Wherever there is communications equipment or the presence of monitoring, electrical and electronic devices, you can find technicians with associate degrees in electronics engineering, electrical engineering or electrical engineering technology. In addition to core education courses such as arts and humanities, communications, history, math, science and social and behavioral sciences, associate degrees in electrical engineering can include targeted coursework such as AC/DC circuitry, electrical machines, digital and analog electronics, microprocessors, computer applications, and digital design.
Electronics engineering career options, outlook and salary
Electrical and electronic engineering technicians work in diverse fields from aerospace to vehicular technology as well as in heavy industry and for utility companies. Salaries in 2010 were well above the national median for all occupations, but the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects lower than average job growth rates for 2008-2018. Here are a few potential careers for those with associate degrees:
- Electrical and electronics installers and repairers at powerhouse, substation and relay stations: 4.9 percent growth; $65,230 salary
- Electrical and electronics engineering technicians: 1.9 percent growth; $56,040 salary
Many associate degrees in electronics or electrical engineering provide the first two years of a four-year program that culminates in a bachelor's degree. The four-year degree in electrical engineering technology qualifies you to work as a technologist, and the electrical engineering degree leads to work as an engineer.
Going beyond associate degrees in electronics engineering
Master's degrees in electrical engineering can lead to a career in advanced research, development and design as well as higher level management. Those with a master's degree could find it beneficial to have a wide knowledge of the field as well as niche skills in areas like artificial intelligence, signals and systems, communications, optics or computer systems. A Ph.D. is appropriate for the student who is interested in academic or industrial research, teaching at the university level, or contributing to knowledge in the field of electrical engineering.
Follow up your associate degree with an online bachelor's degree or master's degree that allows you to earn while you learn. More and more employers are looking for higher levels of education and work or internship experience. Think about specializing: Jobs could be most plentiful in areas such as aerospace, bioengineering, computers, sustainable energy and telecommunications. You could even move forward in a job working with electric, hybrid or fuel-cell cars.