Program Overview

Electrical Technology student

In our Electrical Technology with Renewable Energy Systems program, you will develop the manual skills to wire and install electrical systems, plus the practical knowledge to support, explain, and troubleshoot a wide variety of electrical projects. An additional study term in renewable energy engineering covers topics to prepare you to become a “green” electrician or technician. Upon completing the course, you can pursue careers in renewable energy technology such as solar energy and wind generation.

You will be ready for entry-level positions constructing, installing, and maintaining solar and wind electricity generating systems for commercial and residential applications.


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Full Description

The Electrical Technology program with an emphasis on Renewable Energy Systems trains students for entry-level professions in the electrical industry. Some of the diverse careers open to graduates are construction electrician, maintenance electrician, photovoltaic installation technician, power system technician, electrical relay technician, electrical research technician, electrical distribution sales, electro-mechanical technician, electrical technical support, and entry level controls engineer are some of the diverse careers open to graduates.

The curriculum integrates electrical theory and practical application of alternative energy technologies. The renewable energy technology program prepares students to wire and installs electrical systems and apparatus and the mathematical and practical knowledge to support, explain and troubleshoot each application. Computer programs are an integral part of the associate degree program. This helps students practice circuit calculations, create working models that simulate real circuit conditions, and support classroom lectures and demonstrations.

The study topics in the associate degree include renewable energy sources and energy conservation practices. Students also study the safety rules, protocols, and procedures laid out in the national, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island electrical codes and the OSHA standards for the construction and general industries. They follow all the codes and standards mandatory under the individual state legislature. By connecting the electrical codes and class/lab work, students become proficient and willing to research electrical industry standards to support their work.

Laboratory projects, ranging from elementary breadboard experiments to advanced PLC ladder logic control circuits, provide hands-on experience to develop wiring techniques and to simulate actual job conditions in residential, commercial and industrial environments.

Upon completion of the Associate in Science Degree in Electrical Technology, the graduate is qualified to seek employment in entry-level careers in the electrical industry and are qualified to work as an apprentice electrician or technician. Associate degree graduates can also continue in the New England Institute of Technology’s (NEIT) Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering Technology, Construction Management, or Business Management programs.

For those interested in careers in the sustainable renewable energy fields such as solar photovoltaic arrays, wind generation (turbine), tidal generation and fuel cell technologies, an additional term specifically addresses these careers and the unique techniques and standards students must learn to become competent as “green” electricians or technicians.

Upon successful completion, students may earn an additional Associate in Science degree in Electrical Technology with a concentration in Renewable Energy Systems. Additionally, since the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) certifies the “Green Term,” students, upon completing the program, would be eligible to appear for the NABCEP Associate certification.

The “Green Term” is available not only for current Electrical Technology students, but also for Electrical Technology graduates as well as for non-NEIT students provided specific requirements are met (i.e., electrical licensing, electrical contractor, and electrical engineer).

Job Outlook in Rhode Island (RI)

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the solar and wind energy network will require 50% more workers by 2029. Solar photovoltaic installers will be the top job, followed by turbine technicians in wind energy technologies.

The number of jobs in wind energy technologies will increase from 7,000 to 11,300, and those in solar energy technologies will increase from 12,000 to 18,100. This is almost 60.7% and 50.5% jump between 2019 and 2029.

According to another report by the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources (OER), the overall increase in jobs in the renewable energy sector between 2014 and 2020 in RI is 74%. This figure includes those with associate degrees in renewable energy engineering technology.

Despite its size, Rhode Island is among the top three states in the US for energy efficiency programs and innovation that directly engages over 1,100 firms.

The statistics clearly portray a bright future for students pursuing associate degree programs in electrical and renewable energy technology.

NEIT Campus that Offers this Degree in renewable energy

The NEIT campus that offers the Associate Degree in Welding is the Access Road Campus, located at 110 Access Rd #65, Warwick, RI 02886.

License Requirements in Rhode Island

According to the Office of Energy Resources, state of Rhode Island, Renewable Energy Professionals (REPs) can hold a limited license to perform installation work without having an electrician’s license. However, an electrical contractor’s license already includes the work under a REP limited license.

There are various ways you can get a REP license in RI:

  • If you have an associate degree or higher in renewable energy technology or solar PV installation from an accredited school.
  • If you have a certificate from the SEI Solar Professionals Certificate for photovoltaic systems.
  • If you have a certificate from the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) as a PV installation professional or a solar heating installer.
  • If you have a certification from Underwriter Laboratory’s (UL) PV installer certification program.

