Electrical Engineer Job Description, Skills, and Salary
Get to know about the duties, responsibilities, qualifications, and skills requirements of an electrical engineer. Feel free to use our job description template to produce your own. We also provide you with information about the salary you can earn as an electrical engineer.
Who is An Electrical Engineer?
What comes to your mind when you hear the word, electrical engineer? Have you ever had your blood pressure taken? Do you use a smartphone? Have you used GPS to navigate your way somewhere while driving? Do you switch on the light often? If yes, then you can acknowledge and appreciate individuals that studied and practice electrical engineering. This is because electrical engineers designed, created, and made these things convenient for us all. They spend their time working in fields connected to electromagnetism, electronics, and electricity. The technologies that people rely on every day were developed by them. The electrical engineer has responsibilities that encompass the development and testing of electrical devices for safety and efficiency. They manage the manufacturing of new electrical equipment as well; they use design software to create schematics and oversee the installation of these designs.
Also, electrical engineers have been credited to have worked with teams for the creation and development of microprocessors that are placed in computers, the development of new flight-control systems to assist pilots to navigate the aircraft efficiently, and designing new satellite systems to boost and enhance global telecommunication. It is important to note that many electrical engineers are involved in research; they take up research positions aiming to drive innovations and creativity to enhance what is available in power generation, radar, communication systems technology, and automobile. Simply, the electrical engineer is involved in every facet and sector of life. Therefore, it is paramount that potential engineers prepare beforehand to be able to cope and excel along the way.
Now, who is an electrical engineer? An electrical engineer is defined as an individual or group of individuals concerned with the study, design, and application of equipment, devices, and systems that use electricity, electromagnetism, and electronics respectively. As a discipline and identifiable occupation, electrical engineering or engineers emerged in the latter half of the 19th century after the commercialization of the electric telegraph, telephone, and electrical power generation, use, and distribution. Like other professionals, electrical engineers must have degrees in electrical or electronic engineering; while practicing electrical engineers may have professional certifications and be members of a professional body, or an international standards organization. An example of these organizations is the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET). Since electrical engineers work in a wide range of sectors, below is an overview of some of the subtypes of electrical engineers;
Telecommunication Electrical engineers: These groups of electrical engineers are focused and specialized in the transmission of information across communication channels such as coax cable, free space, or optical fiber. Once the transmission features of a system are determined, telecommunication engineers design the transmitters and receivers needed for such systems. These two are combined sometimes to form a two-way communication device known as a transceiver.
Signal-processing electrical engineers: The signal-processing electrical engineer deals with the manipulation and analysis of signals. Signals can be either analog; where the signal varies continuously according to the information or digital; where the signal varies according to a series of discrete values representing the information.
Power electrical engineers: Power and energy electrical engineers deal with the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity as well as the design of a wide range of related devices. These include transformers, electric generators, electric motors, high-voltage engineering, and power electronics. In many regions of the world, the government maintains power grids that connect a variety of generators with the users of their energy. Power electrical engineers may work on the design and maintenance of the power grid as well as the power systems that connect to it.
Control electrical engineers: Control engineers are focused on the modeling of a diverse range of dynamic systems and the design of controllers that will cause these systems to behave in the desired manner. Often, this group of electrical engineers designed their control system using feedback.
Instrumentation electrical engineers: The instrumentation engineer is responsible for dealing with the design of a device that can be used to quantify flow, temperature, and pressure. Also, you must have a good understanding of physics beyond electromagnetic theory to design such instruments.
Computer electrical engineers: Lastly, computer engineer designs computers and computer systems; they design tablets, new hardware, supercomputers, and PDAs.
Electrical Engineer Job Description
Below are the electrical engineer job description examples you can use to develop your resume or write a job description for your employee. The employer can use it to sieve out job seekers when choosing candidates for interviews.
As astute professionals, electrical engineers have a wide range of job responsibilities which includes;
- Ensure the safety, quality assurance, and sustainability of devices.
