Are you in school to hopefully become an electrical engineer? Or have you graduated with a degree in electrical engineering but don’t quite know what your day-to-day functions will be? If you have your sights set on eventually becoming a professional electrical engineer, you may understand the basics of what an electrical engineer is, but what does that mean for a workload in the real world? The first thing to note is there are a variety of sub-disciplines in the industry you can explore.
Sub-disciplines of Electrical Engineering:
● Electronic Engineer - Deals with electronic circuits including resistors, capacitors, transistors, inductors, and diodes
● Microelectronics Engineer - Deals will design and microfabrication of electronic circuit components
● Signal Processing Engineer - Deals analog and digital signals
● Power Engineer - Deals with electricity and the design of electrical devices, such as transformers, generators, motors, and power electronics
● Control Engineer - Deals with the design of controllers that cause systems to behave in a specific way. Uses programmable logic controllers, micro-controllers, digital signal processors, and electrical circuits
● Telecommunications Engineer - Deals with transmission of information via a cable or optical fiber
● Instrumentation Engineer - Deals with the design of measuring pressure of devices, flow, and temperature, and involves a deep understanding of physics
● Computer Engineer - Deals with the design of computers and computer hardware
Any one of these electrical engineers can work in a lab, office, mine, or industrial plant. It will all come down to your personal preferences in deciding which discipline is right for you. The average work week is roughly 40-50 hours per week, depending on workload and deadlines. As an electrical engineer, you will spend much of your time working on typical electrical engineering tasks. However, you may also spend some of your time managing projects, such as meeting with clients, determining budgets, and preparing project schedules.
Electrical engineers can work in a variety of industries such as automotive, chemical, construction, aerospace, defense, electronics, oil & gas, power generation, telecoms, utilities, and so much more. If you are interested in someday becoming an electrical engineer, be sure to attend an accredited college program to earn the right degree!
Advice for electrical engineering students:
● Work with your professors. You may have heard it a thousand times, but professors are there to HELP YOU. Take advantage of their office hours if there are any subject-related problems you may be having. This will also show the professor you are interested in the class and willing to put in the extra effort.
● Go to class and pay attention. Whether you’re a freshman or a senior, not going to class is a surefire way to fail, even if the professor puts all the notes online. Professors often discuss important material in class that is essential for passing.
● Learn how to code. This will make you a more valuable employee in any future job. The skill will allow you to power through equation-heavy assignments because you will be able to create powerful tools to help you crunch the numbers.
● Complete an internship. The best chance of getting an electrical engineering job right out of college is to have some internship experience under your belt. This is a top quality that employers look for when hiring.
To learn more about electrical engineering positions at Gausman & Moore, or to apply for a possible full-time engineering position or internship, check out our careers page.