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Engineering Career Resources


Electrical Engineer Job Description

Electrical engineers are able to apply their knowledge of electronics, electricity and electromagnetism to analyse, design, and develop electrical systems, components, and equipment, as well as test the installation of electrical equipment for industrial or commercial use.

An electrical engineer's job can also include proposing and implementing modifications to electrical systems and maintenance of control systems and electrical equipment with a focus on quality, safety, reliability, and sustainability. Senior electrical engineers also often find themselves in management roles, which entail supervision, deployment or installation of electrical systems or products.

Skills

Key skills for an electrical engineer include strong numerical skills and a good understanding of technical concepts and language. Almost every engineering project requires preparing presentations, writing reports, and presenting product documentation, so good writing skills and knowledge of presentation tools can be an asset.

More often than not, electrical engineers use computer-aided programs to design and develop electrical systems, products, and the ability to use these programs can be a job requirement in many cases.

Engineers usually spend at least as much time on developing proposals to clients, discussing budgets, and preparing project schedules, so good communication skills can be crucial. Strong team leadership and project management skills and experience are also usually a requirement for senior electric engineering jobs.

Qualifications

Electrical engineers usually have a degree in either electrical engineering, electronics engineering, or both, as the two fields share the same fundamental principles, and require a strong knowledge of physics, mathematics, and circuit theory. Sometimes candidates enter the field of electrical engineering with a degree in a related field, such as mechanical engineering, power and energy engineering, or computer engineering.

After earning an academic degree and gaining some work experience in the field, electrical engineers usually get a professional certification, such as incorporated engineer or chartered engineer, certified by a professional body that maintains the code of ethics and ethical standards for the profession.

Electrical engineers usually specialize in one of the many subfields of electrical engineering, which include electronics, power engineering, signal processing, control systems, and RF engineering. As opposed to electronic engineers, who usually deal with communication systems, computers, integrated circuits and other electronic systems that use electricity to process information, electrical engineers generally deal with electrical machines, electric power transmission, and systems that use electricity to transmit electric power. In some countries, the distinction between the two is vague and both terms can be used to describe the same profession, as they overlap in a number of subdisciplines, such as power electronics.

Work

Electrical engineers can be involved in any or all stages of a project, from research, concept development, and design, to implementation and installation, testing, maintenance, and handover. Their jobs can entail pinpointing clients' requirements, researching solutions, estimating budgets, working out schedules, designing electrical systems and components, modifying existing systems, and creating prototypes of electrical products tailored to their clients' needs.

Electrical engineers usually work in teams with professionals whose background is in other displines, which range from the related fields of engineering, manufacturing, and architecture to sales and marketing.