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Career and Education Opportunities for Electronics Engineering Technicians in Columbia, Maryland

Columbia, Maryland provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for electronics engineering technicians. The national trend for electronics engineering technicians sees this job pool shrinking by about 2.2% over the next eight years. Electronics engineering technicians generally 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.

A person working as an electronics engineering technician can expect to earn about $28 per hour or $59,980 yearly on average in Maryland and about $25 per hour or $53,240 annually on average in the U.S. as a whole. Electronics engineering technicians earn more than people working in the category of Engineering Technologies generally in Maryland and less than people in the Engineering Technologies category nationally. Electronics engineering technicians work in a variety of jobs, including: test engineering aide, technician, and electrical equipment technician.

There are 109 schools of higher education in the Columbia area, including thirteen within twenty-five miles of Columbia where you can get a degree to start your career as an electronics engineering technician. The most common level of education 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 Columbia include:

  • Aerospace Technician. Operate, install, and maintain integrated computer/communications systems consoles, simulators, and other data acquisition, test, and measurement instruments and equipment to launch, track, and evaluate air and space vehicles. May record and interpret test data.
  • 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.
  • Environmental Engineering Technician. Apply theory and principles of environmental engineering to modify, test, and operate equipment and devices used in the prevention, control, and remediation of environmental pollution, including waste treatment and site remediation. May assist in the development of environmental pollution remediation devices under direction of engineer.
  • 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.
  • Mechanical Engineering Technician. Apply theory and principles of mechanical engineering to modify, develop, and test machinery and equipment under direction of engineering staff or physical scientists.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Electronics Engineering Technician Training

TESST College of Technology-Towson - Towson, MD

TESST College of Technology-Towson, 803 Glen Eagles Ct, Towson, MD 21286-2201. TESST College of Technology-Towson is a small college located in Towson, Maryland. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 419 students. TESST College of Technology-Towson has 2 areas of study related to Electronics Engineering Technician. They are:

  • Electrical, Electronic & Communications Engineering Technology/Technician, associate's degree and two to four year which graduated twenty and zero students respectively in 2008.
  • Electrical & Electronic Engineering Technologies/Technicians, Other Specialties, two to four year which graduated 3 students in 2008.

ITT Technical Institute-Owings Mills - Owings Mills, MD

ITT Technical Institute-Owings Mills, 11301 Red Run Blvd, Owings Mills, MD 21117. ITT Technical Institute-Owings Mills is a small school located in Owings Mills, Maryland. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,121 students and an admission rate of 54%. ITT Technical Institute-Owings Mills has an associate's degree and a bachelor's degree program in Electrical, Electronic & Communications Engineering Technology/Technician which graduated fifteen and zero students respectively in 2008.

Anne Arundel Community College - Arnold, MD

Anne Arundel Community College, 101 College Pky, Arnold, MD 21012-1895. Anne Arundel Community College is a large college located in Arnold, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,149 students. Anne Arundel Community College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Electrical, Electronic & Communications Engineering Technology/Technician which graduated eleven and ten students respectively in 2008.

Baltimore City Community College - Baltimore, MD

Baltimore City Community College, 2901 Liberty Hts Ave, Baltimore, MD 21215-7893. Baltimore City Community College is a medium sized college located in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 6,884 students. Baltimore City Community College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Electrical, Electronic & Communications Engineering Technology/Technician which graduated zero and two students respectively in 2008.

Prince George's Community College - Largo, MD

Prince George's Community College, 301 Largo Rd, Largo, MD 20774-2199. Prince George's Community College is a large college located in Largo, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 12,005 students. Prince George's Community College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Electrical, Electronic & Communications Engineering Technology/Technician which graduated one and nine students respectively in 2008.

University of the District of Columbia - Washington, DC

University of the District of Columbia, 4200 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008. University of the District of Columbia is a medium sized university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 5,339 students. University of the District of Columbia has an associate's degree and a bachelor's degree program in Electrical & Electronic Engineering Technologies/Technicians, Other Specialties which graduated zero and eleven students respectively in 2008.

