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Become An Electrical Project Engineer

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Working As An Electrical Project Engineer

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

  • $81,000

    Average Salary

What Does An Electrical Project 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 Project 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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Electrical Project Engineer Career Paths

Electrical Project Engineer
Senior Electrical Engineer Senior Systems Engineer
Manager, Systems Engineering
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Electrical Engineer Principal Engineer
Project Engineering Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Senior Electrical Engineer Senior Systems Engineer Manager, Systems Engineering
Director Of Systems Engineering
12 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Principal Superintendent
Project And Field Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Project Engineer Senior Process Engineer Senior Manufacturing Engineer
Manufacturing Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Project Engineer Senior Process Engineer Senior Engineer
Engineering Supervisor
6 Yearsyrs
Senior Project Engineer Senior Systems Engineer Senior Applications Engineer
Applications Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Owner/Operator Construction Manager
Capital Project Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Controls Engineer Project Controls Engineer
Controls Project Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Controls Engineer Senior Engineer Senior Test Engineer
Test Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Information Technology Project Manager Engineering Program Manager
Senior Program And Engineering Manager
13 Yearsyrs
Controls Engineer Maintenance Supervisor Facilities Maintenance Manager
Facilities Project Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Engineering Manager Construction Manager
Commissioning Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Engineering Manager Construction Manager Design Manager
Design Engineering Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Systems Engineer Engineer Project Engineering Manager
Plant Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Systems Engineer Radio Frequency Engineer Senior Field Engineer
Field Engineering Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Systems Engineer Engineer Senior Process Engineer
Engineering Group Leader
7 Yearsyrs
Electrical Engineer Lead Lead Engineer Project Lead Engineer
Lead Engineer And Project Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Supervisor Superintendent Mechanical Superintendent
Area Superintendent
9 Yearsyrs
Electrical Engineer Lead Lead Engineer Section Manager
Manager Of Engineering Department
7 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as an Electrical Project Engineer?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Project Engineer 3.4 years
Top Careers Before Electrical Project Engineer
Engineer 3.3%
Internship 2.3%
Top Careers After Electrical Project Engineer
Engineer 2.4%
Consultant 1.9%

Do you work as an Electrical Project Engineer?

Average Yearly Salary
$81,000
Show Salaries
$61,000
Min 10%
$81,000
Median 50%
$81,000
Median 50%
$81,000
Median 50%
$81,000
Median 50%
$81,000
Median 50%
$81,000
Median 50%
$81,000
Median 50%
$107,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Google
Highest Paying City
San Jose, CA
Highest Paying State
District of Columbia
Avg Experience Level
3.9 years
How much does an Electrical Project Engineer make at top companies?
The national average salary for an Electrical Project Engineer in the United States is $81,127 per year or $39 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $61,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $107,000.

Real Electrical Project Engineer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Project Engineer-Electrical Skanska USA Civil Northeast Inc. NY Feb 12, 2016 $136,427
Electrical Engineer-Transit Vehicle Projects Schaltbau North America Hauppauge, NY Feb 25, 2016 $126,228
Project Engineer Electrical Transocean Offshore Deepwater Drilling Inc. Houston, TX Sep 04, 2015 $119,059
Project Engineer, Electrical Advanced Engineering Investigations Corporation Littleton, CO Sep 09, 2015 $117,000
Electrical Project Engineer Henningson, Durham & Richardson P.C. Albany, NY Apr 27, 2016 $116,917
Project Engineer-Electrical & Instrumentation Stantec Consulting Services Inc. Bakersfield, CA Jul 20, 2015 $114,920
Electrical Project Engineer Enertis Solar Inc. Jersey City, NJ Apr 05, 2016 $113,755
SR. Electrical Project Engineer Gentex Corporation Zeeland, MI Feb 29, 2016 $113,665
Electrical Project Engineer Gannett Fleming, Inc. Baltimore, MD May 08, 2015 $113,090
Project Engineer-Instrumentation, Electrical and Control Stantec Energy and Resources, Inc. Bakersfield, CA Mar 18, 2016 $106,829
Project Engineer-Electrical & Instrumentation Stantec Consulting Services Inc. Bakersfield, CA Feb 20, 2015 $106,479
Project Engineer-Instrumentation, Electrical & Control Stantec Consulting Services Inc. Bakersfield, CA Feb 12, 2015 $106,226
Senior Electrical Project Engineer Energy Electrical Integrators Corp. Miami, FL May 05, 2016 $106,184
Project Electrical Engineer-Analog Lutron Electronics Co., Inc. Coopersburg, PA Jan 09, 2016 $84,000
Project Electrical Engineer-Embedded Lutron Electronics Co., Inc. Coopersburg, PA Oct 01, 2015 $82,000
Project Electrical Engineer-Embedded Lutron Electronics Co., Inc. Coopersburg, PA May 08, 2016 $80,500
Electrical Project Engineer Trindera Engineering, Inc. Spokane, WA Dec 29, 2015 $80,000
Project Engineer/Electrical Engineer Plastipak Packaging, Inc. Plymouth, MI Aug 23, 2016 $79,498
Electrical Project Engineer Trindera Engineering, Inc. Coeur dAlene, ID Dec 01, 2016 $78,500
Senior Electrical Project Engineer Schneider Electric USA, Inc. Leesport, PA Oct 02, 2015 $77,064 -
$95,000
Project Electrical Engineer-Analog Lutron Electronics Co., Inc. Coopersburg, PA Nov 04, 2016 $70,554 -
$81,000
Project Electrical Engineer-Analog Lutron Electronics Co., Inc. Coopersburg, PA Oct 02, 2016 $70,554 -
$81,000
Project Electrical Engineer-Analog Lutron Electronics Co., Inc. Coopersburg, PA Jun 01, 2016 $70,554 -
$81,000
Project Electrical Engineer-Embedded Lutron Electronics Co., Inc. Coopersburg, PA Sep 23, 2015 $69,618 -
$83,000
Project Electrical Engineer-Embedded Lutron Electronics Co., Inc. Coopersburg, PA Jan 16, 2015 $69,618 -
$83,000
Project Electrical Engineer-Embedded Lutron Electronics Co., Inc. Coopersburg, PA Sep 16, 2015 $69,618 -
$83,000
Electrical Project Engineer Testek, Inc. Wixom, MI Sep 21, 2015 $68,000
Project Electrical Engineer Crown Technical Systems Fontana, CA Jan 09, 2016 $68,000

