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Become An Electrical Designer

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Working As An Electrical Designer

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

  • $74,697

    Average Salary

What Does An Electrical 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 An Electrical 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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Electrical Designer jobs

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Electrical Designer Career Paths

Electrical Designer
Systems Designer Project Manager Product Manager
Business Unit Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Controls Engineer Senior Engineer Construction Manager
Capital Project Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Design Engineer Electrical Engineer Engineer
Chief Engineer
10 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Program Manager General Manager
Chief Operating Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Controls Engineer Engineering Manager Construction Manager
Commissioning Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Lead Designer Design Engineer
Design Engineering Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Electrical Design Engineer Senior Electrical Engineer Engineering Manager
Engineering Director
13 Yearsyrs
Engineer Project Engineer Engineering Manager
Engineering Operations Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Project Engineer Assistant Project Manager Estimator
Estimator Project Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Piping Designer Field Engineer Senior Field Engineer
Field Engineering Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Engineer Construction Manager
Installation Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Project Engineer Production Manager Warehouse Manager
Logistics Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Senior Designer Project Manager Construction Manager
Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Senior Project Manager
Project Director
8 Yearsyrs
Electrical Engineer Systems Engineer Project Engineer
Project Engineering Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Lead Designer Art Director Freelance Designer
Senior Designer
6 Yearsyrs
Electrical Design Engineer Electrical Engineer
Senior Electrical Engineer
12 Yearsyrs
Design Engineer Mechanical Engineer Mechanical Design Engineer
Senior Mechanical Designer
11 Yearsyrs
Senior Designer Design Engineer Mechanical Engineer
Senior Mechanical Engineer
11 Yearsyrs
Electrical Engineer Project Engineer
Senior Project Engineer
6 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Senior Designer 4.0 years
Electrical Manager 3.7 years
Lead Designer 3.3 years
Designer 3.0 years
Electrical Drafter 2.9 years
Controls Designer 2.7 years
Top Employers Before
Designer 10.2%
Drafter 5.4%
Draftsman 3.6%
Top Employers After
Designer 7.2%
Owner 2.0%

Electrical Designer Demographics

Gender

Male

82.9%

Female

15.1%

Unknown

2.0%
Ethnicity

White

77.0%

Hispanic or Latino

11.8%

Asian

8.4%

Unknown

2.2%

Black or African American

0.6%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

47.5%

French

6.8%

German

5.1%

Carrier

5.1%

Russian

3.4%

Italian

3.4%

Japanese

3.4%

Tagalog

3.4%

Hindi

3.4%

Portuguese

1.7%

Swedish

1.7%

Mandarin

1.7%

Turkish

1.7%

Cantonese

1.7%

Gujarati

1.7%

Bengali

1.7%

Dakota

1.7%

Urdu

1.7%

Korean

1.7%

Navajo

1.7%
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Electrical Designer Education

