Electrical and Electronics Engineers

What Electrical and Electronics Engineers Do

Electrical engineers design, develop, test, and supervise the manufacture of electrical equipment.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fhAZ2tZj84A

Work Environment

Electrical and electronics engineers work in industries including research and development, engineering services, manufacturing, telecommunications, and the federal government. Electrical and electronics engineers generally work indoors in offices. However, they may have to visit sites to observe a problem or a piece of complex equipment.

How to Become an Electrical or Electronics Engineer

Electrical and electronics engineers must have a bachelor’s degree. Employers also value practical experience, such as internships or participation in cooperative engineering programs.

Pay

The median annual wage for electrical engineers was $98,530 in May 2019.

The median annual wage for electronics engineers, except computer was $105,570 in May 2019.

Job Outlook

Overall employment of electrical and electronics engineers is projected to grow 3 percent from 2019 to 2029, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Employment growth is expected to be tempered by slow growth or decline in some industries, such as manufacturing and utilities.

Electrical engineers design, develop, test, and supervise the manufacture of electrical equipment, such as electric motors, radar and navigation systems, communications systems, or power generation equipment. Electrical engineers also design the electrical systems of automobiles and aircraft.

Electronics engineers design and develop electronic equipment, including broadcast and communications systems, such as portable music players and Global Positioning System (GPS) devices. Many also work in areas closely related to computer hardware.

Duties

Electrical engineers typically do the following:

  • Design new ways to use electrical power to develop or improve products
  • Perform detailed calculations to develop manufacturing, construction, and installation standards and specifications
  • Direct the manufacture, installation, and testing of electrical equipment to ensure that products meet specifications and codes
  • Investigate complaints from customers or the public, evaluate problems, and recommend solutions
  • Work with project managers on production efforts to ensure that projects are completed satisfactorily, on time, and within budget

Electronics engineers typically do the following:

  • Design electronic components, software, products, or systems for commercial, industrial, medical, military, or scientific applications
  • Analyze customer needs and determine the requirements, capacity, and cost for developing an electrical system plan
  • Develop maintenance and testing procedures for electronic components and equipment
  • Evaluate systems and recommend design modifications or equipment repair
  • Inspect electronic equipment, instruments, and systems to make sure they meet safety standards and applicable regulations
  • Plan and develop applications and modifications for electronic properties used in parts and systems in order to improve technical performance

Electronics engineers who work for the federal government research, develop, and evaluate electronic devices used in a variety of areas, such as aviation, computing, transportation, and manufacturing. They work on federal electronic devices and systems, including satellites, flight systems, radar and sonar systems, and communications systems.

The work of electrical engineers and electronics engineers is often similar. Both use engineering and design software and equipment to do engineering tasks. Both types of engineers also must work with other engineers to discuss existing products and possibilities for engineering projects.

Engineers whose work is related exclusively to computer hardware are considered computer hardware engineers.

Electrical engineers held about 193,100 jobs in 2019. The largest employers of electrical engineers were as follows:

Engineering services 20%
Electric power generation, transmission and distribution 9
Navigational, measuring, electromedical, and control instruments manufacturing 7
Research and development in the physical, engineering, and life sciences 5
Semiconductor and other electronic component manufacturing 4

Electronics engineers, except computer held about 134,900 jobs in 2019. The largest employers of electronics engineers, except computer were as follows:

Telecommunications 17%
Semiconductor and other electronic component manufacturing 14
Federal government, excluding postal service 13
Engineering services 7
Navigational, measuring, electromedical, and control instruments manufacturing 5

Electrical and electronics engineers generally work indoors in offices. However, they may visit sites to observe a problem or a piece of complex equipment.

Work Schedules

Most electrical and electronics engineers work full time.

This table shows a list of occupations with job duties that are similar to those of electrical and electronics engineers.

Occupation Job Duties Entry-Level Education Median Annual Pay, May 2019

Aerospace Engineers

Aerospace engineers design primarily aircraft, spacecraft, satellites, and missiles.

Bachelor’s degree $116,500

Architectural and Engineering Managers

Architectural and engineering managers plan, direct, and coordinate activities in architectural and engineering companies.

Bachelor’s degree $144,830

Biomedical Engineers

Biomedical engineers combine engineering principles with medical sciences to design and create equipment, devices, computer systems, and software.

Bachelor’s degree $91,410

Computer Hardware Engineers

Computer hardware engineers research, design, develop, and test computer systems and components.

Bachelor’s degree $117,220

Electrical and electronic engineering technicians

Electrical and Electronics Engineering Technicians

Electrical and electronics engineering technicians help engineers design and develop electrical and electronic equipment.

Associate’s degree $65,260

Electrical and electronics installers and repairers

Electrical and Electronics Installers and Repairers

Electrical and electronics installers and repairers install or repair a variety of electrical equipment.

See How to Become One $59,080

Electricians

Electricians

Electricians install, maintain, and repair electrical power, communications, lighting, and control systems.

High school diploma or equivalent $56,180

Network and Computer Systems Administrators

Network and computer systems administrators are responsible for the day-to-day operation of computer networks.

Bachelor’s degree $83,510

Sales engineers

Sales Engineers

Sales engineers sell complex scientific and technological products or services to businesses.

Bachelor’s degree $103,900

Electro-mechanical Technicians

Electro-mechanical technicians operate, test, and maintain unmanned, automated, robotic, or electromechanical equipment.

Associate’s degree $58,350

For more information about general engineering education and career resources, visit

American Society for Engineering Education

Technology Student Association

For more information about licensure as an electrical or electronics engineer, visit

National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying

National Society of Professional Engineers

International Society of Automation

For more information about accredited engineering programs, visit

ABET

For more information about engineering summer camps, visit

Engineering Education Service Center

O*NET

Electrical Engineers

Electronics Engineers, Except Computer

Radio Frequency Identification Device Specialists


Suggested citation:

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Electrical and Electronics Engineers,
at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/architecture-and-engineering/electrical-and-electronics-engineers.htm (visited ).