Electronics Technician

Program Outline

Instruction Sets
Your program consists of 15 Instruction Sets designed to take you step-by-step through the knowledge and skills you'll use in your new career.

Here's how it works
You receive the first course as soon as your enrollment has been accepted, and other courses will follow as you complete your exams.

Computer Specifications
You will need access to a Microsoft® Windows®-based computer and high-speed Internet in order to complete your program with Penn Foster.

Here is an overview of what you'll learn and the order in which you'll access your lessons:

Program Goal and Outcomes

Program Goal: The program provides students with the necessary skills for entry into the field of electronics. Upon completion of the course, students will be eligible to sit for the Electronics Technicians' Association International (ETA) Certification Exam.

Program Outcomes:
Upon completion of the program, students will be able to:

  • Identify the schematic symbols of several common electronic components and describe their functions; define terms used in electronics
  • Name several electrical shock hazards, and understand how to prevent electrical shocks through lockout-and-tag procedures, proper procedures, and personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Discern the various types of conductors and their conductivity; determine the size of conductor needed for an application; identify types of insulating materials and list their temperature ratings
  • Calculate voltage, resistance, and current in series, parallel, and series-parallel circuits
  • Understand how to use electronics equipment, including multimeters, soldering equipment, and ohmmeters
  • Read circuit diagrams, and analyze basic relay ladder diagrams
  • List the various switch types, their uses, and the advantages and disadvantages of each type
  • Identify many types of wires, cables, connectors, and terminals, and specify the applications for each type
  • Determine the expected resistance of a wire, and estimate the change in resistance that occurs with changing wire characteristics
  • Discern the differences among simple, compound, and closed magnetic circuits
  • Determine the direction of magnetic lines of force around a conductor
  • Calculate the total capacitance of a circuit; calculate the time constant of a resistance-capacitance (RC) or resistance-inductance (RL) circuit; calculate the total inductance of a circuit
  • Explain how inductors are constructed, and describe how an inductor can regulate the flow of current in a DC circuit
  • Describe how diodes and transistors work and how to determine if they're working properly; list uses for diodes and transistors in electronic systems
  • Recognize the job opportunities and certifications available to electronics technicians, and name the essential job skills needed
  • Explain how to test and diagnose electrical and electronic equipment using measuring and diagnostic devices, such as multimeters and oscilloscopes
  • Understand and explain inductive reactance, capacitive reactance, and reactance as applied to resonant and non-resonant circuits, determine circuit Q and bandwidth
  • Understand and explain pulse theory, including the generation of various waveforms, by relaxation oscillator, multivibrator, and switching circuits; describe and understand the Schmitt trigger, integrator, and differentiation circuits; explain how to troubleshoot these circuits
  • Explain electronic logic circuits, including common gates and flip-flop circuits, and the use of binary numbering systems to determine circuit output
  • Explain the use of NAND gates as universal devices
  • Describe the various transistor/diode/resistor logic circuits and logic chip families, and the uses, applications, and troubleshooting of common logic circuits
  • Explain the operating principles of linear and digital devices, including applications and considerations such as level matching, fan-in and fan-out, and selection of the appropriate device family
  • Describe how to use logic devices in industrial circuits
  • Understand and explain the function of memory integrated circuits
  • Demonstrate knowledge of troubleshooting the various integrated circuit systems
  • Perform experiments using the XK-200 Digital Trainer, which is designed for conducting hands-on experiments on linear, pulse, digital, and logic circuits
  • Describe industrial computer systems and their uses, including analog and digital computer systems
  • Identify the symbology for controller programs, including the symbols used to portray ladder logic, how to apply Boolean algebra principles, and how to use various computer languages to accomplish tasks from a broad overview
  • Describe computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM), including users, uses, and required hardware and software
  • Explain the concept of interfacing hardware; describe serial interfacing, parallel interfacing, and input-output categories
  • Understand analog-to-digital interfacing
  • Identify applications (closing the loop), such as making measurements, controlling machines, and controlling processes
  • Explain the basic interface standards, including RS232C

Instruction Set 1

Starting Your Program
Succeed by learning how to use your Penn Foster program. Understand how to use your Student Portal, including your My Homepage and My Courses pages; access the Penn Foster Community and use it to find answers; and connect with Penn Foster on various social media sites.

Introduction to Electronics

Instruction Set 2

Nature of Electricity

Practical Exercise 1

Learning Aid: Component Color Code Wheel

Instruction Set 3

Conductors, Insulators, and Batteries

Circuit Analysis and Ohms Law

Multimeter Usage Manual

Practical Exercise 2

Learning Aids :
• Multimeter
• Circuit Formulas (quick reference card)

Instruction Set 4

Basic Measuring Instruments

Electronics Hardware


Practical Exercise 3

Learning Aids:
• Soldering Iron
• Desoldering Pump

Instruction Set 5

Magnetism and Electromagnetism

Capacitors and Inductors

Basic Semiconductor Components: Diodes

Basic Semiconductor Components: Transistors

Practical Exercise: 4

Instruction Set 6

Alternating Current

Capacitors in AC Circuits

Inductors in AC Circuits


Practical Exercise 5

Instruction Set 7

Reactance and Impedance

Resonant Circuits

Applications of Resonant Circuits

Practical Exercise 6

Instruction Set 8

Rectifiers and Power Supplies



Fiber Optic and Optoelectronic Components

Practical Exercise 7

Instruction Set 9

Electronic Sensors

Modulation and Detection Circuits

Electronic Devices and Amplifiers

Using Basic Oscilloscopes

Practical Exercise 8

Instruction Set 10

Audio and RF Circuits

Oscillator and Feedback Waveforms

Electronic Power Supplies

Practical Exercise 9

Instruction Set 11

Resonant Circuits

Applications of Resonant Circuits

Pulse Generators and Techniques

Waveshaping Circuits

Timing and Synchronization

Pulse Circuit Applications

Troubleshooting Pulse Circuits

Instruction Set 12

Logic Circuit Fundamentals

Introduction to Number Systems

Logic Devices and Diagrams

Logic Families

Applications of Logic Circuits

Troubleshooting Logic Circuits

Reference Lessons:
• Personal Safety, Parts 1 and 2
• Safe Use of Hand Tools

Instruction Set 13

Linear and Digital Integrated Circuits

Integrated Circuit Techniques

Linear Integrated Circuits

Digital Integrated Circuits

Integrated Circuit Logic Systems

Troubleshooting Linear and Digital IC Systems

Exam Booklet

Instruction Set 14

Experiments with Pulse Circuits

Experiments with Logic Circuits

Experiments with Linear Integrated Circuits

Exam Booklet

• Digital Trainer
• Parts Kit for Experiments 1-3

Instruction Set 15

Industrial Computer Fundamentals

Digital and Analog Systems

Software and Programming Systems

Computer Aided Control

Interfacing Principles

Exam Booklet


Online Library and Librarian
Students in Penn Foster Career School have access to an online library for use during their studies. Students can use this library to do the required research in the courses they complete or can use it for general reference and links to valuable resources. The library contains helpful research assistance, articles, databases, books, and Web links. A librarian is available to answer questions on general research-related topics via email and to assist students in research activities during their studies with Penn Foster Career School International.

We reserve the right to change program content and materials when it becomes necessary.

You must have completed the 8th grade to enroll in this program.

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