Thinking about becoming an electrical engineer? Here we share the lowdown on this role, salary projections and how to get started.
If you love maths, science and IT then a career as an electrical engineer could be just right for you. As with many engineering roles there is a high demand for electrical engineers, with 41% of vacancies being attributed to a skills shortage. So if you are starting out on your career, or looking to retrain, read on for further details about this role.
Electrical Engineer – Job Description
Electrical engineers are responsible for designing, building and maintaining electrical control systems and equipment. Depending on your exact role, responsibilities might include:
Feasibility studies for new technical developments.
- Drawing up project plans and circuit diagrams.
- Calculating costs and timescales.
- Testing installations and systems, and analysing test data.
- Ensuring projects meet safety regulations.
- Overseeing inspection and maintenance programmes.
You’ll need to be an excellent problem solver and work well in a team, generally working alongside civil engineers, architects, engineering technicians, IT and other professionals.
Electrical engineers work across many sectors, some gaining more specialist experience in a particular area:
- Energy generation, transmission and distribution.
- Transport infrastructure.
- Renewable energy technologies – solar, hydroelectric and wind etc.
- Building services – integrating lighting, heating, ventilation, lift and other automated systems.
Qualifications and Experience
An electrical engineering degree is generally preferred by most employers; alternatively you may choose to gain qualifications in a specific area. HND and degrees are available in:
- Aeronautical engineering.
- Applied physics.
- Building services engineering.
- Electrical or electronics engineering.
- Mechanical engineering.
For further information on qualifications and courses, visit The Institute of Engineering and Technology.
Apprenticeships are also available allowing you to gain valuable experience and training on the job. Look for opportunities with local engineering or electrical companies, check with the IET to see what further qualifications you will require.
Continued Professional Development
CPD is essential for anyone working as an engineer, ensuring that you keep up-to-date with new technologies, developments and changes to rules and regulations. Read our post on CPD for further information.
Electrical engineering positions can lead to more senior roles in operations management, or as a technical director. You might also look to specialise in project management, research and development, or take on consultancy work.
Prospects overseas are excellent with opportunities in many countries, especially the Middle East where salaries can be very competitive. Speak to our team if you are interested in making a move overseas.
- Starting salaries for electrical engineers can be between £21,000 and £25,000 a year.
- Experienced engineers can earn between £25,000 and £40,000. With senior electrical engineers earning over £45,000 per year.