Salary Data for Renewable Energy Professionals in Rhode Island

The Bureau of Labor Statistics website data shows the median salary for solar photovoltaic installers as $44,890 and that of wind turbine service technicians as $52,910 as of 2019.

A Rhode Island clean energy industry report from 2020 shows the median hourly wage of electricians working in renewable energy technology is $21.46 to $45.57, depending on the type of job and the experience.

Potential Career Opportunities

Renewable energy is the future. There is an increasing emphasis on shifting to renewable energy under the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs).
Elsewhere, 200 countries worked before and during the COP26 summit to commit actions to shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy technology. The career opportunities in this area are abundant. Various types of career opportunities open to graduates of renewable energy technology associate degree programs are:

Solar Systems Installer

Wind Turbine Technician

Energy Audit and Efficiency Technician

Geothermal and Solar Photovoltaic Installers


  • Is Renewable Energy a Good Career Choice?

    Yes, certainly! Large consumers of fossil fuels are rapidly shifting toward renewable energy technologies. Countries are not only concerned about climate change but also the finite quantity of fossil fuels the planet can produce.

    Renewable energy is the future, from electric vehicles (EVs) to solar power generation to wind electricity generating systems to biomass.

    As a result, the renewable energy field holds great promise in terms of sustainability and job opportunities. Smart and innovative individuals will find excellent professional opportunities in the energy sector.

  • Is Electrical Engineering Related to Renewable Energy?

    Yes, they are related. The purpose of renewable energy systems is to provide advanced technology to produce and supply electricity. Students interested in electrical engineering technology can choose to specialize in the renewable energy sector.

  • What Degrees Are Best for Pursuing a Career in Renewable Energy?

    If you want to work in the industry as an engineer, you can consider associate degree programs or bachelor’s degrees in renewable energy. You can further choose to work as an electrical installation and maintenance engineer, an energy efficiency auditor, or a technician in the manufacturing of photovoltaic systems/control systems.

  • Is Renewable Energy the Same as Sustainable Energy?

    No. While both sustainable energy and renewable energy are critical to our planet’s future, there are important distinctions between the two. Renewable energy comes from substances that the earth can gradually replenish. Examples include biomatter, wood, and water.

    Sustainable energy comes from sources that cannot deplete. Examples include solar, electric, and wind energy. Renewable energy is not always sustainable, and sustainable energy sources are not always renewable.

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Related Programs

Program Mission, Goals, and Outcomes

Program Mission

The mission of the Electrical Technology Program (ELY) is to provide a specialized associate degree program to prepare students for entry-level technical careers in diverse electrical, electro-mechanical, technical support, and electrical controls fields.

Students will develop skills in problem-solving, critical thinking, and appropriate use of construction tools through practical experience in the wiring and troubleshooting of a wide various electrical projects. Students will study and learn a background of electrical science, mastery of fundamental mathematical principles, and the knowledge of safety rules and procedures laid out in the National Electrical Code, enabling them to perform the duties of an apprentice electrician or entry-level technician. Graduates will attain a basic foundation of knowledge and skills that an employer can build upon with continuing education.

An additional renewable energy engineering technology module will prepare students for employment in small solar and wind electricity generating systems. The associate degree program focuses on equipment installation, maintenance, and repair.

Program Goals

  1. The ELY program will provide appropriate learning opportunities for students to acquire the theoretical knowledge, applicable skills and attitude necessary to function as an entry-level electrical technician or electrical apprentice.
  2. Students who are entering a State-run electrical apprenticeship program: a) Will acquire the necessary skills for transfer into a State program and b)May meet, contingent on applicable law and regulation, some of the requirements (which vary from state to state) necessary to qualify for state electrical journey electrician licensing exams. Continuing education is a component of most electrical apprentice programs.
  3. The ELY program will instill in the student a sense of commitment to the electrical industry’s core values and ethics.

Program Outcomes

Graduates of this program will be able to:

  1. Identify, define, and analyze fundamental principles of electrical circuitry and processes.
  2. Identify, define, and analyze electrical industry materials, tools and equipment
  3. Research, interpret, and apply electrical industry standards for installation criteria and safety considerations.
  4. Function independently and/or interdependently as a team member to accomplish the following: install, maintain and troubleshoot residential, commercial, and industrial projects.
  5. Demonstrate effective oral and written communication with supervisors, co-workers, clients, and suppliers using correct technical terminology.
  6. Perform tasks and duties in a “safe and workmanlike manner” concerning legal obligations applicable to the electrical industry.
  7. Demonstrate attitudes, values, and behaviors congruent with electrical industry standards and ethics.
  8. Identify, define, and analyze fundamental principles of renewable energy systems, such as photovoltaic and wind generating systems.
  9. Apply renewable energy system concepts to prepare for the NABCEP entry-level certification exam.

