What Does an Electrical Engineer Do?
Electrical engineering is the field that deals with electricity, electronics and electromagnetism.
Electrical engineers work on electrical products and systems, from research and design to installation and handover, with a focus on safety, sustainability and value for money. They are employed in many areas, including transportation, IT, manufacturing, power and construction, as well as the telecommunications industry.
Electrical engineers must have excellent technical knowledge as well as the ability to project manage and lead teams. Commercial awareness is also important, as well as the ability to work and communicate with specialists from other areas, including architects and customer services staff. The role can also involve extensive travel and site visits to attend meetings and inspections, whilst ensuring that the systems comply with relevant standards, and also carry out ongoing maintenance roles.
To work in the field, a degree in electrical or electronic engineering, physics, mathematics or computing is generally required, along with relevant experience and postgraduate qualifications. Electrical engineers wishing to gain chartered status must hold an Institution of Engineering and Technology accredited degree to M.Eng level.
Most electrical engineers work with large-scale electrical systems, such as using electricity to transmit energy, however a wide range of technologies are being developed, from household appliances and installing lighting within buildings, to power stations and satellite communications. The responsibilities of these engineers typically include preparing project specifications, undertaking research, creating test procedures, writing reports and interpreting data. There are also many sub-disciplines, including microelectronics, signal processing, power, control, instrumentation and computer engineering.