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Become A Circuit Design Engineer

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Working As A Circuit Design Engineer

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Drafting, Laying Out, and Specifying Technical Devices, Parts, and Equipment
  • Documenting/Recording Information
  • Mostly Sitting

  • $102,633

    Average Salary

What Does A Circuit Design Engineer Do

Electrical engineers design, develop, test, and supervise the manufacturing of electrical equipment, such as electric motors, radar and navigation systems, communications systems, or power generation equipment. Electrical engineers also design the electrical systems of automobiles and aircraft.

Electronics engineers design and develop electronic equipment, such as broadcast and communications systems, from portable music players to global positioning systems (GPSs). Many also work in areas closely related to computer hardware.

Duties

Electrical engineers typically do the following:

  • Design new ways to use electrical power to develop or improve products
  • Perform detailed calculations to develop manufacturing, construction, and installation standards and specifications
  • Direct the manufacture, installation, and testing of electrical equipment to ensure that products meet specifications and codes
  • Investigate complaints from customers or the public, evaluate problems, and recommend solutions
  • Work with project managers on production efforts to ensure that projects are completed satisfactorily, on time, and within budget

Electronics engineers typically do the following:

  • Design electronic components, software, products, or systems for commercial, industrial, medical, military, or scientific applications
  • Analyze customer needs and determine the requirements, capacity, and cost for developing an electrical system plan
  • Develop maintenance and testing procedures for electronic components and equipment
  • Evaluate systems and recommend design modifications or equipment repair
  • Inspect electronic equipment, instruments, and systems to make sure that they meet safety standards and applicable regulations
  • Plan and develop applications and modifications for electronic properties used in parts and systems in order to improve technical performance

Electronics engineers who work for the federal government research, develop, and evaluate electronic devices used in a variety of areas, such as aviation, computing, transportation, and manufacturing. They work on federal electronic devices and systems, including satellites, flight systems, radar and sonar systems, and communications systems.

The work of electrical engineers and electronics engineers is often similar. Both use engineering and design software and equipment to do engineering tasks. Both types of engineers also must work with other engineers to discuss existing products and possibilities for engineering projects.

Engineers whose work is related exclusively to computer hardware are considered computer hardware engineers.

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How To Become A Circuit Design Engineer

Electrical and electronics engineers must have a bachelor’s degree. Employers also value practical experience, so participation in cooperative engineering programs, in which students earn academic credit for structured work experience. Having a Professional Engineer (PE) license may improve an engineer’s chances of finding employment.

Education

High school students interested in studying electrical or electronics engineering benefit from taking courses in physics and mathematics, including algebra, trigonometry, and calculus. Courses in drafting are also helpful, because electrical and electronics engineers often are required to prepare technical drawings.

In order to enter the occupation, prospective electrical and electronics engineers need a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, electronics engineering, or electrical engineering technology. Programs include classroom, laboratory, and field studies. Courses include digital systems design, differential equations, and electrical circuit theory. Programs in electrical engineering, electronics engineering, or electrical engineering technology should be accredited by ABET.

Some colleges and universities offer cooperative programs in which students gain practical experience while completing their education. Cooperative programs combine classroom study with practical work. Internships provide similar experience and are growing in number.

At some universities, students can enroll in a 5-year program that leads to both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree. A graduate degree allows an engineer to work as an instructor at some universities, or in research and development.

Important Qualities

Concentration. Electrical and electronics engineers design and develop complex electrical systems and electronic components and products. They must be able to keep track of multiple design elements and technical characteristics when performing these tasks.

Initiative. Electrical and electronics engineers must be able to apply their knowledge to new tasks in every project they undertake. In addition, they must engage in continuing education to keep up with changes in technology.

Interpersonal skills. Electrical and electronics engineers must be able to work with others during the manufacturing process to ensure that their plans are implemented correctly. This collaboration includes monitoring technicians and devising remedies to problems as they arise.

Math skills. Electrical and electronics engineers must be able to use the principles of calculus and other advanced math in order to analyze, design, and troubleshoot equipment.

Speaking skills. Electrical and electronics engineers work closely with other engineers and technicians. They must be able to explain their designs and reasoning clearly and to relay instructions during product development and production. They also may need to explain complex issues to customers who have little or no technical expertise.

Writing skills. Electrical and electronics engineers develop technical publications related to equipment they develop, including maintenance manuals, operation manuals, parts lists, product proposals, and design methods documents.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Licensure is not required for entry-level positions as electrical and electronics engineers. A Professional Engineering (PE) license, which allows for higher levels of leadership and independence, can be acquired later in one’s career. Licensed engineers are called professional engineers (PEs). A PE can oversee the work of other engineers, sign off on projects, and provide services directly to the public. State licensure generally requires

  • A degree from an ABET-accredited engineering program
  • A passing score on the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam
  • Relevant work experience
  • A passing score on the Professional Engineering (PE) exam

The initial Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam can be taken right after graduation from a college or university. Engineers who pass this exam commonly are called engineers in training (EITs) or engineer interns (EIs). After getting work experience, EITs can take the second exam, called the Principles and Practice of Engineering exam.

