Program Overview

student with robot

Pursuing an Associate in Science Degree in Electronics, Robotics, and Drones Technology (ERD) will provide you the education, skills, and training in some of the most robust, emerging fields of the 21st Century.

This Electronics, Robotics and Drones Technology degree program starts with electronic foundation core courses and culminates into applications like aerial drone, robotics, microcontrollers & the “internet of things”, and programmable automation systems.

The degree program helps students obtain one or more of the following certifications:

  • FAA 107 Remote Pilot Certificate
  • FANUC Robot Operator & Technician Certificate

Graduates can seek entry-level career opportunities in several emerging and exciting areas like unmanned aircraft systems, data collection (for law enforcement or real estate), remote sensing, drone industry, search and rescue, and navigation.

Read More

Full Description

Our associate degree in Electronics, Robotics, and Drones Technology (ERD) provides state-of-the-art education. The use of drone technology will change our economy and everyday life in more than one way — mapping, inspection, driver-less cars, law enforcement requirements, medical procedures, real estate applications, applied engineering jobs, automated manufacturing processes and aerial product delivery operations.

Starting with electronic foundation core courses and culminating in drone, robotics, and automation, the curriculum helps learners succeed in this high-tech career field. Technical elective courses provide the opportunity for in-depth study in areas including:

    • Drone Engineering
    • Small Unmanned Aircraft Operation
    • Computer Networking
  • The ERD program’s laboratory projects include active, hands-on experiences with:
    • robotic control and drone applications
    • data acquisition/control/communication
    • digital electronics components and applications
    • microprocessor control
    • programmable automation controllers (PACs)


  • Lab projects simulate actual job conditions. Drone-specific courses prepare graduates to sit for the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Section 107 Commercial Small Unmanned Aircraft System (SUAS) exam for pilot certification.Drone technology program graduates can seek entry-level careers in several emerging areas such as drone mission programming, R&D, new product design, product testing, field inspection and service, control engineering, installation, computing, surveying and mapping, and customer service. Associate degree graduates can also continue in the New England Tech’s Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering Technology program.

Potential Career Opportunities

Students can explore careers in UAS (unmanned aircraft systems) and work as:

R&D Technician

Instrumentation Technician

Systems Technician


  • What is the future of drone technology?

    Drone technology is one of the major components of technological advancements. Often recognized as  unmanned aircraft, drones have many applications and have allowed companies creative ways to do business.

    For example, huge corporations like Amazon and Google have been testing ways to send packages to their customers with drones. Facebook is already using drones to provide or improve existing internet connections in remote locations.

    With companies learning how to incorporate drone technology into their vital business processes, the career opportunities in the field of small unmanned aerial systems or vehicles are bound to increase.

  • What can you do with a UAS (Unmanned Aircraft Systems) degree?

    A UAS (Unmanned Aircraft Systems) degree opens up various career avenues for individuals. The Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) claims that there will be more than 100,000 new jobs created between 2015 and 2025.

    These numbers point towards unmanned aircraft systems being a lucrative career path for youngsters and those looking to switch careers. Students who have pursued unmanned aerial systems and drone technology often work as operators/pilots of unmanned aerial vehicles, aerospace engineers, optical specialists, and in the field of remote sensing technology.

  • What is the best drone pilot school?

    New England Institute of Technology’s Associate in Science Degree in Electronics, Robotics and Drones Technology (ERD) has technical elective courses that focus on drone engineering, renewable energy, computer networking operations, CAD, and more.

    Like they do for other degree programs, this degree’s lab projects also simulate actual job conditions for hands-on operations and knowledge. Drone-specific courses prepare learners for the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Section 107 Commercial Small Unmanned Aircraft System (SUAS) exam for pilot certification.

  • Is a Drone a UAV?

    Every UAV is a drone, but not every drone is a UAV. Unlike what most drone technology industry professionals believe, drones need not have autonomous flight capabilities.

Launch Engineering Technology Lab

Related Programs

Program Mission, Goals, and Outcomes

Program Mission

The mission of the Electronics, Robotics and Drones Technology (ERDA) program is to prepare individuals for entry-level employment as technicians, designers, or operators in electronics, robotics, drone technology and automation.

Our degree program helps develop students’ ability to think critically. Instilling in students the necessity for continued professional development is an important objective of our degree programs.

Program Goals

The Associate in Science Degree in Electronics, Robotics, and Drones Technology program helps individual develop skills in:

  1. Logical thinking, problem-solving, and troubleshooting.
  2. Professionalism and quality workmanship.
  3. Oral and written communication skills.
  4. Working productively with others.
  5. Analyzing electronic circuits.
  6. Applying math in problem-solving, analysis, and design.
  7. Computer analysis and programming.

Program Outcomes

Students will develop:

  1. an ability to apply knowledge, techniques, skills and modern tools of mathematics, science, engineering, and technology to solve well-defined engineering problems appropriate to the discipline;
  2. an ability to design solutions for well-defined technical problems and assist with the engineering design of systems, components, or processes appropriate to the discipline;
  3. an ability to apply written, oral, and graphical communication in well-defined technical and non-technical environments; and an ability to identify and use appropriate technical literature
  4. an ability to conduct standard tests, measurements, and experiments and to analyze and interpret the results; and
  5. an ability to function effectively as a member of a technical team.

