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Become An Electrical Design Engineer

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Working As An Electrical Design Engineer

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Analyzing Data or Information
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Mostly Sitting

  • $91,310

    Average Salary

What Does An Electrical 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 An Electrical 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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Do you work as an Electrical Design Engineer?

Electrical Design Engineer Jobs

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Electrical Design Engineer Career Paths

Electrical Design Engineer
Project Manager Construction Manager
Capital Project Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Contract Project Manager Construction Manager
Commissioning Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Senior Electrical Designer Lead Designer Design Engineer
Design Engineering Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Application Engineer Senior Systems Engineer Manager, Systems Engineering
Director Of Systems Engineering
12 Yearsyrs
Field Electrical Engineer Electrical Superintendent
Electrical Project Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Controls Engineer Engineer Senior Process Engineer
Engineering Group Leader
7 Yearsyrs
Senior Electrical Design Engineer Senior Electrical Engineer Engineering Manager
Engineering Operations Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Electrical Project Engineer Senior Project Engineer Project Engineering Manager
Engineering Program Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Electrical Project Engineer Senior Electrical Engineer Engineering Manager
Engineering/Maintenance Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Project Engineer Systems Engineer
Manager, Systems Engineering
9 Yearsyrs
Systems Engineer Application Engineer Project Engineer
Manufacturing Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Electrical Controls Engineer Controls Engineer Senior Project Engineer
Plant Engineering Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Senior Design Engineer Senior Project Engineer Senior Process Engineer
Process Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Application Engineer Mechanical Design Engineer Product Engineer
Product Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Electrical Engineer Project Manager Product Manager
Product Line Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Systems Engineer Systems Administrator Engineer
Project Engineering Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Electrical Engineer Principal Engineer Engineering Director
Senior Director Of Engineering
15 Yearsyrs
Project Engineer Engineering Manager
Senior Engineering Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Senior Design Engineer Senior Engineer Senior Test Engineer
Test Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as an Electrical Design Engineer?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Top Employers Before
Engineer 5.4%
Internship 3.6%
Designer 2.1%
Top Employers After
Engineer 4.0%

Do you work as an Electrical Design Engineer?

Electrical Design Engineer Demographics

Gender

Male

86.0%

Female

11.3%

Unknown

2.8%
Ethnicity

White

53.7%

Hispanic or Latino

14.9%

Asian

14.9%

Black or African American

10.0%

Unknown

6.5%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

32.3%

French

10.4%

Chinese

8.3%

Mandarin

7.3%

Cantonese

5.2%

Carrier

4.2%

German

4.2%

Russian

3.1%

Italian

3.1%

Japanese

3.1%

Persian

3.1%

Hindi

2.1%

Korean

2.1%

Malay

2.1%

Greek

2.1%

Portuguese

2.1%

Arabic

2.1%

Vietnamese

1.0%

Cherokee

1.0%

Gujarati

1.0%
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Electrical Design Engineer Education

