What does an electrical engineer do?
Electrical engineers design, develop and test electrical and electronic components, equipment, devices and systems. They also oversee the manufacturing and implementation or installation of these products. Electrical engineers are responsible for all of the electrical products that affect our daily lives, such as global positioning systems, lighting systems, electrical systems for airplanes and automobiles, radar, robotics, medical devices and equipment, televisions, radios, power generation systems, wireless mobile phones and even slot machines.
Electrical engineers work in the defense, aviation, manufacturing, scientific and medical industries and tend to specialize in a particular discipline within the field of electrical engineering early on. Click here to find out how to become an electrical engineer.
What kind of training does an electrical engineer need?
Most electrical engineers enter the field with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering (BSEE) degree from a program approved by the Accreditation Board for Engineering & Technology and then continue their education at the graduate level once they have found a specialization within the field that is of particular interest to them.
Undergraduate electrical engineering degrees will focus largely on mathematics, sciences, physics, chemistry, computers, general engineering and electrical engineering, as well as core courses, such as social sciences and English.
Graduate degrees in electrical engineering and certifications offered through professional organizations allow electrical engineers to specialize in specific areas, such as electromagnetics, electronics, automatic controls, computer systems, electrical power, power systems engineering, signal processing, quantum electronics and robotics. Click here for a list of online electrical engineering degree programs.
What are the prospects for a career as an electrical engineer?
Electrical engineer jobs are expected to see a 6% growth rate in their field between 2006 and 2016. (1) This is slower than the average expected growth rate across industries and is largely due to significant competition around the world and the outsourcing of electrical engineering jobs to other countries. However, the demand for new and improved electronics and electrical components will continue to rise and electrical engineers will continue to have good job prospects into the future. This is particularly true for electrical engineers providing services to the manufacturing industry or working in fields experiencing high levels of technological advances. Click here to get a list of programs to get your degree in electrical engineering online.
How much do electrical engineers make?
Entry-level electrical engineer salary starts around $48,000 to $67,500, with a median base salary range of $57,100 to $59,700, depending on geographical region. Salaries will vary depending on level of education and experience, certifications and geographical location. (2)
Technically-oriented people with a penchant for electronic devices and gadgets, or who want to be on the cutting edge of advancing technologies will find a career in electrical engineering to be a fulfilling, exciting occupation. Click here to find your path to an electrical engineering career.