Electronic Technician Background Education Question

Thread Starter

gbtbtbt

Joined Mar 18, 2020
55
In general, what path have you taken regarding what type of education, types of employment positions and career path had you taken to get to this position? I'm trying to decide whether I should consider associates at community college or enter through the vocational background.
 

dl324

Joined Mar 30, 2015
10,536
I started working at HP in the late 70's with an ASEET. Spent a year assembling and troubleshooting refrigerator sized computers to the component level. Then I transferred to R&D where I spent another 2.5 years as a technician and went back to school to augment my knowledge for my job.

The guy who replaced me in my R&D job had an MSEE.

These days it's tough to even get an interview without advanced degrees. For the last 20 years of my career, I joked with colleagues that I couldn't even get a phone screen for the positions I've held.
 

Thread Starter

gbtbtbt

Joined Mar 18, 2020
55
Unfortunately, I'm not in a position to pursue a Bachelor's Degree. Are there other associate degrees in Engineering or certificates that are more desirable for applying for jobs. Is there a path where you can become a senior electronic or test technician through years of work experience, without having a Bachelor's degree?
 

dl324

Joined Mar 30, 2015
10,536
The trend at large companies for the past several decades has been to require more advanced degrees. You should be asking your school about placement percentages and the companies graduates are hired at. If they can't or won't provide that information, that would tell you something.
 

MaxHeadRoom

Joined Jul 18, 2013
20,458
One thing to decide is the area of electrical technology you are most interested in, the forms that this takes is so vast that it encompasses so many various areas.
I Initially got my experience and qualifications in the electrical field, but soon after went into Industrial electronics and supplemented this through recognized trade college courses.
As well as spare time electrical work, I also ran a TV servicing businees in my spare time.
This all led to a career in Industrial electronics servicing in the CNC field, and eventually my self employment in the same area.
Chose a field, and learn as much as possible in every waking moment! ;)
Max.
 

SamR

Joined Mar 19, 2019
2,047
There is another well-established route to technical skills and future employment. A military MOS in a technical area. From an industrial hiring perspective, military technical training which includes working in that specialty is more valuable than a 2 year trade school education. A definite plus when it comes to hiring.
 

Thread Starter

gbtbtbt

Joined Mar 18, 2020
55
I'm not sure if the military route is an option as I will be most likely disqualified to join due to Asperger's. I have virtually no idea where to start, as I have no work experience. What entry-level position I can enter with an ETST degree that offers a lot of hands-on experience with assembling electronics, documentation, and testing? Should I look into manufacturing technician I or PCB electronics technician positions?

Right now I have been developing my skills in AutoCAD, with the hopes that at least I could design and render products in the future. What certificate skills such as Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician (CCENT) that are obtainable in a few month spans should I consider? What other program skills are desired in the field, that I should invest in learning in my free time?

Multisim-computer program
Visio-computer program
Java-computer language
 
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SamR

Joined Mar 19, 2019
2,047
Job placement is difficult. Used to be, go out and apply where you would like to work. Now, unless a job is posted asking for applicants it doesn't exist. College placement services are needed, private job placement "headhunters", or temp placements services are needed these days. Joining technical/professional organizations to meet others employed in the field helps with networking which may lead to knowing who is hiring and is a plus on the job application. Once you have a job, it helps to keep your eyes open for a better one or even a contracting position in a field of interest. The days of going to work for a company and working there until you retire are long gone.

Edit: Become an IEEE student member or at least look into it and any student activities in your area. Any other Certification tickets you earn are a definite plus. The more acronyms that trail your name the better.
 
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MaxHeadRoom

Joined Jul 18, 2013
20,458
If interested in designing from the board level, there is free schematic capture programs such as free KiCad which also produces Gerber board files for manufacture.
Max.
 

Thread Starter

gbtbtbt

Joined Mar 18, 2020
55
I had a chance to take a look at KiCad and it's a pretty cool program. Do you know any tutorial sites like Lynda that are free, that teaches how to read schematic wiring diagrams?

Also, I have been exploring certificates and was wondering if ETA International is a legitimate association or are there better organizations that distribute certificates. I'm skeptical of getting a certificate through my Community College because of personal experience and most of the certificates offered are CNC manufacturing.
 
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MaxHeadRoom

Joined Jul 18, 2013
20,458
As a general rule, schematic format is that devices progress from left to right, from 'input' to final 'output'
Also there is many examples of various symbol for standard components used such as various capacitor, resistor examples etc.
One Faux-pas I found that is often used in present schematics is the general mis-usage of the earth GND symbol in place of the general power common symbol.
Max.
 

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dl324

Joined Mar 30, 2015
10,536
Here's an example of how not to draw a schematic:
clipimage.jpg

Using a schematic entry program won't magically enable you to draw good schematics. This one was drawn by a self-proclaimed newbie, but he was immune to taking advice. Felt constructive criticism was too stressful.

Part of the problem with the schematic editor used it that it requires power connections on some symbols. That makes for an unreadable schematic. If you leave them unconnected, everyone and their brother will fault you for leaving things unconnected. Eagle lets you hide the connections (when they are shown, they're disassociated from the symbol - and are rarely shown).

And another from a recent thread:
clipimage.jpg

There should be adequate space between components, but this one went overboard and is the equivalent of what a first grader would do when learning to print characters.
 
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MaxHeadRoom

Joined Jul 18, 2013
20,458
Here's an example of how not to draw a schematic:
Part of the problem with the schematic editor used it that it requires power connections on some symbols.
There should be adequate space between components, but this one went overboard and is the equivalent of what a first grader would do when learning to print characters.
The second one displays the misuse of earth GND as mentioned earlier.
Even if a earth ground common was desired.
Max.
 

dl324

Joined Mar 30, 2015
10,536
The second one displays the misuse of earth GND as mentioned earlier.
Even if a earth ground common was desired.
That's what I was taught to use in school and it's used in just about every logic IC datasheet I've seen. Can't think of any that didn't...
 

MaxHeadRoom

Joined Jul 18, 2013
20,458
Also used by all the drawings in the 'Art of Electronics' ! :oops:
The standard for chassis.common, earth have been around for some decades, e.g. JIC Electrical Standard 1957.
Programs such as KiCad, correctly label the symbol Earth!
If no one abides by the standard, why have one!??

So what do you use to indicate Earth GND?
Max.
 

SamR

Joined Mar 19, 2019
2,047
I've gotten into the habit of, when sketching, using the inverse triangle for GND as LTSpice does. Call me lazy...
 
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