Courses Offered

For the latest listing of courses offered, please review our University Catalog here.

Q&A and Technical Standards

Questions & Answers

  1. When do my classes meet?
    Day Classes: Technical classes normally meet for at least three hours a day for up to five days a week. Classes normally begin in the early morning (7:45 a.m.), late morning (usually 11:25 a.m.), or mid-afternoon. The time slot for your program may vary from term to term.Evening Classes: technical classes meet on an average of three nights a week, although there may be times when they will meet four nights a week. Classes normally begin at 5:45 p.m.In addition, to achieve your associate degree, you will take a total of approximately eight liberal arts courses, which will be scheduled around your technical schedule over the course of your entire program. Each liberal arts course meets approximately four hours per week. Liberal arts courses are offered on days, evenings, and Saturdays.

    At the beginning of each term you will receive a detailed schedule giving the exact time and location of all your classes. The College requires that all students be prepared to take classes and receive services at any of NEIT’s locations where the appropriate classes and services are offered.

    When a regularly scheduled class falls on a day that is an NEIT observed holiday (Columbus Day, Veterans Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and Memorial Day), an alternate class will be scheduled as a make-up for that class. The make-up class may fall on a Friday. It is the student’s responsibility to take note of when and where classes are offered.

  2. How large will my classes be?
    The average size for a class is about 20 to 25 students; however, larger and smaller classes occur from time to time.
  3. How much time will I spend in lab?
    Almost half of your technical courses consist of laboratory work. In order for you to get the most out of your laboratory experiences, you will first receive a thorough explanation of the theory behind your lab work.
  4. Where do my classes meet?
    Students should be prepared to attend classes at any of NEIT’s classroom facilities: either at the Post Road, Access Road, or East Greenwich campuses.
  5. I have not earned my high school diploma or GED: can I enroll in an Associate Degree Program?
    A candidate for admission to the associate degree program must have a high school diploma, have earned a recognized equivalency diploma (GED), or meet the federal home school requirements.
  6. How long should it take me to complete my program?
    To complete your degree requirements in the shortest possible time, you should take the courses outlined in the prescribed curriculum. For a typical six-term curriculum, a student may complete the requirements in as little as 18 months.To complete all your degree requirements in the shortest time, you should take at least one liberal arts course each term. Students who need more time to complete their curriculum may postpone some of the liberal arts courses until after the completion of the technical requirements. Students are provided up to two additional terms of study to complete the liberal arts requirements without any additional tuition assessment fee. During these additional terms of study, students are required to pay all applicable fees.Students may also elect to complete some of their liberal arts requirements during Intersession, a five-week term scheduled between Spring and Summer Quarters. Students will not be assessed any additional tuition for liberal arts courses taken during the Intersession but may be assessed applicable fees.Students wishing to extend the number of terms needed to complete the required technical courses in their curriculum will be assessed additional tuition and fees.
  7. Is NEIT accredited?
    NEIT is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education. Accreditation by NECHE is recognized by the federal government and entitles NEIT to participate in federal financial aid programs. Some academic departments have specialized professional accreditations in addition to accreditation by NECHE. For more information on accreditation, see NEIT’s catalog.
  8. Can I transfer the credits that I earn at NEIT to another college?
    The transferability of a course is always up to the institution to which the student is transferring. Students interested in the transferability of their credits should contact the Office of Teaching and Learning for further information.
  9. Can I transfer credits earned at another college to NEIT?
    Transfer credit for appropriate courses taken at an accredited institution will be considered upon receipt of an official transcript for any program, biology, science, and mathematics courses in which the student has earned a “C” or above within the past three years and for English or humanities courses in which the student has earned a “C” or above within the last ten years. An official transcript from the other institution must be received before the end of the first week of the term for transfer credit to be granted for courses to be taken during that term. Students will receive a tuition reduction for the approved technical courses based on the program rate and will be applied against the final technical term of the curriculum’s tuition amount. No tuition credit is provided for courses which are not a part of the technical curriculum.
  10. What is the “Feinstein Enriching America” Program?
