What does an Electrical Engineer do?

23.05.2019

Electrical engineers are responsible for the development and planning of projects and products in the field of electrical engineering. In order to do this, they are required to be well-versed in all processes related to the science of electronics and generally have a university degree in the field. Want to learn more? Keeping reading this week’s entry in our Career Insight Series!

 
Role Responsibilities Skills Background Salary

 

The role of an Electrical Engineer

Electrical engineers design, develop, and test electrical devices and equipment, including communications systems, power generators, motors and navigation systems, and electrical systems for automobiles and aircraft. They also oversee the manufacture of these devices, systems, and equipment.
 

Electrical Engineer Role Overview

Where can electrical engineers work?

Today, there are countless branches across varying industries that rely on electronic components and machines. This is why this profession is very promising for the future and electrical engineering will be in demand. As a result, electrical engineers can work in several different industries. From the automotive industry to the manufacture of computer components, to aerospace, they can be employed in many fields.

 

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Responsibilities of an Electrical Engineer

In order to effectively perform their jobs, Electrical Engineers are accountable for the design, maintenance, implementation and/or improvement of electrical instruments, facilities, components, equipment products, or systems for industrial, commercial or domestic purposes.

They make use of a wide range of computer-assisted design or engineering software and equipment in order to this. Apart from the technical side of their role, electrical engineers also confer with customers, engineers, and others to discuss existing or potential engineering products or projects.

Furthermore, Electrical Engineers are responsible for ensuring installation and operations of electrical aspects conform to standards and customer requirements by preparing electrical systems specifications, technical drawings or topographical maps.

Apart from the aforementioned tasks, what are electrical engineers responsibilities?

  • Establishing construction, manufacturing or installation standards or specifications by performing a wide range of detailed calculations.
  • Writing reports and compiling data regarding existing and potential electrical engineering projects and studies.
  • Planning and realization of projects
  • Measurement and evaluation of electronic processes
  • Development of prototypes and new technologies
  • Execution of tests and experiments
  • Preparing specifications for purchases of electrical equipment and materials.
  • Supervising or training project team members.
  • Estimating material, labor, or construction costs for budget preparation.
  • Maintaining electrical equipment.
  • Working with a variety of technicians.
     

Skills Required

The hard skills involved in becoming an Electrical Engineer include a great mathematical understanding since complex electrotechnical tasks have to be mastered. Depending on the field, the electrical engineer must have a sound knowledge of drive, automation or control and measurement technology.

What should electrical engineers know?

These technical skills are required:

  • Circuit designing - Debug, synthesize, and analyze electrical circuits.
  • Knowledge of software such as Orcad, P Spice, and Eagle.
  • Ability to use instrumentation and take electrical measurements
  • Testing, reading, construction, and design of electrical machinery.
  • Designing and fabricating power electronic circuits.
  • Knowledge of micro-controllers such as 8051, ARM, AVR, PIC
     
Electrical Engineer Skills

Moreover, representatives of this profession should have certain soft skills:

  • Critical and innovative thinking
  • Team-working skills
  • The ability to work well under pressure
  • The motivation to work extra hours when necessary
  • Interpersonal Communication
  • Active and ongoing learning
  • Excellent organizational skills

Background

Having excellent technical skills comes second to the prerequisite of education - Earning an electrical engineering degree is the first step to ensure you are prepared to work in the critical role of an electrical engineer.
 

Electrical Engineer Background

Consider also taking up additional ways to gain technical knowledge. Many employers offer final-year project work, degree sponsorship, vacation work and industrial placements, which can provide valuable contacts and useful insight into the profession.

Furthermore, A postgraduate qualification can be advantageous and may be necessary for some posts, especially if you’re looking to rake in a higher salary.
 

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Further specialization

Electrical engineers can specialize in a wide range of areas over the course of their careers. The fields of computer science and physics, but also automation and artificial intelligence as well as machine learning are fields in which specialization is possible and recommended for future prospects.

 

What’s an electrical engineer salary?

The amount of salary for Electrical Engineers depends strongly on the respective specializing area and the degree of the engineer. For example, the starting salary for beginners is around $62,000 gross per year whereas the average salary is around $72,500. Engineers with an advanced educational background and several years of experience, however, can expect to make over $113,500 a year.

How much does an electrical engineer earn?

Junior Salary  $62,00 
Average Salary  $72,500 
Senior Salary $132,000 

The average freelancer hourly rate for an electrical engineer is $97. Extrapolated to an 8-hour day, the daily rate is thus around $776 (freelancermap price index - as of May 2019).

Electrical Engineer Freelancer Rate
 
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