Those that wish to become component engineers are given various educational options; however, Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degrees in Component Engineering are not usually offered. Studying other fields of engineering, such as electrical engineering, can properly prepare students for careers in the field.
Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degree Programs in Electrical Engineering
There is a need to study, select, and design the small components of the machine; the concept of component engineering satisfies that need. Given the fact that few schools, if any, offer component engineering degree programs, students interested in the field of study may opt for education in engineering fields that cover the study of machines and their component parts.
Computer, mechanical, and electrical engineering may be included among these fields. Most students that successfully complete engineering undergraduate degree programs are awarded Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degrees.
Students enrolled in a bachelor’s degree program in electrical engineering are typically prepared for entry-level careers in the private or public sector involved in the research, design, building, or maintenance of electrical products, equipment, and tools. Engineering science, math, and physics are used by electrical engineers for the development and operation of things such as power systems, computers, electronic circuits, physical electronics, and communication devices.
Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a GED certificate or a high school diploma, in addition to submitting standardized test scores, like the SAT or ACT. Students enrolled in most colleges are expected to have a strong grasp of high school coursework in a foreign language, in addition to math, history, and English. Preference in admissions may be given to incoming students that have completed college-level courses during their high school tenure.
General education in liberal arts is included within the majority of bachelor’s degree programs to augment engineering-specific coursework. Coursework also includes computer training for engineers, in addition to the following topic areas:
•Fundamentals of analog electronic circuits
•Principles of energy conversion
•Basics of electromagnetics
•Engineering design fundamentals
•Probability and statistics for engineers
•Electronic and electric circuits
•Digital electronic circuit basics
Job and Wage Outlook
A much-faster-than-average job growth rate of 22% has been predicted for computer systems analysts over the 2010 – 2020 decade (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In November 2013, component engineers earned an average annual wage of $75,006. In 2012, electrical engineers banked $89,630 on average, while electronics engineers, other than computer engineers, brought home $91,820 (BLS).
Continuing Education Choices
Schools offer master’s and doctoral degree programs to benefit those that seek management roles or employment in electronic or electrical engineering research. Engineers employed in every engineering specialty would need to continue education through either professional societies or schools to stay abreast of technological innovations in the field.
Those seeking information about job opportunities and the specialty should communicate with the Component Engineering Society of Orange County, an organization for component engineers in Orange County, CA. Such information includes component manufacturers, Southern California engineering firms, and engineering software.
Information on public policy and work opportunities can also be obtained by engineers in the field from a national association called the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE–USA). Training webinars and career training are also offered to member engineers by the Washington, DC, based association.