What exactly is an electrical engineer? (2023)

The importance of electricity in our daily lives cannot be understated. From smartphones to water heaters, electric cars to grocery store freezers, electric power and electronics underpin every facet of our civilization. For this reason, the role of the electrical engineer in society is important. But what does an electrical engineer really do, how much do they earn and how to enter this fascinating profession?

To bereports that electrical engineers with the least work experience (0-2 years) earn an average base salary of $71,538, and that figure is significantly higher for engineers with the Professional Engineer designation (more on that later).

In 2016, there were 324,600 electrical and electronic engineers.occupiedin the US, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expected that number to grow by an average of 7% over ten years. However, the recovery of the economy and manufacturing sector in 2018 means that jobs for electrical engineers could grow even faster.

Another factor contributing to this increase in electrical engineering jobs is the expansion of the green economy. Electrical engineers provide some of the knowledge, skills and technology needed to make the planet a more sustainable and healthy place to live. For example, electrical engineers work in energy efficiency, renewable energy, and green building design and construction.

Another big area where electrical engineers can make a difference is powering the developing world, where 1.2 billion people live without electricity. Electrical engineers are also working on new types of solar-powered "smart" nanogrids and "smart meters" that can generate affordable power off the grid and at the edge of civilization.

These and many other career opportunities put electrical engineers at the forefront of making the world a better place.Best place.

What exactly is an electrical engineer? (1)

What does an electrical engineer do?

What exactly does an electrical engineer do and what is the difference between an electrician and an electrical engineer?

Electricians typically perform routine tasks such as assembling, installing, troubleshooting, and repairing electrical equipment, wiring, or circuits. You can also program automation process controllers (PLCs) or provide field service to customers.

Electrician jobs usually only require a high school diploma along with relevant experience or journeyman status. On the other hand, most electrical engineering jobs require at least a bachelor's degree, and some require a master's or doctoral degree.

Electrical engineer duties are at a higher level than most electrician jobs. For example, instead of building a circuit, an electrical engineer will design and test it. You can also monitor the manufacture of a device or equipment, for example. B. an electric motor, microwave antenna, or turbine that turns steam into electricity.

In the green sector, electrical engineers are responsible for designing and overseeing the installation of lighting, HVAC, and other building maintenance systems that minimize energy use. You can work on developing renewable energy sources like wind, solar, nuclear and geothermal, or improving the efficiency of traditional sources like coal, oil and gas.

Electrical engineers can also work on "smart grids". The traditional electrical grid is the network of power plants, transmission lines and transformers that send electricity to every home or building. A smart grid adds sensors and two-way digital communications along the transmission, enabling more efficient energy use and faster response time to power outages, and facilitating the integration of decentralized renewable energy sources into the grid.

Although electrical engineering is a technical field with unique abilities, there arecommon featuresthat the best engineers share in many areas, including patience and persistence to get the job done, curiosity about how things work or how to improve a process, tool or product, and a constant desire to learn new things.

Employers are also looking for engineers who can communicate well and work in teams, bringing diverse perspectives to solve problems in new and creative ways.

What is the salary of an electrical engineer?

CorrespondingSBVSome of the highest paying industries for electrical engineers include mining support activities, oil and gas exploration, business support services, and manufacturing of aerospace products and parts. The highest salaries go to scientific research and development positions, followed by jobs manufacturing semiconductors and other electronic components.

To beModi salary guide 2019shows that the median salary for electrical engineers is $102,694, which is higher than most other engineering jobs. The second highest engineering salary is $100,642 for a chemical engineer, followed by $95,857 for a mechanical engineer.

The median base salary for electrical engineers with 10+ years of experience is $125,945. This number likely includes electrical engineers who hold a college degree and/or have obtained a Professional Engineering (PE) license.

In addition to a higher salary, a PE license can bring greater responsibility and recognition, both of which are known to increase job satisfaction. Another benefit is that a PE license allows you to teach engineering at the university level. The sum of all these benefits together is the work required to earn aPE license pays off?

