Getting Started with Hobby Electronics

The First Experiences of the Electronics Hobbyist

How do electronics hobbyists get started in electronics?

For many that identify as American electronics hobbyists, tinkerers or members of the Maker Movement, it was taking something apart that first ignited the electronics fire. More than 55% or electronics hobbyists' first electronics experience started by taking something apart. The second most common method for electronics firsts was putting something together (29.9%) and the third most popular method for sparking interests in electronics was fixing something (15%).

Younger hobbyists were more likely to have taken something apart as their first experience with electronics (68.6%). Older hobbyists (over 50) were 28% less likely to have taken something apart during their first electronics project.

Since their first electronics experience, electronics hobbyists seem to have been hooked. The median number of years participating in the hobby is 35; a quarter reported that they have 50 or more years of hobby electronics experience.

What's the Average Age of an Electronics Hobbyist's First Soldering Experience?

Soldering, which creates an electrical junction, is a skill required to pursue advanced aspects of the electronics hobby and 81.3% of electronics hobbyists report that their first experience happened before the age of 18. While less than 3.8% reported having their first experience occur late in life (after the age of 36), almost no one in our hobbyist population reported that they have yet to solder.

For more information, you may also enjoy:

The Great American Electronics Hobbyist Census

The Most Loved and Hated Electronic Components

Electronics Hobbyists Share Their Predictions

What Other Hobbies do Electronics Hobbyists Love?

If you're interested in receiving a PDF of the full results, send an email to [email protected] with "census" in the subject line and we'll send you a complimentary executive summary.

Share your first electronics experience with us at [email protected]. We just might publish it in an upcoming newsletter.