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Working as an Electronics Engineer

What Does an Electronics 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.

How To Become an Electronics 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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Average Salary$99,180
Job Growth Rate2%

Electronics Engineer Jobs

Electronics Engineer Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming an Electronics Engineer. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

Learn How To Write an Electronics Engineer Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Electronics Engineer resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

View Detailed Information

Electronics Engineer Career Paths

Top Careers Before Electronics Engineer

Top Careers After Electronics Engineer

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Average Salary for an Electronics Engineer

Electronics Engineers in America make an average salary of $99,180 per year or $48 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $128,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $76,000 per year.
Average Salary
$99,180

Best Paying Cities

Average Salary
Salary Range99k - 142k$119k$118,868
Salary Range85k - 120k$101k$101,205
Salary Range84k - 121k$101k$100,988
Salary Range79k - 114k$95k$95,345
Salary Range77k - 113k$94k$93,941
Salary Range77k - 114k$94k$93,819
$53k
$142k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyCompanyStart DateSalary
Electronics Engineer
Electronics Engineer
Department of Defense
Department of Defense
10/24/2020
10/24/2020
$77,54110/24/2020
$77,541
Junior Electronics Engineer
Junior Electronics Engineer
University of California
University of California
09/28/2020
09/28/2020
$51,10009/28/2020
$51,100
Electronics Engineer
Electronics Engineer
Randstad
Randstad
09/18/2020
09/18/2020
$70,00009/18/2020
$70,000
Power Electronics Engineer
Power Electronics Engineer
Randstad
Randstad
08/18/2020
08/18/2020
$90,00008/18/2020
$90,000
Er06-Electronics Engineer
Er06-Electronics Engineer
Kelly Services
Kelly Services
08/14/2020
08/14/2020
$46,95808/14/2020
$46,958
See More Recent Salaries

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Electronics Engineer Demographics

Gender

male

83.4%

female

10.1%

unknown

6.4%

Ethnicity

White

66.0%

Asian

16.8%

Hispanic or Latino

9.6%

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

29.4%

Russian

10.0%

French

8.8%
See More Demographics

Electronics Engineer Education

Degrees

Bachelors

49.5%

Masters

33.3%

Associate

6.9%

Top Colleges for Electronics Engineers

1. Northeastern University

Boston, MA

Tuition and fees
$51,522
Enrollment
13,760

2. California State University - Long Beach

Long Beach, CA

Tuition and fees
$6,798
Enrollment
31,503

3. Purdue University

West Lafayette, IN

Tuition and fees
$9,992
Enrollment
33,495

4. California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

Pomona, CA

Tuition and fees
$7,353
Enrollment
24,841

5. Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University

Tallahassee, FL

Tuition and fees
$5,785
Enrollment
7,711

6. Minnesota State University - Mankato

Mankato, MN

Tuition and fees
$8,184
Enrollment
11,675

7. Milwaukee School of Engineering

Milwaukee, WI

Tuition and fees
$40,749
Enrollment
2,582

8. Texas A&M University

College Station, TX

Tuition and fees
$11,870
Enrollment
53,194

9. Western Carolina University

Cullowhee, NC

Tuition and fees
$3,926
Enrollment
9,835

10. University of Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh, PA

Tuition and fees
$19,080
Enrollment
19,127
See More Education Info

Entry Level Jobs For Becoming An Electronics Engineer

Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For an Electronics Engineer

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 9.7% of electronics engineers listed hardware on their resume, but soft skills such as speaking skills and mechanical skills are important as well.

Best States For an Electronics Engineer

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as an electronics engineer. The best states for people in this position are California, Maine, Vermont, and Massachusetts. Electronics engineers make the most in California with an average salary of $108,127. Whereas in Maine and Vermont, they would average $102,611 and $101,599, respectively. While electronics engineers would only make an average of $100,746 in Massachusetts, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. California

Total Electronics Engineer Jobs:
6,092
Highest 10% Earn:
$151,000
Location Quotient:
1.59
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. New Hampshire

Total Electronics Engineer Jobs:
364
Highest 10% Earn:
$135,000
Location Quotient:
1.98
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Massachusetts

Total Electronics Engineer Jobs:
1,206
Highest 10% Earn:
$141,000
Location Quotient:
1.22
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
View Full List

Electronics Engineer Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming an electronics engineer. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

At Zippia, we went through countless electronics engineer resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Write an Electronics Engineer Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless electronics engineer resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

View Detailed Information

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Top Electronics Engineer Employers

1. Intel
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$92,479
Electronics Engineers Hired: 
3,850+
2. Qualcomm
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$105,803
Electronics Engineers Hired: 
1,216+
3. CA Technologies
4.9
Avg. Salary: 
$116,028
Electronics Engineers Hired: 
627+
4. Apple
4.9
Avg. Salary: 
$103,599
Electronics Engineers Hired: 
550+
5. Texas Instruments
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$92,622
Electronics Engineers Hired: 
402+
6. Nvidia
4.9
Avg. Salary: 
$116,304
Electronics Engineers Hired: 
381+

Electronics Engineer Videos

Recently Added Electronics Engineer Jobs

Updated October 2, 2020