- Design, develop, and maintain electrical systems and parts for consumer and business electronics.
- Supervise and train team and project members.
- Estimate the costs of construction, labor, and material for the government to enhance budget preparation.
- Maintain all electrical equipment on a regular basis.
- Work in tandem with various technicians to boost output and productivity.
- Understand and implement different forms of design from technical drawings.
- Attend organizational, corporate, and company meetings.
- Establish, manufacture, and construct installations.
- Perform a wide range of calculations to enhance standards of specifications.
- Ensure compliance with codes, customer requirements, and specifications.
- Direct, coordinate, install, manufacture, construct, maintain, document, and support all testing activities.
- Employ written and verbal communication to effectively interact with contractors.
- Test electronics for faults and problems and propose solutions.
- Confer with engineers, customers, and other stakeholders to deliberate on current and prospective engineering projects and products.
- Ensure that all installation and operations are in line with customer requirements and standards.
- Prepare electrical systems specifications, topographical maps, and technical drawings to ensure compliance.
- Prepare and make presentations to clients, coworkers, and other professionals.
- Inspect electrical constituents after and during the component installation.
- Perform an array of engineering tasks such as the operation of computer-assisted design or engineering equipment or software.
- Prepare specifications aimed at enhancing the purchase of electrical components and materials.
- Prepare cost estimates for clients and other employees.
- Write reports and compile data regarding potential and existing electrical engineering studies and projects.
- Generate, transmit, and distribute electricity to all and sundry.
- Operate and analyze both digital and analog signals.
To be an electrical engineer, you will need to possess at least a bachelor’s degree, undergo training, and possess a license to practice.
Education and degree: All electrical engineers need at least a bachelor’s degree to qualify for the profession; with a major in either electrical or electronic engineering, electrical engineering, electrical engineering technology, or electronics engineering. Although the same concept, fundamental principles, or philosophy is taught in the aforementioned programs, emphasis may vary depending on the title. Additionally, the duration of study is normally four to five years depending on the location. After graduating, you may be conferred with either a bachelor of science, a bachelor of science in electrical and electronics technology engineering, a bachelor of engineering, a bachelor of applied science, or a bachelor of technology depending on the university or institution of learning. Though some employers and organizations tend to prefer a master’s degree; students of engineering study modules that comprise computer science, project management, mathematics, physics, and other topics in electrical engineering.
At the onset, the modules cover almost all of the subtypes of electrical engineering. In some institutions, electrical engineering students are allowed to focus on one or more of the subtypes when they approach the end of their studies. For educational advancement and career growth, electrical engineers can enroll for postgraduate studies which include a Master of Engineering, a Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering, or an Engineering Doctorate.
Training and experience: The electrical engineering profession mandates students to complete at least one year of an internship; this enables them to be conversant with the practical aspect of the field and experience. The training can be with an engineering company or a government agency.
License to practice: An electrical engineer who wishes to work in the public sector must earn a professional engineer license. This can be achieved by working under the guidance of a professional engineer. The professional engineer must be licensed and has to supervise the prospective electrical engineer. Also, the electrical engineer must register and pass the principles and practice of engineering exam to be qualified to practice. The advantages of licensing vary depending on location. While some countries enforce the fact only licensed engineers can seal engineering work for public and private clients, others do not. However, all certifying bodies maintain a code of conduct and ethics that all electrical engineers are expected to abide and conform to. Failure to do that can put you at risk of expulsion.
