Electrical Engineer

Work with electrical components to create functional or innovative designs.
picture of Electrical Engineer

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$54,000 – $129,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Electrical Engineers do?

Electrical Engineers are the intellectual offspring of Benjamin Franklin. That is to say: They’re continuing his tradition of electrical innovation by designing products that either produce or are powered by electricity.

Thanks to his famous kite experiment, Benjamin Franklin is the father of electricity. Based on his original discovery—that lightning is electricity—society now has countless inventions that can be traced back to him, including everything from lamps, computers, and mp3 players to televisions, microwaves, and air conditioning.

As you can imagine, that’s a lot of products. As an Electrical Engineer, you’re involved in the design of many more, including everything from GPS units, smartphones, and videogame systems to the motors in electric cars, the wiring in buildings, and the generators at power plants.

Like all Engineers, your job as an Electrical Engineer is basically designing stuff that works. Typically employed in companies’ research and development departments, you’re a problem solver who’s tasked with generating ideas for new products—as well as improvements for existing ones—then turning those ideas into prototypes. First, you use engineering and design software to plan the circuitry and wiring of electrical components. Through your blueprints, prototypes are then manufactured so you can test and revise them, your goal being to make electric-powered products that can be produced easily and affordably, then used safely and effectively.

Although you often work in design, you’re just as often hired to work in construction or production. After all, you’re the ideal candidate to install and operate complex electrical equipment, since you know how electricity works.

Should I be an Electrical Engineer?

You should have a bachelor's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Ready for a Challenge: You jump into new projects with initiative and drive.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.

  • Also known as: E and I Maintenance Supervisor, Electrical and Instrument Maintenance Supervisor, Electrical Controls Engineer See More

    How to become an Electrical Engineer

    Most Electrical Engineers have a Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:aak9ed&chl=||associate%27s+%2813%25%29|bachelor%27s+%2877%25%29|master%27s+%286%25%29|doctorate+%284%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,0,77
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