If you love physics and math and you are happy to engage your brain, then you need an ever-evolving career. This way, you can keep your mind sufficiently challenged. In this case, electronics engineering will be the perfect path for you. Studying electronics engineering is similar to signing up for a course that will always advance your education for life. Also, it is an invaluable way to stay challenged since this field is continually growing.
Electronics engineering technology is a complex field that combines mathematics, technology, science, and engineering. With new, advanced technology being developed each day, there are many exciting possibilities for students interested in electronics engineering. Many industries, such as manufacturing, agriculture, telecommunications, and more, need electronics engineers. The field has been steadily growing for the past decades and is projected to continue well in the future.
Understanding more about the professional discipline and how to become an electronics engineer will help you decide if it is the right career path for you. In this article, we will delve into:
- What is included in electronics engineering?
- Differences between electronics engineering and electrical engineering
- Types of jobs for electronics engineers
- Top electronics engineering degree programs
What Is Included in Electronics Engineering?
Before we dive into what is included in electronics engineering, it is vital to understand what electronics engineering is. Electronics engineering is a branch of engineering that deals with the study, design, and application of electronic circuits, devices, and the equipment and systems that use them. It involves the design and development of electronic equipment, including individual components, circuitry, and software. The equipment is designed to transmit and interpret signals while still performing tasks based on specific parameters. Electronics engineers construct various electronic products’ internal systems, including satellites, cell phones, televisions, audio-visual equipment, and GPS devices. They use programmable logic controllers to practically monitor and control the state of output and input devices.
Electronics engineering has multiple subfields. Some of the standard subfields include but not limited to:
- Signal Processing: This involves the analysis, synthesis, and modification of signals. Its purpose is to convey information about phenomenon or behavior.
- Telecommunications Engineering: This type of engineering deals with transmitting information across a channel. This can be over free space or through a coaxial cable or optical fiber.
- Instrumentation Engineering: Instrumentation engineering concerns the design of devices to measure physical quantities. These include temperature, pressure, and flow.
- Communication System: Communication system serves the purpose of receiving and transmitting information. It is a significant part of electronics engineering that deals with digital and analog signals. Analog signals vary continuously according to the information, while digital signals vary depending on a series of discrete values that represent information.
What is the Future of Electronics Engineering?
For students studying engineering degrees in the electronics sector, the future looks so bright. With the rapid expansion of modern technology, all industries rely on the power of electronic products. We live in a world dependent on electronics, from our kitchen equipment and personal gadgets to modes of transport. These applications are getting more advanced by the day. The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently reported that the employment rate of electronics engineers is projected to grow 7% by 2026. That is about as fast as the average for other professions.
Why are Electronics Engineers in Demand?
Electronics engineering is one of the most rewarding careers. In many sectors, electronics engineers can create items that benefit others. For instance, medical equipment has a significant electronic element to it, safety systems have electronics, and many eco-projects have electronics at their core. The variety of opportunities within this sector is huge. From small to large companies, an electronics engineer can work in almost any size company.
With the number of electronics used in modern society, there is a great demand for electronics engineers. New firms spring up to deliver the consumer market’s needs, with the emerging rise in the electronics industry. Electronics engineers are also needed to serve traditional industries and provide them with updated electronic equipment. This way, they can accelerate their pace of technological upgrading, develop production, and improve economic performance based on the new technology, thus helping the entire economy to take off. Therefore, as an electronics engineer, you will be in great demand in the market today.
What Do People in the Field of Electronics Engineering Work on?
In electronics engineering, professionals design and test products using electrical components. Electronics engineers design and develop electronic equipment, for instance, broadcast and communication systems. These include the Global Positioning System device and portable music players.
Differences Between Electronics Engineering And Electrical Engineering
Electronics engineering and electrical engineering are not just two names for the same thing. Their difference is often blurred, but it is true to say that the two fields are quite different. Both may sound similar because they involve moving electricity around a circuit to power useful machines and products, but that is where their similarity ends. So what is the difference between the two? We will delve into the differences in terms of:
- How They Work
The primary difference between electronics and electrical engineering is in how they work. While electric circuits have no decision-making capability, electronic circuits do. An electric circuit powers machines with electricity, while an electronic circuit can interpret instruction or signals and perform tasks to suit the circumstance.
- Difference of Scale
Electronic components are often very small and require small direct current voltage. On the other hand, electrical components are usually larger and use alternating current voltages. Some products, including computers, have more electronic components than electrical components. Large industrial sites such as power stations have more electrical components.
