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What Does it Take to Be an Electrical Engineer?

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

List of Electrical Engineer Job Duties

  • Supervise or train project team members as necessary.
  • Confer with engineers, customers, or others to discuss existing or potential engineering projects or products.
  • Prepare specifications for purchases of materials or equipment.
  • Collect data relating to commercial or residential development, population, or power system interconnection to determine operating efficiency of electrical systems.
  • Plan layout of electric power generating plants or distribution lines or stations.
  • Assist in developing capital project programs for new equipment or major repairs.

What Every Electrical Engineer Should Know

When polled, Electrical Engineers say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:

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.

Types of Electrical Engineer

  • Electrical Designer
  • Test Engineer
  • Microwave Supervisor
  • Laser Engineer
  • Radio Frequency Engineer (RF Engineer)

Job Outlook for Electrical Engineers

There were about 188,300 jobs for Electrical Engineer in 2016 (in the United States). 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.

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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.

Do Electrical Engineers Make A Lot Of Money?

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

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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 & Technology do Electrical Engineers Use?

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Electrical Engineers:

  • 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

How do I Become an Electrical Engineer?

Education needed to be an Electrical Engineer:

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What work experience do I need to become an Electrical Engineer?

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Where Electrical Engineers Work

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Electrical Engineers work in the following industries:

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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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