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 designing electrical systems for aircraft. Most electrical engineers hold at least a bachelor's degree 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. Electrical engineers contribute significantly to the development of many kinds of technology including hybrid cars, satellite televisions, the Internet, cell phones and pacemakers. Electrical engineers can work on a wide variety of products from computers and software to airplanes and spacecraft.

Important Facts About Electrical Engineers

Key Skills Concentration, initiative, interpersonal communication, math
Certification Available, voluntary
Work Environment Office setting; Travel may be required to work on site; Overtime work may be required
Similar Occupations Electricians, Electro-mechanical Technicians, Aerospace Engineers, Computer Hardware Engineers

Electrical Engineering as a Career

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), approximately 166,100 electrical engineers were employed in the United States in 2012. This occupation is expected to grow by about 1% from 2014-24, slower than the average for other career-fields.

Electrical engineering is a high-paying occupation. Electrical engineers earned a mean annual wage of $95,780 in 2014, according to the BLS, with the top 90% of engineers making $143,200 or above. Electrical engineers work in a wide variety of industries, including aerospace, communications, manufacturing, electrical power generation, and semiconductors.

Electrical Engineering Coursework

Students who complete the coursework for electrical engineering degree programs learn through a combination of classroom theory, lab work and experience in the field. A typical bachelor's degree curriculum will cover topics such as:

  • Physics
  • Digital systems
  • Communications
  • Electric circuits
  • Thermodynamics
  • Fundamentals of design

Specializations in Electrical Engineering

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

  • Communications
  • Computers hardware or software
  • Control systems
  • Electromagnetics
  • Power systems
  • Semiconductors

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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