As electronics is now incorporated into virtually every sector of the economy, it offers a wide range of job possibilities. Some of these occupations are focused on assembling, testing, repairing and inspecting consumer, and industrial equipment and other electrical products and systems. Others involve designing, developing and testing the production and operation of electrical and electronic equipment and systems. Everything from satellite systems to ski lift controls requires workers with training in electronics.

Specific tasks that electronic technologists and engineers may perform include linking computer networks to hydraulic systems, establishing communication links to remote locations or designing and retrofitting electrical systems. Technicians are involved in the installation, set-up and repair of these same types of systems. Depending on their area of expertise, people in electronics need to know and understand many different electronic concepts with background in the applied sciences. As technology continues to grow and evolve everything could one day be electronically based, which makes electronics an occupation of the future. 

Traits and Talents

If you have a natural curiosity about how things work and like to figure them out for yourself, you might be suited to a career in electronics. To work in this field, you needElectronics – 13th Canadian Skills Competition – Saskatoon strong analytical skills, and should be persistent, adaptable and flexible for finding solutions to a wide variety of problems. You must possess keen problem-solving and trouble-shooting abilities, mathematical aptitude, knowledge of computers and good hand-eye coordination. Electronics workers must be focused individuals, as they need to be able to concentrate for long periods of time, pay attention to detail and meet deadlines.

Education and Training

  • Completion of secondary school is usually required for electronics assemblers, fabricators, inspectors and testers. 
  • On-the-job training is usually provided for occupations in this unit group. 
  • A two-year apprenticeship and voluntary trade certification is available for electronics assemblers in Ontario and Saskatchewan. 
  • Electronics testers may require post-secondary courses in basic electronic theory, testing techniques and testing equipment. 
  • Electronics inspectors and testers may require experience as an electronics assembler or component fabricator. 

The Workplace

Electronics workers perform some or all of the following duties: 

  • Solder and manually assemble various electronic components such as resistors, diodes, transistors, capacitors, integrated circuits, switches, wires and other electronic parts to designated locations on printed circuit boards 
  • Assemble microcircuits requiring fine hand assembly, the use of microscopes and adherence to cleanroom procedures 
  • Install, mount, fasten, align and adjust parts, components, wiring and harnesses to subassemblies and assemblies using hand and small power tools 
  • Operate automatic and semi-automatic machines to position, solder and clean prescribed components on printed circuit boards 
  • May replace defective components and repair and overhaul older devices 
  • Check final assembly for finish, labelling and packaging methods 
  • Check mechanical dimensions and perform “go-no-go” electrical tests 
  • Identify and mark acceptable and defective assemblies and return faulty assemblies to production for repair 
  • Collect, record and summarize inspection results 
  • Investigate equipment malfunction and instruct on proper operation. 

Skills for Success

The key Skills for Success for this career path are:

    • Numeracy 
    • Reading
    • Adaptability

Sample Job Titles

  • Electrical Equipment Inspector 
  • Electronic Products Designer 
  • Electrical Engineering Technologist 
  • Capacitor assembler 
  • Component inserting machine operator 
  • Electronics tester 

Companies and Sectors

  • Commercial companies 
  • Government utilities 
  • Consulting engineering firms 
  • Educational institutions 
  • Resource based industries 
  • High technology design 
  • Manufacturing 
  • Communication companies 
  • Self-employed