What Do Electrical Engineers Do? Career Paths For Engineers

Have you ever wondered what electrical engineers actually do? Their work is fascinating and impactful as a vital electrical engineering profession. This profession weaves deeply into our lives, from designing and developing electrical systems to troubleshooting and maintaining them. Understanding what electrical engineers do may pave the way for you to start on a learning and career discovery journey.

Curious about the role of electrical engineering and its career paths? Let’s dive right in. If you’re looking for a handy tool to help you put your knowledge to the test, StudyForFE’s FE electrical exam prep review course is an essential resource to consider. With its insights and guided learning, you’ll be well on your way to understanding engineering and its many career paths.

What Do Electrical Engineers Do?

Electrical Engineers Fixing a Motor - What Do Electrical Engineers Do

Electrical engineers are the masterminds behind the innovative technology we use daily. They design, develop, test, and manage the manufacturing of all electrical equipment, from electric motors and navigation systems to power generation equipment and the electrical components of vehicles and personal devices. 

Electrical engineers are the driving force behind the immense power of electric power generation and power distribution to machines such as cars and smartphones. They work across a dizzying array of industries, making their role indispensable to thousands of companies.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), electrical engineers play a crucial role in designing new ways to use electrical power to:

  • Develop or improve products
  • Developing manufacturing
  • Construction and Installation standards
  • Directing the manufacturing
  • Installation and testing of electrical equipment
  • Managing the production of electrical projects to ensure work is completed well, on time, and within budget. 

While the basic electrical engineer job description is fairly standard across a wide range of electrical engineering jobs, where an electrical engineer works can vary significantly. Engineers use experience, judgment, and creativity to move forward.

What Can I Do With A Degree In Electrical Engineering?

Degree Certificate - What Do Electrical Engineers Do

Communications Engineer

As a communications engineer, you’ll be working with systems that keep the globe interconnected, such as fiber optics, wireless, and satellite systems. This role may involve working on inspection, installation, maintenance, and testing signals for strength and quality.

Project Engineer

In this role, you’ll direct and oversee engineering projects, which require careful budgets, workflows, and schedule management.

Research Engineer

As a research engineer, you’ll directly innovate new products and devices by collecting and analyzing data to design new and improved products.

Test Engineer

In your career as a test engineer, your duties will revolve around testing the safety and functionality of various electrical systems. You’ll engage with organizations to understand their needs, create and implement test plans, and find solutions to issues in existing systems.

Systems Engineer

You’ll help ensure that complex electrical systems are safely and properly installed and maintained. This position may overlap with computer engineering, involving installing software, observing its performance, and performing updates to optimize functionality.

Design Engineer

As a design engineer, you’ll use computer-aided design (CAD) tools to create, test, and revise the designs of electrical equipment and devices.

Aeronautical Engineer

Aeronautical engineers work on electrical and electronic systems that enable satellites and aircraft to operate properly. This involves designing, testing, and continuously improving navigation and propulsion systems.

Power Engineer

Power engineers work on converting other forms of energy into electric power, such as fossil fuels, hydropower, nuclear power, solar power, wind power, and geothermal power.

StudyForFE’s FE and PE Exam Prep Courses

StudyForFE is an online exam preparation platform founded by Wasim Asghar, a licensed Professional Engineer with over 15 years of industry experience. We offer comprehensive review courses like the FE Electrical Exam Prep Review Course and PE Power Exam Preparation Course to help students pass the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) and Professional Engineering (PE) exams. 

Interactive Lectures, Practice Problems, and Personalized Mentorship

Our courses feature interactive lectures, practice problems, and personalized mentorship from Wasim himself. Wasim has authored several highly acclaimed textbooks and study guides, including FE Electrical and Computer Review Manual and PE Power Reference Manual, which have become invaluable resources for exam takers. 

Proven Results

With a proven track record of success, StudyForFE has guided numerous students, from recent graduates to experienced professionals, in obtaining their engineering licenses and advancing their careers. Many of Wasim’s students have shared their success stories, crediting his courses and mentorship for helping them pass the exams and achieve their professional goals. 

