What Is Electrical Engineering?

Electrical engineering entails designing, testing and developing electrical equipment. Electrical engineers work with all types of electrical apparatus and systems: from bringing electricity into homes to fabricating supercomputers. Most electrical engineers hold at least a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering; those who want to specialize in a particular area of electrical engineering typically earn a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering. Schools offering Electrical Engineering degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Electrical Engineering Job Description

Electrical engineering powers modern technology. Whether you are using a calculator, watching digital television, surfing the Web, talking on your wireless phone or listening to your MP3 player, electrical engineers contributed significantly to that technology's development. Electrical engineers facilitate the process by which energy travels from hydroelectric plants, solar panels, fuel cells and turbines to homes, businesses and factories.

Electrical Engineering as a Career

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), approximately 161,000 electrical engineers practiced in the United States in 2012. This occupation is expected to grow by about 5% from 2012-22, slower than the average for other positions. Electrical engineering is a high-paying occupation. Electrical engineers earned a mean annual wage of $91,810 in 2012, according to the BLS. Electrical engineers work in a wide variety of industries, including aerospace, electrical power, construction, consumer products and semiconductors.

Electrical Engineering Coursework

Students who complete the coursework for electrical engineering degree programs learn through a combination of classroom theory and lab work. Students are taught how to analyze problems by thinking through issues and applying various concepts to form a range of possible solutions. The typical bachelor's degree curriculum covers these topics:

  • Classical physics
  • Probabilistic methods for electrical engineers
  • Electromagnetic fields and waves
  • Electric circuits
  • Engineering economic analysis
  • Fundamentals of logical design

Specializations in Electrical Engineering

Electrical engineering is comprised of a variety of sub-disciplines; each area of specialization requires specific training. Students working for a Bachelor of Science degree will get a solid general education in electrical engineering. Once they become upperclassmen or graduate students, they choose one or two fields for developing their expertise. Here are a few of the choices students can make:

  • Communication
  • Computers and digital circuit design
  • Control systems
  • Electronic circuit design
  • RF (radio frequency) and microwaves

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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