Should I study Electronics?
Are there any jobs for electronics technicians?
Compared to accounting jobs or office admin type jobs or even retail sales jobs, electronics technician jobs are fewer and harder to find, that is a certainty. So why would anybody study electronics… which is quite abstract, mathematical and anything but easy to learn?
It’s simply job satisfaction and the adrenaline surge of being able to put some parts together to make technical things, just like in the TV series, MacGyver! If you grew up liking science fiction films like Star Wars and series like Star Trek and have an interest for electronic gadgets, a career in electronics is maybe for you.
Imagine your friends being fascinated if you can pull apart a small junk camera and strip out the flash components to make a working taser!
The salary for electronics technicians is variable and for a good broad trained tech with some basic design skills, the range for pay would be from $Aud42,000 to $Aud85,000. In todays market you need a good mechanical aptitude also along with the appropriate mechanical skills… mig welding, machining etc. Many jobs require the technician to work with electronically controlled motor actuators, stepper motors, microprocessor control, UHF radio link and optical links. So you really do need to have a skill set similar to our fictional MacGyver to get near the top end of the pay scale.
Imagine the pressure on you to cut the Red or the Blue wire in a civil aviation control tower flight radar system with the Air Traffic Controller screaming at you to get the system back up and running again! The electronics technician needs to be smart and have the ability to quickly analyse a situation whilst under the pressure of time. So, if you see yourself reading schematic circuit diagrams, working with some fancy test equipment and modifying or designing or repairing electronic systems, this trade is for you. You will find a good interesting job where everyday will be learning, developing and optimising those electronic systems.
My students laugh at the idea of a university degree in electrical engineering compared to college training in electronics. The TAFE college training is much more practical and aimed at circuit understanding, construction and fault finding with the aid of test equipment. Many students find good challenging jobs with medium to large companies upon graduating from TAFE because they are job ready.