What are the Different Skills Needed for Electronics Engineering and Electrical Engineering?
Both electrical and electronics engineering requires a set of skills. However, there is a difference in the skills necessary for each field. Hang on as we highlight the skills required for each field.
Skills Needed for Electronics Engineering:
- Complex problem-solving skills and a methodical mind
- Strong interest in technology
- Strong information technology skills
- Aptitude for Math
- Excellent communication skills
- Critical thinking
- Software development and visualization knowledge
- Six Sigma certification
- Embedded systems skills
Skills Needed for Electrical Engineering:
- Circuit design
- Data collection and analysis
- Develop electrical schematics
- Electronic equipment maintenance
- Build and operate computer systems
- Prepare operational plans
- Direct construction activities and equipment upkeep
What are the Differences in the Coursework for Electrical Engineering and Electronics Engineering?
The electrical engineering and electronics engineering disciplines sound similar and are often combined into a single job profile. However, the two majors are not necessarily identical. In electrical engineering, the coursework involves an introduction to electrical engineering, circuits and semiconductors, signals, and systems. Electrical engineering students can specialize in nanotechnology, communications, or another academic concentration.
Students who major in electronics engineering take more foundational courses in electronics. Instead of taking minimal coursework in circuits, students study alternating current circuits, digital circuits and systems, direct current circuits, and electrical components of circuits. Electronics engineers also have to learn about electrical currents, programming, voltage, and random signal analysis. Specializations in this field include renewable energy, mechatronic systems, and power systems.
What is the Difference between Electrical Engineering and Electrical Engineering Technology?
The difference between electrical engineering and electrical engineering technology is the type of work performed in each field. Electrical engineers draft, develop, test, and supervise the manufacturing of various electrical equipment. Electrical engineering technologists assist electrical engineers in activities, including electrical power distribution, process control, and instrumentation design. Unlike in electrical engineering, electrical engineering technologists often work in the production sector to identify problems and fix them.
Types of Jobs for Electronics Engineers
Just like other fields, the job outlook for electronic engineering is quite promising. The employment rate is expected to increase by a significant percentage by 2026. Therefore, if you are ready to follow this path, it is important to understand an electronics engineer’s responsibilities.
The Key Responsibilities of an Electronics Engineer
Electronics engineering involves the design, development, and overseeing the production of electronic systems and items. Testing the products and their components is key to ensuring that all the electronics work safely, reliably, and efficiently. The responsibilities of an electronics engineer vary depending on specialty and industry. However, the responsibilities usually include:
- Planning Electronics Projects
Electronics engineers are involved in the preliminary stages of any electronics products. They plan how everything, including small individual electronics to large-scale operations, should be conducted. The planning process often involves determining how every project will look and function, how much its development should cost, where the money is allocated, and the amount of time the project should take to complete. An electronic engineer is expected to consider their employer’s or client’s and worldwide, national, and local safety guidelines governing their work.
- Manufacturing Electronic Products
Electronics engineers develop plans and follow them to manufacture electronic systems and products. In this case, most engineers work as part of a team, creating individual electrical components, then assembling them to make larger electronics works.
- Testing and Evaluating Electrical Products
After products are assembled, electronics engineers conduct final tests before the products are released. They assess whether the products operate as intended and if they adhere to the safety guidelines and specifications provided. Rigorous tests determine whether the electronics products are durable and safe for consumers.
- Coordinating with Relevant Individuals
Electronics engineers work as part of larger teams. Therefore, they spend much of their time coordinating with other professionals within or outside their business. They collaborate with other engineers to ensure that their work benefits the projects they are working on. Electronics engineers use various methods to coordinate their efforts with other professionals. These include videoconferencing, email, telephone calls, and meetings in person.
- Writing Usage Recommendations
Electronics engineers write recommendations for how to use their products to ensure that their products are used correctly. These recommendations instruct consumers on how to operate and troubleshoot various electronics products. They can also offer maintenance guidelines to maximize the product’s lifespan.
- Performing Maintenance and Repairs
Some electronics products require regular maintenance from electronics engineers. If they detect a problem during maintenance, they perform the necessary repairs before the problem escalates. This intervention often includes doing partial or full circuit traces to detect faults and replacing components, such as circuit boards or drives.
What are some of the Unusual Jobs Held by Electronics Engineers?
