Electrical engineers are professionals that research, develop and supervise the manufacturing and installation of various kinds of electrical equipment, components and systems, for commercial, scientific or industrial usage. As per O*Net Online, electrical engineers perform the following tasks,
- “Operate computer-assisted engineering or design software or equipment to perform engineering tasks.
- Prepare technical drawings, specifications of electrical systems, or topographical maps to ensure that installation and operations conform to standards and customer requirements.
- Confer with engineers, customers, or others to discuss existing or potential engineering projects or products.
- Design, implement, maintain, or improve electrical instruments, equipment, facilities, components, products, or systems for commercial, industrial, or domestic purposes.
- Direct or coordinate manufacturing, construction, installation, maintenance, support, documentation, or testing activities to ensure compliance with specifications, codes, or customer requirements.”
If you are interested in this field, you would want to know how long does it take to become an electrical engineer, steps to become an electrical engineer and electrical engineer salary, all of which are discussed in detail in the following article.
How Long Does it Take to Become an Electrical Engineer?
The minimum level of education required to become an electrical engineer is a bachelor’s degree. This would take you 4 years to complete, at least. You can vary the pace of the program if you go for an online program. At most schools in the US, this means 15 course hours. You may also be required to take some prerequisite courses in calculus, physics and math.
After completing a bachelor’s degree, you can sit for the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam. Once you have cleared this, you may look for a job. After completing four years of experience, you will be eligible to sit for the Professional Engineering (PE) exam. Even though these credentials are not required for entry level positions as electrical engineers, they can help build your career. So if you want to become an electrical engineer with a PE credential, you will need a minimum of 8 to 10 years.
Steps to Become an Electrical Engineer
- Get a high school diploma
- Get a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering or a related major
- Pass the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam
- Get a job and get experience of at least 4 years
- Pass the Professional Engineering (PE) exam
Electrical Engineer Salary
According to 2018 data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, electrical engineers made an annual median income of $96,640. The top paying industries for this occupations were oil and gas extraction, support activities for mining and independent artists, writers, and performers. The highest paying state for electrical engineers was Alaska, with $119,130 in annual mean wages.