Electrical Engineer Job Description

Electrical engineers specialize in designing, testing, maintaining, and improving a lot of the electrical equipment that we rely on each day.

Though it's easy to confuse the two, electrical engineers are different than electronic engineers. Electrical engineers design high voltage equipment like manufacturing facilities, lighting and wiring systems, electrical motors, and power generators. Electronic engineers design smaller systems like portable music players, GPS systems, or video game systems.

Work Environment and Schedule

There are many types of companies have use for an electrical engineer's services, but most electrical engineers are employed by engineering firms, and businesses in the manufacturing and research industries.

Electrical engineers typically work in office environments, though they may need to visit sites to observe and correct some problems.

Some electrical engineers are able to maintain a regular working schedule, while others (particularly those who work with a lot of tight deadlines) may find themselves working long nights and weekends to meet their goals.

How to Become an Electrical Engineer

A minimum of a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering is required for careers in this profession, though a master's degree is sometimes required for advancement. Some universities offer a five year program in electrical engineering that give graduates both a bachelor's and a master's.

Before you enroll in an electrical engineering program, make sure that it's accredited by ABET. If your program is not accredited, you may find yourself with a degree that will not help you get a job. Search ABET accredited programs on their website.

To become a licensed electrical engineer, you will also need to pass the Fundamentals of Engineering Exam and accumulate work experience. After four years of work experience, you can take the Principles and Practice in Engineering Exam to become fully licensed.

Employment Outlook

There are currently 154,000 electrical engineers in the United States, with 4,780 new electrical engineer job openings created each year.

Electrical Engineer jobs are not expected to see much growth beyond their current levels in the next decade.

Electrical Engineer Salaries

Salaries by State

Hover over your state to get an idea of what Electrical Engineers make in your area.

How to use this salary data.

Job seekers can use it while negotiating a salary.

Employers can use it to help set appropriate wage levels while writing job descriptions.

Overall Salaries

Electrical Engineer salaries can vary depending on your experience, the location, company, industry, and benefits provided. Nationwide, most electrical engineers make between $68,000 - $107,900 per year, or $32.70 - $51.87 per hour.

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Electrical Engineer Video Job Description

Salary and statistical data provided by the BLS.