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Top Skills for An Electrical Project Engineer

  1. Project Management
  2. PLC
  3. Electrical Systems
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Perform project management and electrical engineering design in a contract design and manufacturing environment.
  • Designed upgrade of EFM packages, PLC installations and overall E/I installations at all units within the South Carolina District.
  • Managed electrical engineers to develop/design customized electrical systems for the Canadian De-Havilland Dash8 Q-Series turbo-prop aircraft fleets and Douglas/Boeing planes.
  • Served as the Electrical Engineering representative on the Design/Build Project reviewing electrical designs for compliance with the design specifications.
  • Produce AutoCAD schematics for various projects requiring detailed electrical drawings.

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Average Salary:

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Top 10 Best States for Electrical Project Engineers

  1. Massachusetts
  2. Washington
  3. New Hampshire
  4. New Mexico
  5. District of Columbia
  6. Virginia
  7. Delaware
  8. Maryland
  9. Vermont
  10. Rhode Island
  • (1,208 jobs)
  • (1,100 jobs)
  • (351 jobs)
  • (188 jobs)
  • (306 jobs)
  • (1,720 jobs)
  • (87 jobs)
  • (837 jobs)
  • (71 jobs)
  • (84 jobs)

Electrical Project Engineer Demographics

Gender

Male

81.2%

Unknown

11.2%

Female

7.5%
Ethnicity

White

54.5%

Hispanic or Latino

15.0%

Asian

13.3%

Black or African American

10.5%

Unknown

6.7%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

26.6%

French

10.9%

Arabic

7.8%

Chinese

6.3%

German

6.3%

Korean

4.7%

Russian

4.7%

Portuguese

3.1%

Vietnamese

3.1%

Cantonese

3.1%

Malay

3.1%

Japanese

3.1%

Carrier

3.1%

Mandarin

3.1%

Polish

3.1%

Filipino

1.6%

Persian

1.6%

Greek

1.6%

Tagalog

1.6%

Urdu

1.6%
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Electrical Project Engineer Education

Schools

Purdue University

9.8%

Pennsylvania State University

7.1%

New Jersey Institute of Technology

7.1%

University of Toledo

5.8%

University of North Carolina at Charlotte

5.8%

Illinois Institute of Technology

5.3%

University of Houston

5.3%

Drexel University

5.3%

Texas A&M University

4.9%

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

4.4%

North Carolina State University

4.4%

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

4.4%

Wayne State University

4.0%

University of Pittsburgh -

4.0%

University of Central Florida

4.0%

Northeastern University

4.0%

Michigan Technological University

3.6%

National University

3.6%

University of Phoenix

3.6%

Lawrence Technological University

3.6%
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Majors

Electrical Engineering

62.5%

Electrical Engineering Technology

9.3%

Business

6.0%

Engineering

3.1%

Computer Engineering

2.7%

Mechanical Engineering

2.1%

Engineering And Industrial Management

1.9%

Computer Science

1.8%

Project Management

1.6%

Management

1.3%

Industrial Technology

1.1%

Engineering Technology

0.9%

Civil Engineering

0.8%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

0.8%

Drafting And Design

0.7%

Education

0.7%

Electrical/Electronics Maintenance And Repair Technology

0.7%

Industrial Engineering

0.7%

Computer Engineering Technology

0.7%

Accounting

0.7%
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Degrees

Bachelors

58.4%

Masters

22.8%

Other

12.8%

Associate

3.2%

Certificate

1.6%

Doctorate

0.7%

Diploma

0.5%
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