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Careers in Electronics Engineering Technology and Computer Programming

Updated on October 5, 2014

It’s a stark reality that technology is growing faster than the number of qualified people to plug the gap.

This shouldn't be surprising, given the increasing dependence of so many business - over the entire spectrum of industries - on technology.

In fact, there are so many jobs available that industry experts virtually guarantee a shortage of capable, well-prepared applicants for the first few years or more.

The large-scale migration of so many services to cyberspace means that computer hardware systems and their electrical components are in need of servicing, repair and outright construction – and companies are willing to pay handsomely for the answers to these problems.

naval electronics engineer
naval electronics engineer | Source

What Kinds of Electronics Positions are in Demand?

In short, the kind that facilitate the reading of blueprints, the understanding of electronics components, calibration of mechanical equipment, inventory maintenance and many more.

For example, consider the electrical engineering specialist – which covers both electronic and electrical engineering technicians; according to the Bureau of Labor Statistic’s Occupational Handbook, the 2012 median pay was almost $58,000 per year.

The number of jobs available is holding steady at about 147,000. To break into this field, the applicant requires just an associate’s degree – which can be completed at certain universities - both online and off - in just 1.5 years. During that time, she will become proficient in a number of disciplines and tools of the trade:

  • evaluate a wide range of electronic equipment using diagnostic tools
  • function in a group with engineers to develop computers, navigational equipment and other electronic tools
  • understand the design elements of communication devices and medical monitoring tools
  • become comfortable in research and development roles

avionics technician
avionics technician

Related Fields for the Electronics-Oriented Scholar – Avionics Technician

Another attractive option with hundreds of thousands of jobs through 2022 is the avionics equipment mechanic and aircraft technician.

With a median pay of $55,000 annually, the position requires instruction at a FAA-approved Aviation Maintenance Technician school, with a certificate of completion that substitutes for on-the-job training.

Essentially, it isn’t much more than an associate’s degree, after which the graduate will be fluent in:

  • aircraft inspections, repair and maintenance
  • the increasing digitization of aircraft and flight instrumentation
  • optional Airframe and Powerplant certificate – having this A&P rating significantly increases job availability for the applicant

Skill With Computers Pays Professional Dividends

The computer user support specialist is a job that would come naturally to the computer-savvy person. For people who readily gravitate towards the intricacies of different software suites, and catch both eagerly and quickly, there are many corporations looking for them.

The Occupational Handbook pegs the growth rate of computer support specialists as faster than average, and with a respectable median pay of nearly $49,000 per year, it is one of the highest-paying conventional jobs out there that doesn’t require a college degree. In fact; an associate’s degree isn’t always required – just a handful of classes and the requisite enthusiasm.

The right online university has all three tailored for the prospective student. The 2.5 year track is the longest, and culminates in a bachelor’s, the associate’s degree takes a year-and-a-half, and then there are the classes for those who want to pick and choose.

As with all icebergs, we’ve only just scratched the surface. On the technology spectrum, there are a host of other disciplines that may suit different students even better than the listed ones – like broadcast technicians, radio mechanics, camera and photographic equipment repairers and more.

How Much Does a Database Programmer Make?

It shouldn't be surprising that in the present computer-centric world, jobs with a heavy focus on software programming, hardware analysis and architecture oversight command big bucks. When It comes to an actual database programmer, in whose hands the entire core of the business network lies, the pay and responsibilities skyrocket.

database programmer
database programmer

Flirting with the Top 10 Percent

A database programmer is, for all intents and purposes, basically a computer programmer with a specialization.

According the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Handbook, computer programmers pull in more than $35 per hour – which translates to over $74,000 per year. That’s the median value; a good deal make a lot more.

Furthermore, employment is slated to grow at a respectable rate of 8% through the year 2022. Here are the employment specifications for the fields related to database programming:

  • Database administrators are paid an average of $77,000 per year to arrange, manipulate, provide and secure data in reliable storage - from everything from shipping manifests to financial records. It’s very much a full-time endeavor, with 25% of them logging more hours than full-time. The good thing for possible matriculants is that the job outlook is quite promising, with the rate of growth far exceeding the national average for other jobs.
  • Software developers certainly have the base skills to become database managers – but one might ask “why would they want to?” These purveyors of the computer programs that make so many things possible take home a median salary of $93,400 per year. This places them right in the middle of the top 10% of salaries for any field in the U.S. Furthermore, it’s a coveted field that’s growing too fast to find enough applicants, at more than double the national average.
  • Computer and information systems managers are related to database programmers, in terms of the skills they need to have. Additionally, they are tasked with project oversight, as well as the mission of the entire company as pertains to the computer architecture. As expected for such a lofty job, their salary is easily past $120,000 per year.
  • Computer systems analysts function as a sort of organization glue; they plan by combining both the IT section and the business section of a company to ascertain goals. For this, they are rewarded with a $79,700 annual salary
  • The Network and computer systems administrator makes $72,000 a year; this shouldn’t be surprising, given that she works in close proximity and in concert with the database programmer.

All the above fields and sub-fields require a bachelor’s degree to get hired.

database administrator
database administrator

Where to Start: Becoming a Database Programmer

Although work-experience and on-the-job training are not requirements for an entry level position in one of the above highly-paid fields, a bachelor’s degree almost always is.

Many people choose an associate’s degree, for which some accredited universities have created a 1.5 year program, which usually gets them in one of the sub-fields as a highly-paid technician. But for the actual head position, the 2.5 year bachelor’s track can put the applicant in the position of an actual database programmer - which lands you in the top 10% of salaries. If you have an analytic mind and love computers, then there’s no better time to start than now.

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