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Become A Senior Electrical Engineer

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Working As A Senior Electrical Engineer

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

  • $96,310

    Average Salary

What Does A Senior Electrical 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 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 Engineer Videos

What is an Electrical Engineer?

2014 National Electrical Code Changes presented by NFPA Senior Electrical Engineer Mark Earley

Day in the Life of an Electrical and Electronics Engineer

Senior Electrical Engineer Jobs

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Senior Electrical Engineer Career Paths

Senior Electrical Engineer
Engineering Manager Construction Manager
Capital Project Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Principal Engineer Architect Construction Manager
Commissioning Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Project Engineering Manager Consulting Engineer Senior Design Engineer
Design Engineering Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Controls Engineer Senior Systems Engineer Manager, Systems Engineering
Director Of Systems Engineering
12 Yearsyrs
Staff Engineer Project Engineering Manager Estimator Project Manager
Electrical Project Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Engineering Technician Manufacturing Engineer Senior Process Engineer
Engineering Group Leader
7 Yearsyrs
Senior Systems Engineer Project Leader Engineering Manager
Engineering Operations Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Software Engineer Staff Engineer Project Engineering Manager
Engineering Program Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Systems Engineer Lead Technician Maintenance Supervisor
Engineering/Maintenance Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Senior Software Engineer Senior Systems Engineer
Manager, Systems Engineering
9 Yearsyrs
Project Engineering Manager Sales Engineer Quality Engineer
Manufacturing Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Staff Engineer Chief Engineer Project Engineering Manager
Plant Engineering Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Lead Engineer Project Engineering Manager Senior Process Engineer
Process Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Lead Engineer Engineering Supervisor Manufacturing Engineering Manager
Product Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Program Manager Product Manager
Product Line Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Principal Engineer Program Manager Engineering Director
Senior Director Of Engineering
15 Yearsyrs
Engineering Manager Consulting Engineer Senior Engineer
Senior Engineering Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Staff Engineer Engineering Supervisor Manufacturing Engineering Manager
Test Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Senior Project Manager Engineering Director
Vice President Of Engineering
13 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Senior Electrical Engineer?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Principal Engineer 4.7 years
Top Careers Before Senior Electrical Engineer
Engineer 4.7%
Consultant 2.2%
Top Careers After Senior Electrical Engineer
Consultant 4.8%
Engineer 2.7%

Do you work as a Senior Electrical Engineer?

Senior Electrical Engineer Demographics

Gender

Male

88.2%

Female

7.4%

Unknown

4.4%
Ethnicity

White

53.4%

Asian

16.4%

Hispanic or Latino

13.5%

Black or African American

9.5%

Unknown

7.1%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

23.2%

French

10.5%

German

8.4%

Russian

7.4%

Carrier

6.3%

Chinese

6.3%

Arabic

6.3%

Mandarin

5.3%

Italian

4.2%

Hindi

3.2%

Korean

3.2%

Polish

3.2%

Vietnamese

2.1%

Tamil

2.1%

Japanese

2.1%

Dakota

2.1%

Cherokee

1.1%

Gujarati

1.1%

Bulgarian

1.1%

Ukrainian

1.1%
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Senior Electrical Engineer Education

Schools

Pennsylvania State University

10.0%

Purdue University

8.8%

Northeastern University

8.3%

Georgia Institute of Technology -

6.3%

Arizona State University

5.3%

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

5.3%

University of Houston

4.8%

University of Florida

4.5%

Worcester Polytechnic Institute

4.3%

University of Texas at Arlington

4.3%

University of Illinois at Chicago

4.0%

Ohio State University

4.0%

Texas A&M University

4.0%

University of Colorado at Boulder

4.0%

University of Phoenix

4.0%

Illinois Institute of Technology

3.8%

University of Massachusetts - Lowell

3.8%

Drexel University

3.8%

University of Pittsburgh -

3.8%

California State Polytechnic University - Pomona

3.5%
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Majors

Electrical Engineering

64.4%

Electrical Engineering Technology

6.6%

Business

6.1%

Computer Engineering

4.8%

Engineering

3.7%

Computer Science

1.8%

Project Management

1.7%

Engineering And Industrial Management

1.6%

Management

1.3%

Engineering Technology

1.0%

Mechanical Engineering

0.9%

Physics

0.9%

Systems Engineering

0.9%

Industrial Technology

0.8%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

0.7%

Biomedical Engineering

0.6%

Education

0.6%

Mathematics

0.5%

Electrical/Electronics Maintenance And Repair Technology

0.5%

Marketing

0.5%
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Degrees

Bachelors

49.1%

Masters

30.1%

Other

10.6%

Doctorate

4.3%

Associate

2.6%

Certificate

2.2%

Diploma

0.9%
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Senior Electrical Engineer Videos

What is an Electrical Engineer?

