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Electrical Engineer

Electrical engineering specifically deals with electricity, electro-magnetism and electronics. It also covers power, control systems, telecommunications, and signal processing.

An electrical engineer applies the physics and mathematics of electricity, electromagnetism, and electronics to design and develop new electrical equipment and systems, to solve problems, and to test equipment.

Electrical engineers can work on various projects, from designing household appliances to designing large-scale electrical telecommunication systems, electrical power stations, and satellite communications systems.

Electrical Engineer

What does an Electrical Engineer do?

Electrical Engineer
Electrical Engineer

Electrical engineering dates back to the late 19th century, and is one of the newer branches of engineering. The field of electronics was born with the invention of the thermionic valve diode vacuum tube in 1904 by John Ambrose Fleming, and was the foundation of all electronics, including radios, television and radar, until the mid-20th century.

Some of the most important pioneers in electrical engineering include Thomas Edison (electric light bulb), George Westinghouse (alternating current), Nikola Tesla (induction motor), Guglielmo Marconi (radio) and Philo T. Farnsworth (television). Innovative ideas and concepts were turned into practical devices and systems that paved the way to what we have and use today.

Electrical engineers work on a variety of projects, such as computers, robots, cell phones, cards, radars, navigation systems, wiring and lighting in buildings and other kinds of electrical systems.

More and more, electrical engineers are relying on computer-aided design (CAD) systems for the creation of schematics and to lay out circuits, and they use computers to simulate how electrical devices and systems will function.

Electrical engineers work in various industries and the skills required also vary. These skills can range from basic circuit theory to those required to be a project manager. The tools and equipment that an electrical engineer may need are also variable, and can range from a straightforward voltmeter to a top end analyzer to advanced design and manufacturing software.

  • Evaluate & Design

    Evaluate electrical systems, products, components, and applications. They design and conduct research programs while applying knowledge of electricity and materials.

  • Research & Reporting

    Electrical Engineers prepare product reports by collecting, analyzing, and summarizing information and trends. They research and test manufacturing and assembly methods and materials.

  • Develop Procedures

    Electrical engineers researching and testing manufacturing and assembly methods and materials. They develop manufacturing processes by designing and modifying equipment

  • Quality Assurance

    Electrical engineers assure product quality by designing electrical testing methods. They test finished products and system capabilities. Confirm system's and components' capabilities by designing testing methods and properties

Microelectronics Engineer

Microelectronics is a subfield of electronics and relates to the study and microfabrication of very small electronic designs and circuit components typically made from semiconductor materials. Many components of normal electronic design are also available in a microelectronic equivalent which can include transistors, capacitors, inductors, resistors, diodes, insulators and conductors. Microelectronics engineers use specialized equipment and unique wiring techniques such as wire bonding because of the unusually small size of the components, leads and pads.

Power Engineer

A power engineer, also called a power systems engineer, deals with a subfield of electrical engineering that involves the generation, transmission, distribution and utilization of electric power, along with the electrical equipment associated with these systems (such as transformers, generators, motors and power electronics). Although much of a power engineer’s focus is concerned with the issues faced with three-phase AC power, another area of focus is concerned with the conversion between AC and DC power and the evolution of specific power systems like those used in aircraft or for electric railway networks.

Signal Processing Engineer

A signal processing engineer analyzes and alters digital signals to make them more accurate and reliable. Responsibilities include developing, managing and updating digital signals, and creating algorithms to process them more efficiently. A signal processing engineer can work in areas such as image processing, speech processing, pattern recognition, chip designing, radio frequency designs, biomedical signal processing, and space and military applications including satellite and mobile communications. 

Control Engineer

Control engineering, or control systems engineering, is typically taught along with electrical engineering at many universities, and specifically focuses on implementation of control systems obtained by mathematical modeling of a wide range of systems. This type of engineering discipline uses the automatic control theory to design controllers that cause systems to behave in a certain way, using micro-controllers, programmable logic controllers, digital signal processors and electrical circuits.

Computer Engineer

Most universities offer computer engineering as either a degree, sub-discipline of electrical engineering, or offer a dual degree in both electrical and computer engineering. Computer engineers research, design, develop, and test computer systems and components such as processors, computer circuit boards, memory devices, networks, and routers, microchips, and other electronic components. They specialize in areas like digital systems, operating systems, computer networks, etc.

Telecommunications Engineer

Telecommunications engineering is a discipline centred on electrical and computer engineering which attempts to assist and improve telecommunication systems. A telecommunications engineer’s work will range from doing basic circuit design, providing high-speed data transmission services, and overseeing the installation of telecommunications equipment. They use an assortment of equipment and transport media in order to design the network infrastructure and provide solutions for wireless modes of communication and information transfer



Electrical engineers earn an average yearly salary of $100,830


Starting-level electrical engineer earnings begin at:

$31.19 per hour
$64,870 per year

Senior-level electrical engineer earnings begin at:

$61.86 per hour
$128,680 per year

Mid-level electrical engineer earnings begin at:

$48.48 per hour
$100,830 per year

Top-level electrical engineer earnings begin at:

$76.69 per hour
$159,520 per year

Junior-level electrical engineer earnings begin at:

$37.98 per hour
$79,010 per year

These are 2021 national salary averages and may fluctuate based on location.

What does the workplace for an Electrical Engineer look like?

An electrical engineer can be employed in a variety of engineering industries: aerospace, automotive, chemical, construction, defense, electronics, consumer goods, marine, materials & metals, oil & gas, pharmaceuticals, power generation, rail, telecoms, and utilities. They work for corporations, non-profit organizations, and government agencies.

A large part of an electrical engineer's day involves project management, such as meeting with clients, determining budgets, and preparing project schedules. Supervising the work of other professionals, such as computer programmers, electricians, scientists, and other engineers, is also required at times. A typical work week is 40 hours, although there may be overtime involved to meet deadlines.

How to Become an Electrical Engineer?

Electrical Engineer

A bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering is required by most employers. Students need to do well in courses such as physics, mathematics, programming, and project management. Aside from colleges and universities, there are also electrical engineering degree programs offered online, which allow students to study while working.

Government and federal contractors require licenses, with different procedures and requirements depending on the state. Applicants must pass an exam to receive their license, as well as have a minimum number of years of job experience. For fresh graduates, there are also pre-licensure certifications.
Most electrical engineers have a bachelor’s degree. The most common areas of study are electrical engineering, and electronics engineering technology.

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