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Become A Senior Electrical Design Engineer

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Working As A Senior Electrical Design Engineer

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Analyzing Data or Information
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Mostly Sitting

  • $112,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Senior Electrical 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 A Senior Electrical 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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Senior Electrical Design Engineer Career Paths

Senior Electrical Design Engineer
Senior Electrical Engineer Project Manager
Engineering Director
13 Yearsyrs
Senior Electrical Engineer Project Manager Engineering Director
Vice President Of Engineering
13 Yearsyrs
Senior Electrical Engineer Principal Engineer Engineering Manager
Senior Engineering Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Senior Systems Engineer Senior Software Engineer
Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Systems Engineer
Manager, Systems Engineering
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Systems Engineer Senior Software Engineer Staff Engineer
Project Engineering Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Development Manager Engineering Manager
Engineering Operations Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Designer Senior Design Engineer
Design Engineering Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Designer Senior Engineer Senior Test Engineer
Test Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Designer Senior Design Engineer Senior Applications Engineer
Applications Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Principal Engineer Engineering Manager Manager, Systems Engineering
Director Of Systems Engineering
12 Yearsyrs
Principal Engineer Project Engineering Manager Engineering Program Manager
Senior Program And Engineering Manager
13 Yearsyrs
Senior Engineer Senior Project Engineer Senior Process Engineer
Manufacturing Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Engineer Construction Manager Facilities Maintenance Manager
Facilities Project Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Electrical Engineer Lead Lead Engineer Project Engineering Manager
Plant Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Electrical Engineer Lead Lead Engineer Construction Manager
Commissioning Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Electrical Engineer Lead Lead Engineer Project Lead Engineer
Lead Engineer And Project Manager
7 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Senior Electrical Design Engineer?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Principal Engineer 4.9 years
Top Careers Before Senior Electrical Design Engineer
Engineer 1.7%
Top Careers After Senior Electrical Design Engineer

Do you work as a Senior Electrical Design Engineer?

Average Yearly Salary
$112,000
Show Salaries
$85,000
Min 10%
$112,000
Median 50%
$112,000
Median 50%
$112,000
Median 50%
$112,000
Median 50%
$112,000
Median 50%
$112,000
Median 50%
$112,000
Median 50%
$149,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Fluor
Highest Paying City
Palo Alto, CA
Highest Paying State
California
Avg Experience Level
4.9 years
How much does a Senior Electrical Design Engineer make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Senior Electrical Design Engineer in the United States is $112,877 per year or $54 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $85,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $149,000.

Real Senior Electrical Design Engineer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
SR. Electrical Design Engineer PCH Labs, Inc. San Francisco, CA Sep 04, 2014 $147,600
SR. Electrical Design Engineer Tesla Motors, Inc. Sparks, NV Apr 20, 2015 $135,000 -
$155,000
Senior Staff Electrical Design Engineer Cypress Semiconductor Corporation San Jose, CA May 07, 2016 $133,771 -
$149,495
Senior Staff Electrical Design Engineer Cypress Semiconductor Corporation San Jose, CA Jan 29, 2015 $130,813
Senior Staff Electrical Design Engineer Cypress Semiconductor Corporation Irvine, CA May 07, 2016 $129,783
Senior Electrical System Design Engineer Goertek Electronics, Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Oct 01, 2014 $129,000
Electrical Design Engineer Senior Staff Cypress Semiconductor Corporation San Jose, CA Aug 06, 2016 $126,945
Senior Staff Electrical Design Engineer Cypress Semiconductor Corporation San Jose, CA Sep 17, 2015 $126,556
Senior Electrical Design Engineer Picarro, Inc. Santa Clara, CA Feb 03, 2016 $125,965 -
$145,965
Senior Electrical Design Engineer Finsix Corporation Menlo Park, CA Sep 16, 2015 $125,840
Electrical Design Engineer, Senior Staff Cypress Semiconductor Corporation San Jose, CA Jan 09, 2014 $124,200 -
$148,426
Electrical Design Engineer SR. Staff Cypress Semiconductor Corporation San Jose, CA Sep 29, 2011 $119,021
Electrical Design Engineer Senior Staff Cypress Semiconductor Corporation San Jose, CA Jun 03, 2012 $118,335
Electrical Design Engineer SR. Staff Cypress Semiconductor Corporation San Jose, CA Sep 25, 2010 $116,000
SR. Electrical Design Engineer Terravici Drilling Solutions, Inc. Houston, TX Oct 01, 2010 $102,996
Senior Electrical Design Engineer Pathfinder Energy Services, Inc. Katy, TX Jun 05, 2010 $102,580
Electrical Design Engineer SR. Staff Cypress Semiconductor Corporation San Jose, CA Oct 01, 2012 $102,410 -
$125,000
Senior Electrical Design Engineer Verifone Holdings, Inc. Rocklin, CA Sep 04, 2014 $101,200
Senior Electrical Design Engineer Verifone Holdings, Inc. Rocklin, CA Sep 04, 2014 $100,693
Senior Electrical Design Engineer Seagate Us LLC Bloomington, MN Nov 22, 2010 $100,048
SR. Electrical Design Quality Engineer Stryker Endoscopy, A Division of Stryker Corporation San Jose, CA Feb 29, 2016 $100,000
Senior Electrical Design Engineer Cypress Semiconductor Corporation San Jose, CA Dec 20, 2016 $87,422 -
$96,970
Senior Electrical Design Engineer Cypress Semiconductor Corporation San Jose, CA Sep 17, 2016 $87,422 -
$89,210
Electrical Design Engineer Senior Cypress Semiconductor Corporation San Jose, CA Jul 15, 2016 $87,422
Senior Electrical Design Engineer Cypress Semiconductor Corporation San Jose, CA Aug 19, 2016 $87,422 -
$108,000
Senior Electrical Design Engineer Navico Tulsa, OK Mar 24, 2016 $86,987
SR. Electrical Design Engineer Seagate Us LLC Bloomington, MN Oct 20, 2010 $86,528
Senior Electrical Design Engineer Formfactor, Inc. Livermore, CA Nov 03, 2014 $86,370
SR. Electrical Design Engineer Seagate Us LLC Bloomington, MN Apr 18, 2011 $86,320