The licensing process begins with obtaining a four-year university degree. Then take the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE)Testto qualify as an "apprentice engineer" and then work with a licensed engineer in the field for four years. At this point, you must pass your state's licensing exam to receive the PE designation. Each state requires a certain number of hours of continuing education to maintain a license.

How to stand out and get the job

In a way, knowing how to become an electrical engineer is quite easy. Almost all electrical engineering positions require a four-year degree from an accredited university. In addition to the basic requirements, and good grades, it's the extras that make you stand out in an application.

When filling out an application, be sure to include professional experience, even if it doesn't seem relevant. In addition to specific technical skills, companies look for candidates with soft skills like leadership, communication, mentoring others, and a good work ethic. Be sure to list all past jobs, promotions, and awards that demonstrate these skills.

Most colleges require a senior project for graduation, so include the details on your resume or cover letter. Join professional organizations like the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) as a student member while in school and take advantage of discounted rates to attend conferences in your field. Mention these as well as internships, co-ops, and activities like coding clubs or robotics competitions to boost your resume.

Knowing what not to do is just as important when looking for an electrical engineering job as knowing what to do. Don't just target companies that pay more, because a small or medium-sized company can offer better benefits and a more rewarding job. Do not apply to all available positions. If you have no real interest in a certain position, the hiring manager will notice your indifference. here are some moreJob Tips You Should Ignore.

When preparing your resume and cover letter, ask at least one person to proofread it before hitting the submit button; even the best writers need a careful editor. And practice interviewing with a friend or consultant to build your confidence and stay relaxed.

The central theses

Electrical engineering is a fascinating profession with many advantages. Electrical engineer salaries are significant and can increase further with a physical education license or college degree. Electrical engineers also earn great achievements, such as B. Training allowance, insurance, retirement, sick leave, and vacation pay.

Many different industries are hiring electrical engineers, including mining, aerospace, manufacturing, chemical processing, and power generation and transmission. There are many opportunities to work in green and sustainable industries.

For anyone with a talent for math and science and an interest in tackling exciting projects that can help change the world, electrical engineering could be the perfect career choice. With the right training and the right hobbies, and possibly a PE license, you are well on your way to your dream job as an electrical engineer.

Interested? look at ourJob offersand get your dream gig today!


What exactly does an electrical engineer do? ›

Electrical engineers design, develop, test, and supervise the manufacture of electrical equipment, such as electric motors, radar and navigation systems, communications systems, or power generation equipment. Electrical engineers also design the electrical systems of automobiles and aircraft.

What are the 3 major fields of electrical engineering? ›

Types of electrical engineering
  • Space systems engineering.
  • Electrical engineering.
  • Telecommunications engineering.

Do Electrical engineers make money? ›

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average annual electrical engineer salary is $101,780 nationwide. Even the bottom 10% of workers (usually those in entry-level positions) can earn $62,360 per year.

Is Electrical Engineering difficult? ›

Electrical engineering can be a difficult discipline to study but all that hard work can be worth it. If your interests lie in mathematics and its application to everyday needs that solve problems and find solutions for your community, this could be the right career path to explore.

Is electrical engineering a stressful job? ›

Stress. While working as an electrical engineer can be rewarding, it can also be challenging. Electrical engineers are responsible for troubleshooting and resolving issues to ensure each system, device and component they work on operates effectively.

Which engineering has highest salary? ›

Petroleum Engineer tops our list of the highest paying engineering jobs. The primary responsibility of petroleum engineers is to design and develop ways to extract natural resources oil and gas from Earth.

What state is best for electrical engineering? ›

Washington is the best state for electrical engineers, where the median salary is $111,676.
1. Washington.
Total Electrical Engineer Jobs:1,070
Average Annual Salary:$111,676
Lowest 10 Percent Earn:$82,000
Highest 10 Percent Earn:$150,000
1 more row
Apr 6, 2021

What is the difference between electrician and electrical engineer? ›

To be clear, electricians handle electrical issues and equipment failures. Meanwhile, electrical engineers help design and install large-scale electrical systems by applying engineering principles. Both electrical engineers and electricians enjoy excellent earning and growth prospects.

