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Become An Electronics Design Engineer

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Working As An Electronics 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

  • $93,000

    Average Salary

What Does An Electronics 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 Electronics 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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Electronics Design Engineer Career Paths

Electronics Design Engineer
Design Engineer Project Engineer
Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Design Engineer Project Engineer Engineering Manager
Engineering Director
13 Yearsyrs
Design Engineer Project Engineer Systems Engineer
Manager, Systems Engineering
9 Yearsyrs
Electrical Engineer Engineer Engineering Manager
Senior Engineering Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Electrical Engineer Engineer Senior Software Engineer
Director Of Software Development
12 Yearsyrs
Electrical Engineer Project Manager Engineering Director
Vice President Of Engineering
13 Yearsyrs
Senior Design Engineer Senior Engineer Senior Electrical Engineer
Principal Electrical Engineer
14 Yearsyrs
Senior Design Engineer Senior Engineer Senior Test Engineer
Test Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Design Engineer Project Manager Information Technology Project Manager
Engineering Program Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Product Engineer Senior Engineer
Senior Hardware Engineer
9 Yearsyrs
Product Engineer Project Manager Co-Founder
Chief Technology Officer & Founder
9 Yearsyrs
Product Engineer Systems Engineer Manager, Systems Engineering
Director Of Systems Engineering
12 Yearsyrs
Senior Electrical Engineer Principal Engineer Project Engineering Manager
Product Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Electrical Engineer Principal Engineer Design Manager
Design Engineering Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Electronics Design Engineer
9 Yearsyrs
Systems Engineer Engineer Senior Process Engineer
Engineering Group Leader
7 Yearsyrs
Senior Electronic Engineer Principal Engineer Lead Systems Engineer
Lead Engineer And Project Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Senior Electronic Engineer Engineering Manager Engineering Director
Director, Hardware Engineering
14 Yearsyrs
Electrical Design Engineer Consulting Engineer Senior Engineering Technician
Engineering Laboratory Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Electronic Engineer Senior Systems Engineer Senior Storage Engineer
Senior Engineering Team Leader
8 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as an Electronics Design Engineer?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Hardware Engineer 3.3 years
Top Careers Before Electronics Design Engineer
Engineer 4.0%
Internship 3.6%
Top Careers After Electronics Design Engineer
Consultant 4.2%

Do you work as an Electronics Design Engineer?

Average Yearly Salary
$93,000
Show Salaries
$69,000
Min 10%
$93,000
Median 50%
$93,000
Median 50%
$93,000
Median 50%
$93,000
Median 50%
$93,000
Median 50%
$93,000
Median 50%
$93,000
Median 50%
$124,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Rapid Global Business Solutions
Highest Paying City
Palo Alto, CA
Highest Paying State
California
Avg Experience Level
4.5 years
How much does an Electronics Design Engineer make at top companies?
The national average salary for an Electronics Design Engineer in the United States is $93,278 per year or $45 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $69,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $124,000.

Real Electronics Design Engineer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Electronics Design Engineer Invecas Inc. Santa Clara, CA Nov 07, 2016 $154,000
Electronic Design Engineer Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Jul 14, 2016 $150,075 -
$168,200
Electronics Packaging Design Engineer Faraday & Future Inc. Gardena, CA Jun 15, 2015 $150,000
Physical Design Electronics Engineer Altran Solutions Corp. Santa Clara, CA Aug 31, 2016 $132,000
Electronic Design ENG Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Jul 22, 2016 $130,562 -
$168,200
Electronic Design Engineer Computer Professional Staffing Inc. Melbourne, FL Jun 27, 2016 $130,000
Engineer, Staff II-Electronic Design Broadcom Corporation San Jose, CA Feb 24, 2016 $125,965
Engineer, Staff II-Electronic Design Broadcom Corporation San Jose, CA Mar 03, 2016 $125,000
Electronics Design Engineer Phase Technologies, LLC Rapid City, SD Jun 22, 2015 $120,157
Electronics Design Engineer Phase Technologies, LLC Rapid City, SD Jun 13, 2015 $120,157
Engineer, Staff II-Electronic Design Broadcom Corporation Irvine, CA Jul 29, 2016 $120,000
Engineer, Staff II-Electronic Design Broadcom Corporation Irvine, CA Oct 15, 2015 $120,000
Engineer, Staff II-Electronic Design Broadcom Corporation Irvine, CA Jan 29, 2015 $118,000
Engineer, Staff II-Electronic Design Broadcom Corporation Irvine, CA Jan 08, 2016 $118,000
Electronic Design ENG Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Apr 22, 2016 $109,658 -
$135,100
Electronic Design Engineer Foveon, Inc. San Jose, CA Oct 28, 2016 $108,992
Electronic Design Engineer U. S. Dynamics Corporation Amityville, NY Apr 17, 2015 $107,515
Electronics Design Engineer Invecas, Inc. Santa Clara, CA Apr 09, 2015 $107,000
Electronic Design ENG 3 Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Oct 01, 2015 $106,517 -
$132,400
Electronic Design Engineer Tesla Motors, Inc. Palo Alto, CA Sep 01, 2015 $105,000 -
$115,000
Engineer, Staff II-Electronic Design Broadcom Corporation CA Dec 01, 2015 $103,861
Engineer, Staff II-Electronic Design Broadcom Corporation Edina, MN Dec 10, 2015 $103,861
Engineer Staff I-Electronic Design Broadcom Corporation Edina, MN Sep 11, 2015 $89,357
Engineer, Staff II-Electronic Design Broadcom Corporation Santa Clara, CA Apr 28, 2016 $89,150 -
$142,600
Engineer, Staff II-Electronic Design Broadcom Corporation Santa Clara, CA Jul 28, 2015 $88,882 -
$137,800
Engineer, Staff II-Electronic Design Broadcom Corporation Federal Way, WA Feb 02, 2015 $88,130
Electronics Design Engineer Invecas, Inc. Santa Clara, CA Sep 17, 2016 $87,500
Engineer, Staff II-Electronic Design Broadcom Corporation San Jose, CA Sep 15, 2015 $87,145 -
$137,800
Engineer, Staff II-Electronic Design Broadcom Corporation Santa Clara, CA Jul 20, 2015 $87,145 -
$137,800
Engineer, Staff I-Electronic Design Broadcom Corporation Irvine, CA Jun 04, 2015 $85,350

