6 Ways to Learn Basic Electronics (And Why It's Helpful)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published September 5, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Basic electronics include knowledge of how technology works, and many professionals implement it in their work. You can learn more about it through multiple methods, including studying resources on your own and completing individual projects, which can help you distinguish yourself from other candidates in job searches or fulfill the requirements of your desired position. In this article, we explain why it's important to learn basic electronics and how you can begin learning some fundamental concepts to advance your career.

What are the basics of electronics?

The basics of electronics refer to the concepts that include inductance, capacitance, resistance, voltage and electrical currents. Professionals who know the basics of electronics understand how devices control electrons via manipulating, storing, switching, selecting, steering, carrying or resisting them. These concepts help professionals understand how technology works, how to repair it, and how to optimize it to work efficiently. Knowledge of electronics is typically essential in any industry that uses basic and complex technology.

Why's it important to learn basic electronics?

Learning basic electronics can help you experience the following benefits:

Begin a career in electrical engineering or a related field

Knowledge of basic electronics can help you more easily begin your career in electrical engineering. You can use your fundamental knowledge to accept an entry-level job position and gain more relevant work experience. You can also use your foundational skill set to enter a related field, including robotics, computer engineering, instrumentation or signal processing.

Related: How to Write an Electronics Technician Resume (With Example)

Distinguish yourself from other candidates in non-technical fields

Knowledge of basic electronics may not only help you pursue a career in a technical field, but it may help you excel in a non-technical career. For example, consider a team leader who works in a retail clothing store. If one of the store's cash registers malfunctions in the middle of a busy day, the company's performance and ability to provide superior customer service may suffer if the staff has to wait for a repair technician to arrive to fix the problem.

If the store manager has basic knowledge of electronics, they may be able to troubleshoot the issue and address it immediately. They can restore the cash register's functionality and allow the cashier to resume their work. After efficiently addressing the problem, the team leader can resume their normal leadership duties. This unique and diverse skill set can help make the team leader an attractive employee to their supervisors.

Learn more complex electrical topics more easily

If you want to enter a higher-level supervisory position in electrical engineering or a related field, you can benefit from first having solid foundational knowledge of electronics. Refining your fundamentals can make it easier to learn more complex topics. Once you acquire more complex knowledge, you can use it to advance your personal career satisfaction or qualify for a higher-level position that comes with better pay, benefits, and more responsibilities.

6 ways to learn basic electronics

Here are six ways you can learn basic electronics to apply to a future career:

1. Earn an associate degree in electrical engineering

If you'd like to pursue a formal education in basic electronics, you can first get an associate degree in a subject like electrical engineering, electronics, or a related field. Once you earn an associate degree, you may apply for a job to gain work experience and expand your knowledge of electronics. You can also use your associate degree to apply for a bachelor's degree in a similar field.

2. Study resources on your own

If you don't wish to go to school to learn about basic electronics, you can use various resources to study on your own. For example, you can use mobile, online or desktop applications that teach you basic concepts via interactive instructional methods. You may also visit your local library to loan textbooks on various electronics-related concepts.

Related: 17 Best Online Courses Websites That Can Improve Your Skills

3. Complete projects at home

Once you learn basic concepts via studying written materials, you can begin to complete personal projects at home. For example, you can practice measuring currents by reading a multimeter. You can also work on building a circuit with a circuit diagram, constructing a closed loop with a lightbulb and building a circuit with a breadboard. As you practice and become more confident with building circuits, you may begin to think about real-life applications. You may look for schematics online for guidance on projects like constructing a circuit by using an LED light.

4. Obtain a relevant certification

You may consider obtaining a relevant certification to learn about the basics of electronics. There are many programs available that cover the basics theories and applications of electronics. Before taking the qualifying exams for whatever certification program you choose, you may enrol in associated classes to expand your knowledge. You may also sign up for a free electronics basics course that your local community center, secondary school, or university offers to the public. Enrolment in these courses can improve your confidence and help you perform better on certifying exams.

5. Accept a job or internship position

If you want to gain practical experience and learn about basic electronics, consider accepting a job with a repair company or another business in the electronics industry. You may work as an assistant to a repair technician. You may also find a company that's hiring entry-level technicians so that you can receive formal training while you're working.

If you're currently in college and don't have the time to work in a full-time position, you may consider accepting an internship. An internship is a paid or unpaid opportunity that can last anywhere from a few weeks to several months. As an intern, you can develop practical skills on a more flexible part-time schedule.

Related: Best Jobs for an Electrical Engineering Degree

6. Find a mentor

If you believe that you need more individualized assistance in learning about basic electronics, you can seek the aid of a mentor. A mentor can be anyone who has a solid understanding of electronics, including a family member who owns their own electronics repair company or a secondary school teacher who taught an electronics course. You may also enlist the help of a mentor by inquiring about mentorship programs at your current place of work. This may allow you to learn from a more experienced professional with relevant credentials, like an electrical engineer.

Related: What Does an Electrical Engineer Do? (And Requirements)

4 careers that implement knowledge of basic electronics

Here are four careers to explore that you may consider pursuing with knowledge of basic electronics:

1. Lab technician

National average salary: $65,024 per year

Primary duties: A lab technician is a professional who conducts tests in a lab environment. They work with specialized equipment, including autoclaves and microscopes. A basic understanding of electronics can help lab technicians maintain their equipment and troubleshoot any issues that arise.

2. Computer programmer

National average salary: $65,225 per year

Primary duties: A computer programmer creates written code for devices and software applications. They may use their knowledge of programming languages to perform coding tests or search libraries for existing code they can apply to a new application. This professional may work with software developers and engineers, and it's helpful for them to have basic knowledge of electronics so that they can contribute to these conversations.

3. Repair technician

National average salary: $71,507 per year

Primary duties: A repair technician is a professional who completes repairs for appliances in commercial and residential environments. They may specialize in certain appliances, like mobile devices. They may also have the experience and skill set to complete repairs for various appliances, including HVAC equipment, cooking appliances, and washing and drying equipment.

4. Metallurgical engineer

National average salary: $103,508 per year

Primary duties: A metallurgical engineer works with metals to discover real-life applications for them. For example, this professional can study a metal to determine how to incorporate it into the manufacturing process of an aircraft vessel. They often convert metals into electronics-based materials like chips for use in surgical implants and automobiles.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries‌ ‌may‌ ‌‌vary‌‌ ‌depending‌ ‌on‌ ‌the‌ ‌hiring‌ ‌organization‌ ‌and‌ ‌a‌ ‌candidate's‌ ‌experience,‌ ‌academic‌ background‌, ‌and‌ ‌location.‌

Explore more articles