A Career In Electrical Engineering Explained

April 16th, 2014 by

As an electrical or electronics engineer, one is involved with developing, designing and maintaining electrical control systems, equipment and machinery. Electrical engineers work in a wide variety of different sectors, including those of power generation, distribution and transmission; transport networks, building services, manufacturing, telecommunications, and military and scientific research.


The exact duties of the job will depend on the industry in which the incumbent works. An electrical engineer’s duties usually include some or all of the following:

  • Conducting feasibility studies for new technical designs.
  • Using computer-aided design and engineering software to draw up plans.
  • Projecting timescales and drawing up estimates of construction, material and labor costs.
  • Coordinating the work of craftspeople and technicians.
  • Testing systems and installations and examining data.
  • Ensuring that projects meet construction and electrical safety regulations.
  • Managing maintenance and inspection programs.
  • Delivering presentations to clients and managers.
  • Writing reports.
  • Attending meetings.

Working Environment

Electrical engineers usually work on a project as part of a team of professionals, often including architects, civil engineers, IT staff and engineering technicians.

The average workweek is 40 hours, but when deadlines have to be met, overtime is often required.

During the first years on the job, electrical engineers will usually be involved with the day-to-day management of projects. As they gain experience, their duties will become more strategic, involving research, planning and developing fresh ideas.

Eventually, a skilled engineer could be a project management specialist or become involved in consultancy work or full-time research.

Since the scientific principles involved in the work are universal, an electrical engineer who would like to explore the world shouldn’t have too much trouble finding an international job. For example, US engineering qualifications are recognized in Australia, Ireland, South Africa, New Zealand and Canada.


According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary of an electrical engineer in 2012 was $89,630. To see this in perspective, one has to take into account that the median salary for all occupations in 2012 was only $34,750.


The minimum qualification required to practice as an electrical engineer is a bachelor’s degree. An online engineering degree could be the start of a rewarding and exciting career in this field. To get to the top of the ladder, a Master’s in Electrical Engineering or even a PhD might be required.

Find out more about enrolling in an online degree program to advance your education and career opportunities by visiting

About the Author:

Sandy Davis

Sandy Davis is a long-time educator who holds a Master’s Degree in Education, having taught English, writing, and communication on the secondary and college levels. With ten years of experience in blogging, social media and content management, she is a freelance writer and content marketing specialist for a diverse range of clients.

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