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Top Skills for An Electronics Design Engineer

  1. Hardware Design
  2. Circuit Boards
  3. PCB
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Developed embedded firmware and hardware designs for various automatic manufacturing test fixtures to required specifications, reducing manufacturing labor costs.
  • Performed electrical hardware design of circuit boards, peripheral devices and wireless networking support circuitry.
  • Used Protel-99 software to design surface mount & through-hole Printed Circuit Board (PCB) layouts.
  • Designed analog section of HV electrostatic voltmeter, enabling light/dark settings: Team member designing analog section of electrostatic voltmeter.
  • Created engineering test procedures and failure mode analysis for a medical diagnostic device.

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Top 10 Best States for Electronics Design Engineers

  1. California
  2. Massachusetts
  3. Alabama
  4. Maryland
  5. District of Columbia
  6. Washington
  7. Virginia
  8. New Mexico
  9. New Hampshire
  10. Texas
  • (4,677 jobs)
  • (1,007 jobs)
  • (351 jobs)
  • (788 jobs)
  • (224 jobs)
  • (866 jobs)
  • (1,270 jobs)
  • (152 jobs)
  • (206 jobs)
  • (1,871 jobs)

Electronics Design Engineer Demographics

Gender

Male

84.7%

Unknown

8.6%

Female

6.6%
Ethnicity

White

54.6%

Hispanic or Latino

15.1%

Asian

14.9%

Black or African American

8.8%

Unknown

6.5%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

28.6%

Chinese

9.5%

Japanese

9.5%

Russian

9.5%

Mandarin

9.5%

Arabic

9.5%

German

4.8%

Portuguese

4.8%

Braille

4.8%

French

4.8%

Hebrew

4.8%
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Electronics Design Engineer Education

Schools

Purdue University

7.4%

North Carolina State University

6.6%

California State Polytechnic University - Pomona

6.6%

Rochester Institute of Technology

5.8%

University of Phoenix

5.8%

Northeastern University

5.8%

Arizona State University

5.0%

University of Colorado at Boulder

5.0%

Texas A&M University

5.0%

More Tech Institute

5.0%

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

5.0%

University of Florida

4.1%

San Jose State University

4.1%

University of Central Florida

4.1%

Ohio State University

4.1%

Marquette University

4.1%

Pennsylvania State University

4.1%

University of Houston

4.1%

Colorado Heights University

4.1%

University of California - Irvine

4.1%
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Majors

Electrical Engineering

64.6%

Computer Engineering

6.3%

Business

5.2%

Electrical Engineering Technology

3.4%

Engineering

3.4%

Computer Science

2.5%

Mechanical Engineering

2.1%

Computer Information Systems

1.4%

Management

1.3%

Project Management

1.3%

Engineering And Industrial Management

1.3%

Engineering Technology

1.1%

Mechatronics And Robotics

1.1%

Information Technology

1.1%

Physics

0.9%

Biomedical Engineering

0.9%

Drafting And Design

0.7%

Management Science

0.5%

Legal Research And Advanced Professional Studies

0.5%

Finance

0.5%
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Degrees

Bachelors

45.9%

Masters

30.7%

Other

12.5%

Associate

5.0%

Doctorate

3.3%

Certificate

2.4%

Diploma

0.2%
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