What Does an Electrical Engineer Do?
Electrical engineers develop and test electronic products and systems for consumer goods like computers and appliances to large-scale electrical power systems. They use principles of engineering, electricity, and electromagnetism to develop electrical systems. An electrical engineer can work across multiple industries, including telecommunications, manufacturing, energy, the automotive industry, the military, aerospace, and more. In addition to possessing experience in engineering, electrical engineers must also be well-versed in the use of tools like computer-assisted design software.
Electrical engineer candidates should have strong skills in science, math, communication, teamwork, analytical problem-solving, and critical thinking. Most electrical engineers specialize in a particular area of expertise, such as signal processing, power engineering, or microelectronics. In addition to designing and testing systems, electrical engineers create new applications and conduct risk assessments to make sure products comply with safety standards and electrical engineering codes.
Are you a job seeker?
of job openings
and apply online
National Average Salary
Electrical engineer salaries vary by experience, industry, organization size, and geography. To explore salary ranges by local market, please visit our sister site zengig.com.
The average U.S. salary for an Electrical Engineer is:
Electrical Engineer Job Descriptions
Crafting the perfect job description may be the key to finding an exceptional electrical engineer. To help you with your recruiting search, our team has put together some examples from past openings.
Electrical engineers are responsible for the design and development of electrical devices and equipment. They also perform testing to ensure the devices, systems, and equipment are functioning properly. They also may oversee the manufacture of these devices, systems, and equipment. An electrical engineer must have a deep understanding of electrical manufacturing processes as well as electrical engineering codes and safety standards. They must also be excellent problem-solvers and have solid attention to detail. [Your Company Name] will be hiring an experienced electrical engineer for our business. Those with proven experience designing and implementing complex industrial, commercial, or domestic electrical systems will be the ideal candidate for this position.
Typical duties and responsibilities
- Design, control, test, and implement electrical systems and products
- Create manufacturing processes according to global engineering codes and standards
- Manage engineering projects and deliver them on time
- Define customer needs and requirements
- Ensure that projects match customer needs and safety standards
- Collaborate with engineers and technicians to design and apply new system processes
- Monitor maintenance and inspection plans
Education and experience
This position requires a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and coursework in computer science, physics, chemistry, mathematics, and statistics. Some employers prefer that a candidate has a master’s degree or PhD for certain positions.
Required skills and qualifications
- Analytical, problem-solving and critical-thinking skills
- Proficiency in advanced mathematics
- Teamwork and interpersonal communication skills
- Strong technical writing ability
- Experience with database and spreadsheet software
- Expertise in working with engineering and computer-assisted design software
- Demonstrated ability in solving complex technical problems
- Strong mathematical skills
- 2+ years working as an engineer
- Bachelor’s degree in engineering or a related field
Design, implement, and maintain complex industrial and commercial electrical systems.
Duties and responsibilities
- Lead the electrical design for the facility’s capital projects
- Provide technical support to plant’s I/E maintenance group
- Perform breaker coordination/fault tolerance
- Perform short circuit analysis
- Perform arch flash calculations
- Determine motor specification and sizing of electrical starters
- Design and modification of lighting systems
Required skills and abilities
- In depth knowledge of and experience designing industrial electrical systems
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills
- Excellent interpersonal and customer service skills to effectively interface with production groups
- Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail
- Excellent time management skills with a proven ability to meet deadlines
- Strong analytical and problem-solving skills
- Ability to prioritize tasks and to delegate them when appropriate
- Ability to function well in a high-paced and at times stressful environment
- Proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite (specifically Project), AutoCAD, EasyPower, or related software preferred
Education and experience
Bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering and 5+ years of experience in industrial power or equivalent combination of experience and education
We are growing and looking for talented individuals in the industry to join our team. This is a perfect opportunity for a highly-motivated, hands-on individual to work on a project team with other electrical engineers engaged in the planning, design, upgrade, and modification of large electrical projects.