Courses Offered

Our associate degree program in this field focuses on courses like Electronic Circuits, Microprocessor Controls, and Commercial Drone / UAV Certification. The courses also include Industrial Robotic Automation, Data Acquisition Models, and many more.

We also provide lab facilities and technical electives, including Imagineering: Creative Prototyping, Drone / UAV Engineering, Renewable Energy, Computer-Aided Design I, and Programming Essentials Using Python.

Our associate degree program also explores subjects like Workplace Communications and Human Relations in the Workplace. This course approach ensures an all-round development of graduates.

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 p.m.), or mid-afternoon. A technical time slot may vary from term to term.Evening Classes:  Technical classes meet on the 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 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 which 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 class size is approximately 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 campuses: either at the Post Road, Access Road, or East Greenwich campus or at an off-campus clinical/fieldwork/internship location.
  5. I have not earned my high school diploma or GED: can I enroll in an Associate Degree Program?
    A candidate for admission to an associate degree program must have a high school diploma, have earned a recognized general 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 special 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 Student Affairs Office of the institution that they are transferring to 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 university 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 be eligible for 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-entries 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 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 aspect of this program is the ability to look nationally for employment opportunities.
  15. Is there any state or federal licensing required in my field?
    No license is required for any of the careers which you will be preparing to enter.
  16. What kind of jobs will I be qualified to look for?
    Generally, jobs will exist in research and design and manufacturing firms.
  17. Will I be able to continue toward a bachelor’s degree?
    Yes. Students who earn an associate degree in Electronics, Robotics and Drones Technology with the Bachelor’s Degree concentration curriculum can earn a baccalaureate degree in Electrical Engineering Technology with approximately 6 additional terms of study.
  18. Are there any special certifications available?Yes. The International Society of Certified Electronics Technicians, (ISCET), 3608 Pershing Ave., Fort Worth, TX 76107 (800-946-0201, certification. As a convenience to our students, ISCET certification tests can be taken in our Academic Skills Center (ASC) for a fee which is paid directly to the ISCET with a credit card online on the afternoon before the test or on the day of the test. Please note that ISCET certification is voluntary and not a graduation requirement.Graduates are eligible to sit for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Section 107 Commercial Small Unmanned Aerial System (sUAS) exam for pilot certification ( The FAA Section 107 sUAS exam is voluntary and not a graduation requirement. Note: A conviction for the violation of any Federal or State statute relating to the growing, processing, manufacture, sale, disposition, possession, transportation, or importation of narcotic drugs, marijuana, or depressant or stimulant drugs or substances is grounds for denial of an application for a remote pilot certificate with a small UAS rating for a period of up to 1 year after the date of final conviction.Sample List of Employers Who Have Hired Electronic Systems Engineering Technology AS graduates from New England Institute of Technology:
    • Amtrak
    • Composite Modules
    • EMC
    • Federal Aviation Administration
    • Federal Electronics
    • General Dynamics
    • Gillette
    • GTECH
    • Hanna Instruments
    • Invensys Thermal Systems
    • KVH Industries
    • Linc-Health/Technology in Medicine
    • Lockheed Martin
    • McLaughlin Research
    • Raytheon
    • SAIC
    • Satcon Power Systems
    • Teradyne, Boston
    • Sensata (Texas Instruments)
    • Wind River

Technical Standards

These technical standards set forth by the Electronic Systems Engineering Technology Department, establish the essential qualities considered necessary for students admitted to these programs to achieve the knowledge, skills and competencies to enter these fields. 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 concentrate for long periods of time and retain information on intricate details of component theory and analysis/operation of electronics circuits.
  • 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.
  • Ability to perform tasks by observing demonstrations.
  • Ability to perform tasks by following written instructions.
  • Ability to perform tasks following verbal instructions.

Communications Skills

  • Ability to communicate effectively with faculty and students.
  • Ability to read English sufficiently to read college level text books, electronics manuals, directions, technical service bulletins, wiring diagrams and safety directions and anger signals.
  • 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

  • Ability to move test equipment from point to point and to manipulate controls on electronic test equipment.
  • Ability to perform learned skills, independently, with accuracy and completeness within reasonable time frames in accordance with procedures.

Manual Ability

  • Ability to wire, build, or protoboard electronic circuits using small components and hand tools.
  • Ability to solder connections and fabricate cables and test leads.
  • Ability to manipulate, screwdrivers, 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 and other equipment.

Sensory Ability

  • Visual
    • Acute enough to identify and differentiate component leads, values of codes written on components, as well as color coding on components and wire cables.
    • Acute enough to make circuit connections, solder connections, find circuit test points.
    • Acute enough to read dials, and position of control settings of electronics testing equipment and operational controls.
    • Acute enough to read small numbers on precision measuring instruments.