What Are Some Common Electrical Engineering Professional Fields?
Are you considering electrical engineering as your major but wondering what types of jobs might be available when you graduate? Some options include power engineer, electronics engineer and computer engineer. Read on to find out more about electrical engineering job options.
Electrical Engineering Career Field Options
Undergraduate degree programs in electrical engineering typically begin with foundational courses in math and science and progress to engineering coursework including electronics, power systems, circuitry analysis, digital logic and computer design. The skills of well-trained electrical engineering professionals are put to use in a variety of careers. Some of these job possibilities include power engineer, microelectronics engineer, computer engineer and electronics engineer.
Important Facts About These Careers
|Computer Engineers||Electrical and Electronics Engineers|
|Key Skills||Creativity, analytical, problem-solving, and critical-thinking skills||Initiative, concentration, interpersonal, and math skills|
|Similar Occupations||Computer network architect, computer programmer, information security analyst, software engineer||Electrician, electronics installer/repairer, biomedical engineer|
|Work Environment||Typically at a manufacturing firm in a research laboratory||Typically in an office or on sites looking at equipment|
|On-the-Job Training||Attainable through internships||Attainable through internships|
Power engineering concerns the design of a variety of devices which help generate and transmit electricity. Such a career may involve working on the design and maintenance of a country's power grid, from which individual users obtain energy. Power engineers may also play a crucial role in the design and development of highly specialized power systems.
These professionals are classified as electrical engineers and need a bachelor's degree in a similar field of engineering. Having experience is also important. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), electrical engineers can expect to see as fast -as- average 5% job growth between 2019 and 2029 (www.bls.gov). PayScale.com reported that power engineers earned an average salary of $80,915 in March 2021.
This field is dedicated to the study, design and creation of very small electronic components. Such a career involves working with semi-conductors and requires a strong background in chemistry and material sciences. Like other electronics engineers, these professionals need to possess a bachelor's degree related to electronics engineering,.
The BLS expects electronics engineers to experience a 1% (slower than average) job growth between 2019 and 2029. Although the BLS doesn't report salary information for microelectronics engineers specifically, it reported in May 2020 the median salary for electronics engineers in general was $107,540.
Combining two disciplines, computer engineering involves the application of electrical engineering to software systems. This career path may include the design of the circuits used in computer systems, analog sensors and microprocessors. A computer engineer may also be responsible for monitoring complex electrical systems that are used in many products.
A computer engineering bachelor's degree is usually needed for this career; however, some can find work with a computer science or electrical engineering degree. The BLS notes that this career usually requires the ability to program and that a master's degree may be needed in some cases. Between 2019 and 2029, computer hardware engineers are expected to see 2% (slower than average) employment growth, according to the BLS. The median salary as of May 2020 was $119,560.
Although similar in name to electrical engineering, an electronics engineer is a sub-discipline that deals with the design and monitoring of electronic circuits. Such a field involves working with electrical components, including inductors, transistors and resistors, and studying the way in which electrons behave in a variety of settings. The educational requirement for an electronics engineer is typically a bachelor's degree related to electronics or electrical engineering. In May 2020, electronics engineers were paid a median salary of $107,540, according to the BLS.