Electrical Engineers develop and test electronic products and systems for consumer goods like electronic gadgets and appliances to large-scale electrical power systems. They use principles of electronics, electricity, and electromagnetism to develop electrical systems. An Electrical Engineer can work in multiple industries, including telecommunications, manufacturing, energy, the automotive industry, the military, aerospace, and more. In addition to possessing experience and skills in engineering, Electrical Engineers must also be well-versed in the use of computer-assisted design software.
Electrical Engineer candidates should have 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 micro-electronics. In addition to designing and testing systems, Electrical Engineers conduct risk assessments and make sure products comply with safety standards and electrical engineering codes. They also create new applications.
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 Background
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 Ph.D. for certain positions.
Skills and Competencies
- 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
According to Payscale the median annual salary of an Electrical Engineer with
1 year of experience:
- Orlando, Florida: $70,000
- Tampa, Florida: $75,000
- Jacksonville, Florida: $70,000
- Miami, Florida: $70,000
- Atlanta, Georgia: $75,000
- Chicago, Illinois: $70,000
- Houston, Texas: $70,000
- Los Angeles, California: $80,000
- New York, New York: $70,000
- Seattle, Washington: $80,000
- Overall: $73,000
5 years of experience:
- Tampa, Florida: $87,000
- Jacksonville, Florida: $87,000
- Miami, Florida: $86,000
- Atlanta, Georgia: $95,000
- Chicago, Illinois: $90,000
- Houston, Texas: $95,000
- Los Angeles, California: $90,000
- New York, New York: $90,000
- Seattle, Washington: $85,000
- Overall: $89,000
- Orlando, Florida: $83,000
Similar Job Titles
- Electrical Test Engineer
- Electrical Design Engineer
- Electronics Engineer
- Planning Engineer
- Power Engineer
- Integrated Circuit Layout Designer
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 Ph.D. for certain positions. Several companies also require a Professional Engineer (PE) license, which means passing the Fundamentals of Engineering exam, on-the-job experience, and passing score the Principles and Practice of Engineering Examination. Successful Electrical Engineers can advance to supervising a team of engineers and receive greater independence to design and evaluate projects and processes.
According to the international engineering firm Skelia, one major trend changing the electrical engineering field in the coming years is the use of smart power grids. Energy customers are getting their energy from more than just the traditional power grid now. Some who produce excess energy at their homes are opting to sell that energy back to their electric company. This requires the use of smart devices at their homes to monitor the energy flow back and forth, in addition to predicting surges and detecting outages. Electrical Engineers will likely need to either work with or develop smart grids much more often in the next several years.
Another trend in the electrical engineering field is the growing popularity of wearable wireless technology. Many Electrical Engineers are developing various wireless devices such as health and fitness monitors; they are also using them to do their jobs. There are now watches that tell the wearer when they are too close to high-voltage electricity, and boots equipped with sensors to detect overheating and other job site dangers.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the need for Electrical Engineers is expected to grow by two percent between 2018 and 2028. That’s slower than average.
The typical work hours for an Electrical Engineer are usually from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. However, many Electrical Engineers work longer hours to hit project deadlines or troubleshoot project issues.
Where You Can Find Jobs
- 4 Corner Resources
- Career Builder
- Zip Recruiter
- Engineering Jobs
- National Society of Professional Engineers
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