    New England Institute of Technology is the proud recipient of a grant from the Feinstein Foundation. To satisfy the terms of the grant, the College has developed a one-credit community enrichment course which includes hands-on community enrichment projects. The course can be taken for a few hours per term, spread over several terms. Students who are already engaged in community enrichment on their own may be able to count that service towards course credit.
  11. How many credits do I need to acquire my Financial Aid?
    In order to be eligible for the maximum financial aid award, you need to maintain at least 12 credits per academic term.
  12. What does my program cost?
    The cost of your program will be as outlined in your enrollment agreement, along with your cost for books and other course materials. Students who decide to take more terms than the enrollment agreement describes to complete the technical courses in their curriculum will be subject to additional fees and possible additional tuition costs. Students who elect to take the technical portion of the degree requirements at a rate faster than the rate prescribed in the curriculum and the enrollment agreement will be assessed additional tuition.Students who require prerequisite courses will incur additional tuition and fees above those outlined in their enrollment agreement.If a student elects to take a course(s) outside of the prescribed curriculum, additional tuition and fees will be assessed.Remember, students who withdraw and re-enter, one time only, pay the tuition rate that was in effect for them at the time of their last day of attendance for up to one year from their last day of attendance. Second re-entrees and beyond pay the tuition rate in effect at the time they re-enter. The most economical way for you to complete your college degree is to begin your program now and continue your studies straight through for the six terms necessary to complete your degree requirements.
  13. What kind of employment assistance does NEIT offer?
    The Career Services Office assists NEIT students and graduates in all aspects of the job search, including resume writing, interviewing skills, and developing of a job search strategy. Upon completion of their program, graduates may submit a resume to the Career Services Office to be circulated to employers for employment opportunities in their fields. Employers regularly contact us about our graduates. In addition, our Career Services Office contacts employers to develop job leads. A strong relationship with employers exists as a result of our training students to meet the needs of industry for over fifty years. No school can, and NEIT does not, guarantee to its graduates’ employment or a specific starting salary.
  14. Where will job opportunities exist?
    Graduates have obtained employment in the local area. However, one of the most exciting aspects of this program is the ability to look nationally for employment opportunities.
  15. Is there any state or federal licensing required in my field?
    Jobs at the technician level currently require no license in the state of Rhode Island. Graduates who wish to work as electricians can expect to meet some type of licensing requirements in whichever state they work. Because of the complex nature of licensing requirements and because these requirements change periodically, we cannot list all the requirements for the various types of licenses in the various states. NEIT IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY CHANGES IN LICENSING REQUIREMENTS THAT ANY STATE LEGISLATURE, INCLUDING RI’s, MAY IMPLEMENT AT ANY TIME. Each student should take personal responsibility for determining the licensing requirements in the specific trade and state in which he or she plans to work. Your instructor or department chair can give you help as needed.
  16. What kind of jobs will I be qualified to look for?
    You will be qualified to look for a job at the technician level, working under an engineer or as an electrical apprentice in a residential, commercial or industrial setting.
  17. Can I get a bachelor’s degree in my field?Graduates of the Electrical Technology Program can earn a baccalaureate degree in Electronics with approximately 8 more terms of study.
  18. Will I be required to wear special clothing?
    Yes. In accordance with OSHA Standard 29CFR 1926.28(a), each student is required to wear appropriate attire for the workplace when in Lab or Open Lab. Electrical Technology students are required to wear button down or pull-over shirts for all classes (no sleeveless shirts or shirts containing objectionable printing of any type, as determined by the class instructor). Proper work pants include jeans or cotton-blend work pants, (no sweatpants, nylon pants, shorts, tattered, too tight or oversized pants). Proper footwear includes no-slip work shoes, boots, or sneakers – no open-toe shoes, slip-on shoes, dress shoes, or shoes with large heels will be allowed. For safety, no dangling jewelry (bracelets, necklaces, or earrings) is allowed. No rings other than wedding bands will be allowed. Safety glasses must be worn in all Lab classes. For more details, refer to the Electrical Technology Department’s Dress Code Policy.
  19. Where can I purchase an optional uniform shirt and what kind do I need?
    Though specific uniform shirts are optional, students may purchase NEIT Electrical Technology uniform shirts online at Alexander’s Uniforms At the site’s homepage, click “New England Institute of Technology” from either the icon or the left tab, then select your department from the list. All items are priced to include a 15% discount. If you have any questions, contact Wendy Magnette via email at [email protected] or at 401-654-6500.