An electronics engineering degree program focuses on deepening students’ skills and knowledge of basic theories and concepts that equip them in their professional work. There are various electronics engineer job profiles in this field. The following are some of the unique jobs held by electronics engineers.
- Biomedical Engineers
Biomedical engineers combine the various engineering principles with medical sciences. They focus on designing and creating devices, computer systems, equipment, and software used in the healthcare sector.
- Aeroscope Engineers
Aeroscope engineers are tasked with designing spacecraft, satellites, missiles, and aircraft. They also create and test prototypes to ensure that they function according to design.
- Sales Engineers
These engineers are expected to have extensive knowledge of a products’ parts and functions. They should understand the scientific process that makes each product work to sell complex technological and scientific products or services to businesses.
- Computer Hardware Engineers
These engineers are tasked with designing, researching, developing, and testing computer systems and components. These include circuit boards, routers, networks, memory devices, and more.
- Electrical and Electronics Engineering Technicians
Electrical and electronics technicians help engineers to develop and design communications equipment, medical monitoring devices, computers, navigational equipment, and other electrical and electronic equipment. They are involved in the manufacture and distribution of equipment for automation. They also work in product evaluation and testing while using measuring and diagnostic devices to adjust, test, and repair equipment.
What Are Some of The Most Common Opportunities for An Electronics Engineer?
The field of electronics engineering opens invaluable career prospects for aspirants willing to make their careers in electronics engineering. After completion of their degree programs, aspirants can easily access a wide range of electronics engineering employment opportunities. Some of the common sectors that offer opportunities for electronics engineers include:
- Corporate business
- Consulting firms
- Research and development
- Automotive industry
- Information technology
- Science journalism
- Data communication
- Power generation industry
- Oil and gas industry
- Technical publishing
What Is the Average Salary for An Electronics Engineer?
There are abundant job opportunities for electronics engineers across the globe. Entry-level electronics engineers with less than one year of experience earn an average salary of $67,776 per year. An early career electronics engineer having one to four years of experience earns an average salary of $72,972. Mid-career electronics engineers with five to nine years of experience earn an average of $84,403. An electronics engineer with extensive experience of up to ten years earns an average salary of $96,655. Electronics engineers in their late-career earn a total of $109,097.
The salary for electronics engineers often varies depending on various factors. These include education levels, certifications, additional skills, and the number of years in the profession. It can also vary depending on the state you are in and the company you are working for.
Top Electronics Engineering Degree Programs
Electronics engineers are required to complete a bachelor’s degree in a related field. They also need a state license to work as independent professional electronics engineers. This licensure calls for an accredited degree program, four years of work experience, and passing two exams. Let us look at the degree programs in electronics engineering.
- Associate Degree in Electronics Engineering
Associate degree programs in electronics engineering prepare students for entry-level positions such as engineering technologists or electronics technicians. Students might be required to complete a capstone project.
- Bachelor’s Degree
A bachelor’s degree in electronics engineering teaches students how to work with digital circuits, computer applications, and computer programming. This degree allows students to access virtual electronic systems, which gives students the electronic engineering experience needed for successful careers. Bachelor in Electronics Engineering graduates can work as electronics engineers, information technology professionals, system administrators, and network administrators.
- Master’s in Electronics Engineering
In the master’s program, students hone in on their electronics engineering skills. They can decide on which discipline of electronics they would like to focus their work in. Ideally, students must have an engineering background, but it can be from any field. They should be willing to learn the unique aspects of the electronics engineering field. Students are often faced with a choice between on-campus education or online university programs. Regardless of the study option you choose, you can rest easy knowing that there are plenty of lucrative job opportunities and specializations available.
What are the Top Schools for Electronics Engineering Technology Degrees?
With hundreds of different electronics engineering technology programs to choose from, finding the right fit might be a challenge. Do not panic; you have just come to the right place. In this section, we will analyze some of the top electronics engineering technology schools.
- Thomas Edison State College in Trenton, NJ
Thomas Edison State College offers associate and bachelor’s degrees in electronics engineering. The programs are designed for students with relevant work experience in the electronics industry. They allow students to apply previous professional certification or training toward degree requirements.
- Hamilton Technical College
Hamilton Technical College is the top choice for students interested in pursuing electronics engineering technology degrees. The electronics engineering technology major at this college is very focused. Its location is also ideal for students who appreciate the fast-paced city life. Affordability should not stop you from applying for this program. That is because 72% of undergraduates receive financial aid.
