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Electrical Engineer


Description

Stop for a moment and think about the electrical gadgets and machines in your home like your DVD player, blender or electric toothbrush. It is easy to take these luxuries for granted yet hard to imagine life without them. Thank heavens for electrical engineers and their amazing creations. Electrical engineers design, construct, operate, evaluate, test and monitor the performance of electrical equipment, components and systems. They generally work with systems that generate, transmit, distribute, store, control and use electromagnetic energy or electrically coded information. Their creations perform so many functions!

When it comes to electrical activity, both the improvement of already existing electronics and the creation of new functions, the electrical engineer controls all aspects of it. They may also be involved in the development and manufacture of a wide variety of electrical and electronic devices, circuits, systems, products and equipment. The duties and responsibilities of electrical engineers and electronics engineers often overlap.

Many electrical engineers specialize in a particular area once they become established, including control systems, telecommunications systems (wired, microwave or fiber optic), process control and instrumentation, biomedical engineering or lasers. There are four main areas of this field that an electronics engineer may choose to follow: communications, signal processing, circuits and electromagnetics.

In recent years, communications or telecommunications instruments such as high-speed Internet modems, cellular phones, personal digital assistants and fiber optics are booming industries and there is room to accommodate many job seekers. Experts say that electromagnetics is possibly the oldest branch of electrical engineering because it involves antennas. Once upon a time, television sets worked via the antenna on the roof of the house. Usually, the higher the antenna, the better and the clearer the night, the better the reception and picture quality.

Electrical engineers meet with manufacturers, lawyers, scientists and clients and constantly check that design plans are safe and will withstand a number of conditional variables. Safety is one of the most important issues that electrical engineers must contend with. They create engineering plans on computers that test and predict possible errors and problems with a mechanism and in this, they generate workable solutions. Although most work takes place on the computer, most electrical engineers travel to factories or plants to see their work in progress.

Electrical engineers use traditional and high-tech tools, such as computer-aided design (CAD) systems to create realistic geometric models of objects which can simulate and analyze the effects and potential problems of designs. CAD models are eliminating the need for hand drawn models. Electrical engineers research and evaluate the most cost-effective solutions to problems while still maintaining recognized standards. They are required to constantly update their skills and knowledge in order to keep up with technological advancements in this quickly changing field.
 
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Program Spotlight
Matching School Ad
University of California, Riverside

The University of California, Riverside
Transforming Engineers into Leaders

If you’re seeking to elevate your technical expertise and take on leadership roles in today’s global workplace, the UC Riverside online Master of Science in Engineering can deliver the highly calibrated balance of scientific and business knowledge to help you reach your goals.

Programs Offered:
  • M.S. in Engineering, Electrical Engineering (Power Systems) Specialization
  • M.S. in Engineering, Data Science Specialization

 

 



  Average Earnings  
Lowest 10% of Earners:
$44,780
 
Median Salary:
$68,180
 
Highest 10% of Earners:
$100,980

  Interests and Skills  
Electrical engineers should have a natural curiosity and affinity for mechanics, mathematics and electronics. Since imprecise calculations could cause major disasters and expensive mistakes, they must be 100 percent accurate in their calculations. Their jobs are extremely technical therefore they should be organized and methodical in their working habits. They must be good problem solvers and be able to come up with innovative and creative solutions to potential problems and design work.

They must also have strong communication skills. Electrical engineers constantly deal with people from both sides of the professional spectrum therefore they must be able to communicate ideas and give orders in a clear, concise fashion.
 

