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Become A Circuit Designer

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Working As A Circuit Designer

  • 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

  • $94,120

    Average Salary

What Does A Circuit Designer 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 Designer

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 Designer Jobs

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Circuit Designer Career Paths

Circuit Designer
Electrical Engineer Senior Engineer Senior Member Technical Staff
Analog Design Engineer
5 Yearsyrs
Network Engineer Systems Engineer Project Engineer
Contracting Engineer
10 Yearsyrs
Project Coordinator Engineer Design Engineer
Design Engineering Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Specialist Systems Engineer Principal Engineer
Director, Hardware Engineering
13 Yearsyrs
Radio Frequency Engineer Field Engineer Electrical Engineer
Electrical Engineer Lead
8 Yearsyrs
Engineer Development Engineer Electrical Engineer
Electrical Engineering Project Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Product Engineer Project Engineer Senior Process Engineer
Engineering Group Leader
7 Yearsyrs
Product Engineer Validation Engineer Hardware Design Engineer
Hardware Development Engineer
6 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Specialist Network Technician Field Engineer
Lead Field Engineer
6 Yearsyrs
Radio Frequency Engineer Consulting Engineer Hardware Engineer
Lead Hardware Engineer
7 Yearsyrs
Project Coordinator Project Engineer Senior Design Engineer
Principal Design Engineer
13 Yearsyrs
Circuit Design Engineer Senior Design Engineer Senior Electrical Engineer
Principal Electrical Engineer
14 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Consultant Senior Software Engineer
Principal Engineer
12 Yearsyrs
Network Engineer Engineer Design Engineer
Senior Design Engineer
8 Yearsyrs
Designer Electrical Designer Electrical Design Engineer
Senior Electrical Design Engineer
11 Yearsyrs
Circuit Design Engineer Design Engineer Electrical Engineer
Senior Electrical Engineer
12 Yearsyrs
Electrical Engineer Controls Engineer Electronics Engineer
Senior Electronic Engineer
10 Yearsyrs
Engineer Design Engineer Hardware Engineer
Senior Hardware Engineer
9 Yearsyrs
Designer Senior Designer
Senior PCB Designer
13 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Program Manager Engineering Director
Vice President Of Engineering
13 Yearsyrs
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Circuit Designer Demographics

Gender

Male

61.3%

Female

30.5%

Unknown

8.2%
Ethnicity

White

53.9%

Asian

18.8%

Hispanic or Latino

12.6%

Black or African American

9.5%

Unknown

5.2%
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Languages Spoken

Carrier

16.7%

Spanish

16.7%

Mandarin

9.5%

Arabic

9.5%

Chinese

7.1%

Japanese

4.8%

French

4.8%

Swahili

2.4%

Hindi

2.4%

Nepali

2.4%

Turkish

2.4%

German

2.4%

Hebrew

2.4%

Persian

2.4%

Korean

2.4%

Kinyarwanda

2.4%

Armenian

2.4%

Vietnamese

2.4%

Cantonese

2.4%

Thai

2.4%
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Circuit Designer Education

Schools

Northern Virginia Community College

9.1%

Arizona State University

7.8%

Tulsa Community College

7.8%

University of Phoenix

7.8%

University of Colorado at Boulder

5.2%

University of Southern California

5.2%

Illinois Institute of Technology

5.2%

Northeastern University

5.2%

San Jose State University

3.9%

University of Washington

3.9%

University of California - San Diego

3.9%

Drexel University

3.9%

Geneva College

3.9%

DePaul University

3.9%

Regis University

3.9%

University of North Texas

3.9%

Lehigh University

3.9%

University of Texas at Dallas

3.9%

Purdue University

3.9%

State University of New York at Binghamton

3.9%
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Majors

Electrical Engineering

40.5%

Business

13.1%

Computer Engineering

7.1%

Computer Networking

5.6%

Computer Information Systems

3.2%

Electrical Engineering Technology

2.8%

Computer Science

2.8%

Education

2.8%

Management

2.4%

Mathematics

2.4%

Physics

2.4%

Information Technology

2.4%

Communication

2.4%

Project Management

1.6%

Marketing

1.6%

Engineering

1.6%

Health Care Administration

1.6%

Accounting

1.6%

Political Science

1.2%

Drafting And Design

1.2%
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Degrees

Bachelors

32.7%

Masters

28.3%

Other

19.7%

Associate

9.2%

Doctorate

4.8%

Certificate

3.8%

Diploma

1.6%
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Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Circuit Designer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Senior Integrated Circuit Designer Butterfly Network, Inc. Guilford, CT Sep 13, 2016 $160,000
Senior Radio Frequency Integrated Circuit Designer Nokia Inc. Berkeley, CA Sep 07, 2013 $140,000
Analog Integrated Circuit Designer Butterfly Network, Inc. Guilford, CT Aug 26, 2014 $130,000
Custom Circuit Designer Netlogic Microsystems, Inc. Santa Clara, CA Jun 21, 2010 $109,225
SR. Analog & Mixed Signal Circuit Designer-Fnfs Sitime Corporation Sunnyvale, CA May 01, 2015 $106,517
SR. Integrated Circuit Designer Magnachip Semiconductor, Inc. Cupertino, CA Jul 11, 2011 $105,000
High Speed Circuit Designer Luxtera, Inc. Carlsbad, CA Nov 01, 2009 $103,721
Mixed Signal Circuit Designer Ambarella Corp Santa Clara, CA Jan 27, 2016 $102,606 -
$105,000
Smts-Circuit Design Rambus, Inc. Chapel Hill, NC Jan 01, 2010 $100,000 -
$105,000
Analog Circuit Designer Intelliswift Software Inc. San Jose, CA Oct 01, 2014 $94,120
RF Circuit Designer Pa Express Santa Clara, CA Sep 24, 2016 $91,104
Analog Circuit Designer IBM Corporation Austin, TX Jul 14, 2016 $90,043 -
$155,000
Circuit Designer Solid Silicon Technology, LLC Plano, TX Sep 26, 2011 $90,000
Post-Doc: Mixed-Signal Integrated Circuit Design IBM Corporation Yorktown Heights, NY Sep 06, 2010 $90,000 -
$118,001
Circuit Designer-Memory Marvell Semiconductor, Inc. Santa Clara, CA Aug 15, 2015 $88,000
Advisory Analog Circuit Designer IBM Corporation Essex Junction, VT Nov 12, 2014 $77,064 -
$96,650

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Top Skills for A Circuit Designer

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  1. Layout Records
  2. Cadence
  3. DS1
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Created layout records and maintained data integrity of inventory record consumption.
  • Used Cadence design and verification tools
  • Exceeded managers' goal of designing 100+ DS1 private line circuits per month.
  • Assist production department in implementing efficient strategies to reduce electrical errors and increase throughput.
  • Design and provision DS1, DS3, DAL's, Private-Line Circuits to the customer premise.

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Top Circuit Designer Employers

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Jobs From Top Circuit Designer Employers

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