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Become A Student Engineer

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Working As A Student Engineer

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

  • $99,395

    Average Salary

What Does A Student 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 Student 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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Student Engineer Jobs

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Student Engineer Career Paths

Student Engineer
Electrical Engineer Engineer Design Engineer
Design Engineering Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Process Engineer Manufacturing Engineer Design Engineer
Design Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Information Technology Project Manager Estimator Project Manager
Electrical Project Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Mechanical Design Engineer Senior Project Engineer Senior Process Engineer
Engineering Group Leader
7 Yearsyrs
Mechanical Engineer Manufacturing Engineer Project Engineer
Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Development Manager Engineering Manager
Engineering Operations Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Manufacturing Engineer Product Engineer Project Engineer
Engineering Program Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Electrical Engineer Application Engineer Project Engineer
Engineering Supervisor
7 Yearsyrs
Engineer Mechanical Engineer Manufacturing Engineer
Manufacturing Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Design Engineer Mechanical Engineer
Mechanical Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Test Engineer Process Engineer Plant Engineer
Plant Engineering Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Design Engineer Process Engineer
Process Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Manufacturing Engineer Design Engineer Product Engineer
Product Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Project Engineer Program Manager Product Manager
Product Line Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Mechanical Engineer Project Engineer
Project Engineering Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Process Engineer Engineering Manager Engineering Director
Senior Director Of Engineering
15 Yearsyrs
Engineer Project Engineer Engineering Manager
Senior Engineering Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Test Engineer Senior Test Engineer
Test Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Project Engineer Engineering Manager Engineering Director
Vice President Of Engineering
13 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Student Engineer?

Student Engineer Demographics

Gender

Male

73.8%

Female

22.1%

Unknown

4.1%
Ethnicity

White

54.0%

Asian

16.0%

Hispanic or Latino

15.7%

Black or African American

9.6%

Unknown

4.6%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

42.6%

French

8.2%

Chinese

7.1%

German

6.6%

Hindi

4.4%

Mandarin

4.4%

Russian

3.8%

Japanese

3.3%

Arabic

3.3%

Carrier

2.7%

Korean

2.2%

Vietnamese

2.2%

Turkish

1.6%

Italian

1.6%

Marathi

1.1%

Thai

1.1%

Greek

1.1%

Portuguese

1.1%

Gujarati

1.1%

Hmong

0.5%
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Student Engineer Education

Schools

Texas A&M University

8.7%

Kettering University

7.8%

University of Puerto Rico - Mayaguez

7.5%

Purdue University

5.5%

University of Tennessee - Knoxville

5.2%

Auburn University

5.2%

Pennsylvania State University

5.2%

University of Alabama

4.9%

Michigan Technological University

4.6%

Clemson University

4.6%

Texas Tech University

4.3%

University of Florida

4.3%

University of California - Davis

4.3%

South Dakota State University

4.3%

University of Wisconsin - Platteville

4.1%

University of Utah

4.1%

University of California - San Diego

4.1%

Rochester Institute of Technology

3.8%

Georgia Institute of Technology -

3.8%

Brigham Young University

3.5%
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Majors

Mechanical Engineering

32.0%

Electrical Engineering

14.9%

Civil Engineering

8.4%

Chemical Engineering

7.6%

Engineering

4.5%

Biomedical Engineering

4.1%

Industrial Engineering

3.9%

Business

3.7%

Computer Engineering

3.6%

Aerospace Engineering

3.1%

Computer Science

2.4%

Engineering And Industrial Management

2.0%

Mechanical Engineering Technology

1.5%

Industrial Technology

1.4%

Environmental Engineering

1.4%

Materials Science And Engineering

1.2%

Mathematics

1.2%

Management

1.1%

Project Management

1.1%

Systems Engineering

1.0%
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Degrees

Bachelors

57.1%

Masters

23.7%

Other

10.5%

Doctorate

4.2%

Associate

2.0%

Certificate

1.9%

Diploma

0.5%
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Top Skills for A Student Engineer

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  1. CAD
  2. Lab
  3. Safety
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Translated engineering specifications into CAD manufacturing drawings and instructions.
  • Conducted extensive research and analysis along with laboratory work to demonstrate critical principles and gain expertise with specialized engineering software.
  • Assembled within deadline a document transmitted to regulators containing required safety documents.
  • Employed SolidWorks to design custom Fixtures for telecommunications equipment testing.
  • Collaborated effectively with environmental design and civil engineering students, and faculty to generate successful project completion.

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