  Typical Tasks  
  • Conduct research into the feasibility, design, operation and performance of electrical generation and distribution networks, electrical machinery and components and electronic communications, instrumentation and control systems, equipment, and components
  • Prepare material cost and timing estimates, reports and design specifications for electrical and electronic systems and equipment
  • Design electrical and electronic circuits, components, systems and equipment
  • Supervise and inspect the installation, modification, testing and operation of electrical and electronic systems and equipment
  • Develop maintenance and operating standards for electrical and electronic systems and equipment
  • Investigate electrical or electronic failures and troubleshoot existing systems
  • Develop specialized applications and system software
  • Prepare contract documents and evaluate tenders for construction or maintenance
  • Supervise technicians, technologists, programmers, analysts and other engineers.
  • Electrical engineers generally work in an office environment on computers, but may sometimes travel to construction sites or manufacturing facilities to see their creations in the flesh. They must do a considerable amount of reading and research to keep up-to-date with new technological developments. Longer hours may be required to meet design deadlines, which is commonplace. In some circumstances, electrical engineers may be exposed to chemical gasses, or work in severe climate conditions.

  Workplaces, Employers and Industries  
  • Electrical engineers are both private and public sector workers. They are usually employed by government agencies, electrical utilities companies, construction companies, (tele)communications companies, manufacturers of electrical and electronic equipment, consulting firms and by a wide range of manufacturing, processing and transportation industries.

  Long Term Career Potential  
Since electrical engineers have such extensive training and knowledge in electrical products, advancement potentials range from computer applications and microelectronics to the design of extra-high-voltage facilities. They would also be great marketing representatives or sales people for these types of products (who better to sell a product than its designer?). Those with experience may become senior managers or supervisors of junior engineers. Some combine their engineering degrees with other graduate degrees such as business, law or medicine and move towards that speciality area. Finally there are many jobs in high-tech companies looking for electrical engineers.
 

  Educational Paths  
Individuals wanting to become electrical engineers should take courses in mathematics and physics while in high school. Most university programs will require these subject areas as prerequisites.

Electrical engineers require a bachelor's degree in electrical or electronics engineering or in a related engineering field. Then, they must also become registered as a Professional Engineer (PEng) within an association of professional engineers to secure employment and practice in their field. Some engineers also get master's degrees in their specific area, or in related fields such as business (MBA).
 

Sources:
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, 2002, http://www.bls.gov/oes/2002/oes_nat.htm

Featured Schools

Matching School Ads
University of California, Riverside

The University of California, Riverside
Transforming Engineers into Leaders

If you’re seeking to elevate your technical expertise and take on leadership roles in today’s global workplace, the UC Riverside online Master of Science in Engineering can deliver the highly calibrated balance of scientific and business knowledge to help you reach your goals.

Programs Offered:
  • M.S. in Engineering, Electrical Engineering (Power Systems) Specialization
  • M.S. in Engineering, Data Science Specialization

 
Milan Institute
Prepare for an exciting new career at the Milan Institute.
Programs Offered:
  • Electrician
  • Oil and Gas Instrumentation Technician

 
Brightwood College

About Brightwood College

Brightwood College offers accelerated programs that combine flexible schedules and professional instruction to create a rewarding learning experience for individuals focused on gaining the skills for specific careers. Brightwood College is owned and operated by Education Corporation of America.

Programs Offered:
  • Electrical Technician

 
Villanova University - College of Engineering

The College of Engineering at Villanova University offers flexible, part-time, online and on campus graduate program options to meet your demanding schedule.

Programs Offered:
  • Master of Science in Electrical Engineering

 
Institute of Technology

You can get started on a new career with Institute of Technology.

For more information about our graduation rates, the median debt of students who completed the program, and other important information, please visit our website at www.iot.edu/disclosure

Programs Offered:
  • Industrial Maintenance and Automated Technology

 
Norwich University - Online
Earn your Master's degree online from Norwich University.
Programs Offered:
  • Master of Civil Engineering Online

 
San Joaquin Valley College

San Joaquin Valley College - A Private Junior College.

Programs Offered:
  • Certificate - Industrial Maintenance Technician

 
Liberty University

Liberty University provides a world-class education with a solid Christian foundation, equipping men and women with the values, knowledge, and skills essential for success in every aspect of life.

Programs Offered:
  • BS in Aeronautics

 
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