Electrical engineering technology is a specialized scientific field dedicated to the research, development, and construction of electronic products and systems. Professionals in the field conduct experiments and build prototypes that eventually become indispensable components of industrial production, communications, and entertainment. A person who wants to get started in electrical engineering technology usually needs to earn a college degree in the subject and participate in several months of supervised training to develop necessary skills. With the appropriate training, a person can become an engineering technician at a manufacturing plant or research and development firm.
An individual interested in electrical engineering technology can prepare for a career in the field as early as high school. A student can benefit greatly from advanced courses in math, physics, and chemistry. Such classes provide a fundamental understanding of many important principles of electrical engineering, such as the properties of electrical circuits and the characteristics of radio waves. In addition to science and math classes, a future engineering technician can enroll in computer science, writing, and communications courses to develop other important job skills.
With a high school diploma, a person can begin looking into accredited electrical engineering technology programs at two-year vocational schools and community colleges and four-year universities. An associate's degree is sufficient for employment in most electrical engineering technology companies, though a bachelor's degree can significantly improve an individual's credentials and chances of finding work immediately after graduation.
Most programs feature both classroom and laboratory instruction. Students attend lectures that cover a range of related subjects, including wireless communications, computer systems, radio frequency technology, electromagnetism, and power generation. Laboratory classes offer students the chance to gain essential hands-on experience working with the tools and equipment used in electrical engineering technology jobs. Students often work in teams to design, build, or repair a variety of electronic devices, receiving directions from skilled instructors along the way.
Many electrical engineering technology programs help graduates find entry-level positions. With the help of advisers and career placement officials, an individual can identify job openings at local research institutions and manufacturing plants. A new employee usually works as an assistant to experienced technicians and engineers for up to six months in order to become familiar with specific tasks and policies. In time, he or she is given more responsibilities and allowed to begin working unsupervised on important projects.
Several years of experience and continuing education are needed to advance within an electrical engineering technology firm. With experience, a professional may be able to become a supervisor or lead technologist. A technician who wants to conduct independent research can choose return to school to become a full electrical engineer.