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Become An Electronics Engineer

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Working As An Electronics 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

  • $88,483

    Average Salary

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.

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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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Electronics Engineer jobs

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Electronics Engineer Career Paths

Electronics Engineer
Project Manager Construction Manager Quality Control Manager
Controls Project Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Test Engineer Engineer Design Engineer
Design Engineering Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Field Service Technician Process Engineer Manufacturing Engineering Manager
Director Of Manufacturing Engineering
15 Yearsyrs
Systems Engineer Senior Software Engineer
Director Of Software Development
12 Yearsyrs
Senior Systems Engineer Information Technology Manager Technical Services Manager
Director Of Technology And Services
11 Yearsyrs
Field Service Technician Engineer Principal Engineer
Director, Hardware Engineering
13 Yearsyrs
Systems Engineer Project Engineer Engineering Manager
Engineering Director
13 Yearsyrs
Electrical Engineer Project Engineer
Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Project Engineer Engineering Manager
Engineering Program Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Systems Engineer Technical Consultant Network Administrator
Information Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Test Engineer Design Engineer Product Engineer
Product Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Engineer Senior Software Engineer Product Manager
Product Line Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Electrical Engineer Systems Engineer Project Engineer
Project Engineering Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Engineer Design Engineer Electrical Engineer
Senior Electrical Engineer
12 Yearsyrs
Software Engineer Senior Engineer Engineering Manager
Senior Engineering Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Senior Engineer Operations Manager Site Manager
Site/Project Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Engineer Project Leader Technical Project Manager
Technical Product Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Software Engineer Engineering Manager Engineering Director
Vice President Of Engineering
13 Yearsyrs
Project Engineer Program Manager Technical Director
Vice President, Technology
11 Yearsyrs
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Electronics Engineer Demographics

Gender

  • Male

    85.8%
  • Female

    10.0%
  • Unknown

    4.3%

Ethnicity

  • White

    68.4%
  • Asian

    16.7%
  • Hispanic or Latino

    9.9%
  • Unknown

    4.3%
  • Black or African American

    0.7%
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Languages Spoken

  • Spanish

    25.2%
  • French

    8.8%
  • Russian

    8.8%
  • German

    7.5%
  • Chinese

    6.8%
  • Arabic

    6.1%
  • Carrier

    5.4%
  • Mandarin

    4.8%
  • Japanese

    4.1%
  • Italian

    3.4%
  • Portuguese

    3.4%
  • Turkish

    2.7%
  • Cantonese

    2.7%
  • Vietnamese

    2.0%
  • Hindi

    2.0%
  • Korean

    1.4%
  • Romanian

    1.4%
  • Thai

    1.4%
  • Polish

    1.4%
  • Marathi

    0.7%
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Electronics Engineer

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Electronics Engineer Education

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Real Electronics Engineer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Principal Embedded Electronics Engineer Janteq Corp. Irvine, CA Aug 16, 2016 $165,600
Electronics Engineer California Institute of Technology/Jet Propulsion Laboratory Pasadena, CA Nov 02, 2015 $165,048
Principal Embedded Electronics Engineer Janteq Corp. Irvine, CA Jan 09, 2016 $156,600
Electronics Engineer-IV HCL America, Inc. Santa Clara, CA Jan 08, 2016 $152,131
Electronics Engineer, Except Computer Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Jan 09, 2016 $152,131
Electronic Engineer Intel Corporation Santa Clara, CA Sep 09, 2016 $152,131 -
$175,200
Electronics Engineer Hitachi Global Storage Technologies San Jose, CA Aug 17, 2016 $152,131
Electronics Engineer, Except Computer Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Jan 12, 2016 $152,131
Electronics Engineers, Except Computer Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Aug 31, 2016 $152,131 -
$191,000
Electronics Engineer Facebook, Inc. Los Angeles, CA Mar 28, 2016 $150,000
Electronics Engineer Facebook, Inc. Menlo Park, CA Jan 08, 2016 $150,000
Electronics Engineer-II HCL America, Inc. North Reading, MA Jan 08, 2016 $94,515
Electronics Engineer-II HCL America, Inc. North Reading, MA Apr 20, 2016 $94,515 -
$115,000
Power Electronics Engineer Solectria Renewables LLC. Lawrence, MA Jan 09, 2016 $93,995 -
$110,000
Electronic Engineer Intel Corporation Santa Clara, CA Aug 24, 2016 $93,557 -
$112,000
Electronics Engineer Intel Mobile Communications North America Austin, TX Feb 13, 2016 $93,280 -
$129,500
Electronics Engineer-III HCL America, Inc. Rockford, IL Nov 18, 2016 $93,184 -
$113,000
Electronics Engineer-III HCL America, Inc. Rockford, IL Sep 08, 2016 $93,184 -
$113,000
Electronics Engineer Karl Storz Imaging Inc. Goleta, CA May 31, 2015 $93,000 -
$100,000
Electronics Engineer ADC Construction LLC NY May 30, 2015 $77,984
Electronics Engineer Cummins Inc. Fridley, MN Sep 04, 2015 $77,730 -
$84,800
Switch Mode Power Electronics Engineer Cummins Inc. Fridley, MN Oct 01, 2015 $77,730 -
$92,400
Electronics Engineer Cummins Inc. Shoreview, MN Aug 29, 2015 $77,730 -
$84,800
Electronics Engineer Intel Corporation Hillsboro, OR Aug 05, 2015 $77,498 -
$96,400
Electronics Engineer Tech Mahindra (Americas), Inc. Melbourne, FL Sep 04, 2015 $77,438
Electronics Engineer-II HCL America, Inc. Melbourne, FL May 28, 2015 $77,438 -
$97,000
Electronics Engineer Kforce Inc. Redmond, WA Jan 09, 2016 $77,219 -
$104,350

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Top Skills for An Electronics Engineer

ComputerHardwarePCBAnalogLabRFCircuitBoardsTestEquipmentControlSystemsRadarFirmwareCADSchematicSafetyLaboratoryTestProceduresTroubleshootFpgaTechnicalSupportPCMissile

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Top Electronics Engineer Skills

  1. Computer Hardware
  2. PCB
  3. Analog
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Participated in Installation, Setup and maintenance of Computer hardware and Communication equipment.
  • Performed final QC inspection and testing of all completed PCB assemblies.
  • Analyzed, designed and functionally tested digital and analog circuits.
  • Worked with Underwriters Laboratories to qualify electronic equipment.
  • Improved the performance (5x better efficiency) of motor control in solvent delivery system.

Top Electronics Engineer Employers

Electronics Engineer Videos

Day in the Life of an Electrical and Electronics Engineer

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Day in the Life of an Electrical and Electronics Engineer

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