Several states require engineers to take continuing education courses to keep their license. Most states recognize licensure from other states if the licensing state’s requirements meet or exceed their own licensure requirements.

Advancement

Electrical and electronic engineers may advance to supervisory positions in which they lead a team of engineers and technicians. Some may move to management positions, working as engineering or program managers. Preparation for managerial positions usually requires working under the guidance of a more experienced engineer. For more information, see the profile on architectural and engineering managers.

For sales work, an engineering background enables engineers to discuss a product's technical aspects and assist in product planning and use. For more information, see the profile on sales engineers.

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Circuit Design Engineer Jobs

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Circuit Design Engineer Career Paths

Circuit Design Engineer
Facility Engineer Electrical Engineer Electrical Design Engineer
Analog Design Engineer
5 Yearsyrs
Provisioning Engineer Engineer Senior Electrical Engineer
Chief Electrical Engineer
8 Yearsyrs
Radio Frequency Engineer Field Engineer Electrical Engineer
Contract Electrical Engineer
10 Yearsyrs
Network Engineer Engineer Design Engineer
Design Engineering Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Analog Design Engineer Radio Frequency Engineer Principal Engineer
Director, Hardware Engineering
12 Yearsyrs
Electrical Engineer Validation Engineer Hardware Design Engineer
Hardware Development Engineer
5 Yearsyrs
Senior Engineer Senior Hardware Engineer
Lead Hardware Engineer
8 Yearsyrs
Electrical Engineer Hardware Engineer
Manager, Hardware Engineering
9 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Engineering Manager Principal Engineer
Principal Design Engineer
12 Yearsyrs
Senior Design Engineer Senior Project Engineer Senior Electrical Engineer
Principal Electrical Engineer
14 Yearsyrs
Radio Frequency Engineer Senior Design Engineer Senior Hardware Engineer
Principal Hardware Engineer
13 Yearsyrs
Design Engineer Project Engineer
Senior Design Engineer
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Engineer Engineering Specialist Electrical Engineer
Senior Electrical Design Engineer
11 Yearsyrs
Senior Design Engineer Senior Engineer
Senior Electrical Engineer
11 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Contract Project Manager Contracting Engineer
Senior Electronic Engineer
9 Yearsyrs
Technician Field Service Technician Senior Electronics Technician
Senior Electronic Engineering Technician
7 Yearsyrs
Design Engineer Electrical Engineer Hardware Engineer
Senior Hardware Engineer
9 Yearsyrs
Network Engineer Project Engineer Senior Design Engineer
Staff Design Engineer
7 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Circuit Design Engineer?

Circuit Design Engineer Demographics

Gender

Male

71.4%

Female

21.9%

Unknown

6.8%
Ethnicity

White

49.1%

Asian

22.4%

Hispanic or Latino

12.5%

Black or African American

9.9%

Unknown

6.0%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Carrier

32.1%

Spanish

14.3%

Chinese

10.7%

Japanese

10.7%

Mandarin

10.7%

French

7.1%

Hawaiian

3.6%

Malay

3.6%

Hebrew

3.6%

Cantonese

3.6%
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Circuit Design Engineer Education