If you want to land your dream electrical engineering job, contact us today to learn more about our FE Electrical Exam Prep Review Course!

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How Do I Become An Electrical Engineer?

Electrical Circuit - What Do Electrical Engineers Do

Electrical engineering is a vibrant field vital in today’s technological landscape. It offers exciting opportunities to those passionate about innovation, problem-solving, and creating cutting-edge solutions. If you’re intrigued by the question of what electrical engineers do and aspire to navigate the complexities of this field, the journey to becoming an electrical engineer might be the right path for you.

Here’s a guide to the basic qualifications you’ll need for a career in electrical engineering, including education, licenses, and skill sets. 

Electrical Engineering Degrees

Getting a career as an electrical engineer requires at least a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering (EE) from an institution accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). Most electrical engineers hold either a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering (BSEE) or a Bachelor of Science in Engineering (BSE) focusing on electrical engineering.

Some universities offer a five-year program for engineering students, allowing them to earn both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in less time and at a lower cost. Pursuing a graduate degree can open doors to careers in research and development or teaching at the university level.

Licensing

Although not mandatory for entry-level positions, you may want to obtain a Professional Engineer (PE) license as you progress in your career. This step is common after acquiring a few years of work experience.

The initial step toward licensure is:

  • Passing the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam. 
  • Hold the title of engineer-in-training (EIT) or engineer intern (EI) 
  • Fulfill the requirements to take and pass the Principles and Practice of Engineering (PE) exam. This license is essential to becoming a PE in the United States. 

Following this roadmap can pave the way for a successful and rewarding career as an electrical engineer.

Top Electrical Engineering Fields

Person Fixing an Electrical Circuit - What Do Electrical Engineers Do

Control Engineering

Control engineering focuses on designing controllers to make systems behave in a specific manner. This discipline is crucial in monitoring and managing systems like:

  • Aerospace flight and propulsion
  • Industrial automation
  • Robotics

By designing control systems, engineers can create mechanisms that provide feedback on performance, helping to prevent potential errors or enabling automated responses from autonomous drones, vehicles, and other systems.

Computer Engineering

Computer engineers specialize in designing computers and computer systems for various hardware devices, such as:

  • Desktops
  • Laptops
  • Video game consoles
  • Mobile phones
  • Robots

While software engineering is often considered separate, computer engineers may also work on a system’s software.

Electronics Engineering

Originally known as radio engineering, electronics engineering involves designing and testing electronic circuits for various applications, from:

  • Radios
  • Communications
  • Radar systems
  • Modern television
  • Audio systems
  • Computers
  • Microprocessors

Power and Energy Engineering

Power and energy engineers focus on generating and distributing electricity and designing devices like electric generators, motors, transformers, and other power systems. This field encompasses:

  • Traditional
  • Nuclear
  • Renewable energy solutions

Micro and Nanoelectronic Engineering

Microelectronics involves designing and fabricating microscopic-scale electronic circuit components, while nanoelectronics scales this down to nanometers to create highly advanced technology.

Photonic and Optic Engineering

Photonic and optic engineering deals with:

  • Generating
  • Analyzing
  • Amplifying
  • Modulating
  • Detecting
  • Transmitting electromagnetic radiation

Optic engineering specifically focuses on designing optical instruments like:

  • Telescopes
  • Microscopes
  • Lenses
  • Sensors
  • Lasers
  • Fiber-optic communication systems

Instrumentation Engineering

Instrumentation engineering involves designing devices to measure physical quantities like flow, pressure, and temperature. This discipline requires a strong background in physics to create instruments for a wide range of applications, including:

  • Aviation
  • Automotive
  • Industrial uses

Signal Process Engineering

Signal processing engineers analyze and manipulate both analog and digital signals for various applications like communications, broadcasting, biomedical, and control systems. They work on everything from automotive control systems and audio devices to mobile phones and missile guidance.

