5%, which is greater than Alabama's average of 10.7%.

The percentage of Birmingham residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 60.1%, is more than both the national and state average. Williams Chapel Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, Westminister Presbyterian Church and West End Methodist Church are all churches located in Birmingham. The most common religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Birmingham is home to the Mineral Park Municipal Golf Course and the Cooper Green Golf Course as well as Avondale Mills Park and Smithfield Historic District. Shopping malls in the area include Acipco Shopping Center, Altadena Square Shopping Center and Parkway East Huffman Shopping Center. Visitors to Birmingham can choose from Marriott Hotel Birmingham, Rime Garden Extended Stay Suites and Studioplus for temporary stays in the area.