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Top Skills for A Senior Electrical Design Engineer

  1. Shop Drawings
  2. Electrical Design
  3. Product Specifications
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Review and give approval in construction schedule, shop drawings, material samples etc.
  • Involved in complete electrical design for retrofit of existing 480V secondary distribution systems and integration of new equipment.
  • Lead projects through all phases from concept to production and ensured all engineering and product specifications are met.
  • Designed power distribution system with automatic transfer switches to interface to various customers electrical systems.
  • Implemented an innovative analog front-end using 12-bit Analog to Digital controller at 250MS/s and digital processing engine meeting critical design constraints.

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Top 10 Best States for Senior Electrical Design Engineers

  1. California
  2. Massachusetts
  3. Washington
  4. New Mexico
  5. Arizona
  6. Utah
  7. Texas
  8. New Hampshire
  9. Rhode Island
  10. Colorado
  • (7,105 jobs)
  • (1,399 jobs)
  • (1,211 jobs)
  • (172 jobs)
  • (652 jobs)
  • (300 jobs)
  • (2,592 jobs)
  • (355 jobs)
  • (92 jobs)
  • (907 jobs)

Senior Electrical Design Engineer Demographics

Gender

Male

84.7%

Unknown

8.2%

Female

7.1%
Ethnicity

White

55.4%

Hispanic or Latino

16.0%

Asian

13.1%

Black or African American

9.0%

Unknown

6.5%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Russian

20.0%

Vietnamese

6.7%

Chinese

6.7%

Ukrainian

6.7%

German

6.7%

Lithuanian

6.7%

French

6.7%

Kannada

6.7%

Mandarin

6.7%

Hindi

6.7%

Spanish

6.7%

Polish

6.7%

Tamil

6.7%
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Senior Electrical Design Engineer Education

Schools

Northeastern University

10.5%

University of South Florida

5.8%

California State Polytechnic University - Pomona

5.8%

Pennsylvania State University

5.8%

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

5.8%

University of Phoenix

5.8%

More Tech Institute

5.8%

University of Arkansas, Fayetteville

4.7%

Texas A&M University

4.7%

University of Iowa

4.7%

University of Utah

4.7%

Purdue University

4.7%

New Jersey Institute of Technology

4.7%

University of Houston

4.7%

Stevens Institute of Technology

4.7%

University of Texas at Arlington

3.5%

University of Florida

3.5%

Ohio University -

3.5%

Arizona State University

3.5%

Florida Institute of Technology-Melbourne

3.5%
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Majors

Electrical Engineering

63.3%

Business

6.4%

Electrical Engineering Technology

5.0%

Computer Engineering

4.8%

Mechanical Engineering

3.2%

Engineering

3.0%

Computer Science

2.5%

Drafting And Design

1.8%

Systems Engineering

1.6%

Project Management

1.6%

Management

1.1%

Mechanical Engineering Technology

0.7%

Music

0.7%

Engineering Technology

0.7%

Computer Networking

0.7%

Engineering And Industrial Management

0.7%

Construction Management

0.7%

Education

0.7%

Manufacturing Engineering

0.5%

Mathematics

0.5%
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Degrees

Bachelors

49.4%

Masters

28.7%

Other

12.2%

Associate

5.4%

Certificate

1.9%

Doctorate

1.7%

Diploma

0.8%
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