Essential Skills and Qualities
Some specific skills and abilities can enable you to become a successful electrical engineer. These skills can be beneficial to the client, organization, and individual. Remember, no two electrical engineers that succeeded are alike; however, they should possess one or two similar qualities that enable them to succeed in the profession. Also, it is difficult to ascertain what made a particular electrical engineer succeed or not. That being said, we will look at the general skills employers, organizations, and experts look for in an electrical engineer. In no distinct order, these skills are enumerated below;
- Expertise in solving complex problems
- Computer and design skills
- Excellent knowledge of science and technology
- Foresight skills
- Ability to understand electronics
Expertise in solving complex problems: An electrical engineer should be able to solve complex problems as they come. They should be able to be excellent and highly skilled to identify problems, evaluating the situation, develop, and implementing solutions to such problems.
Computer and design skills: In the modern era, an electrical engineer often finds his/herself using computers to design software and programs. Hence, electrical engineers need to have adept skills and knowledge of computer technology; they should be acquainted and contented with its application to their endeavor as well.
Excellent knowledge of science and technology: Science, technology, and engineering-related courses should be at the forefront of every current or aspiring electrical engineer. You can’t be an entity in the field without them. Also, an electrical engineer should be vast in mathematics, and other statistical-related subjects to succeed in the profession.
Foresight skills: A vital skill needed in the electrical engineering field is foresight; of course, an electrical engineer must have the ability to predict physical laws and principles. In relation, they must have the capability to foresee the effects and application of such to their processes.
Ability to understand electronics: An electrical engineer should be able to have an understanding and knowledge of electronics. Successful electrical engineers have been reported to show familiarity and interest in processors, chips, electronic equipment, and circuit boards. Other electronics to be familiar with and interested in are broadcasting, control, transmission, and switching.
Other skills include
- Excellent writing skills to draft manuals, proposals, and prepare materials.
- Self-motivation skills to be in touch with innovations and advancement in electrical engineering.
- Good supervision skills to supervisor other technicians.
- Good communication skills to explain specifications to clients and team members.
- Excellent time management skills to meet deadlines and expectations.
How to Become an Electrical Engineer
The following are the steps or tips on how to become an electrical engineer;
Study Science in Secondary or High School: This is the first step to becoming an electrical engineer. When you get to senior secondary school, join the science class instead of commercial or social science. Then, make sure that you perform well in mathematics, physics, chemistry, mathematics, and other science-related subjects; as well as the English language. These are prerequisites in studying electrical engineer. Then, sit for and pass jamb excellently to stand a chance of securing admission to the university and other related institutions of learning.
Enroll for a four to five-year bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering: After acing your papers and jamb, enroll for a degree course in electrical engineering in any university that offers it. In the course of your study, you might be required to go for a mandatory six months or one-year internship program depending on the institution. This should give you a level of training and experience in the practical aspects of electrical engineering. If you fulfill all the requirements at the end of your study period, you will be awarded a bachelor’s degree in your chosen electrical engineering sub-discipline; for example electrical electronics engineering.
Get professional experience: Although you might have undergone an internship during your undergraduate study, it is important to get more professional experience to become a professional in the field. You can volunteer in an electrical engineering firm or a government agency to enhance your experience.
Enroll in a postgraduate program: Enrolling and earning at least a master’s degree program is the next step to becoming an electrical engineer.
Get a license to practice: As discussed earlier, you need a license to be able to practice as an electrical engineer. The advantages cannot be overemphasized; you can apply for licensing from license awarding bodies in your location after obtaining your postgraduate degree in electrical engineering.
Where to Work
Electrical engineering graduates can find jobs and work in most engineering sectors which includes the following;
- Information technology, manufacturing, and telecommunication industries.
- Aerospace, automotive, and electronics industries.
- Power generation, construction, and oil and gas industries.
- Fast-moving consumer goods and materials and metals industries.
- Defense, marine, and pharmaceutical industries.
- Rail and utilities industries.
- Electrical engineers can also work in private engineering firms.
Electrical Engineer Salary Scale
An individual who works as an electrical engineer earns approximately 316,000NGN monthly. The highest and lowest salary ranges are 499,000 and 148,000 respectively depending on your level of experience and qualification. The salary structure above covers all benefits which include health, transport, and housing to mention but a few.