Electronics Engineering Technology

electronic circuit board

Electronics Engineering Technology

The Electronics Engineering Technology curriculum prepares individuals to become technicians who design, build, install, test, troubleshoot, repair, and modify developmental and production electronic components, equipment, and systems such as industrial/computer controls, manufacturing systems, communication systems, and power electronic systems.

The Electronics Engineering Technology curriculum prepares individuals to become technicians who design, build, install, test, troubleshoot, repair, and modify developmental and production electronic components, equipment, and systems such as industrial/computer controls, manufacturing systems, communication systems, and power electronic systems.

A broad-based core of courses, including basic electricity, solid-state fundamentals, digital concepts, and microprocessors, ensures the student will develop the skills necessary to perform entry-level tasks. Emphasis is placed on developing the student’s ability to analyze and troubleshoot electronic systems. Graduates should qualify for employment as engineering assistants or electronic technicians with job titles such as electronics engineering technician, field service technician, maintenance technician, electronic tester, electronic systems integrator, bench technician, and production control technician.


Title Credential Credit Hours Link to program details
Electronics Engineering Technology A.A.S. Degree 76 ‌‌
Electronics Manufacturing Certificate Certificate 16 ‌‌

Skills you'll learn

Electronics Engineering Technicians layout, build, test, troubleshoot, repair, and modify developmental and production electronic components, parts, equipment, and systems, such as computer equipment, electron tubes, test equipment, and machine tool controls, by applying principles and theories of electronics, electrical circuitry, engineering mathematics, electronic and electrical testing, and physics.

The following is a list of typical job tasks and responsibilities associated with careers in Electronics Engineering:

  • Read blueprints, wiring diagrams, schematic drawings, or engineering instructions for assembling electronics units by applying knowledge of electronic theory and components.
  • Identify and resolve equipment malfunctions by working with manufacturers or field representatives as needed.
  • Test electronics units using standard test equipment and analyze results to evaluate performance and determine needed adjustments.
  • Adjust or replace defective or improperly functioning circuitry or electronics components.
  • Assemble, test, or maintain circuitry or electronic components according to engineering instructions, technical manuals, or knowledge of electronics.
  • Perform preventive maintenance or calibration of equipment or systems.
  • Maintain system logs or manuals to document the testing and operation of equipment.
  • Research equipment or component needs, sources, competitive prices, delivery times, and ongoing operational costs.
  • Fabricate parts such as coils, terminal boards, or chassis using bench lathes, drills, or other machine tools.

Career Opportunities

Electronics technicians are in demand in the fields of electronics, instrumentation, communications, computer technology, and telecommunications. Rapid growth continues as consumer, medical, industrial, and military systems rely on advanced technology.

A.A.S. Degree
Electronics Engineering Technician
2014 Median Salary in North Carolina: $27.56/hr
(Source: U.S. Department of Labor, 2016)

Good to Know

  • Choose your credential:
    • Electronics Engineering Technology A.A.S. Degree
  • Apply to A-B Tech online
  • Apply for the Electronics Engineering Technology program in person at the Bailey Building, Asheville Main Campus

Harrison Orr, Chair
Electrical, Electronics & Computer Engineering Technologies

How would you like to chat with people around the world from the comfort of your own home? You can with an Amateur Radio License. The Western Carolina Amateur Radio Society will offer an 8-week course that helps you with operating procedures, easy electrical principles, code, plus the license exam.

Come and join the fun!!!

Amateur Radio Classes have been taught at A-B Tech since January 1999. Classes will be held in the Elm Building, Room 134. There are signs posted in the building directing you to the location.

A-B Tech is home to the Amateur Radio Museum and an operating station is also housed here. Visitors are welcome!

There is no registration fee for the course. There will be a small charge for the book and materials for the course, which is typically under $30, depending on what you decide to purchase. There is also a fee for the exam itself.

Exams will be held in the Elm Building on the A-B Tech Asheville Campus in Room 134.

Contact information:
Norman Harrill, Coordinator

Visit The Southern Appalachian Radio Museum

Q: What is the difference between Engineering and Engineering Technology?

Engineering is an innovative field that involves designing, manufacturing, and testing new technology through the use of mathematical and scientific applications. There is a wide range of career opportunities available in this field. Though there are similarities between both fields, there are differences in career opportunities. Some job functions of an engineer might include the following:

  • Design
  • Development
  • Testing
  • Research
  • Technical Support
  • Production
  • Analysis

For instance, a design engineer (with the aid of computer design software) might be responsible for designing a part or component for a product. This would involve creating very detailed specifications of the component. The design engineer would also be responsible for testing the component for reliability and safety, making any adjustments or corrections that are needed.

The design engineer not only designs products but in many instances, they recreate designs of products that have not performed according to the specified standards.

Engineering Technology is a field in which scientific and engineering knowledge and methods are combined with highly technical skills. Technologists work with technology that already exists. Technologists and engineers work closely in many instances. Some job functions of the technologist may include the following:

  • Identifying equipment needs for businesses
  • Supervision of equipment installation
  • Analyzing equipment for specific functions
  • Development of a manufacturing procedure based on new technology
  • Supervision of construction and appropriate building materials


Q: What is the difference between the courses of study offered?

A: Electronics Engineering Technology is a broad course of study that prepares students to be Electronics Technicians. Our emphasis is a solid theory with enough hands-on experience to be employable. Our graduates are employed to test and troubleshoot electronics equipment and systems, communications systems, and assist engineers in their work. The key advantage of this field is that your professional growth can progress along with added experience and schooling. Many of our graduates are now engineers and managers in major businesses.


Q: What is the difference between Computer Engineering Technology (CET) and other computer-related programs such as Computer Information Systems (CIS) or Networking Technology (NT)?

