Electrical engineers design, develop, and test all kinds of equipment, from lights and wiring to radar and GPS technology. These engineers work with communications and broadcasting equipment, automobiles and airplanes, power generation, computers, and more. Like other engineering positions, electrical engineers are well-paid and can find plenty of job openings as this field enjoys continued growth in the next several years.
What is an Electrical Engineer?
Electrical engineers work with all kinds of electrical machinery, including systems that involve power generation and transmission, electronics, signals, controls, and telecommunications. The field of electrical engineering relies on depth of knowledge in electronics and electrical systems and is made up of professionals who design, build, test, troubleshoot, and supervise these kinds of systems.
An electrical engineer may work in industry, the military, medicine and research, or in applications with a commercial focus. Engineers with experience are given increasing amounts of responsibility for projects and systems, with the highest clout and pay given to those with seniority and a track record for innovative and efficient work. Electrical engineers must have strong computer proficiency, problem-solving skills, and the ability to think in a systemic, yet creative, way.
Electrical Engineer Salary and Career Outlook
Here's an idea of the job growth and salary an electrical engineer might expect in the coming years:
|Career||Total Employment||Annual Mean Wage||Projected Job Growth Rate|
Electrical Engineer Education and Training
Electrical engineers generally hold at least a four- or a five-year bachelor's degree, though many pursue additional graduate degrees or specialized certifications. Two- to four-year graduate programs in engineering technology are common for those interested in learning practical skills and hands-on applications, as well as theoretical principles.
Electrical engineering training online or through in-class study can be found in a number of different degree programs, though all are more or less equivalent in terms of quality and scope of teaching:
- Bachelor of science
- Bachelor of applied science
- Bachelor of engineering
- Bachelor of technology
Electrical engineers who wish to find jobs in the highest-paying sectors typically need much more than a bachelor's degree, and can expect to spend six to ten years rising through a variety of lower-level positions before being hired as a senior engineer, supervisor, or specialist.
Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Bureau of Labor Statistics, accessed June 2019, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/architecture-and-engineering/electrical-and-electronics-engineers.htm
Electrical Engineers, Occupational Employment Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistspoics, accessed June 2019, https://www.bls.gov/oes/2017/may/oes172071.htm