[Table of Contents]People old and young enjoy waxing nostalgic about
and learning some of the history of early electronics. Popular Electronics was published from October 1954 through April 1985. All copyrights (if any) are hereby acknowledged.
for a technician career in electronics today is not so different than
it was in 1970, when this article on resume preparation appeared in
Popular Electronics. Sure, particular job descriptions have changed,
but the basics are pretty much the same. In 1970, being able to list
television and radio repair on your resume was a valuable indication
of your schematic reading and troubleshooting prowess. The keywords
Sams Photofacts would jump right off the page at a knowledgeable interviewer
(you can still buy documentation packages from
). Then, as now, having a two-year college electronics
degree or a stint in the armed forces as an electronics technician -
or both, preferably - is almost a requirement for landing a job at a
defense or aerospace electronics company.
See all articles from
Thoughtful Reflections on Your Future
Third in a Monthly Series, By David L. Heiserman
Preparing a Resume
I notice that most "help
wanted" ads request a resume from the applicant. I have never prepared
one. What information should I include in a resume?
should be as brief and factual as possible, but do not leave out any
important or interesting information about yourself that might help
you get the job. The following items must be included in your resume:
1. Full legal name.
address and telephone number.
3. Personal information.
(Date of birth, marital status, and number of dependents.)
Educational background. (Name and location of your high school and any
college, technical school or military school you have attended and the
amount of time spent at each. Describe the major courses you studied
and indicate any certificates, diplomas, degrees, or honors you have
received. Detail any home study courses you have completed and name
the schools and describe the courses.)
5. Work experience.
(List your last employer first and then the names and addresses of all
previous employers showing the date you started working and the date
you left each employer. Also include the name of the immediate supervisor
at your last place of employment. Describe the kinds of work you performed
for each employer and the titles of the positions held. Name any special
equipment you have worked on - military or civilian. Lastly, give an
honest reason for your leaving each job.)
and draft status, including any military experience. (Show dates, duties
7. Special interests. (Detail your hobbies
and favorite pastimes.)
Don't be afraid to prepare one master
resume and to send copies (Xerox or other) of your resume to different
prospective employers. However, be sure to attach a personal note to
each prospective employer telling who you are and why you are submitting
I work in a TV service shop and we have
a complete file of Sams Photofacts. I use at least three different folders
of schematics and maintenance data every day. In the years that I've
worked at the service shop I've never discovered how Sams develops these
valuable folders. Is it true that errors are occasionally put in the
schematics to circumvent the equipment manufacturers' copyrights?
Since 1948, Howard W. Sams & Company has been publishing
complete circuit schematics, parts lists, troubleshooting hints, and
maintenance tips on just about every TV, radio, and phonograph made
in the United States. These folder packets of information are available
at a modest price from most of the large electronics retailers and are
considered the bibles of the TV and radio service industry.
It is not true that errors are intentionally introduced. In fact, Sams
is very careful to avoid errors of any kind. According to Les Nelson,
Director of the Photofact division of Howard W. Sams, all of the schematics
are original and not copies of the circuits distributed by the manufacturer.
It seems hard to believe, but Sams develops the schematics the
hard way-by tracing the circuit on working models of the equipment.
Sams has a staff of about 60 technicians who trace out the schematics,
take voltage readings, photograph oscilloscope waveforms, and develop
maintenance and alignment techniques. Sams also has an expensive staff
of draftsmen, photographers, and artists to put together the Photofact
Most manufacturers are so pleased with the services
provided by Sams that new working models of home entertainment electronic
equipment are loaned to the Sams laboratory as soon as the first models
are off the production line.
Electronics technicians and draftsmen
interested in more information about job opportunities with Howard W.
Sams should write to: Mr. Frank Wallace, Personnel Department, Howard
W. Sams & Company Inc., 4300 West 62nd Street, Indianapolis, IN
Frank Wallace tells us that he is especially interested
in hearing from people who have completed training at a two-year technical
school, and have had several years experience in home entertainment
manufacturing or servicing. Teaching Electronics
I am a senior in high school and have always bad a great interest
in electronics. I also have a ham radio license. I would like to teach
electronics, but my school counselor hasn't been able to find any material
on how to prepare for a career in this particular field. He has information
about science and the industrial arts, but nothing on electronics. Is
there anything different about the kind of training an electronics teacher
I assume that you do not want, or intend, to teach
electronics in high school. Very few high schools offer any courses
in electronics. Those few schools that do use their regular science
teachers, or hire a part-time electronics teacher. Generally speaking,
electronics in high school is usually at a hobby level.
to teach electronics full time, you should be shooting for a teaching
job in a vocational school or a two-year technical college.
Teachers at accredited vocational schools and technical colleges must
have college degrees in the subjects they teach. Since you want to teach
electronics, your counselor should find you a good university where
you can study electrical/electronic engineering.
If you don't
want to teach at the vocational level, you must get a college degree
in education and according to the rules of the various educational colleges,
a prospective teacher must "minor" in a secondary subject that he can
also teach. Unfortunately, electronics is not one of the minors offered
by any of the usual education colleges. If you want to teach electronics
in high school, you will probably find it necessary to have a minor
Even with a degree in education and a minor in science,
you should have formal electronics training. Let your counselor help
you select a home study course in electronics technology.
Electronic Organ Repair
Here is a case
where the tail may be wagging the dog! I have been working as a digital
circuit design technician for six years. Last Christmas I bought my
family the large Heathkit electronic organ. I became so entranced by
organ circuits that I am seriously considering getting into the electronic
organ repair business. However, is there such a thing?
organ manufacturers that we have talked to all tell us that they hire
organ repairmen and technicians who can meet two principal qualifications:
a good solid background in electronics, and at least a one-finger ability
to play the instrument.
However, the electronic organ repair
business is very specialized and it is doubtful that you can make it
a going business just by yourself. Each organ is a different design
and it would appear to us that your best bet would be to try part-time
electronic organ servicing in behalf of a large music store or organ
dealer's service shop.
If the shop thinks you are qualified,
they may have you tag along with an experienced technician. Then, they'll
probably ask you to go to a full-time factory school for a week or so
- with pay, of course.
At these factory schools the instructors
will tell you about the circuits used in their organs and how to cure
the most common bugs and defects.
From that point on, you will
be a specialist in that particular brand of electronic organ. And, you
can expect to spend at least a week each year back at the factory brushing
up on new circuits and maintenance tricks. If you happen to get a job
with one of the larger companies you'll also be spending several days
a year at regional seminars.
The career opportunities in electronic
organ repair appear to be very good at the present time. Organ sales
are rising steadily and there is a demand for top-notch repair technicians.
At the same time we cannot disguise the fact that the complexity of
organ electronics is increasing at an alarming rate. Organ dealers are
paying top wages to attract and keep electronics technicians who feel
at home with modern solid-state computer-type circuits.
don't want to get too involved, you might contact the Niles Bryant School,
3631 Stockton Boulevard, Sacramento, California 95820 concerning a home
study course on electronic organ repair.