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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 Trainee
Top Careers After Engineering Trainee
Hispanic or Latino7.0%
Black or African American2.0%
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University of Texas at Arlington9.4%
Texas A&M University7.3%
Arizona State University5.5%
Michigan Technological University5.4%
State University of New York Buffalo5.2%
University of Florida5.2%
Wayne State University4.9%
San Jose State University4.8%
More Tech Institute4.6%
University of Texas at Dallas4.3%
Oklahoma State University4.3%
University of Illinois at Chicago4.2%
University of Houston3.9%
Pennsylvania State University3.6%
Unfortunately we don’t have enough data for this section.
|Job Title||Company||Location||Start Date||Salary|
|Engineer-Trainee I||Ensco International Incorporated||Houston, TX||Aug 26, 2014||$85,000|
|Design Engineer Trainee||APB Winglets Company, LLC||Seattle, WA||Sep 10, 2014||$83,000|
|Civil Engineer Trainee||ABNA Engineering, Inc.||Saint Louis, MO||Sep 27, 2014||$67,080|
|Trainee Engineer||Indepth Engineering Solutions, LLC||Auburn Hills, MI||Dec 08, 2016||$66,784|
|Civil Engineer Trainee||ABNA Engineering, Inc.||Saint Louis, MO||Sep 27, 2014||$63,586|
|Civil Engineer Trainee||Forino Co., L.P.||Sinking Spring, PA||Sep 01, 2014||$63,111|
|Controls (Electrical) Engineer Trainee||Gehring, L.P.||Farmington Hills, MI||Jan 01, 2012||$62,670|
|Trainee Engineer||Etouch Systems Corporation||San Francisco, CA||Oct 27, 2009||$60,000 -
|Trainee Engineer||Etouch Systems Corporation||Mountain View, CA||Oct 28, 2009||$60,000 -
|Transportation Engineering Trainee||George L. Crawford and Associates, Inc.||Saint Louis, MO||Sep 20, 2013||$58,240|
|Trainee Engineer||Indepth Engineering Solutions, LLC||Troy, MI||Aug 17, 2016||$57,914|
|Trainee Engineer||Indepth Engineering Solutions, LLC||Troy, MI||Dec 08, 2016||$57,914|
|Trainee Engineer||Allpro Consulting Group, Inc.||Dallas, TX||Sep 28, 2011||$55,432|
|Civil Engineer Trainee||ABNA Engineering, Inc.||Saint Louis, MO||Aug 15, 2016||$55,078|
|Chemical Engineer Trainee I||Manek Energy Pressure Pumping Joint Venture LLC||Bryan, TX||Sep 01, 2013||$55,000|
|Trainee Engineer||Cyient, Inc.||Cranberry, PA||Nov 09, 2016||$54,870|
|Application Engineer Trainee||A-C Electric Company||Fresno, CA||Mar 24, 2014||$54,262|
|Trainee Engineer||Testengeer, Inc.||Livingston, NJ||Feb 09, 2016||$54,179|
|Trainee Engineer||Testengeer, Inc.||Point Comfort, TX||Sep 11, 2015||$54,179|
|Structural Engineer Trainee||Tapanam Associates Inc.||Kansas City, MO||Sep 19, 2011||$51,126|
|Software Engineer Trainee/Programmer||Fatpipe, Inc.||Salt Lake City, UT||Sep 27, 2012||$50,000|
|Software Engineer Trainee/Programmer||Fatpipe, Inc.||Salt Lake City, UT||Oct 01, 2012||$50,000|
|Engineering Marketing Trainee||Vinmar International, Ltd.||Houston, TX||Sep 20, 2012||$50,000|
|Highway Engineer Trainee||West Virginia Department of Transportation||Charleston, WV||Sep 24, 2013||$49,171|
|Highway Engineer Trainee||West Virginia Department of Transportation||Huntington, WV||Sep 24, 2013||$48,960|
|Project Engineer Trainee-Logistics||Midwest Molding, Inc.||Bartlett, IL||Sep 23, 2015||$48,000|
|Applications Engineer-Trainee||National Oilwell Varco, L.P.||Houston, TX||Sep 21, 2012||$48,000 -
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