- Ability to Self-Perform Coordination Studies (Arc Flash, Short Circuit, and Coordination Studies) on Power Distribution Systems using SKM and/or ETAP
- Train new hires as needed to develop staff to support Study needs
- Review current study process and work toward improving the study process
- Present Coordination Study to Clients
- Work toward early gear release deadlines
- Project workload of self and study team to foresee staffing needs
- These statements are intended to describe the general nature and scope of work being performed by an Electrical Engineer. This is not a complete listing of all responsibilities, duties and/or skills required. Additional responsibilities may also be assigned
- Mainly office but may also include all other work environments as required: sit, stand, talk, hear, use hands and fingers to operate a computer keyboard and telephone
- Work is generally performed in climate-controlled office environment
- Primary environment: ambient room temperatures, lighting, and traditional office equipment as found in a typical office environment
- Considerable time is spent at a desk using a computer terminal
- May on occasion be exposed to loud sounds and distracting noise levels, such as from office equipment
- Can be exposed to hazardous materials, loud noises, and extreme heat/cold temperatures, if visiting job sites or other off-site events
- Can be exposed to Heavy Equipment, slippery surfaces, or uneven footing on the jobsite
- Moderate noise (i.e. business office with computers, phone, and printers, light foot traffic)
- A Bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering is a plus, but not a requirement
- 2+ years of Engineering Study experience is required
- 2+ years of using Study Software (SKM and/or ETAP)
- Ability to manage workload and meet project deadlines
- Able to identify, analyze, and solve problems
- Strong oral and written communication skills
- Able to work independently and as part of a team
- Job related technical knowledge necessary to complete the job
- Ability to work in a time-conscious and time-effective manner
- Strong computer software skills including MS Office (particularly Excel)
You will be responsible for applying engineering knowledge, concepts, and experience to size, evaluate, select, and specify electrical power, lighting, and auxiliary systems for use on assigned projects in accordance with relevant codes and standards. You will perform a variety of tasks which may include conducting field investigations, preparing design calculations, developing construction packages (drawings and specifications), and contributing to business development activities.
Your key responsibilities
- Acts as Engineer-of-Record for projects and/or project components within areas of professional competency
- Evaluates, selects, specifies, and engineers all electrical engineered systems or products for a project
- Engages in the development of a design through sketches, electronic models, diagrams, and other visual formats
- Utilizes technologies in development of three dimensional models of electrical systems
- Provides guidance, training, and mentorship for junior engineers/EITs
- Prepares and revises documentation in various phases of design and construction, including plans, diagrams, and details
- Leads project coordination meetings with internal team members and/or external consultants, owner and contractor, sub-contractors, and vendors
- Participates in client project requirement meetings and value analysis and basic cost estimating
- Assists Senior Engineers with developing and managing the project scope, budget, staffing, and schedule
- May lead the preparation and coordination of the project specifications with construction documents
- Performs and oversees the performance of calculations using company standard software, and proprietary manufacturer software
- Utilizes advanced techniques for the analysis of specialized electrical elements
- Participates in constructability reviews
- Conducts quality assurance and implements quality control frameworks on own projects
- Assists in the development of new standards and specifications for the electrical group
- Works on multiple projects
- Conducts field reviews to assess as-built conditions
- Provides construction phase services, responds to RFIs, reviews shop drawings, and conducts reviews of construction for general conformance with design
Your capabilities and credentials
- Requisite knowledge and application of electrical and building codes
- General understanding of all phases of project, document production, and the relationship between drawings and specifications, particularly in the water/wastewater industry
- Strong knowledge of electrical systems, means and methods, materials, and industry standards
- Ability to check the work of others for accuracy and completeness and manage time to meet project budget and schedule
- Ability to participate and collaborate in project team setting and to engage in creative and critical thought
- Thorough understanding of electrical engineering concepts and ability to effectively communicate ideas to others
- Advanced oral and written communication skills
- Presentation and interview skills are preferred
- Well-versed understanding of Microsoft Offi Project Accountant Project Accountant (2200020F)
Candidate Certifications to Look For
- Certified Electrical Safety Compliance Professional (CESCP). This certification program is designed for electrical and safety professionals who oversee electrical safety programs or who manage electricians and other personnel exposed to electrical hazards. The certificate recognizes a candidate’s knowledge of electrical safety in workplace environments and their competence as related to the standards for electrical safety in the Workplace.
- Professional Engineer (PE) License. The National Society of Professional Engineers offers the PE license, which demonstrates that candidates have the credentials to work as a professional engineer, displaying the highest standard of competence and quality. Obtaining the PE license can greatly enhance your career options. To earn their license, they must complete a four-year college degree from an accredited engineering program, work under a professional engineer for at least four years, and pass the Principles and Practice of Engineering exam.
Sample Interview Questions
- Why did you decide to become an electrical engineer, and what are your long-term career goals?
- What resources do you use to keep up with the latest advances in electrical engineering?
- What is impedance, and how does it affect current flow in an electrical circuit?
- What precautions do you take to prevent accidents in electrical engineering?
- What is the difference between a relay and a contactor, and where would each be used?
- What tools do you use for circuit analysis and design?
- Have you ever had to troubleshoot an electrical system problem, and how did you approach it?
- What resources do you use to ensure that your designs comply with industry standards and regulations?
- How does power factor impact an electrical system’s efficiency?
- How have you used simulation tools like MATLAB in your work?
- How do you ensure that your team communicates and collaborates effectively on electrical engineering projects?
- How have you used programming languages like C or Python in your work as an electrical engineer?
- What are the differences between AC and DC power, and how are they used?
- What tools do you use to aid in problem-solving in electrical engineering?
- Could you describe how you approached the design and implementation of a complex project?