Online Electrical Maintenance Degree Program Information
Targeted training in electrical maintenance isn't generally offered online; such programs require extensive hands-on lab requirements. However, some schools offer relevant online programs in electronics technology that can lead to the same career opportunities as on-campus electrical maintenance degree programs.
Electrical maintenance programs are not typically available, but associate degree programs in electronics technology commonly cover this area of study, as well as electronic installation, testing and evaluation. These programs are available as online options, though they may not be available as 100% online programs. Because of the hands-on nature of the material, students will typically be required to complete some on-campus requirements, such as lab time, in order to apply classroom concepts to the real world. While educational programs (online or otherwise) will not offer certification themselves, graduates of these programs may be qualified to seek certification through organizations such as the International Society of Certified Electronics Technicians.
Overview of an Online Associate Degree in Electronics Technology
An online associate degree program in electronics technology, which may also encompass instruction in computer technology, provides students the training necessary to evaluate, install, test and maintain a variety of electronic systems. Students become familiar with the fundamentals of electrical systems, electronic controls and basic industrial computer systems. Programs allow students to gain proficiency in building and troubleshooting integrated electronics systems, preparing them to apply learned concepts and skills to real-world situations.
Distance-based electronics technology programs usually take two years to complete, and the majority of required coursework may be completed entirely online. However, some programs may require students to attend residency lab training for a period lasting about two weeks in order to provide hands-on experience in instrumentation, reporting techniques and equipment maintenance.
With a high-speed Internet connection, course materials are accessible via an online format 24 hours a day. Web-based demonstrations and study tools help enhance student learning, and instructor lectures can be viewed utilizing streaming video. Online students can also take advantage of a variety of Web-based resources, often including access to a virtual library.
Common Online Courses in Electronics Technology
Coursework in online associate degree programs in electronics technology usually includes in-depth study of electrical components and systems, as well as computer hardware used to program and operate a variety of electronic devices.
Fundamentals of Electricity Course
Associate degree candidates study the nature of electricity, including electrical energy distribution, conductors, insulators and batteries. Other topics include direct current (DC) motor and generator theory, electromagnetism and alternating current (AC) circuits.
Electronic Circuits Course
This course covers the basics of electronic systems, devices and amplifications. Specific lessons cover electronic power supply systems, control systems, troubleshooting for electronic equipment, measuring techniques and industrial receivers.
Quality Control Systems Course
Coursework introduces the fundamentals and practical application of quality system controls. Enrollees study inspection tools and equipment, quality systems, statistical process control and acceptance procedures.
Those who have completed an online program in electronics technology or on-campus program in electrical maintenance are prepared for employment in electrical installation, manufacturing and repair fields. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employers prefer to hire candidates who have an associate degree in the field and often require professional certification (www.bls.gov). Overall employment opportunities of electrical installers and repairers were projected by BLS to increase by five percent during the 2008-2018 decade. BLS reported that electrical maintenance technicians within the commercial and industrial equipment industry earned an annual median salary of $50,730 as of May 2009.
Electrical professionals, who provide installation, repair and maintenance services, can obtain certification credentials through a variety of organizations. The Electronics Technicians Association International provides a number of certifications in several electronics specialties at varying levels of competency. The International Society of Certified Electronics Technicians also offers certification credentials in a range of topics, such as appliance service, electronic systems and basic electronics. In order to obtain certification, candidates are usually required to earn a passing score on a comprehensive exam.
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