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What Does it Take to Be an Electrical Engineer?

Job Description: Research, design, develop, test, or supervise the manufacturing and installation of electrical equipment, components, or systems for commercial, industrial, military, or scientific use.

Life As an Electrical Engineer: What Do They Do?

  • Conduct field surveys or study maps, graphs, diagrams, or other data to identify and correct power system problems.
  • Integrate electrical systems with renewable energy systems to improve overall efficiency.
  • Design electrical systems or components that minimize electric energy requirements, such as lighting systems designed to account for natural lighting.
  • Investigate customer or public complaints to determine the nature and extent of problems.
  • Estimate labor, material, or construction costs for budget preparation purposes.
  • Develop systems that produce electricity using renewable energy sources, such as wind, solar, or biofuels.

Skills Needed to be an Electrical Engineer

Below is a list of the skills most Electrical Engineers say are important on the job.

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.

Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Complex Problem Solving: Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

  • Illuminating Engineer
  • Lighting Engineer
  • Electrical Design Engineer
  • Plant Engineer
  • Power Systems Engineer

Electrical Engineer Job Outlook

In the United States, there were 188,300 jobs for Electrical Engineer in 2016. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 8.6% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 16,200 new jobs for Electrical Engineer by 2026. The BLS estimates 13,900 yearly job openings in this field.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Electrical Engineers in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Electrical Engineer are Nevada, Utah, and Wisconsin. Watch out if you plan on working in Kentucky, Alaska, or New Mexico. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

What is the Average Salary of an Electrical Engineer

Electrical Engineers make between $61,190 and $153,240 a year.

Salary Ranges for Electrical Engineers

Electrical Engineers who work in District of Columbia, Massachusetts, or New Mexico, make the highest salaries.

How much do Electrical Engineers make in each U.S. state?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $97,310
Alaska $119,130
Arizona $106,260
Arkansas $82,200
California $114,170
Colorado $100,550
Connecticut $98,310
Delaware $108,900
District of Columbia $118,000
Florida $94,250
Georgia $87,850
Hawaii $89,720
Idaho $93,080
Illinois $94,700
Indiana $86,100
Iowa $87,700
Kansas $90,880
Kentucky $89,780
Louisiana $94,090
Maine $89,860
Maryland $116,560
Massachusetts $113,920
Michigan $90,700
Minnesota $98,120
Mississippi $93,740
Missouri $97,750
Montana $92,120
Nebraska $90,180
Nevada $92,540
New Hampshire $107,790
New Jersey $118,120
New Mexico $113,050
New York $103,740
North Carolina $97,490
North Dakota $89,680
Ohio $85,320
Oklahoma $98,950
Oregon $90,140
Pennsylvania $94,870
Rhode Island $110,360
South Carolina $90,140
South Dakota $84,710
Tennessee $93,180
Texas $106,260
Utah $94,200
Vermont $115,460
Virginia $109,690
Washington $113,540
West Virginia $88,640
Wisconsin $86,020
Wyoming $92,960

What Tools do Electrical Engineers Use?

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Electrical Engineers may use on a daily basis:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Python
  • Data entry software
  • SAP
  • Microsoft Windows
  • Microsoft Project
  • Autodesk AutoCAD
  • Microsoft Visio
  • The MathWorks MATLAB
  • Linux
  • IBM Notes
  • Microsoft Visual Basic
  • UNIX
  • Microsoft SQL Server
  • Computer aided design CAD software
  • Minitab
  • National Instruments LabVIEW

Becoming an Electrical Engineer

What education is needed to be an Electrical Engineer?

Electrical Engineer Degree Level

How Long Does it Take to Become an Electrical Engineer?

Electrical Engineer Work Experience

Electrical Engineers Sector

Electrical Engineer Sectors

The table below shows the approximate number of Electrical Engineers employed by various industries.

Electrical Engineer Industries

Other Jobs You May be Interested In

Those interested in being an Electrical Engineer may also be interested in:

Are you already one of the many Electrical Engineer in the United States? If you’re thinking about changing careers, these fields are worth exploring:

References:

Image Credit: NASA via Public domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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