Electrical engineers supervise, test, develop, and design electrical equipment and electrical systems such as power generation equipment, smartphones and electric motors. These professionals work on a range of projects, from designing large scale electrical telecommunication systems to designing consumer household appliances, satellite communication systems and electrical power stations. They work in various industries such as transportation, manufacturing, engineering services, oil & gas, power generation and construction. The fast-paced technological advancements and growth in today’s age means that skilled electrical engineers will be in demand.
What Does an Electrical Engineer Do?
An electrical engineer has to carry out the following job duties:
- Improve, implement, maintain and design electrical systems, products, equipment, components, facilities and instruments for domestic, commercial or industrial purposes
- Develop install, construct and manufacture specifications or standards by carrying out a range of detailed calculations
- Evaluate and inspect electrical applications, components, products and systems
- Conduct and design research programs
- Test system capabilities and finished products
- Ensure that the operations and installation conform to customer requirements and standards by preparing topographical maps, technical drawings and electrical system specifications
- Prepare specifications for purchase of electrical materials and components
Electrical engineers mostly work indoors, however, some may have to make field visits in order to inspect problems and repair equipment.
Why Should You Become an Electrical Engineer?
There are many reasons as to why you should choose this line of work. Since this field is at the forefront of developing future technologies and is considered the blood of innovation, electrical engineers are expected to remain in demand.
Second, this profession offers high starting salaries and promises good growth opportunities. Third, electrical engineers get a lot of exposure while working in a range of industries. They are also presented with a lot of global opportunities. Lastly, working as an electrical engineer will give you the chance to work on development projects that will contribute to the improvement of society’s standard of living.
How Electrical Engineers Are Changing Our Lives?
This profession offers unquantifiable benefits to society. Electrical engineers work tirelessly to improve systems that help humanity. For example, the electrical systems used in medical equipment have revolutionized the health sector. Electronics in security equipment meet our security needs and smartphones define a big part of how we live our lives. From television and light bulbs to GPS and cell phones, advances in electrical engineering have connected and illuminated the world. Thus, electrical engineers are working to improve the standard of living all around the world with their skill and knowledge.
Types of Electrical Engineers
After earning a degree in Electrical Engineering, individuals can find employment as:
- Power Systems Engineer: These professionals specialize in working with power systems. They can work with electric utility companies or wind turbine manufacturers.
- Instrumentation & Electrical Reliability Engineer: These engineers are responsible for maintaining, managing, installing, developing and testing process control equipment which is used to control and monitor processes and machinery.
- Electrical Design Engineer: These engineers create new electrical systems for a range of applications.
- Electrical Controls Engineer: These engineers supervise, develop and design all aspects of electrical control systems, machinery and equipment.
- Analog Circuit Design Engineer: They are responsible for developing circuitry found in electronic devices. They maintain and develop circuitry through troubleshooting and testing. They also supervise the manufacturing process in factories and plants.
How to Become an Electrical Engineer?
The first step is to earn a 4-year Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) in electrical engineering. You can also obtain a Master of Science (M.Sc.) on top of that to specialize in a particular area of electrical engineering such as electronics development.
The curriculum of these programs covers a range of courses such as Theory of Digital Systems, Electrical Power Systems, Microprocessor Systems, Pulse and Waveshaping Circuit Design, Advanced Switching Theory, Fundamentals of Control Systems and Digital Control Systems.
After obtaining university degrees, you can also earn certification and licensure in order to avail of better employment opportunities. Having extra credentials and certifications will enable you to impress your potential employers and will help you land a job.
Requirements to Become an Electrical Engineer
In order to pursue a career in Electrical Engineering, the individual has to meet the following requirements:
- The individual must obtain a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from an accredited college. Advanced engineering positions may require the individual to possess a masters degree in engineering
- The individual must earn an engineering license in the state of employment
- Must have excellent knowledge regarding electrical circuits and electrical engineering codes
- Should be an expert at operating and reading electrical devices
- Should be skilled in troubleshooting and equipment maintenance
- Must be proficient in calculation and software design
- Should have superior problem solving, critical thinking, analytical and mathematical skills
Career Outlook for Electrical Engineers
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that, in 2018, Electrical and Electronics made an hourly median pay of $47.63 and an annual median pay of $99,070. The number of individuals employed in this field during that year was 330,300. Estimates suggest that opportunities for Electrical and Electronics Engineers will increase by 2% from 2018 to 2028, which will create 8,000 more jobs.