Electrical engineers work to design and develop electrical equipment. This could range from motors, radars, navigation systems, communications systems, or power generation equipment. They may also work on aircraft and automobile electrical systems. They will test, maintain, and repair any equipment as needed. Other common duties for electrical engineering careers according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) include:
- Improve current systems and products while designing new ways to use electrical power.
- Calculate standards and specifications for manufacturing, construction, and installation.
- Manufacture and install products and test them to make sure they meet specifications and codes.
- Evaluate problems and customer complaints and recommend solutions.
Electrical engineering jobs require candidates with a strong aptitude for math and science as well and advanced technical skills. Jobs may be found in a variety of industries such as architectural, engineering, and related services; communications equipment manufacturing; and electric power generation, transmission, and distribution. Jobs in government or advanced research may also be available.
Job Growth for
Becoming an Electrical Engineer
Most entry level electrical engineering jobs require at least a bachelor's degree in the field. In addition, many employers prefer to hire candidates with work experience. Therefore, it can be highly beneficial to select a program that incorporates internships or other structured work experience into the curriculum. These programs should also be ABET (Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology) Certified.
Most programs in electrical engineering will require four years of full-time study. Students should expect a combination of survey, seminar, laboratory, and field work courses. Below are just a handful of possible course topics for those studying to become electrical engineers:
- Signals and Systems
- System Design
After graduating and gaining some professional experience, electrical engineers may opt to earn their professional engineer (PE) license. This requires the completion of an ABET-accredited program, a sufficient score on the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam, work experience, and a passing score for the Professional Engineering (PE) exam. Some states may then require engineers to take continuing education courses to maintain this licensure.