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Electrical Engineers Career

Career Description

Research, design, develop, test, or supervise the manufacturing and installation of electrical equipment, components, or systems for commercial, industrial, military, or scientific use.

What Job Titles Electrical Engineers Might Have

  • Design Engineer
  • Electrical Engineer
  • Project Engineer
  • Test Engineer

What Electrical Engineers Do

  • Operate computer-assisted engineering or design software or equipment to perform engineering tasks.
  • Prepare technical drawings, specifications of electrical systems, or topographical maps to ensure that installation and operations conform to standards and customer requirements.
  • Confer with engineers, customers, or others to discuss existing or potential engineering projects or products.
  • Design, implement, maintain, or improve electrical instruments, equipment, facilities, components, products, or systems for commercial, industrial, or domestic purposes.
  • Direct or coordinate manufacturing, construction, installation, maintenance, support, documentation, or testing activities to ensure compliance with specifications, codes, or customer requirements.
  • Compile data and write reports regarding existing or potential electrical engineering studies or projects.
  • Perform detailed calculations to compute and establish manufacturing, construction, or installation standards or specifications.
  • Prepare specifications for purchases of materials or equipment.
  • Estimate labor, material, or construction costs for budget preparation purposes.
  • Supervise or train project team members as necessary.
  • Conduct field surveys or study maps, graphs, diagrams, or other data to identify and correct power system problems.
  • Investigate customer or public complaints to determine the nature and extent of problems.
  • Oversee project production efforts to assure projects are completed on time and within budget.
  • Inspect completed installations and observe operations to ensure conformance to design and equipment specifications and compliance with operational, safety, or environmental standards.
  • Plan or implement research methodology or procedures to apply principles of electrical theory to engineering projects.
  • Design electrical systems or components that minimize electric energy requirements, such as lighting systems designed to account for natural lighting.
  • Plan layout of electric power generating plants or distribution lines or stations.
  • Assist in developing capital project programs for new equipment or major repairs.

What Electrical Engineers Should Be Good At

  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Category Flexibility - The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).

What Electrical Engineers Should Be Interested In

  • Investigative - Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
  • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

What Electrical Engineers Need to Learn

  • Engineering and Technology - Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Design - Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Physics - Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.
  • Production and Processing - Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Leaf iconThis career is a green occupation.
Median Salary: $94,210

This page includes information from O*NET OnLine by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license.