Schools

Purdue University

10.5%

University of Texas at Arlington

6.5%

Drexel University

5.7%

Northeastern University

5.7%

Wayne State University

5.3%

University of Central Florida

5.3%

Pennsylvania State University

4.9%

New Jersey Institute of Technology

4.9%

University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

4.9%

University of Tennessee - Knoxville

4.5%

University of Houston

4.5%

Georgia Institute of Technology -

4.5%

University of Pittsburgh -

4.5%

Oklahoma State University

4.5%

Villanova University

4.0%

North Carolina State University

4.0%

University of Texas at Dallas

4.0%

University of Southern California

4.0%

San Jose State University

4.0%

University of Phoenix

4.0%
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Majors

Electrical Engineering

62.4%

Electrical Engineering Technology

8.0%

Business

5.8%

Computer Engineering

4.7%

Engineering

3.3%

Mechanical Engineering

2.2%

Drafting And Design

2.0%

Engineering And Industrial Management

1.7%

Computer Science

1.5%

Project Management

1.5%

Engineering Technology

1.0%

Industrial Technology

0.9%

Systems Engineering

0.9%

Management

0.8%

Computer Engineering Technology

0.6%

Computer Information Systems

0.6%

Information Technology

0.6%

Education

0.5%

Industrial Engineering

0.5%

Finance

0.5%
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Degrees

Bachelors

52.9%

Masters

26.2%

Other

9.5%

Associate

6.2%

Certificate

2.2%

Doctorate

2.2%

Diploma

0.7%

License

0.1%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Electrical Design Engineer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Principal Electrical Design Engineer Cypress Semiconductor Corporation San Jose, CA May 07, 2016 $159,750
Principal Electrical Design Engineer Cypress Semiconductor Corporation San Jose, CA May 07, 2016 $152,131 -
$152,754
Lead Electrical Design Engineer-Subsea Systems Schmidt Ocean Institute Palo Alto, CA Mar 15, 2015 $135,000 -
$140,000
Electrical Design Engineer Texas Instruments Incorporated Santa Clara, CA Feb 24, 2015 $125,965
Electrical Design Engineer Adecco Group Na/Entegee, Inc. Savannah, GA Sep 06, 2015 $121,046
Electrical Design Engineer Principal Cypress Semiconductor Corporation Colorado Springs, CO Aug 13, 2016 $117,000 -
$118,292
Electrical Design Engineer Texas Instruments Incorporated Dallas, TX Aug 11, 2015 $115,020
Electrical Engineer/Asic Design Altran Solutions Corp. Santa Clara, CA Jul 25, 2016 $115,000
Electrical Design Engineer Principal Cypress Semiconductor Corporation Lynnwood, WA Apr 06, 2015 $114,858 -
$140,000
Electrical Design Engineer Adecco Group Na/Entegee, Inc. Savannah, GA Sep 06, 2015 $114,785
Electrical Design Engineer Cg Power Solutions USA Inc. Washington, MO Oct 28, 2016 $112,694
Electrical Design Engineer Cg Power Solutions USA Inc. Washington, MO Oct 31, 2016 $112,694
Electrical Design Engineer Cg Power Solutions USA Inc. Washington, MO Feb 11, 2016 $112,694
Electrical Design Engineer Cg Power Solutions USA Inc. Washington, MO Sep 23, 2016 $112,694
Electrical Design Engineer Satarii, Inc. San Carlos, CA Aug 30, 2016 $83,000
Electrical Design Engineer Tech Mahindra (Americas), Inc. Lisle, IL Sep 13, 2016 $82,764
Electrical Design Engineer Hyundai Power Transformers USA, Inc. Montgomery, AL Nov 27, 2016 $82,000
Electrical Design Engineer Hyundai Power Transformers USA, Inc. Montgomery, AL Nov 27, 2015 $82,000
Electrical Design Engineer L&T Technology Services Limited Chicago, IL Nov 21, 2016 $81,515 -
$91,000
Electrical Design Engineer Zodiac Seat Shells Us LLC Santa Maria, CA Sep 14, 2016 $81,113
Electrical Design Engineer Delta Star, Inc. Lynchburg, VA Sep 17, 2016 $80,880
Electrical Design Engineer Sensata Technologies, Inc. Attleboro, MA Jan 09, 2016 $72,000 -
$107,900
Electrical Design Engineer Delphi Corporation Kokomo, IN Aug 31, 2016 $71,864
Electrical Design Engineer L&T Technology Services Limited Klamath Falls, OR Aug 30, 2016 $71,490 -
$81,000
Electrical Engineer, Device Soft. Design Vibrant Sciences LLC San Carlos, CA Sep 11, 2015 $71,469
Electrical Design Engineer Advanced Technology Innovation Corporation Greensboro, NC Oct 05, 2015 $70,958
Electrical Design Engineer Electromagnetic Industries, LLP Baytown, TX Sep 22, 2015 $70,875
Electrical Design Engineer L&T Technology Services Limited Fayetteville, NC Dec 08, 2016 $70,845 -
$80,000
Electrical Design Engineer Molex, LLC Lisle, IL Aug 30, 2016 $70,658 -
$75,658

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Top Skills for An Electrical Design Engineer

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  1. Electrical Design
  2. Autocad Electrical
  3. Layout
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Familiarized with Southern California Edison standards, including electrical construction station, electrical design station and other Southern California Edison processes.
  • Produced electrical and control design schematics in AutoCad electrical.
  • Provided board layout services for several customers resulting in products meeting or exceeding requirements.
  • Design automated/semi-automated high voltage, high current, and high power test systems based on specifications and requirements.
  • Designed the complete electrical controls and wire harnesses for blast hole drills and shovels used in open pit mines.

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Average Salary:

Top 10 Best States for Electrical Design Engineers

  1. Washington
  2. Texas
  3. New Mexico
  4. New Hampshire
  5. Arizona
  6. Virginia
  7. Alaska
  8. District of Columbia
  9. Delaware
  10. Rhode Island
  • (1,285 jobs)
  • (2,645 jobs)
  • (190 jobs)
  • (338 jobs)
  • (684 jobs)
  • (1,779 jobs)
  • (52 jobs)
  • (300 jobs)
  • (92 jobs)
  • (86 jobs)

Top Electrical Design Engineer Employers

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Jobs From Top Electrical Design Engineer Employers

Electrical Design Engineer Videos

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Day in the Life of an Electrical and Electronics Engineer

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