Degree Programs For Electrical Engineers : Online And Campus Schools
Electrical Engineers: Career, Salary and Education Information
Career Profile: What do Electrical Engineers do?
The generation and supply of power is of chief interest to electrical engineers, who use their training to design, develop, test, and supervise the manufacture of electrical equipment. Electric motors fall under the expertise of electrical engineers, as do lighting and wiring in buildings, electrical components in aircraft and automobiles, and more.
Electrical engineers can choose to focus their education on electrical equipment manufacturing or power systems engineering. Degrees in electrical engineering are popular due to their wide application in manufacturing, construction, and design industries.
A Day in the Life of an Electrical Engineer
Electrical engineers can be found in research laboratories, office buildings, industrial plants, and construction sites. The details of an engineer's working day depend heavily on the individual job description, but many electrical engineers work a traditional 40-hour work week. Deadlines or other responsibilities at work may require longer hours and overtime.
Electrical Engineer Training and Education
A bachelor's degree is considered the minimum requirement for most engineering jobs, although some apprenticeship and assistant work can be completed with an associate's degree. Many electrical engineers are licensed Professional Engineers (PEs), which requires a degree from a licensed program, four years of relevant work experience, and completion of a qualifying exam. Electrical engineers who offer their services directly to the public may be required to earn this licensure.
Typical coursework in electrical engineering programs includes instruction in analog signal processing, electromagnetic fields, solid state electronic devices, and computer engineering. A bachelor's degree program may require a senior engineering design project.
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Electrical Engineer Employment & Outlook
About 153,000 electrical engineers were employed nationwide in 2006, putting the career among the top four most-popular engineering specialties. Over 1.5 million engineers are employed nationwide.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts slower than average growth for electrical engineers through 2016, with about 9,600 total jobs projected in the coming years. The slowing job growth may be due to international competition in the creation and manufacturing of electrical devices like wireless phone transmitters, high-density batteries, and navigation systems. The best job prospects are expected for electrical engineers working as contractors to manufacturers.
Typical Electrical Engineer Salary
Mean annual wages for electrical engineers were $82,090 in 2007, according to the BLS. The majority of electrical engineers were employed in fields directly related to engineering, although high employment numbers were also reported in the semiconductor manufacturing industry and electromedical instruments manufacturing. Top-paying industries include satellite communications, precision equipment repair and maintenance, and radio broadcasting.
In 2006, electrical engineers with bachelor's degrees reported starting salaries averaging at $55,292. Those with master's degrees saw offers of $66,309, and those with PhD degrees received average offers of $75,982.