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

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 its 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
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
Level of responsibilities
LOW
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
HIGH
Dealing and handling conflict
LOW
Competition for this position
MED
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
Daily tasks

Supervise or train project team members, as necessary.

Compile data and write reports regarding existing or potential electrical engineering studies or projects.

Prepare specifications for purchases of materials or equipment.

Estimate labor, material, or construction costs for budget preparation purposes.

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.

Direct or coordinate manufacturing, construction, installation, maintenance, support, documentation, or testing activities to ensure compliance with specifications, codes, or customer requirements.

Prepare technical drawings, specifications of electrical systems, or topographical maps to ensure that installation and operations conform to standards and customer requirements.

Confer with engineers, customers, or others to discuss existing or potential engineering projects or products.

Operate computer-assisted engineering or design software or equipment to perform engineering tasks.

MAIN ACTIVITIES
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.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
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.
Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
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.
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.
Design Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
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.
Production and Processing Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
Education and Training Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
TOP SKILLS
Complex Problem Solving Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
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.
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Writing Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
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.