what does an electrical engineer do?

Given the fact that there are a number of different types of engineering careers available, it is important to understand the differences between the various branches.

For a job seeker, it is also important to have a firm idea of what tasks and responsibilities are involved with a particular engineering discipline.

At Randstad, the resources that we have available can help job applicants understand what is expected of them in a variety of engineering specialties, including electrical engineering.

The role of an electrical engineer.

The domain of the electrical engineer is the installation, maintenance, and safety checking of electrical control systems and related components. Most industrial sectors use electrical control systems and the larger businesses have in-house electrical engineering jobs available.

These sectors include the construction industry, the transportation industry, manufacturing industries, the telecommunications industry, and the power generation industry itself. There are also scientific and military careers available for suitably qualified electrical engineers.

The day-to-day work of an electrical engineer.

Electrical engineers are involved in all stages of projects that require their particular expertise on a daily basis, from design and implementation through to testing and maintenance.

It is likely that the day-to-day job will involve working as part of a team with professionals from other disciplines to create products, improve design and performance, or develop solutions to different problems.

Frequent tasks may include – but are not limited to – identifying customer requirements and creating specifications; modelling and building prototypes; designing and carrying out tests; analysing test data; and installing, servicing, and maintaining equipment.

On top of this, general project management tasks – including the handling of budgets and personnel – and the creation of any necessary product documentation may also be required.

The types of projects that electrical engineers work on.

The specific projects that electrical engineers may be involved in vary from industry to industry.

For example, in building and construction projects electrical engineers will typically be involved with the design, installation, and maintenance of ventilation, heating, and lighting systems.

Some projects may focus on design and planning, some may focus on implementation and testing, and some may focus on maintenance and upgrades.

If research is involved, the projects may include a large amount of theory as well as practical skills; for this reason, it is important for an electrical engineer to keep up a good level of knowledge of the latest developments in the industry in order to be able to move up the career ladder.

How to become an electrical engineer.

While an entry-level technician in the field of electrical engineering may only require basic certification and skills, an individual looking for a successful career in this field is very likely to need degree-level qualifications.

Initially, an HND or BTEC degree may be sufficient to gain a foothold in the industry, but for thorough professional accreditation and recognition it is more likely that a Master’s level degree will be necessary.

Many universities and other educational institutions around the country offer undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in electrical engineering.

An individual who wants to make the field into a professional career, and who has passed the necessary school or college examinations, would do well to consider such a degree course, alongside suitable practical experience working as an electrical engineer.

The consultants at Randstad can help in identifying the most suitable qualifications and employers for any specific field of interest within electrical engineering.

The salary of an electrical engineer.

The salary that comes with a role as an electrical engineer obviously depends on the level of responsibility, skills, and experience that an individual brings to a particular position.

This is another good reason for gaining the best possible electrical engineering qualifications. As a rough guideline, an entry-level electrical engineer may start at a salary of around £18,000 per year or higher, whereas top-level electrical engineers can earn in excess of £50,000 per year. The average salary is in the vicinity of £37,000 per year.

Career development for an electrical engineer.

A number of factors can play into the career path that is taken by an electrical engineer.

Expertise, education, qualifications, experience, and areas of specialist interest play a large role in determining which openings might be suitable and which companies might employ a specific candidate. Another factor is membership in professional bodies in the area of electrical engineering.

The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) are two such professional organisations.

Membership in one of these organisations is likely to boost the chances of success in the career field for an individual engineer. Membership also brings further opportunities for networking and staying abreast of developments in the field.

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