Electrical Engineers

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Also known as:  Electrical Design Engineer, Electrical Engineer, Electrical Systems Engineer, Illuminating Engineer, Power Distribution Engineer

ABOUT ELECTRICAL ENGINEER CAREERS

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT Expand
Anyone who's ever experienced a major power outage appreciates just how crucial electricity is to our everyday lives. Lights, motors, and countless other devices need electricity to operate. That's where electrical engineers come in. Besides designing and testing electrical equipment, they oversee i ...
ts manufacture, installation, and maintenance.

In addition, these engineers also work on complex electrical systems called grids that provide power for entire areas of the country. The work is intricate and demands great attention to detail. You must be able to follow technical manuals and diagrams. Knowledge of computers and electronics is essential. So is an aptitude for problem-solving.

Since it usually takes a team to get a job done, being comfortable working with others is a valid attribute. These engineers must fully understand government guidelines, as well as construction requirements. Handlin electricity can be dangerous, and safety equipment is often required. Most electrical engineers studied math and science in college, graduating with at least a bachelor's degree.

The work tends to follow a regular 40-hour schedule and is usually indoors. If you want a career that truly has the power to impact people's lives, consider becoming an electrical engineer.
SNAPSHOT Expand
Research, design, develop, test, or supervise the manufacturing and installation of electrical equipment, components, or systems for commercial, industrial, military, or scientific use.
Leadership
HIGH
Critical decision making
HIGH
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
MED
Dealing and handling conflict
LOW
Competition for this position
HIGH
Communication with others
HIGH
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
HIGH
Comfort of the work setting
HIGH
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
LOW
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
LOW
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DAILY TASKS Expand
Investigate or test vendors' or competitors' products.
Compile data and write reports regarding existing or potential electrical engineering studies or projects.
Investigate customer or public complaints, determine nature and extent of problem, and recommend remedial measures.
Develop budgets, estimating labor, material, and construction costs.
Supervise or train project team members as necessary.
Direct or coordinate manufacturing, construction, installation, maintenance, support, documentation, or testing activities to ensure compliance with specifications, codes, or customer requirements.
Prepare specifications for purchases of materials or equipment.
Perform detailed calculations to compute and establish manufacturing, construction, or installation standards or specifications.
Design, implement, maintain, or improve electrical instruments, equipment, facilities, components, products, or systems for commercial, industrial, or domestic purposes.
Oversee project production efforts to assure projects are completed on time and within budget.
Confer with engineers, customers, or others to discuss existing or potential engineering projects or products.
MAIN ACTIVITIES Expand
Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Interacting With Computers Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Drafting, Laying Out, and Specifying Technical Devices, Parts, and Equipment Providing documentation, detailed instructions, drawings, or specifications to tell others about how devices, parts, equipment, or structures are to be fabricated, constructed, assembled, modified, maintained, or used.
Analyzing Data or Information Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Processing Information Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE Expand
Engineering and Technology Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
Design Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
Computers and Electronics Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Mathematics Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Physics Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Mechanical Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
KEY ABILITIES Expand
Problem Sensitivity The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
Deductive Reasoning The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
Oral Expression The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Written Comprehension The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Oral Comprehension The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Written Expression The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
Information Ordering The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Inductive Reasoning The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
TOP SKILLS Expand
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Complex Problem Solving Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Writing Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Active Learning Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
Monitoring Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
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