What state pays electrical engineers the most? ›

Geographic profile for Electrical Engineers:
StateEmployment (1)Hourly mean wage
California28,070$ 60.89
Texas15,230$ 51.35
Michigan10,050$ 47.01
New York8,960$ 51.69
1 more row

Are electrical engineers in high demand? ›

The demand for electrical engineers is somewhat stagnant.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the profession to only grow by 3% between the years 2021 to 2031. This is slower than the average for all occupations. However, about 20,100 electrical engineering job openings are still being added each year.

Is electrical engineer a good career? ›

Electrical engineers can provide critical skills in diverse areas, including medical and military environments. Many electrical engineering jobs are projected to grow in the coming years, and a lot of these positions offer high salaries.

Is electrical engineering math heavy? ›

Engineering is a calculus-heavy program, regardless of whether it is Mechanical, electrical, or civil engineering focused. The first circuits class you'll take in this program require Calculus 2 as a Pre-req! Other math requirements of the degree are Calc. 3 , differential equations and Linear algebra.

What's the hardest engineering major? ›

Chemical engineering

Does electrical engineering require a lot of math? ›

You should be prepared to study differential equations, complex variables, linear algebra and integral calculus during your electrical engineering education. If your degree program happens to be a computer and electrical engineering program, you should also expect to take classes in discrete mathematics.

What problems do electrical engineers face? ›

From electrical shocks to falls, explosions, and more, the electrical engineering industry is no stranger to danger. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), there are approximately 350 electrical-related fatalities a year, just over one-third of those deaths being electrical workers.

How many hours a day does an electrical engineer work? ›

A Day in the Life of an Electrical Engineer

They spend about 40 hours per week at work, but they may work longer than this. A typical day for an electrical engineer varies depending on their employer.

What is a typical day of an electrical engineer? ›

Daily activities include studying technical manuals, articles, and other publications; designing, testing, and assembling devices; and writing reports and keeping track of various assignments. Computer skills are a must.

How long does it take to be an electrical engineer? ›

A four-year electrical engineering degree prepares students to design and analyze electrical systems. During the course of the degree, students will gain extensive understanding of electrical theory and hands-on experience with circuitry, mechanics, computer programming and thermodynamics.

Can I become an electrical engineer without a degree? ›

Electrical engineers also have some of the highest-paying jobs in engineering. With the proper training and practice, you could become an electrical engineer without a degree.

What is the best career for electrical engineer? ›

Job options
  • CAD technician.
  • Control and instrumentation engineer.
  • Design engineer.
  • Electrical engineer.
  • Electronics engineer.
  • Nuclear engineer.
  • Sound engineer.
  • Special effects technician.

What type of engineer is Elon Musk? ›

Elon Musk has no formal engineering degree, but he clearly is industrial engineer by profession. His approach to business and problem solving is typical industrial engineering approach. His actual degrees (BS in both economics and physics) have good overlap with undergraduate curriculum in IE.

What are the lowest paid engineers? ›

The Lowest Paying: Environmental, Geological, Civil, and Biological Engineering.

Who earns more doctor or engineer? ›

In a nutshell, the starting salary of a doctor in India at an entry-level position is much higher than that of an engineer.

What company hires the most engineers? ›

The 100 Most Attractive Employers For Engineering Students:
96 more rows
Jun 12, 2013

What school has the best electrical engineering? ›

Here are the Best Electrical / Electronic / Communications Engineering Programs
  • Stanford University.
  • University of California, Berkeley.
  • California Institute of Technology.
  • University of California--Los Angeles (Samueli)
  • Naval Postgraduate School.
  • San Diego State University.
  • Santa Clara University.

What is the hardest field in electrical engineering? ›

Statistics, calculus, algebra, geometry, and trigonometry are mathematics-related courses most students perceive to be the most challenging in electrical engineering. System and signal analysis and electromagnetic fields are other challenging topics. Some graduates found it difficult to understand these concepts.

