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Become A Senior PCB Designer

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Working As A Senior PCB Designer

  • 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

  • $94,588

    Average Salary

What Does A Senior PCB Designer 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 PCB Designer

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 PCB Designer Jobs

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Senior PCB Designer Demographics

Gender

Male

83.9%

Female

13.6%

Unknown

2.5%
Ethnicity

White

58.7%

Hispanic or Latino

17.1%

Asian

10.5%

Black or African American

9.6%

Unknown

4.2%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Russian

33.3%

Carrier

33.3%

Spanish

33.3%

Senior PCB Designer Education

Schools

Houston Baptist University

8.2%

Northeastern University

8.2%

Community College of the Air Force

6.1%

Front Range Community College

6.1%

Cleveland Institute of Electronics

6.1%

A-Technical College

6.1%

University of Phoenix

6.1%

Pima Community College

4.1%

De Anza College

4.1%

University of Washington

4.1%

California State University - Los Angeles

4.1%

San Antonio College

4.1%

Ball State University

4.1%

Texas State Technical College - Waco

4.1%

Rochester Institute of Technology

4.1%

J.F. Drake State Community and Technical College

4.1%

Institute for Business and Technology

4.1%

Green River Community College

4.1%

Camden County College

4.1%

San Diego City College

4.1%
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Majors

Electrical Engineering

29.1%

Drafting And Design

22.5%

Electrical Engineering Technology

8.6%

Mechanical Engineering

5.3%

Engineering

4.0%

Industrial Technology

4.0%

Business

3.3%

Computer Science

3.3%

Liberal Arts

2.6%

Mechanical Engineering Technology

2.0%

Graphic Design

2.0%

Communication

2.0%

Computer Programming

2.0%

Management

1.3%

Psychology

1.3%

Project Management

1.3%

Fine Arts

1.3%

Engineering Technology

1.3%

Computer Technical Support

1.3%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

1.3%
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Degrees

Other

39.0%

Associate

31.6%

Bachelors

17.5%

Certificate

4.5%

Masters

4.0%

Diploma

3.4%
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Real Senior PCB Designer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Senior PCB Designer Nvidia Corporation Santa Clara, CA Sep 14, 2013 $130,603 -
$150,463
Senior PCB Designer Softsense Solutions, LLC. CA Sep 01, 2014 $100,000
Senior PCB Designer Alta Via Technologies, Inc. Santa Clara, CA Feb 01, 2011 $84,500
Senior PCB Designer Elan Industries Bolingbrook, IL Feb 10, 2014 $84,000
SR PCB Designer Elan Industries Bolingbrook, IL Feb 10, 2014 $84,000
SR. PCB Designer Elan Industries Bolingbrook, IL Mar 04, 2014 $84,000
SR. PCB Designer Elan Industries Bolingbrook, IL Feb 10, 2014 $84,000
SR. PCB Designer M & M Spelialites Inc. Tempe, AZ Oct 12, 2012 $62,840

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Top Skills for A Senior PCB Designer

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  1. Schematic Symbols
  2. Circuit Boards
  3. Cadence Allegro
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Provided assistance with building schematic symbols and component part geometries
  • Designed and interfaced with Engineering and Manufacturing to produce cost effective printed circuit boards.
  • Transitioned to New Unix based OS and Design software (Cadence Allegro and Concept) for PCB design and schematic capture.
  • Performed electronic part placement, routing, generated formal documentation and electronic files for manufacture.
  • Design single & double sided dense surface mount multi-layer boards, per IPC using Veribest 2000 software for video surveillance equipment.

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