    The required uniforms include:
    Hunter Sanmar PC54 Shirt w/ Screen Printing $11.00 (S-XL), $13.00 (2X-5X)
    Hunter Sanmar PC54LS Shirt w/ Screen Printing $15.00 (S-XL), $17.00 (2X-5X)

    You may also purchase your uniform items at Alexander’s Uniforms at one of their three locations (recommended if you are unsure of the size): 1) Rhode Island: Marshall’s Plaza, 1 Lambert Lind Highway, Warwick RI 02886, 860-889-7744, 401-654-6500; 2) Connecticut: 77 Salem Turnpike, Norwich, CT 06360, 781-762-1449; 3) Massachusetts: 500 Providence Highway, Norwood MA 02062. A Student ID is needed to ensure you receive your 15% discount at checkout.

  20. Are there any special state or federal requirements or certifications required for Renewable Energy Systems?
    The states of RI, MA, and CT all require an electrical license to install PhotoVoltaic and other renewable energy systems. Please contact your local state licensing board for additional information.
  21. Are there any specialized certifications available for Renewable Energy Systems?
    Yes. NEIT is provider of the NABCEP Entry Level exam. The North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) is a volunteer board of renewable energy stakeholder representatives that includes representatives of the solar industry, NABCEP certificants, renewable energy organizations, state policy makers, educational institutions, and the trades. Each member of the board was chosen because of his or her experience and involvement in the solar energy industry. NABCEP’s mission–to support, and work with, the renewable energy and energy efficiency industries, professionals, and stakeholders–is intended to develop and implement quality credentialing and certification programs for practitioners.NABCEP is committed to providing a certification program of quality and integrity for the professionals and consumer/public it is designed to serve. Professionals who choose to become certified demonstrate their competence in the field and their commitment to upholding high standards of ethical and professional practice.The NABCEP Entry Level Certificate Program is designed for those individuals wanting to get into the solar field; it is a way for them to show they have achieved basic knowledge comprehension and application of key terms and concepts of photovoltaic (solar electric) system operations.The certificate demonstrates that the student has passed an industry-designed exam based on learning objectives developed by subject matter experts.

Technical Standards

These technical standards set forth by the Electrical Technology Department, establish the essential qualities considered necessary for students admitted to the program. The successful student must possess the following skills and abilities or be able to demonstrate that they can complete the requirements of the program with or without reasonable accommodation, using some other combination of skills and abilities.

Cognitive Ability

  • Ability to visualize and portray ideas graphically.
  • Good reasoning and critical thinking skills.
  • Ability to learn, remember and recall detailed information and to use it for problem solving.
  • Ability to deal with materials and problems such as organizing or reorganizing information.
  • Ability to use abstractions in specific concrete situations.
  • Ability to break information into its component parts.
  • Ability to understand spatial relationships.
  • Possession of basic math skills through addition, subtraction, multiplication and division of whole numbers and fractions using both the U.S. and Metric systems of measurement.
  • Ability to perform tasks by observing demonstrations.
  • Ability to perform tasks following verbal instructions.

Communications Skills

  • Ability to demonstrate and use the knowledge acquired during the classroom training process and in the lab setting.

Adaptive Ability

  • Ability to maintain emotional stability and the maturity necessary to interact with other members of the faculty and students in a responsible manner.

Physical Ability

  • An ability to work in a standing, walking, climbing, squatting, kneeling, or lying position for extended periods of time while maintaining high levels of concentration.
  • Ability to lift objects weighing up to 35 pounds.
  • Sufficient upper body strength to carry 20 pounds.
  • Sufficient strength and agility to grasp and maintain tension for long periods of time.
  • Ability to perform learned skills, independently, with accuracy and completeness within reasonable time frames in accordance with procedures.

Manual Ability

  • Ability to manipulate side cutters, diagonal cutters, needle-nose pliers, and other tools.
  • Sufficient motor function and sensory abilities to participate effectively in the classroom laboratory.
  • Sufficient manual dexterity and motor coordination to coordinate hands, eyes and fingers in the operation of tools, wire and other equipment.
  • Good manual dexterity.

Sensory Ability

  • Adequate vision for distinguishing colors, interpretation of gauges, oscilloscopes, and diagnostic equipment (adaptive equipment acceptable).
  • Adequate vision for reading blueprints and other printed instruction, working with tools and equipment, and for maneuvering on job sites, scaffolding, and areas in various stages of completion (adaptive equipment acceptable).
  • Visual ability, if necessary, with correction, to see tools, instruments and wires
  • Acute enough to read small print.
  • Acute enough to read small numbers on instrument