As technologies continue to develop, the need for electrical engineers should also continue to increase. Those who pursue education in the field can work in a career where they design and maintain systems that support different electronics and electrical tools. As an electrical engineer, you have a lot of career paths available to you and may be able to find work in a variety of industries. In this article, we share a list of electrical engineering jobs and provide some guidance on becoming an electrical engineer.
Nine jobs in electrical engineering
Explore this electrical engineering jobs list to find a subdiscipline in the field you may be interested in pursuing:
National average salary: $60,644 per year
Primary duties: A controls engineer is responsible for developing equipment that is efficient in creating products. They also plan for maintenance and implement processes that reveal problems with their systems. Controls engineers research solutions, test their design and produce efficacy reports that show them how effective their system is.
National average salary: $77,686 per year
Primary duties: A project engineer oversees and manages engineering projects, which may include electrical engineering projects. They adhere to a budget and timeline and may need to hire additional staff, including contract workers, to make sure they can ensure project completion following certain specifications. Project engineers monitor the work of each member of the team, encourage everyone involved to meet deadlines and make sure that the project meets compliance.
Read more: Learn About Being a Project Engineer
National average salary: $82,745 per year
Primary duties: A test engineer is responsible for conducting tests on electrical systems. They speak with stakeholders to better understand business needs, formulate test plans and analyze usage cases. Test engineers fix the problems they find or offer guidance in implementing solutions.
National average salary: $86,519 per year
Primary duties: A design engineer uses computer-aided design (CAD) software to develop systems and new products. They create designs according to provided specifications, test their designs, document their process and ask for feedback on the designs. Design engineers may need to create modifications to make sure the equipment meets requirements.
Read more: Learn About Being a Design Engineer
National average salary: $95,068 per year
Primary duties: An electrical engineer is responsible for designing and developing electrical equipment, which may include manufacturing equipment, navigation systems, the electrical system in different vehicles and smartphones. They also test this equipment and provide solutions for any problems they encounter with the design or functionality.
Read more: Learn About Being an Electrical Engineer
National average salary: $99,134 per year
Primary duties: A communications engineer is responsible for designing and developing communications systems like satellites and fiber optics. They may also assist with installing the equipment to make sure it's functioning properly and that the communication the device or equipment receives and transmits is high quality.
National average salary: $99,446 per year
Primary duties: A systems engineer is responsible for making sure certain systems they're in charge of are fully functional and optimized. They may install new software and electronics, monitor its usage and update systems as needed. Systems engineers may form a feedback process to identify any issues and offer solutions to stakeholders.
Read more: Learn About Being a Systems Engineer
National average salary: $102,155 per year
Primary duties: An aeronautical engineer constructs systems for aircrafts and associated systems like satellites. They may design mechanical, communications, electrical or environmental systems. Aeronautical engineers perform extensive testing on their designs to make sure that all systems, like navigation and propulsion, are operating together. They also find ways to improve performance, evaluate their designs and perform research.
Read more: Learn About Being an Aeronautical Engineer
National average salary: $103,576 per year
Primary duties: An electronics engineer is responsible for designing, developing and implementing electronics equipment like GPS devices, kitchen appliances and electric motors. They research designs, test components of their design and meet specifications for their work. Electronics engineers write documentation that includes the equipment they've used and associated costs, inspect current equipment and make sure the electronics they create are compatible with other systems.
Tips for starting a career in electrical engineering
Consider following these tips if you are interested in pursuing a career in electrical engineering:
Earn a degree
While many positions require a bachelor's level degree or higher, there are more entry-level positions in electrical engineering, like those that focus on installation and repair, that you may work if you have an associate's degree. You may consider taking courses in topics like computer science, aerospace engineering, robotics, automation, physics and plane geometry. You may be able to choose classes that are more related to the specific field of electrical engineering you want to work in.
If you want to have a more advanced career in electrical engineering, a master's degree program will likely help you qualify for more opportunities in the field.
Connect with professionals
You can find networking events, conferences, seminars, webinars and trainings that focus on the field of electrical engineering. Consider attending to learn more about the field and get to know professionals who have already made their career in the industry. These individuals may be able to provide you with guidance, refer you to a specific job or employer, offer to be your mentor or simply answer your questions about your potential career path.
Other ways to connect with professionals include joining special interest groups and reading industry blogs and articles.
Complete an internship
You can find an internship while you're pursuing a degree or after graduation. An internship provides you with the opportunity to gain real-world experience in the field and complete a project that you can showcase on your resume when you're applying for jobs. Through your work as an intern, you will also work alongside professionals who can later recommend you to employers you're applying with.
Take licensing exams
Beyond your degree, licenses can help you stand out against your competitors when you're applying for positions in electrical engineering. Consider completing certification courses and getting your license so you can gain more knowledge of the field and be able to use it to succeed in your chosen career.
Build your skill set
To succeed as an electrical engineer, it's helpful to have both hard and soft skills that you can use in your work. Identify the skills that are best for your chosen career and find ways that you can build on the level of skill you already possess. You can work with a team to develop your teamwork skills, ask for feedback to learn how to be more open to constructive criticism or take courses in specific tools and programs you know you'll need to use on the job.