Electrical Engineer Job Description
An electrical engineer is an engineer who designs, develops and tests electrical systems and equipment. Electrical engineers are concerned with the technology of electricity and they work with a wide range of components, devices and systems, from tiny microchips to huge power station generators.
An electrical engineer should be enthusiastic, innovative, analytical and practical, and have the ability to communicate effectively and work well with others in a team. They should have good understanding of electrical principles, and be able to design electrical systems, components and processes to meet desired needs within realistic constraints.
Famous electrical engineers include Michael Faraday (Law of Induction), Thomas Edison (electric light bulb), George Westinghouse (alternating current), Nikola Tesla (induction motor), Guglielmo Marconi (radio) and Philo T. Farnsworth (television).
Pursue a career in electrical engineering if you have aptitude for mathematics and science, and interest in electrical technology.
What does an Electrical Engineer do?
Electrical engineers may do some or all of the following:
- research, design and develop new electrical systems and equipment
- evaluate existing electrical systems to improve them
- develop automated and computerized methods to control electrical processes
- supervise the manufacturing, installation and testing of electrical systems to ensure compliance with regulatory laws
- manage electrical projects, calculate the materials needed and the cost estimate
- write technical reports and proposals to clients or colleagues
- teach at colleges and universities
Where does an Electrical Engineer work?
Electrical engineers usually work normal office hours, but may sometimes work evenings and weekends or be on-call to meet deadlines. They work in offices, laboratories, workshops and on-site at power stations or building projects.
What is Required to Become an Electrical Engineer ?
To become an electrical engineer, you need to have a bachelor’s degree electrical engineering or a related discipline.
Secondary school students interested in studying electrical engineering should take should take preparatory subjects such as chemistry, physics, computer, and mathematics, including algebra, trigonometry, and calculus.
Just to give you an idea, some of the classes that you’ll be taking in college may include:
- Applied linear algebra
- Differential equations
- Statistics and probability
- Engineering mechanics
- Engineering materials
- Numerical analysis
- Circuit theory
- Signals and linear systems
- Digital logic design
- Digital communication systems
- Microprocessor based system design
- Power systems
- Electromagnetic field
- Solid state electronic devices
- Digital signal processing
- Analysis and design of control systems
- Field programmable logic device
An electrical engineer may specialize to become any of the following:
- Electronic Engineer – an engineer who deals with the design, fabrication and operation of electronic devices and systems
- Microelectronics Engineer - an engineer who deals with the design and micro-fabrication of tiny electronic circuit components
- Signal Processing Engineer - an engineer who deals with signals, such as analog or digital signals
- Power Engineer - an engineer who deals with the design, construction and operation of power systems such as transformers, generators, motors and power electronics
- Control and instrumentation engineer – an engineer who deals with the design, development and operation of equipment used for monitoring and controlling engineering systems, machinery and processes
- Telecommunications Engineer - an engineer who deals with the design, development and operation of transmission systems
- Computer Engineer – an engineer who designs and develops computer hardware or software
Knowledge, Skills and Attributes
Electrical engineers need to have:
- scientific aptitude
- creativity and innovation
- diligence and persistence
- manual dexterity
- physical and mental stamina
- good memory
- good eyesight
- good attention to detail
- good hand-eye coordination
- good listening and communication skills
- analytical and problem solving skills
- good judgment and decision making skills
- time management and organizational skills
- leadership skills
- math, computer and programming skills
- the ability to work well independently and in a team
- the ability to design and conduct experiments
- the ability to work well under pressure
- the ability to learn new skills and stay up-to-date with new developments in the field
- the ability to identify real world problems that can be solved by engineering principles and techniques
- the ability to apply the knowledge of science, mathematics and engineering to solve real word problems
- the ability to work with small parts
- knowledge of Scientific rules and methods
- knowledge of circuit theory, and other fundamental electrical principles
- knowledge of electronics
- knowledge of programming languages such as MATLAB, PYTHON and JAVA
- knowledge of electrical systems and safety practices associated with electrical engineering
- knowledge of the laws and industry standards that apply to electrical engineering
- knowledge of computer-aided design (CAD) software such as EPLAN or AutoCAD
Should I be an Electrical Engineer ?
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