Electrical engineer

An electrical engineer

Description

Electrical engineers specialize in designing, developing, testing, installing, and maintaining electrical equipment and systems across various industries. They work on a broad spectrum of electrical systems and devices, including power generation, transmission, telecommunications, control systems, electronics, and more. Electrical engineers play a crucial role in creating products that utilize electricity to perform useful functions by applying principles of physics and mathematics. Their responsibilities may involve designing new electrical products, developing manufacturing standards, managing the production of electrical projects, ensuring compliance with safety standards, and directing the installation and testing of electrical equipment.

Electrical engineering is a diverse field with various specializations such as power engineering, computer hardware engineering, control engineering, renewable energy engineering, and more. Electrical engineers work in different environments ranging from office settings for design and project management to industrial facilities or infrastructure sites for maintenance and repair tasks. Effective communication, teamwork, compliance with regulations, documentation skills, and customer support are essential aspects of an electrical engineer’s job. Additionally, they contribute significantly to the development of renewable energy systems, advanced technology like computers and smartphones, robotics, artificial intelligence applications, and more.

Electrical engineers typically do the following tasks:

  • Create electrical systems and components, including circuitry, control systems, and power generation equipment, using computer-aided design (CAD) software and other tools.
  • Conduct tests and experiments to evaluate the performance and efficiency of electrical systems, analyzing data and making adjustments as needed to meet specifications.
  • Develop project plans, schedules, and budgets for electrical engineering projects, coordinating with stakeholders and ensuring adherence to deadlines and budget constraints.
  • Ensure that electrical systems and equipment comply with safety standards, building codes, and regulations established by regulatory agencies.
  • Oversee the installation, operation, and maintenance of electrical systems and equipment, providing technical support and troubleshooting issues as they arise.
  • Work closely with other engineers, technicians, and professionals from different disciplines, such as mechanical engineering and computer science, to integrate electrical systems into larger projects.
  • Stay abreast of advancements in electrical engineering technology, conducting research and experiments to develop innovative solutions and improve existing systems.
  • Identify potential risks and hazards associated with electrical systems, implement measures to mitigate risks, and ensure the safety of personnel and equipment.
  • Maintain detailed documentation of design specifications, test results, and project progress, keeping accurate records for future reference and compliance purposes.
  • Communicate with clients, stakeholders, and team members to convey project requirements, progress updates, and technical information in a clear and concise manner.
  • Evaluate the environmental impact of electrical systems and equipment, implementing strategies to minimize energy consumption, waste generation, and emissions.

Other titles

The following job titles also refer to electrical engineer:

electrical engineering consultant
electrical technology engineering expert
advanced electrical engineer
electrical engineering practitioner
principal electrical engineer
electrical equipment engineer
electrical technology engineering specialist
electrical technology engineering adviser
electrical technology engineer
practitioner of electrical engineering
engineer in electrical systems
electrical technology engineering consultant
electrical systems engineer
engineer in electrical design
electrical design engineer
electrical engineering specialist
electrical engineering adviser
electricity engineer
senior electrical engineer
electrical engineering expert
lead electrical engineer

Working conditions

Electrical engineers work in diverse environments, including offices, laboratories, manufacturing facilities, and construction sites. The specific work environment depends on the nature of the projects they are involved in. For example, those involved in research and development may spend more time in laboratories, while those working on construction projects may spend time on-site.

In office settings, electrical engineers spend time designing electrical systems, analyzing data, preparing reports, and collaborating with colleagues. They use computer-aided design (CAD) software, simulation tools, and other specialized software to create and test designs.

In laboratory settings, electrical engineers conduct experiments, tests, and research to develop new technologies, improve existing systems, or troubleshoot issues. They use specialized equipment and instrumentation to measure electrical properties, analyze data, and validate theoretical concepts.

In manufacturing plants, electrical engineers oversee the production and installation of electrical systems and equipment. They may be involved in quality control, ensuring that products meet design specifications and regulatory requirements.

For projects involving the construction of electrical infrastructure, such as power plants, substations, or distribution systems, electrical engineers may spend time on construction sites. They supervise installation activities, coordinate with contractors, and ensure that electrical systems are installed correctly and safely.

Depending on the nature of their work, electrical engineers may need to travel to project sites, client locations, or conferences and meetings. Travel requirements vary depending on the project’s location, scope, and duration.

Electrical engineers collaborate with multidisciplinary teams, including other engineers, technicians, project managers, and clients. Effective communication and teamwork are essential for coordinating project activities, resolving technical issues, and ensuring project success.

Work hours for electrical engineers typically follow a standard schedule, although overtime may be required to meet project deadlines or address urgent issues. Some projects may involve shift work or on-call duties, especially for roles in industries with continuous operations, such as power generation or manufacturing.

Minimum qualifications

A bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering or a related field is typically required for an entry-level position as electrical engineer. Some positions may require a master’s degree or specialized certifications. Practical experience gained through internships, co-op programs, or entry-level positions is valuable. Strong analytical skills, problem-solving abilities, and proficiency in technical software and tools are essential. Continuous learning and staying updated on advancements in electrical engineering contribute to ongoing professional development as an electrical engineer.

ISCO skill level

ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:

  • the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
  • the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
  • the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.

Electrical engineer is a Skill level 4 occupation.

Electrical engineer career path

Similar occupations

These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to electrical engineer.

computer hardware engineer
electromagnetic engineer
electromechanical engineer
microelectronics engineer
sensor engineer

Essential knowledge and skills of electrical engineer

Essential knowledge

This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of electrical engineer.

