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What Is an Electrical Engineer and How to Become One

Electrical Engineer

What Do Electrical Engineers Do?

Electrical engineers design, test, and fix devices relating to electricity, electronics, and electromagnetism. An electrical engineer builds virtually every tool in the world that produces, conducts, or operates by way of electricity. Electrical engineers handle the research, design, installation, and handover of new electrical equipment. They also run tests on new devices and solve problems on malfunctioning systems and components. Electrical engineers work with a wide range of electronic equipment, from tiny microchips to supercomputers up to massive power station generators. They have their hands on a myriad of electrical components during their work, including conductors, batteries, capacitors, coils, magnets, transistors, and switches.

How to Become an Electrical Engineer

To become an electrical engineer, you need a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering or a related field. Earning a master’s degree or doctorate makes you eligible to teach at the university level and may make you more competitive in the job market. Once you have earned your degree, pass the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam to become an Engineer-in-Training (EIT). Acquire an entry-level position at an engineering firm or utility company to gain experience in the field. After working for at least four years, take the Professional Engineer (PE) exam to earn your engineering license to practice. Most states require continuing education to keep their license.

Where Do Electrical Engineers Work?

Electrical engineers work in many industries, including IT, manufacturing, telecommunications, and aerospace. They are most commonly employed by companies that manufacture electrical components, such as navigation controls and medical equipment. Electrical engineers are frequently hired by enterprises dealing in power generation, distribution, and transmission, or they may work in architectural firms or labs which specialize in scientific research and development.

Electrical Engineer Job Description Sample

With this Electrical Engineer job description sample, you can get a good idea of what employers are looking for when hiring for this position. Remember, every employer is different and each will have unique qualifications when they hire for a Electrical Engineer role.

Job Summary

Our company is searching for an experienced Electrical Engineer with the passion and motivation to contribute to innovative, industry-leading projects. You will collaborate with a variety of colleagues across project teams, from engineering and product development to implementation and manufacturing, to develop electrical systems that meet our clients’ needs. Once the plan is approved, you will oversee the installation and troubleshooting to ensure the system functions properly. We work with clients in both the public and private sectors, so we prefer candidates who have several years of experience in both areas.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Develop electrical products and systems to meet customer specifications
  • Design functional electrical systems through the development and testing of components
  • Research and design components for electrical equipment and systems for use in commercial, military, or scientific industries
  • Supervise the manufacturing and installation of electrical equipment, components, and systems
  • Inspect and observe facilities to evaluate the efficacy and quality of electrical systems, components, and products
  • Devise testing methods and properties to confirm the functionality of electrical components and systems
  • Maintain detailed database to catalog products and component parts
  • Train and supervise technicians to assist in project completion

Requirements and Qualifications

  • Bachelor's degree in electrical engineering or similar field
  • Previous work experience in electrical engineering or related position
  • Proficient in the use of AutoCAD or other computer-aided design software applications
  • Thorough understanding of electronic systems and component materials
  • Exceptional communication skills
  • Attention to detail with a desire for excellence