A: The fundamental difference is that the Computer Engineering Technology program is an Engineering-type program. This means that the CET class material has its roots in science. The CET graduate is concerned with the physical aspects of the computer and the system it is involved with. This type of person should be able to assist in the design and maintenance of one-of-a-kind systems.

On the other hand, Computer Information Systems and Networking Technology are normally business-based and deal primarily with software products, networking equipment, system maintenance, and other business-related applications.


Q: What transfer options do I have?

A: There are several options for your convenience. If you have taken courses under the semester plan (implemented in the summer of 1997), your courses should transfer easily from one community college to another within the North Carolina Community College System. Transfer for courses taken in the quarter plan is at the discretion of each individual institution.

If you wish to transfer credits to a four-year school, there are several schools in North Carolina such as Western Carolina University and UNC-Charlotte that will transfer the A.A.S. degree and enroll you as a junior. With many colleges sharing common courses, transfers are now more possible than ever. Always talk to the school you intend to transfer to before selecting your final courses and electives. Plan!


Q: What is the difference between a B.S.E.E. and B.S.E.T. degree?

A: A B.S.E.E. degree is a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering. The B.S.E.T. degree is a Bachelor of Science in Electronic Engineering Technology. The B.S.E.E. degree tends to be more design and theory-oriented and requires a higher level of mathematics. The B.S.E.T. degree tends to be more hands-on and the student has more laboratory exposure. Both curriculums may require calculus, but the B.S.E.E. requires the use of calculus in more electronics classes and requires the student to take more calculus classes.


Q: Can I take individual courses from any of your programs?

A: Yes. You do not have to be officially enrolled in a curriculum to take individual courses. Some courses do require either a prerequisite or a certain level of experience or knowledge. Admittance into such classes is at the discretion of the instructor or department chairperson.


Q: Do you offer job placement?

A: At times, instructors are contacted when companies are seeking employees. Instructors do, at times, recommend individuals and assist in finding jobs, however, we do not conduct any formal placement service. The County also has a job placement office on campus in the Oak Gym.


Q: Do you offer financial assistance over and above what the college offers?

A: Yes. There are scholarships and additional awards offered to qualified electronics students for textbooks. You can check with the department chairperson to find out current monies that are available. There are many other forms of assistance provided for students. Visit the Financial Aid or Veterans Office on campus for assistance.


Q: Do you offer courses to prepare for licensing?

A: Yes. There are courses offered to prepare for electrical licensing. Be aware that some licenses require a certain number of years of apprenticeship also.


Q: Do you offer certifications?

A: Yes. A-B Tech is a certified CET (Certified Electronics Technician) testing center. We offer certification preparation materials and the testing is performed on our campus. We also offer some training for certified computer and network technicians. Check with the department for the level of training that is currently being offered.


Q: Do you offer certificates in certain areas of expertise?

A: In some instances, it is desirable to obtain a certificate as opposed to a degree. This may be useful to advance yourself in a current job. Certificates usually do not require the general education courses that a degree requires. The two certificates offered by the electronics department are Computer Servicing and Electrical Construction.


Q: How does your curriculum compare with those of other schools?

A: North Carolina community colleges are far less expensive than four-year institutions. The basic cores of all electronics-based programs are basically the same from one community college to another. We rely on experts from the local industry to help us tailor our course to meet the needs of actual jobs that are out there in the local market.

Our instructors are highly qualified and have experience working in the professions we are now teaching. Our program is fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and is reviewed yearly to remain current.


Q: What classes can a student take if his/her math scores are too low to take college-level math or English?

A: There are a number of guided studies classes offered to prepare anyone to take college-level mathematics and English. Upon entry, you will be given a placement examination. Your counselor will sit down with you and custom design a program to bring your skills up to the college level. It may still be possible for you to take certain other classes while taking guided study classes.


Q: Can I begin the electronics program out of sequence?

A: Yes. Depending on when you come into the program, it may take you longer than the time listed in the catalog to graduate. Your advisor will help you develop a schedule to fit your needs. The programs have been designed to allow a double entry point whereby some second-year classes are allowed without first-year prerequisites.


Q: How do I enter the program?

A: Visit the admissions office and present your transcripts (high school or college) so we can place you in a course that won't be too difficult or repeat something you have already learned. Any electronics instructor can answer your questions.


Q: What sort of work will I do when I graduate?

A: The Electronics Engineering Technology Degree prepares the student for the following occupations:

  • Electronics Engineering Technician
  • Field Service Technician
  • Maintenance Technician
  • Electronics Tester
  • Electronic Systems Integrator
  • Bench Technician
  • Production Control Technician

The Electrical/Electronics Technology Degree prepares the student for the following occupations:

  • Industrial Maintenance Trainee or Apprentice
  • Maintenance Technician
  • Electrical/Electronics Installer

The Electronic Servicing Technology Diploma prepares the student for occupations in which employees install, use, or repair consumer electronics or PC systems.


Q: Can I work while in school?

A: Most students in the department do work while in school. Many have found employment in positions where the employer helps to offset the cost of tuition and books. All working students must budget time between school, work, and family.


Q: Must I adhere to the order of courses as outlined in the catalog?

A: As many courses require specific knowledge (prerequisites), it is difficult to remain current in the program and miss core courses. Some courses (electives and some non-major courses) may be taken at any time. A student planning to deviate from the order listed in the catalog should consult with his/her advisor prior to registration.


Q: If I miss a course, what effect will it have on my graduation date?

A: If the course you missed is a non-electronics course, there is a good possibility that you may be able to take that course out of sequence during a subsequent semester. If the missed course is a prerequisite for another course, it may be more difficult to get back into sequence. In many cases, curriculum courses are offered only one semester per year. If you are in a curriculum that is offered both day and night, it may be possible to take a missed course at an alternative time.