Today, electrical engineers are in demand, making the field an excellent opportunity for those seeking rewarding, lucrative careers. By understanding what the job involves, the traditional requirements, common qualifications, and its salary potential, it’s easier to determine if electrical engineering is right for you. Here’s what you need to know.
What Is an Electrical Engineer, and What Do They Do?
Electrical engineers are mechanically-inclined professionals with explicit knowledge of electrical systems. Typically, their careers focus on developing, designing, and building various types of electrical equipment and components. For example, they may create electrical systems for communication devices, vehicles, power generation systems, manufacturing equipment, navigation systems, and more.
Along with creating new electrical systems, electrical engineers are often tasked with optimizing existing systems. This includes updating components for greater efficiency or to enhance safety. Repairing damaged components is also typically part of the job.
Using computers and specialized applications is also a vital part of these roles. Additionally, electrical engineers frequently work with cross-departmental teams during large design projects, partnering with engineers in different disciplines and others to create equipment or new solutions.
During the performance of their duties, electrical engineers must meet various codes and compliance standards. As a result, familiarity with relevant performance requirements, safety requirements, and legal mandates is essential.
Skills, Requirements, and Qualifications
Electrical engineers typically have carefully-curated skill sets. Along with knowledge of electrical systems and electricity flow and management, experience with suitable AutoCAD design software and Matlab generally is essential. Knowledge of automation and programmable logic controllers is helpful, as well as project management, testing techniques, troubleshooting strategies, circuit design, electrical schematics, and more.
When it comes to soft skills, communication and collaboration are musts. Problem-solving, critical thinking, and organization are also key parts of the equation. Innovative thinking is similarly beneficial if you’re creating new designs, and time management is vital for meeting deadlines.
On the education side of the equation, electrical engineers typically need a Bachelor’s degree in a related field – such as electrical engineering, electrical engineering technology, or electronics engineering – to qualify for the position. Additionally, the program they select needs to be ABET accredited.
In many cases, pursuing a Master’s degree makes you a stronger candidate. Additionally, securing the proper license as your career unfolds is wise. Specifically, acquiring the Professional Engineer (PE) credential works in your favor, though you may not need it for an entry-level role.
Electrical Engineer Salaries
Salaries vary depending on your employer, location, experience level, and the duties associated with an electrical engineering position. However, the median annual pay rate for electrical engineers is currently sitting at $101,780. While entry-level workers generally make much less, starting salaries are often close to $62,360, though they can also be higher. At the top end, the highest earners may bring in over $166,890, showing just how lucrative these jobs are in many cases.
Finding Electrical Engineer Job Opportunities
Once you have the right combination of education, skills, and experience, the next step is finding an entry-level electrical engineer job opportunity. Fortunately, there are positions available, and that is likely to remain the case for the foreseeable future.
Reach Out To Our Team Today!
If you’re seeking your first electrical engineering position and would like help from leading recruiters, Selectek wants to hear from you. Contact us today.