Telecommunications Engineering

Telecommunications engineers focus on designing systems to transmit communication through:

  • Cables
  • Optical fibers
  • Atmosphere
  • Utilizing modulation techniques for efficient data transmission

What Skills Do Electrical Engineers Need?

Girl Using a Laptop in Tech Lab - What Do Electrical Engineers Do

Electrical Engineering requires a complete and thorough understanding of the theory and laws that govern electric and magnetic behavior. This understanding is most compactly and concisely communicated using mathematics. Computer simulations are increasingly helpful in predicting the behavior of electrical devices, electronic circuits, or systems without building a physical prototype. Therefore, experience in using computer-aided design tools is an asset.

Some knowledge of chemistry, physics, and materials is helpful to a greater or lesser degree, depending upon the particular specialty area within electrical engineering. Along with the hard skills listed above, a successful electrical engineer must be persistent, dedicated, and detail-oriented. They must also be able to speak and write proficiently and possess the interpersonal skills to collaborate effectively with their colleagues.

Workplace skills include:

  • Analytical skills
  • Concentration
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Communication skills
  • Problem solving
  • Organization
  • Leadership
  • Teamwork
  • Adaptability

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How Much Do Electrical Engineers Make?

The average salary for electrical engineers is $91,953 per year, with yearly salaries ranging from $63,177 to $133,835. Experience greatly influences salaries, as senior electrical engineers earn significantly more than entry-level engineers. Electrical engineers can boost their earnings by obtaining advanced degrees and gaining their Professional Engineer (PE) license. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a 7% growth in the employment of electrical engineers from 2020 to 2030, aligning closely with the average growth rate of 8%.

Land Your Dream Electrical Engineering Job With Ease With the Help of Our FE Electrical Exam Prep Review Course

Engineering has always been an adventurous realm filled with complex problems waiting to be solved. For electrical engineers, this adventure takes them into the world of electricity, electronics, and electromagnetism. Before embarking on this thrilling journey, aspiring electrical engineers must first conquer the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam. StudyForFE, founded by Wasim Asghar, a licensed Professional Engineer with over 15 years of industry experience, has created the perfect platform to guide you to success!

Redefining Exam Prep: The FE Electrical Exam Prep Review Course

At StudyForFE, we understand aspiring engineers’ challenges when preparing for the FE Electrical exam. That’s why we have meticulously designed the FE Electrical Exam Prep Review Course to provide a comprehensive and interactive learning experience. Featuring interactive lectures, practice problems, and personalized mentorship from Wasim, our course ensures you are well-equipped to tackle the exam confidently.

Unlocking Success: The PE Power Exam Preparation Course

For those aiming to advance their careers, the PE Power Exam Preparation Course at StudyForFE is the key to unlocking success. With Wasim’s expertise and guidance, you will delve into the intricacies of power engineering and emerge as a licensed Professional Engineer. Our course is a testament to the countless engineers who have achieved their professional goals with StudyForFE’s help.

The Wasim Asghar Difference: Expertise and Mentorship Combined

Wasim Asghar’s reputation as an industry expert is unparalleled. His acclaimed textbooks and study guides, such as the FE Electrical and Computer Review Manual and PE Power Reference Manual, serve as invaluable resources for exam takers. Through StudyForFE, Wasim offers a review course and a mentorship that has guided numerous students to success. Whether you are a recent graduate or an experienced professional, Wasim’s personalized approach ensures that you are on the path to success.

Dreams Do Come True: Success Stories from StudyForFE Students

Many aspiring engineers have realized their dreams of passing the FE and PE exams with StudyForFE’s support. Their success stories paint a vibrant tapestry of our courses and mentorship’s impact on their careers. If you’re ready to become a licensed engineer, StudyForFE is here to help you navigate the complexities of exam preparation and achieve your professional aspirations. 

Contact us today and let us guide you to success!

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wasim-smal

Licensed Professional Engineer in Texas (PE), Florida (PE) and Ontario (P. Eng) with consulting experience in design, commissioning and plant engineering for clients in Energy, Mining and Infrastructure.