Electrical Engineer: Duties & Job Market

Gina L | November 18, 2008

Electrical Engineer JobsDuties of an electrical engineer
Electrical engineers may specialize in areas such as power systems, equipment manufacturing, or building design — and their daily responsibilities vary accordingly. Overall, though, electrical engineers handle the development of lighting, wiring systems, electric motors, navigation systems, and utilities. Electrical engineers who focus on the field of electronics might design communications systems or develop new tech gadgets.

Where to find electrical engineer jobs
Engineering service firms offer the best job prospects for electrical engineers. However, a wide range of job openings can be found in the commercial, industrial, military, or scientific sectors.

Electrical engineer programs
Even at the entry level, an electrical engineering position requires a Bachelor’s degree in engineering. Most engineering schools offer a degree with a specialization in electrical engineering. Engineers who want to work directly with the public are required to complete a professional engineers (PE) licensure program. Graduate education is needed for many research and development positions, and can also improve job prospects across the board.

Demand for electrical engineer jobs
Electrical engineers hold just over 10 percent of all engineering jobs. But while the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects an 11 percent increase in engineering jobs between 2006 and 2016, the specialty of electrical engineering is only expected to grow by 6 percent over that decade. High demand for wireless systems and power generators will boost job prospects, but international competition will limit growth. But if you possess solid analytical and communication skills, you should still be able to find a lucrative career in electrical engineering.

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