How to Become an Electrical Engineer
Electrical engineers design, test, and implement the use of a wide range of electrical equipment. If you enjoy math and science, are technically minded, and have a strong eye for detail, then you might like to become an electrical engineer.
Electrical Engineers apply their knowledge of science and mathematics to electronics across a wide range of applications. Electrical engineers work within a wide range of industries. They design and test a range of equipment, which could include electric motors, lighting, electric machinery, wiring, aircraft, or radar, just to name a few. Most electrical engineers specialize in a particular field, for example computers or auto industries.
Education Requirements to Become an Electrical Engineer
While in high school, try and get good grades in the math and sciences if you would like to become an electrical engineer. If your school has technology subjects then you should take these as well. Computer science is also a good choice of subject, as most engineering work is based on computer applications these days.
After high school, look for a college that has a strong engineering program. To become an electrical engineer, you'll need to complete at least a four year electrical engineering degree. Good elective subjects include business administration, math, and science-based subjects.
Most colleges run an electronics club, or something similar. Joining one of these clubs is a good way to build experience by working on projects. For instance, many colleges build and race solar powered cars. Likewise, if you get the opportunity to assist on a research project, then this is a great option as well as completing a dissertation or research project in your senior year.
With a bachelor's degree, you will be qualified for most entry level jobs as an electrical engineer. Some research jobs will require you to continue to graduate school, where you can attain a master's or doctorate degree in a further specialized area. This would also qualify you to work in engineering faculty jobs at a college.
A good source of information on a career in electrical engineering is the IEEEUSA website.
Electrical Engineer Job Description
An electrical engineer designs new products that consist of electronics or circuitry, and they also improve existing products. They run stringent tests on products in development to make sure that they function properly and are safe for use.
Electrical engineers design cars, wiring and lighting, robots, generators, GPS systems, and airplane electronics, just to name a few. Most electrical engineers will specialize in a particular kind of work.
An electrical engineer working in the private sector, the work environment is usually within an office, or sometimes a factory or plant. For the most part they work a forty hour week, in some instances they could have to work overtime to meet a deadline.
Some engineers work onsite, conducting research, or working with and monitoring equipment. These hands-on positions can entail more demanding and unusual hours. They are common in power plants, or in an automotive factory, for example.
Here are some of the tasks of an electrical engineer:
- Develop new ideas
- Implement new ideas
- Improve current systems
- Test new products
- Fix problems with products
- Ensure work meets safety requirements
If you work as an engineer who offers their services directly to the public, certification is required within all fifty states.
Electrical Engineer Salary and Career Path
When you first become an electrical engineer, you will work for a year or two under the supervision of an experienced colleague. After you gain some experience, you will be given more responsibility. You might assist others on their projects to begin with, and then later on, head up your own projects.
You may progress to train engineers, or become a head engineer within your field. Some engineers progress to sales or managerial roles within the industry they work.
The median wage of an electrical engineer is $83,000 a year. There are good job prospects for qualified engineers, and there is average growth predicted for the coming years.
Some similar roles to that of an electrical engineer include:
A sense of curiosity, an eye for detail, and a good head for mathematics will all be good traits when you become an electrical engineer. Although growth in this sector is average compared to other occupations, those with qualifications should have no problems securing lucrative employment.
*Salary Information provided by the Bureau Of Labor Statistics