Schools

Houston Community College

11.8%

University of Houston

7.8%

University of Phoenix

7.8%

Pennsylvania State University

5.9%

Oklahoma State University

5.4%

Lee College

4.9%

Central Piedmont Community College

4.4%

Wentworth Institute of Technology

4.4%

More Tech Institute

4.4%

Drexel University

4.4%

Greenville Technical College

4.4%

Texas State Technical College - Waco

3.9%

Tulsa Community College

3.9%

University of Southern Mississippi

3.9%

Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College

3.9%

Pittsburgh Technical Institute

3.9%

Bakersfield College

3.9%

Northeastern University

3.9%

Rochester Institute of Technology

3.4%

Texas A&M University

3.4%
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Majors

Electrical Engineering

28.1%

Drafting And Design

21.1%

Electrical Engineering Technology

12.9%

Business

7.1%

Engineering

4.8%

Industrial Technology

2.8%

Mechanical Engineering

2.7%

Engineering Technology

2.3%

Computer Science

2.2%

Project Management

1.8%

Electromechanical Instrumentation And Maintenance Technologies/Technicians

1.6%

Mechanical Engineering Technology

1.6%

Management

1.5%

Graphic Design

1.5%

Architecture

1.4%

General Studies

1.4%

Computer Engineering

1.4%

Engineering And Industrial Management

1.4%

Construction Management

1.3%

Education

1.2%
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Degrees

Other

30.5%

Bachelors

29.0%

Associate

25.6%

Masters

6.9%

Certificate

5.9%

Diploma

1.5%

License

0.2%

Doctorate

0.2%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Electrical Designer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Lead Electrical Designer Worleyparsons Group, Inc. Houston, TX Jul 15, 2013 $248,331
Electrical Designer Bechtel Oil, Gas and Chemicals, Inc. Houston, TX Jun 28, 2016 $133,800
Electrical Designer (Engineer) Bechtel Oil, Gas &Amp; Chemicals, Inc. Houston, TX Nov 01, 2014 $116,459 -
$130,464
Electrical/Electronics Applications Design Enginee Lg Chem Power, Inc. Troy, MI Mar 17, 2014 $110,000
Principal Electrical Designer I CB&I Inc. Houston, TX May 17, 2012 $103,958 -
$143,147
Electrical Designer (Engineer) Bechtel Oil, Gas & Chemicals, Inc. Houston, TX Nov 01, 2011 $95,700 -
$113,256
Electrical Designer International Plant Services, LLC Houston, TX Sep 26, 2015 $93,600
Electrical Designer Bechtel Oil, Gas &Amp; Chemicals, Inc. Houston, TX Aug 21, 2013 $91,146 -
$120,360
Electrical Designer Lam Research Corporation Fremont, CA Aug 22, 2016 $90,000
Electrical Designer Global Edge Solutions, LLC Bakersfield, CA Sep 18, 2014 $89,440
Electrical Designer WFT Engineering, Inc. Gaithersburg, MD May 21, 2012 $85,000 -
$95,000
Electrical Designer WFT Engineering, Inc. Gaithersburg, MD Sep 16, 2014 $85,000 -
$95,000
Electrical Designer Fishbone Solutions, Inc. Houston, TX Sep 07, 2013 $81,536 -
$100,000
Electrical Designer Henningson, Durham &Amp; Richardson, PC New York, NY Sep 15, 2013 $75,837
Electrical Engineer Design Drafter Entegee, Inc. MA Mar 14, 2011 $75,132
Electrical Designer Glumac Los Angeles, CA Aug 31, 2016 $72,544
Electrical Designer Exp U.S. Services Inc. San Francisco, CA Aug 24, 2016 $72,322 -
$83,000
Electrical Engineering Design Drafter RCM Technologies (USA), Inc. Oakland, NJ Oct 27, 2016 $72,072
Electrical Designer Randall Lamb Associates San Francisco, CA Sep 01, 2015 $71,469
Electrical Designer Walter Dorwin Teague Associates (Washington), Inc. Seattle, WA Sep 16, 2011 $70,003
Electrical Designer Berg Power Engineers, Inc. West Covina, CA Oct 01, 2012 $63,257
Electrical Designer/Drafter Storms & Lowe Associates Los Angeles, CA Mar 07, 2013 $63,257
Electrical Engineering Design Drafter Design Alaska, Inc. Fairbanks, AK Mar 01, 2011 $62,610
Electrical Designer United Power Technologies LLC Owings Mills, MD Sep 01, 2015 $62,483
Electrical Designer Balfour Beatty Infrastructure, Inc. Goldsboro, NC Mar 09, 2016 $62,067 -
$67,000
Electrical Designer Vantran Industries Waco, TX Nov 04, 2014 $62,000
Electrical Design Ephesus Remodeling, LLC Smyrna, GA Oct 01, 2012 $61,567
Electrical Designer EDG2, Inc. Bethesda, MD Sep 17, 2013 $61,152

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Top Skills for An Electrical Designer

AutocadElectricalElectricalSchematicsElectricalDesignConduitTrayAutoCADDrawingPackagesPLCControlSystemsElectricalSystemsFacilityPOne-LineDiagramsFireAlarmSystemsElectricalEquipmentElectricalDrawingsNECSafetyMotorControlCentersControlPanelLayouts

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Top Electrical Designer Skills

  1. Autocad Electrical
  2. Electrical Schematics
  3. Electrical Design
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Create electrical schematics with AutoCAD Electrical 2004
  • Design of electrical schematics and harnesses for naval transportation.
  • Provided electrical design/drafting support on multiple projects.
  • Created Riser diagrams, circuit drawings, wire/ conduit sizing.
  • Train Designers new to this process to be able to create cable tray drawings by 3D model extraction.

Top Electrical Designer Employers

Electrical Designer Videos

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