Electronics technicians make their livings fixing, maintaining and installing electronic equipment. The types of electronics that equipment technicians work on can range from home stereos to medical equipment to radar communication systems, so having an idea of what area you want to work in can be important in focusing your training. To become an electronics technician typically requires at least a high school diploma and on-the-job training or some coursework in the field. A two-year associate's degree from a community college is highly recommended, because many employers will look for some formal education beyond high school. Some employers will prefer a bachelor's degree.
To prepare to become an electronics technician while still in high school, take computer classes as well as math and science courses. If your high school offers any technology or electronics courses, as some do, be sure to take them. Being attentive to reading and writing courses in high school is important, because electronics technicians must read schematics, specifications and other technical material; you also might be required to prepare written reports when you become an electronics technician. Beginner certification in the field is offered to high school students through The Electronics Association International, also known as ETA International, and an optional hands-on portion of the certification can offer valuable training.
Basic and more advanced certifications for working electronics technicians also are available through ETA. The International Society of Certified Electronics Technicians (ISCET) also offers various levels of certification, from associate to journeyman. The organization also provides a beginning or student certification, and both ISCET and ETA have student chapters. Certification is worth considering when seeking to become an electronics technician, because it can make you more marketable to employers. Joining student chapters of organizations in your career field can provide increased knowledge and networking opportunities.
Other skills that are helpful for electronics technicians include strong analytical and problem-solving ability in order to identify issues or potential issues. A detail orientation and good hand-eye coordination to work with small or delicate parts is important, as is mechanical ability in order to understand how things go together and come apart. Having good comprehension skills to understand oral or written instructions and being able to follow directions are necessary. Having a lot of patience also can be important for electronics technicians when performing troubleshooting of components or systems.