What Is Electrical Design?

Electrical design entails planning, creating, testing, or supervising the development and installation of electrical equipment, including lighting equipment, power systems, power distribution, fire and life safety systems, electronic components, and voice and data communications infrastructure. Typically, workers in this field are electrical engineers with bachelor's or even master's degrees in electrical engineering. Schools offering Electrical Engineering degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Electrical Design Defined

In its most simplistic definition, electrical design is the design of various electrical systems. Many electrical design projects start with an idea that emanates from the marketing and sales department or the research and development division within a company. Electrical design projects might represent a new marketable product or might seek to improve an existing product or system.

Important Facts About This Occupation

Median Salary (2014) $91,410 (for electrical engineers))
Job Outlook (2014-2024) 0% (for electrical and electronics engineers)
Similar Occupations Aerospace engineer, engineering managers, electronics technicians
Work Environment Office setting
Key Skills Concentration, initiative, knowledge of math and science
Licensure A Professional Engineering (PE) license for higher level job positions

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Electrical Design as a Career

Because electrical design projects can be extensive and very complex, electrical engineers often provide input at every stage, from master planning to the final product. Electrical engineers involved in electrical design must be technically competent with a variety of engineering and design software packages and various laboratory equipment and instruments. They also need strong interpersonal skills to interact with clients and other professionals, including sales & marketing, mechanical engineers, software engineers, research & development, support personnel and others. Most of these professionals have at least a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering or electronics engineering, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Electrical Design Procedure

Design engineers must take into consideration a wide variety of elements that can affect the final product. They must address many questions before developing the final prototype, such as:

  • What is the product used for?
  • What are the key features?
  • What is the power source?
  • Under what environmental conditions will the product operate, including temperature, moisture, humidity and pressure?

Common Electrical Design Projects

Electrical design is one of the keys driving the technological advances enjoyed throughout the global society. Design and innovation is an ongoing program in power generation companies, instrument companies, engineering firms, manufacturing, the semi-conductor industry, and the electronics industry. Many electrical engineers specialize in more than one area of electrical design; no two jobs will be the same. Below are a few of the design projects engineers will encounter:

  • Robotics
  • Electrical substations
  • Control systems
  • Communication equipment
  • Electronic circuit design
  • Computer & digital circuit design

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