Building A Career in Electrical Engineering
In 2018, there were over 6 million job seekers in the US.
If you’re among the people looking for your dream career, you might consider becoming an electrical engineer. But how exactly does one go about doing so?
Knowing how to become an electrical engineer is the first step you need to take. You should know what schooling you need as well as what skills will help you land a position.
Keep reading to learn more about the steps to becoming an electrical engineer.
What Is an Electrical Engineer?
Electrical engineers have in-depth knowledge about physics, electronics, and electromagnetism. Using that knowledge, they design technology that is powered by or produces electricity.
Electrical engineers are system designers and developers. They test prototypes of electrical designs and they improve systems that use electricity. While some work in labs, others work on-site in different industries.
Why Become an Electrical Engineer?
An electrical engineer can work in any number of industries. Electrical engineers can be employed in any field that requires individuals with in-depth knowledge of electrical engineering concepts. That might be in transportation, communications, government, and utilities.
Not only is there a range of industries looking for people with the skills of an electrical engineer, but this career also pays well. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median annual wage of electrical and electronics engineers is $101,250 per year.
How to Become an Electrical Engineer
If you’re thinking of becoming an electrical engineer, you’ll need to complete a four-year bachelor’s degree program in university or college. There are bachelor’s degrees specifically for electrical engineering. You might hold a bachelor’s degree in a separate field, in which case a master’s degree in electrical engineering will qualify you to work in the field.
After you’ve finished your bachelor’s degree, you can begin working in the field of electrical engineering. However, if you want to work in the utility field, you’ll need a license.
You can get licensed by passing the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam. To do so, you’ll need to have earned your degree from an ABET-accredited program.
With the FE, you’re considered an engineer-in-training. You can move even further in the field if you pass the Professional Engineer (PE) exam through the National Society of Professional Engineers.
In some states, there are additional requirements you have to meet to keep your PE license. For example, Texas has ceu requirements that you’ll need to meet annually.
The Skills of an Electrical Engineer
Electrical engineer schooling isn’t the only thing you’ll need to become an electrical engineer. You’ll also need a number of skills, such as:
Problem-solving skills that enable you to identity issues, analyze them and then propose solutions.
Critical thinking skills that allow you to assess the strengths and weaknesses in the systems and products you’re developing.
Organizational skills for managing and planning projects.
Communication skills when collaborating with other individuals and departments.
You’ll also need a degree of creativity. Remember that a big part of many engineering is the design and development of systems and products. To do that, you’ll need to possess a great deal of creativity.
More Employment Advice
A big part of how to become an electrical engineer is schooling. This field requires a great deal of schooling and licensing. But considering your options for employment and the median annual salary, the time you put into school is definitely worth it.