Is electrical engineering the highest salary? ›

Highest salary that a Electrical Engineer can earn is ₹7.6 Lakhs per year (₹63.3k per month). How does Electrical Engineer Salary in India change with experience? An Entry Level Electrical Engineer with less than three years of experience earns an average salary of ₹2.7 Lakhs per year.

Do electrical engineers write code? ›

Which may have you asking: do electrical engineers code or do only computer engineers? The answer is: sometimes they do! But learning to read and write code is important for all jobs.

What is higher than an electrician? ›

Master Electrician is the highest level of electrical certification, with requirements varying from state to state. The main standard for most states is around 4,000 hours of electric work as a Journeyman, followed by a licensing exam to display in-depth knowledge of the National Electrical Code.

What is an interesting fact about electrical engineers? ›

Electrical engineers work on many kinds of products. They might work on cars, robots, cell phone systems, the lighting and wiring in buildings, and radar and navigation systems, for example. Engineers work in offices, labs, or industrial plants. Many work a normal 40-hour week.

What is the minimum salary of electrical engineer in USA? ›

$76,230. The estimated total pay for a Entry Level Electrical Engineer is $76,230 per year in the United States area, with an average salary of $66,038 per year.

Where is the demand for electrical engineers? ›

Electrical engineers can also apply for respective and relevant vacancies coming out of State-Electricity Boards, PWD department, Thermal Power Plants, Nuclear Power Stations, Hydro-electric Power Stations, Solar Power plants, Indian Army, Indian Airforce, Indian Navy, and Indian Railways.

Do electrical engineers make 6 figures? ›

Electric engineers in the U.S. are typically paid six-figure salaries, according to federal statistics.

Where do electrical engineers work? ›

Electrical engineers design, develop and maintain electrical systems for buildings, transport systems and power distribution networks. They work in and across many industries, such as construction, transport, energy (including renewables), building services, and manufacturing.

How much math is in electrical engineering? ›

Mathematics is a big part of an engineer's daily work, including statistics, calculus, algebra, geometry and trigonometry. The type of math an engineer uses will depend on the type of engineer she/he is and the type of project in which they are involved.

What are the cons of being an electrical engineer? ›

Cons: - Very large scale job and it requires numerous hours spent on several different parts of the job. - It requires abilities and knowledge with numbers which is difficult for some. - It takes at least a bachelor's degree, plus years of apprenticing another electrical engineer/electrician.

Do electrical engineers have a future? ›

Job Outlook

Overall employment of electrical and electronics engineers is projected to grow 3 percent from 2021 to 2031, slower than the average for all occupations. Despitelimitedemployment growth, about 20,100 openings for electrical and electronics engineers are projected each year, on average, over the decade.

Can I do engineering if my maths is weak? ›

You have asked about Mechanical engineering, you need to be good in Maths. Subjects like 2D-3D geometry, calculus, trigonometry, Statistics and many other is highly essential for this. So, if you are not good in maths, engineering is not recommended for you.

What engineer uses the least math? ›

Environmental Engineering

It's considered one of the easier engineering majors that you can study though, because it's not as focused on advanced math and physics.

What type of math do electrical engineers use? ›

Electronics engineering careers usually include courses in calculus (single and multivariable), complex analysis, differential equations (both ordinary and partial), linear algebra and probability. Fourier analysis and Z-transforms are also subjects which are usually included in electrical engineering programs.

What is a good GPA for engineering? ›

3.5 – The safest “good” GPA

A 3.5 and above is considered a great GPA for engineering students. It shows that you get mostly A's in all of your classes. Occasionally, companies will require a 3.5 GPA or above for internships.

What is the coolest engineering degree? ›

Here are the best engineering branches and courses for the future:
  • Aerospace Engineering.
  • Chemical Engineering.
  • Electrical and Electronics Engineering.
  • Petroleum Engineering.
  • Telecommunication Engineering.
  • Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence.
  • Robotics Engineering.
  • Biochemical Engineering.

What is the easiest engineering job? ›

Civil engineering can be simpler than other engineering fields because it's a generalized field that covers all of the basics without diving too deep into more complex aspects of jobs like electrical or chemical engineering. Plus, high demand for the role means it would be easy to land a high-paying state job.