Capitol College - Laurel, MD

Capitol College, 11301 Springfield Rd, Laurel, MD 20708. Capitol College is a small college located in Laurel, Maryland. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 701 students and an admission rate of 38%. Capitol College has 2 areas of study related to Electronics Engineering Technician. They are:

  • Electrical & Electronic Engineering Technologies/Technicians, Other Specialties, associate's degree and bachelor's degree which graduated zero and five students respectively in 2008.
  • Computer Engineering Technology/Technician, bachelor's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.

The Community College of Baltimore County - Baltimore, MD

The Community College of Baltimore County, 7201 Rossville Blvd., Baltimore, MD 21237. The Community College of Baltimore County is a large college located in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 20,673 students. The Community College of Baltimore County has an associate's degree program in Electrical, Electronic & Communications Engineering Technology/Technician which graduated one student in 2008.

DeVry University-Virginia - Arlington, VA

DeVry University-Virginia, 2450 Crystal Drive, Arlington, VA 22202-3843. DeVry University-Virginia is a small university located in Arlington, Virginia. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 739 students and an admission rate of 93%. DeVry University-Virginia has 2 areas of study related to Electronics Engineering Technician. They are:

  • Electrical, Electronic & Communications Engineering Technology/Technician, associate's degree and bachelor's degree which graduated zero and three students respectively in 2008.
  • Computer Engineering Technology/Technician, bachelor's degree which graduated 2 students in 2008.

Northern Virginia Community College - Annandale, VA

Northern Virginia Community College, 4001 Wakefield Chapel Rd, Annandale, VA 22003-3796. Northern Virginia Community College is a large college located in Annandale, Virginia. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 41,870 students. Northern Virginia Community College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Electrical, Electronic & Communications Engineering Technology/Technician which graduated zero and one students respectively in 2008.

TESST College of Technology-Baltimore - Baltimore, MD

TESST College of Technology-Baltimore, 1520 S Caton Ave, Baltimore, MD 21227-1063. TESST College of Technology-Baltimore is a small college located in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 1,075 students. TESST College of Technology-Baltimore has an associate's degree and a two to four year program in Electrical, Electronic & Communications Engineering Technology/Technician which graduated twelve and eighty-eight students respectively in 2008.

TESST College of Technology-Beltsville - Beltsville, MD

TESST College of Technology-Beltsville, 4600 Powder Mill Rd, Beltsville, MD 20705. TESST College of Technology-Beltsville is a small college located in Beltsville, Maryland. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 641 students. TESST College of Technology-Beltsville has one to two year, associate's degree, and two to four year programs in Electrical, Electronic & Communications Engineering Technology/Technician which graduated nine, twenty, and zero students respectively in 2008.

Howard Community College - Columbia, MD

Howard Community College, 10901 Little Patuxent Pkwy, Columbia, MD 21044-3197. Howard Community College is a medium sized college located in Columbia, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,905 students. Howard Community College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Electrical, Electronic & Communications Engineering Technology/Technician which graduated zero and two 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: Columbia, Maryland

Columbia, Maryland
Columbia, Maryland photo by Jeff Kubina

Columbia is located in Howard County, Maryland. It has a population of over 96,421. The cost of living index in Columbia, 100, is near the national average.

The three most popular industries for women in Columbia are educational services, health care, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, public administration, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 30 minutes. More than 59.0% of Columbia residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 28.7%, is higher than the state average.

The percentage of Columbia residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 49.3%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Abiding Savior Lutheran Church, Atholton Seventh Day Adventist Church and Long Reach Interfaith Center are all churches located in Columbia. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.

Columbia is home to the Symphony Woods Office Center and the Rivers Corporate Park as well as Middle Patuxent Environmental Area and Clarksville Environmental Area. Shopping centers in the area include Governor Century Plaza Shopping Center, Atholton Shopping Center and Owen Brown Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Columbia can choose from PFMG, Courtyard by Marriott and Hilton Inn Columbia for temporary stays in the area.