2014 National Electrical Code Changes presented by NFPA Senior Electrical Engineer Mark Earley

Day in the Life of an Electrical and Electronics Engineer

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Part Time
Internship
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Real Senior Electrical Engineer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Senior Electrical Engineer Vibrant America, LLC San Carlos, CA Sep 19, 2016 $200,665
Senior Electrical Engineer Vibrant America, LLC San Carlos, CA Sep 21, 2016 $200,665
Senior Electrical Engineer NES Global, LLC New Orleans, LA Feb 09, 2015 $180,000
Senior Electrical Engineer Vibrant America, LLC San Carlos, CA Sep 19, 2016 $175,579
Senior Electrical Engineer Vibrant America, LLC San Carlos, CA Sep 21, 2016 $175,579
Senior Electrical Engineer Vibrant Sciences, LLC San Carlos, CA Oct 01, 2015 $175,000
Senior Electrical Engineer Microsoft Corporation Redmond, WA Jan 10, 2016 $169,747
Senior Electrical Engineer Microsoft Corporation Redmond, WA Apr 15, 2016 $157,780
Senior Electrical Engineer QPS Engineering, LLC Ashville, OH Oct 10, 2016 $156,525 -
$346,964
Senior Electrical Engineer QPS Engineering, LLC Tulsa, OK Oct 10, 2016 $156,525 -
$346,964
Senior Electrical Engineer Vibrant Sciences, LLC San Carlos, CA Jan 26, 2016 $155,000
Senior Battery Electrical Engineer Microsoft Corporation Redmond, WA Dec 20, 2016 $155,000
Senior Electrical Engineer-Devices Group or Other Microsoft Corporation Redmond, WA Jan 20, 2016 $154,140 -
$174,140
Senior Electrical Engineer-Devices Group or Other Microsoft Corporation Redmond, WA Jul 22, 2015 $154,140 -
$174,140
Senior Sustaining Electrical Engineer Zebra Technologies Corporation Agoura Hills, CA Dec 15, 2015 $119,000 -
$129,000
Senior Electrical Engineer Burns & McDonnell Engineering Company, Inc. Houston, TX Dec 08, 2016 $118,681
Senior Electrical Engineer-Power Electronics Analogic Corporation Peabody, MA May 01, 2015 $118,560
Senior Electrical Engineer Perceptron, Inc. Plymouth, MI Jun 01, 2015 $118,000
Senior Electrical Engineer SITY Communications, Inc. Richardson, TX Jul 10, 2016 $117,187
Electrical Senior Engineer Skyworks Solutions, Inc. Santa Clara, CA May 08, 2016 $117,000
Senior Electrical Engineer Burns & McDonnell Engineering Company, Inc. Brea, CA Jan 04, 2016 $116,576
SR. Electrical Engineer Exxim Computing Corporation Pleasanton, CA Mar 19, 2015 $116,550
Senior Electrical Engineer Motiv Power Systems Inc. Foster City, CA Aug 24, 2016 $100,000
Senior Electrical Engineer Ulthera, Inc. Mesa, AZ Nov 21, 2016 $100,000
SR. Electrical Engineer Medtronic, Inc. Fridley, MN Aug 16, 2015 $100,000
Senior Electrical Engineer Be Power Tech, Inc. Deerfield Beach, FL Jun 27, 2016 $100,000
Senior Electrical Engineer Syska Hennessy Group, Inc. Atlanta, GA Dec 21, 2015 $99,840
SR Electrical Engineer Zebra Technologies Corporation Holtsville, NY May 12, 2016 $99,494
Senior Electrical Engineer Fuelcell Energy Inc. Danbury, CT Jul 13, 2016 $99,091 -
$110,000

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Top Skills for A Senior Electrical Engineer

  1. Computer
  2. Engineering Department
  3. Inventory Control
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Directed the design/modification of Digital and Analog computer circuits, handling any design problems that appeared and required systems research.
  • Developed CAD/CAE standards, training and procedures for electronic engineering departments.
  • Improved inventory controls for long term and short term budget projections.
  • Designed auxiliary safety circuits including high frequency ground fault circuit interruption, and over voltage limiting circuits.
  • Designed, modified, and analyzed Current and Future Combat Systems included analog/digital circuits.

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Top 10 Best States for Senior Electrical Engineers

  1. Washington
  2. New Mexico
  3. Texas
  4. Alaska
  5. New Hampshire
  6. District of Columbia
  7. Delaware
  8. Virginia
  9. Rhode Island
  10. California
  • (1,154 jobs)
  • (201 jobs)
  • (2,639 jobs)
  • (57 jobs)
  • (357 jobs)
  • (317 jobs)
  • (95 jobs)
  • (1,798 jobs)
  • (95 jobs)
  • (6,674 jobs)

Top Senior Electrical Engineer Employers

Jobs From Top Senior Electrical Engineer Employers

Senior Electrical Engineer Videos

What is an Electrical Engineer?

2014 National Electrical Code Changes presented by NFPA Senior Electrical Engineer Mark Earley

Day in the Life of an Electrical and Electronics Engineer

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