- Island Drafting and Technical Institute
It is hard to beat Island Drafting and Technical Institute if you want to study electronics engineering technology. 33% of the undergraduates in the school are electronics engineering technology majors. The college offers advanced degree programs for students who want to carry on after achieving a bachelor’s degree.
- Valencia College in Orlando, FL
Valencia College in Orlando, FL, also offers electronics engineering technology programs. Classroom lectures and lab experiences in introductory and intermediate courses cover semiconductors, microprocessors, and photonics. Degrees within this program include:
- Basic Electronics Technician Certificate
- Advanced Electronics Technician Certificate
- Associate in Science in Electronics Engineering Technology
- Macomb Community College in Warren, MI
Coursework in the Associate in Electronics Engineering Technology program at Macomb Community teaches students how to work with lasers, industrial controls, fiber optics, and digital communication equipment. Degrees and certificates offered to include:
- Certificate in Basic Electronics
- Certificate in Electronic Engineering Technology
- Associate of Applied Science in Electronics Engineering Technology
- Grantham University
Electronics engineering is one of the fastest engineering degrees offered at Grantham University. The program focuses on providing students with the skills and knowledge to enter the workforce and advance as professional electronics engineers. The program has been accredited by the engineering accreditation commission, which means they meet the specified quality standards of the specialized accreditation.
How Can You Determine which Electronics Engineering Program is Best for Your Needs?
Deciding which program to enroll in is one of the most critical choices that a student can face. The right program sets them on a successful path to graduate and begin the career they envision for themselves. There are key factors to consider when choosing a school and program, starting with whether you want to attend classes on-campus or enroll in an online program. Finances are often a huge factor in this decision. Online programs are usually more affordable, but they’re not for everyone. Some people need the interaction of in-person instruction, even if it costs significantly more.
The university or college website will have all program options and requirements. That often includes pertinent information concerning course descriptions, internships, and practicums. Researching these elements will allow you to gauge how appropriate the coursework is for your career goals and personal interests. Other factors to consider include the cost of living, cost of attendance, location, and employment opportunities in the area.
Full-time students can complete an electronics engineering program within four years. If you want to study part-time, be ready to spend an extra year or two in school. Many other criteria can impact your program length, including whether the college offers classes all year-round or a fast-track option. Also, note that the type of school you choose might dramatically impact the overall cost of your degree. Colleges within the community represent the most affordable, while out-of-state or private schools rank as the most expensive.
What do the Best Programs in Electronics Engineering Have in Common?
Electronics engineering programs prepare students for the career they want. They are dynamic and offer students the opportunity to work with innovative technologies within a wide range of industries. Enrollment for electronics engineering programs also allows students to connect with industry leaders and innovators, enhancing networking opportunities. Through these programs, students can also improve their communication skills and ability to work as a team.
The best programs in electronics engineering help students to take advantage of the abundant job opportunities across the globe. Graduates from these programs have better prospects in electronics engineering service firms, computer design service industry, communication, and Global positioning system technology.
Life without electronics might be the worst life ever. Electronics engineering is a multi-dimensional branch that allows electronics engineers to pick their career dimensions as we are living in an age of digitization and science. The role of electronics engineers remains invaluable because they increase the comfort zone of humans and make life luxurious.
The advance of electronics has revolutionized the world completely and amazingly. Every day we can see how inventions have revolutionized our lives by making them easier. We have access to wireless internet phones that work as pocket computers and advanced gadgets that make household work easier. Electronic devices are part of our lives and present in almost every activity. Why should I pursue electronics engineering?
The demand for professionals in electronics engineering is increasing every day. This is because technology is more prevalent in industries and can find them fully automated production processes that are controlled by electronics systems. Electronics engineers can design these processes, advance, and monitor them together with professional engineering systems. Electronics engineering can also be applied in a wide range of branches. For starters, we can talk about industrial electronics. That specializes in automatic controls and sensors for industries, digital electronics present in different devices such as smartphones and computers, power electronics that deal with motor power control in larger industries and the telecommunications sector.
Besides, electronics engineers with vast work experience have the opportunity to start a business. They can work on developing different electronic devices that provide solutions to a wide range of businesses all over the world. You can also develop new technologies in fields like bioengineering, which goes hand in hand with medicine to create diagnostic and treatment equipment. Better still, electronics engineering allows you to get hired right after you graduate. Compensation is an invaluable start and will greatly improve with increasing experience. While prospects might be poor when joining college, things will be much better upon graduation.