Schools

San Jose State University

7.8%

University of Phoenix

7.8%

Rochester Institute of Technology

6.9%

University of Texas at Austin

6.9%

Texas A&M University

5.9%

Purdue University

5.9%

Carnegie Mellon University

5.9%

Santa Clara University

4.9%

Illinois Institute of Technology

4.9%

University of Texas at Arlington

3.9%

Michigan Technological University

3.9%

Ohio University -

3.9%

Arizona State University

3.9%

University of California - San Diego

3.9%

Wayne State University

3.9%

Strayer University

3.9%

City College of New York of the City University of New York

3.9%

Michigan State University

3.9%

University of Utah

3.9%

Ohio State University

3.9%
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Majors

Electrical Engineering

48.3%

Business

10.4%

Computer Engineering

7.3%

Computer Networking

3.4%

Electrical Engineering Technology

3.1%

Engineering

3.1%

Mechanical Engineering

2.8%

Telecommunications Management

2.4%

Project Management

2.4%

Computer Information Systems

2.1%

Computer Science

2.1%

Accounting

2.1%

Information Technology

1.5%

General Studies

1.5%

Marketing

1.2%

General Education, Specific Areas

1.2%

Physics

1.2%

Management Information Systems

1.2%

Communication

1.2%

Engineering And Industrial Management

1.2%
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Degrees

Bachelors

37.3%

Masters

31.6%

Other

17.8%

Associate

6.5%

Doctorate

4.3%

Certificate

1.9%

Diploma

0.5%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Circuit Design Engineer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
PHY Circuit Design Engineer Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Jul 21, 2015 $163,000 -
$183,000
Principal Engineer-Circuit Design Engineering Rambus Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Jun 27, 2016 $155,000 -
$185,000
Principal Engineer, Circuit Design Engineering Rambus Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Nov 01, 2016 $140,000 -
$165,000
Principal Engineer, Circuit Design Engineering Rambus Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Apr 01, 2016 $140,000 -
$165,000
Principal Engineer-Circuit Design Engineering-DI Rambus Inc. San Francisco, CA Sep 10, 2013 $140,000 -
$155,000
Staff Analog/Mixed-Signal Circuit Design Engineer Qualcomm Atheros, Inc. San Jose, CA Dec 16, 2016 $136,448 -
$176,800
Smts-Circuit Design Engineering Rambus Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Sep 14, 2016 $135,000 -
$165,000
Smts-Circuit Design Engineering-Digital Rambus Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Jun 29, 2016 $135,000 -
$165,000
Smts-Circuit Design Engineering Rambus Inc. Chapel Hill, NC Jan 10, 2016 $135,000 -
$165,000
SR. Input/Output Circuit Design Engineer Nvidia Corporation Santa Clara, CA Nov 20, 2015 $131,000 -
$145,392
Printed Circuit Board Design Engineer Planet Labs Inc. San Francisco, CA Sep 25, 2015 $130,000
Senior Analog/Rf Circuit Design Engineer/Wireless/Wired Communications Qualcomm Technologies Inc. Santa Clara, CA Aug 31, 2016 $128,336 -
$142,400
Integrated Circuit Design Engineer Infotech Spectrum, Inc. San Jose, CA Sep 10, 2015 $126,000
Senior Circuit Design Engineer Fairchild Semiconductor International, Inc. Irvine, CA Aug 09, 2013 $114,766
Senior Input/Output Circuit Design Engineer Nvidia Corporation Santa Clara, CA Oct 05, 2014 $113,990 -
$132,961
PLL Circuit Design Engineer Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Apr 01, 2016 $113,000 -
$133,000
Circuit Design Engineer II Kineticom, Inc. Atlanta, GA May 28, 2016 $111,925 -
$116,000
Circuit Design Engineer II Kineticom, Inc. San Diego, CA May 28, 2016 $111,925 -
$116,000
Sram Circuit Design Engineer Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Jul 24, 2014 $110,032 -
$130,000
Circuit Design Engineer III Samsung Austin Semiconductor LLC Austin, TX Apr 29, 2015 $110,000
Circuit Design Engineer Dolphin Technology, Inc. San Jose, CA Aug 29, 2016 $110,000
Microelectronic Circuit Design Staff Engineer Pericom Semiconductor Corporation Milpitas, CA Sep 12, 2015 $102,000
Circuit Design Engineer Analog Bits, Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Sep 12, 2013 $102,000
Senior Analog/Rf Circuit Design Engineer/Pmic Qualcomm Technologies Inc. San Diego, CA Oct 13, 2016 $100,714 -
$124,200
Senior Analog/Mixed-Signal Circuit Design Engineer/Ate Test Qualcomm Technologies Inc. San Diego, CA Aug 31, 2016 $99,154 -
$124,200
Senior Circuit Design Engineer Samsung Austin Semiconductor, LLC Austin, TX Oct 06, 2016 $98,862 -
$117,984
Senior Analog/Rf Circuit Design Engineer Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. San Diego, CA Jan 03, 2016 $96,970 -
$133,200
Analog/Mixed-Signal Circuit Design Engineer/RF Components Qualcomm Technologies Inc. San Diego, CA Aug 26, 2016 $96,970 -
$103,400

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Top Skills for A Circuit Design Engineer

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  1. Circuit Boards
  2. Layout
  3. Analog
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Evaluated alternative components for discontinued avionics and printed circuit boards.
  • Develop mechanical layouts using customer supplied housing data to establish optimum Flexible and Rigid-Flex circuit board outlines.
  • Determined technical specifications and design customer digital and analog circuits.
  • Tested DS3's and DS1's circuits for proper routing and quality of signal via a T-Bird 2310 Test Set.
  • Supervised 8 electronic technicians and mask designers.

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Top 10 Best States for Circuit Design Engineers

  1. Maryland
  2. California
  3. District of Columbia
  4. Massachusetts
  5. Texas
  6. Virginia
  7. New Hampshire
  8. Alabama
  9. New Mexico
  10. Washington
  • (556 jobs)
  • (3,651 jobs)
  • (184 jobs)
  • (679 jobs)
  • (1,364 jobs)
  • (893 jobs)
  • (165 jobs)
  • (211 jobs)
  • (86 jobs)
  • (634 jobs)

Top Circuit Design Engineer Employers

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Jobs From Top Circuit Design Engineer Employers

Circuit Design Engineer Videos

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