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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
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.
Average Length of Employment
Top Careers Before Engineering Associate
Top Careers After Engineering Associate
Hispanic or Latino10.3%
Black or African American0.8%
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University of Phoenix8.5%
University of Central Florida6.9%
Pennsylvania State University5.8%
Arizona State University5.4%
University of Texas at Austin5.0%
San Jose State University5.0%
Georgia Institute of Technology -4.8%
Texas A&M University4.6%
Rochester Institute of Technology4.4%
University of Colorado at Boulder4.4%
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute4.4%
Illinois Institute of Technology4.2%
University of Illinois at Chicago4.1%
Worcester Polytechnic Institute3.9%
University of Texas at Arlington3.9%
San Diego State University3.7%
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|Job Title||Company||Location||Start Date||Salary|
|Associate Engineer||OCI Beaumont LLC||Nederland, TX||Jun 09, 2016||$160,000|
|Engineering Associate||Exxonmobil Upstream Research Company||Spring, TX||May 15, 2015||$151,600 -
|Manager, Software Engineering (Technical Associate Director)||Directv LLC||El Segundo, CA||Oct 25, 2016||$141,801|
|Engineer, Associate||Jpmorgan Chase &Amp; Co.||New York, NY||Sep 14, 2015||$140,000|
|Associate Engineer||Google Inc.||Mountain View, CA||Aug 08, 2016||$136,400|
|Engineering Associate||Exxonmobil Upstream Research Company||Spring, TX||Jan 10, 2016||$133,973 -
|Engineering Associate||Exxonmobil Upstream Research Company||Spring, TX||May 15, 2015||$129,022 -
|Engineering Associate||Exxonmobil Upstream Research Company||Spring, TX||Nov 16, 2015||$126,381 -
|Associate, Engineer||Jpmorgan Chase &Amp; Co.||Jersey City, NJ||May 12, 2016||$125,000|
|Associate, Engineer||Jpmorgan Chase &Amp; Co.||Jersey City, NJ||Nov 01, 2016||$125,000|
|Associate APC Engineer||Prosys, Inc.||Baton Rouge, LA||Jun 01, 2015||$120,000 -
|Associate Engineering Services Architect||Ca, Inc.||Santa Clara, CA||May 11, 2015||$120,000|
|Engineering Associate||Exxonmobil Upstream Research Company||Spring, TX||Aug 30, 2016||$119,933 -
|Associate Engineer II||Stress Engineering Services Inc.||Houston, TX||Jan 21, 2016||$118,082|
|Scientific Engineering Associate||Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory||Berkeley, CA||Jul 01, 2015||$83,964|
|Software Engineer Associate||Rockwell Automation, Inc.||San Jose, CA||Sep 01, 2015||$83,824|
|Engineer Associate||The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company||Akron, OH||Feb 13, 2015||$83,595 -
|Powertrain Engine Calibration Engineer-Associate II||Hanbon-Mi II, Inc.||Chelsea, MI||Sep 22, 2016||$83,480|
|Sales Engineering Associate||Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation||Savannah, GA||Jul 15, 2015||$83,198|
|Sales Engineering Associate||Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation||Savannah, GA||Jun 17, 2015||$83,198|
|Associate Engineer||Target Enterprise, Inc.||Brooklyn Park, MN||Jan 09, 2016||$82,826 -
|Development Engineer Associate||The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company||Akron, OH||Sep 13, 2015||$82,080|
|Associate Engineer||Phillips 66 Company||Bartlesville, OK||Sep 02, 2015||$69,992 -
|Software Engineer Associate||Rockwell Automation, Inc.||Austin, TX||Sep 01, 2015||$69,888|
|Associate Engineer||Unisys Corporation||Malvern, PA||Aug 14, 2016||$69,700|
|Associate Engineer||Luxima Technology LLC||Pasadena, CA||Jan 09, 2016||$69,500|
|Associate Engineer||Public Service Electric and Gas Company||South Plainfield, NJ||Aug 25, 2016||$69,400|
|Civil Engineering Associate||E2 Consulting Engineers, Inc.||Los Angeles, CA||Jan 04, 2016||$69,264|
|Engineer Associate||City of San Antonio Acting By and Through City Public Service Board||San Antonio, TX||Aug 30, 2016||$69,000|
|Engineer Associate I||City of San Antonio Acting By and Through City Public Service Board||San Antonio, TX||Aug 30, 2016||$69,000|
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