Industrial Electrical Technology: Career School Diploma Program Summary
A diploma program in industrial electrical technology gives graduates the classroom training and hands-on experience necessary to repair and perform maintenance on industrial equipment. It generally takes one to two years to earn a diploma at a technical school or community college, and some schools offer degree alternatives and apprenticeship training.
Industrial Electrical Technology Diploma
Students learn the skills needed to become entry-level electrical technicians in industrial or manufacturing settings. After obtaining a foundational education in basic electrical principles and safety procedures, students learn to operate the tools used by an industrial electrician. Courses discuss how to read electrical blueprints and understand control panels. Gaining familiarity with solid-state and relay motor controls is an important aspect of the program, as is learning to use testing equipment to troubleshoot machinery and effect repairs.
A student must have a high school diploma or a GED certificate to enroll in a diploma program. A school might also require successful completion of courses in applied mathematics, English, and reading before beginning major classes.
Classes teach students the fundamentals of the profession, beginning with how energy is transformed into electricity. Students go on to learn how to operate, design, and repair machinery. Courses can include the following:
- Electrical circuits
- Safety regulations
- Motors and motor controls
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted employment for electrical and electronics installers and repairers overall would grow one percent from 2012-2022 (www.bls.gov). The growth rate could depend on a worker's specialty. For example, little or no change was expected for powerhouse, substation, and relay installers, while job openings were expected to decline by four percent for electric motor and power tool repairers. However, commercial and industrial equipment electronics repairers should see three percent growth in that same time period.
Salaries also vary. The BLS reported that the median salary for those in the motor vehicle specialty was $31,340 in 2012. Repairers of commercial and industrial electronic equipment earned a median of $52,650, and electrical workers who specialized in repairing transportation equipment made a median salary of $51,240 a year.
Continuing Education and Certification
The BLS reported that earning and associate's degree could improve employment opportunities. Some schools might allow students to apply the credit they earn in a diploma program to an associate degree.
Additionally, several organizations allow electrical technicians to validate their skills by offering professional credentials. The Electronics Technicians' Association awards certification at four basic levels and in more than 80 specialty fields. A student who has fewer than two years' experience or training can take the exam to become an Associate Electronics Technician. With two years in the field, professionals can qualify for the Journeyman certification exam. The International Society of Certified Electronics Technicians also offers certifications at the Student, Associate and Journeyman levels, as well as credentials in some specialty areas.
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