Is electrical engineering hard for an average student? ›

It's not the subject that creates difficulty. Every subject is easy but your interest towards it makes it easier. If you are interested in Electrical engineering then you'll be working smartly for it hence, making it a easy course.

What do you study in electrical engineering? ›

Common electrical engineering degree specializations include energy generation and transmission, magnetostatics and electrostatics (types of electric charge), and electrical installations (such as heating and lighting systems).

What subjects do you need for electrical engineering? ›

Prerequisite subjects, or assumed knowledge, in one or more of English, mathematics, biology, chemistry and physics are normally required. Universities have different prerequisites and some have flexible entry requirements or offer external study.

Is electric engineering a good career? ›

There's demand - There's a huge benefit to the large demand for electrical engineers - the need is worldwide. You'll are likely to have plenty of opportunities to travel and work remotely. A lot of electrical engineering jobs allow you to work in various places a few times a year too.

What is the difference between an electrician and an electrical engineer? ›

To be clear, electricians handle electrical issues and equipment failures. Meanwhile, electrical engineers help design and install large-scale electrical systems by applying engineering principles. Both electrical engineers and electricians enjoy excellent earning and growth prospects.

Is an electrical engineer worth it? ›

Like in any other Engineering field, Electrical Engineering graduates have the chance to secure high paying jobs. Whether you decide to stay in the U.S. after you finish your studies and develop a career here, or you would rather work abroad, the international job market is very promising and full of offers.

How many years is an electrical engineering degree? ›

Combined degrees range from 5 to 6.5 years in length, with the same annual workload as a single degree student. This degree is accredited by Engineers Australia.

How many years does electrical engineering take? ›

The Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering is a five-year degree program that focuses on conceptualizing, developing, and designing a safe, economical, and ethical utilization of electrical energy.

What is the highest paid engineer? ›

  • #1 Petroleum Engineer. Median Base Salary: $130,850. ...
  • #2 Computer Hardware Engineer. Median Base Salary: $128,170. ...
  • #3 Aerospace Engineer. Median Base Salary: $122,270. ...
  • #5 Nuclear Engineer. Median Base Salary: $120,380. ...
  • #7 Chemical Engineer. ...
  • #8 Electronics Engineer. ...
  • #10 Sales Engineer. ...
  • #11 Electrical Engineer.
Dec 22, 2022

Do engineers make more than electricians? ›

Since electrical engineers complete more education and training, the national average salary for the position is higher than that of electricians at $94,491 per year .

What problems does an electrical engineer face? ›

From electrical shocks to falls, explosions, and more, the electrical engineering industry is no stranger to danger. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), there are approximately 350 electrical-related fatalities a year, just over one-third of those deaths being electrical workers.

What is the hardest engineering major? ›

What Is the Hardest Engineering Major?
Top 3 Hardest Engineering MajorsTop 3 Easiest Engineering Majors
1. Chemical engineering (19.66 hours)1. Industrial engineering (15.68 hours)
2. Aero and astronautical engineering (19.24 hours)2. Computer engineering and technology (16.46 hours)
1 more row

Do you have to be smart to be an electrical engineer? ›

You do not have to be incredibly intelligent to get a degree in electrical engineering, although it does help. You must be willing to work hard though. The typical work load for an engineering course is four hours of outside work for every hour you are in class. The next most important ability is problem solving.

Do electrical engineers use calculus? ›

Calculus. As we move beyond resistor circuits and start to include capacitors and inductors, we need calculus to understand how they work. Think of calculus as a corequisite in parallel with electrical engineering. You don't need to have a complete calculus background to get started, but it is helpful before too long.

Do electrical engineers work from home? ›

Electrical engineers can work from home thanks to the very technologies they help design and develop. They rely on computer-aided design (CAD) to build schematics for electrical components and create simulations to test how electrical devices will function in practice.

What is the career path of electrical engineer? ›

Electrical engineering offers diverse career options in areas such as telecommunications, electronics, biotechnology, manufacturing, automation, transport, defence, mining, information technology and consulting services.


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