Electronics Industry jobs

From TVs to smartphones to self-driving cars, electronics define the past, present, and future of our current economy and culture. The obsessive innovators wiring electronic project boxes in their basements in the ’70s and ’80s are now today’s elder statesmen of tech. And with every new generation of electronics professionals comes a wave of ideas and innovations.

Being part of this exciting industry takes a lot of hard work and dedication, but the reward is a potentially lucrative career in a relevant and high-demand field. People considering careers in the electronics industry have a lot to think about, from the best engineering and technology colleges to which field to specialize in. 

When it comes to choosing your career in electronics, one of the most important things to consider is the entry-level jobs you’ll use to get your foot in the door. Below, we’ll look at seven key areas of the electronics industry and the entry-level jobs that will help you gain experience and skills in each one. (Note, the BLS Occupational Outlook Handbook statistics we provide include salary data from higher-level positions, so entry-level positions will usually command a lower salary than the one listed.) 

Installation and Repair Technician

  • Median 2019 Salary of All Positions: $59,080
  • Entry-Level Education: High school diploma or associate’s degree
  • Job Duties: Installation and repair technicians install many of our most important electronic technologies and help keep them running. That could mean working with anything from audiovisual equipment to industrial motor controllers. Many people in this field choose to specialize in one area of work. You’ll need a solid practical understanding of electrical and electronic systems, which many people choose to acquire through a community college or technical school. Entry-level jobs in this field often focus on consumer electronics, but a specialized training program can help you break into more complex specialties, such as industrial equipment installation. 

Computer Hardware Engineer

  • Median 2019 Salary of All Positions: $117,220
  • Entry-Level Education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Job Duties: Computer hardware engineers design and test computer systems for consumer or commercial use. They tackle a wide range of computer hardware design problems from power supplies to graphics cards to wireless receiving hardware. Some work with consumer devices, while others specialize in industrial and commercial computer systems. A computer hardware engineer almost always needs a bachelor’s degree, and an advanced degree certainly doesn’t hurt. Don’t forget: Even entry-level professional engineers will need to take and pass the Fundamentals of Engineering exam. 

Computer Support Specialist

  • Median 2019 Salary of All Positions: $54,760
  • Entry-Level Education: Associate’s degree, technical certificate, or bachelor’s degree
  • Job Duties: Computer support specialists help other users navigate the complexities of computer systems by providing support over the phone or through chat applications. Some support specialists work for hardware or software vendors helping customers with their purchases, while others work in-house for businesses to help other employees troubleshoot and maintain electronic assets. Required experience and education can vary widely with the complexity of the technology, but most IT support specialists will need at least a certificate course in the general area they want to work in. Those seeking an entry-level position should make sure to establish a solid path for advancement, as opportunities in the customer service sector are forecast to decline. 

Electrical and Electronics Engineering Technician

  • Median 2019 Salary of All Positions: $65,260
  • Entry-Level Education: Associate’s degree
  • Job Duties: Engineering technicians perform a variety of different tasks to assist engineers and scientists in designing electrical and electronic systems. Technicians often handle the practical aspects of an engineering project, such as mounting a circuit board into a PCB enclosure or testing a new system’s heat management properties. Some people use an entry-level job as an engineering technician to gain experience for a career as a full-fledged engineer, but whatever your future plans, you’ll usually need an associate’s degree to begin this career. 

Electrical and Electronics Engineer

  • Median 2019 Salary of All Positions: $101,250
  • Entry-Level Education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Job Duties: Electrical and electronics engineers design a huge variety of electrical and electronic systems, from consumer electronics to commercial lighting systems to power systems for manufacturing plants. Many engineers work mostly in the design stage, while others may visit facilities to supervise installations or troubleshoot problems. Almost all entry-level engineers have at least a bachelor’s degree, and many higher-level engineers pursue advanced degrees to improve their credentials. Like computer engineers, electronics engineers will need to follow the licensing process for becoming professional engineers. 

Network or Systems Administrator

  • Median 2019 Salary of All Positions: $83,510
  • Entry-Level Education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Job Duties: Network and systems administrators perform the day-to-day tasks that keep computer networks operating smoothly. They coordinate many different systems, from network security to SaaS cloud deployment to hardware installation and maintenance. Network administrators usually need to have some degree of people skills as well, since they supervise and coordinate multiple departments across systems. At the entry-level, you’ll probably work under a more senior network administrator. Most network administrators have bachelor’s degrees or more, but some entry-level positions may only require a certificate or associate’s degree, depending on the complexity of the network. 

Software Developer

  • Median 2019 Salary of All Positions: $107,510
  • Entry-Level Education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Job Duties: Software developers are responsible for coding and developing the software applications that run on our computers, smartphones, and other electronic equipment. Software developers who specialize in high-demand areas like SaaS cloud computing and mobile apps are likely to have the best job prospects, but software developers can work in a wide variety of settings, including industrial and military software. Entry-level software developers should make sure to learn programming languages in demand, and they’ll usually need to have a bachelor’s degree even for a lower-level position. 

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