How to Become an Electrical Engineer in California?
California has the highest number of jobs for electrical engineers, surpassing Texas, New York and Michigan, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. So if you are planning to get into this field in The Golden State, now would be a great time to go for it.
Electrical engineers are trained professionals that design, develop, implement and supervise the manufacturing process of various kinds of electrical equipment. They may work with communication systems, power generation machinery, navigation systems and electric motors.
The following guide lists down the requirements and steps to become an electrical engineer in California, and also details the salary and job growth data.
Requirements to Become an Electrical Engineer in California
In addition to meeting the minimum eligibility criteria set by your employer, it is important for electrical engineers to possess the following qualities:
- Ability to concentrate
Since these engineers design complex machinery, they must keep track of multiple design elements at the same time.
- Willingness to take initiative
Electrical engineers are required to keep up with the latest technological changes and engage in continuing education.
- Interpersonal skills
Electrical engineers work with a multitude of other professionals in the manufacturing process. They need to be able to communicate well in order to devise remedies to problems as they arise.
Steps to Become an Electrical Engineer in California
- Get a bachelor’s degree
A bachelor’s degree is the minimum level of education required for electrical engineers, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. You will need to complete coursework in math, design, physical and life sciences. In addition to that, you will also need to take courses on analog and digital electronics, control systems, renewable electrical energy and advanced computer skills.
- Get experience
Most employers would require you to have at least four years of experience in Electrical Engineering, along with a professional engineering (PE) license. Some companies offer entry-level positions for college graduates and give them proper classroom or seminar-type trainings. Entry-level engineers get to work under the supervision of licensed and experienced engineers in most occupations.
- Get licensed
The state of California requires electrical engineers to hold a professional engineering (PE) credential, which must be renewed every two years.
To get this license, engineers have to pass the Engineer-in-Training or Fundamental of Engineering Exam which requires a minimum of three years of coursework through an Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology (ABET) program. If not this, at least three years of engineering-related experience would be required. The next step would be to pass the professional exam.
- Find a job
You may be able to find employment through college placement offices, job fairs, online job portals, company recruiting events or professional engineering organizations. You can also look for jobs at the CalJOBS, the official government of California job portal.
How Much Does an Electrical Engineer Make in California?
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics May 2018 data, the median annual wage of electrical engineers in California was $114,170, which is considerably higher than the national mean of $101,600.