  • Electricity principles: Electricity is created when electric current flows along a conductor. It entails the movement of free electrons between atoms. The more free electrons in a material, the better it conducts. The three main parameters of electricity are voltage, current (ampère), and resistance (ohm).
  • Engineering principles: The engineering elements like functionality, replicability, and costs in relation to the design and how they are applied in completing engineering projects.
  • Design drawings: Understand design drawings detailing the design of products, tools, and engineering systems.
  • Environmental legislation: The environmental policies and legislation applicable in a certain domain.
  • Environmental threats: The threats to the environment that are related to biological, chemical, nuclear, radiological, and physical hazards.
  • Electricity: Understand the principles of electricity and electrical power circuits, as well as the associated risks.

Essential skills and competences

These skills are necessary for the role of electrical engineer.

  • Adjust engineering designs: Adjust designs of products or parts of products so that they meet requirements.
  • Perform scientific research: Gain, correct, or improve knowledge about phenomena by using scientific methods and techniques, based on empirical or measurable observations.
  • Use technical drawing software: Create technical designs and technical drawings using specialized software.
  • Abide by regulations on banned materials: Comply with regulations banning heavy metals in solder, flame retardants in plastics, and phthalate plasticizers in plastics and wiring harness insulations, under EU RoHS/WEEE Directives and China RoHS legislation.
  • Approve engineering design: Give consent for the finished engineering design to proceed to the actual manufacturing and assembly of the product.

Optional knowledge and skills of electrical engineer

Optional knowledge

This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of electrical engineer. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Haskell: The techniques and principles of software development, such as analysis, algorithms, coding, testing and compiling of programming paradigms in Haskell.
  • Circuit diagrams: Read and comprehend circuit diagrams showing the connections between the devices, such as power and signal connections.
  • Erlang: The techniques and principles of software development, such as analysis, algorithms, coding, testing and compiling of programming paradigms in Erlang.
  • SAS language: The techniques and principles of software development, such as analysis, algorithms, coding, testing and compiling of programming paradigms in SAS language.
  • Ruby (computer programming): The techniques and principles of software development, such as analysis, algorithms, coding, testing and compiling of programming paradigms in Ruby.
  • Common Lisp: The techniques and principles of software development, such as analysis, algorithms, coding, testing and compiling of programming paradigms in Common Lisp.
  • Lisp: The techniques and principles of software development, such as analysis, algorithms, coding, testing and compiling of programming paradigms in Lisp.
  • Electronic test procedures: Testing protocols that enable a variety of analyses of electronic systems, products, and components. These tests include the testing of electrical properties, such as voltage, current, resistance, capacitance, and inductance as well as the testing of specific electronic components, such as the electron tubes, semiconductors, integrated circuits, and batteries. These tests include visual inspection, performance tests, environment tests, and safety tests.
  • Hardware platforms: The characteristics of the hardware configuration required to process the applications software product.
  • Visual Studio .NET: The techniques and principles of software development, such as analysis, algorithms, coding, testing and compiling of programming paradigms in Visual Basic.
  • Materials science: Field of science and engineering that researches new materials on the basis of their structure, properties, synthesis, and performance for a variety of purposes, including increasing fire resistance of construction materials.
  • Instrumentation equipment: The equipment and instruments used for the monitoring and controlling of processes, such as valves, regulators, circuit breakers, and relays.
  • Java (computer programming): The techniques and principles of software development, such as analysis, algorithms, coding, testing and compiling of programming paradigms in Java.
  • Electronic equipment standards: The national and international quality and safety standards and regulations with regards to the use and manufacture of electronic equipment and its components, such as semiconductors and printed circuit boards.
  • Microwave principles: The technologies used in transmission of information or energy via electromagnetic waves between 1000 and 100,000 MHz.
  • Computer programming: The techniques and principles of software development, such as analysis, algorithms, coding, testing, and compiling of programming paradigms (e.g., object-oriented programming, functional programming), and programming languages.
  • Acoustics: The study of sound, its reflection, amplification and absorption in a space.
  • CAM software: Different tools for computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) to control machinery and machine tools in the creation, modification, analysis, or optimisation as part of the manufacturing processes of workpieces.
  • Radars: Systems that can use radio waves or microwaves to capture the speed, direction, range, and altitude of objects. It can be used for the detection of aeroplanes, ships, and weather formations.
  • Electrical equipment regulations: The national and international regulations with regards to the use and manufacture of electrical equipment on the workfloor. These regulations provide rules and guidelines on topics such as general risk management, electrical equipment manufacture, electrical equipment testing, electrical equipment installation, warning labels, and certificates.
  • Integrated circuits: Electronic components, made up from a set of electronic circuits which are placed on semiconductor material, such as silicon. Integrated circuits (IC) can hold billions of electronic components on a microscale and are one of basic components of electronic devices.
  • Electromechanics: The engineering processes that combine electrical and mechanical engineering in the application of electromechanics in devices that need electricity to create mechanical movement or devices that create electricity by mechanical movement.
  • Prolog (computer programming): The techniques and principles of software development, such as analysis, algorithms, coding, testing and compiling of programming paradigms in Prolog.
  • Electric motors: Motors which are able to convert electrical energy into mechanical energy.
  • Precision mechanics: Precision or fine mechanics is a subdiscipline in engineering that focuses on the design and development of smaller precision machines.
  • OpenEdge Advanced Business Language: The techniques and principles of software development, such as analysis, algorithms, coding, testing and compiling of programming paradigms in OpenEdge Advanced Business Language.
  • Manufacturing processes: The steps required through which a material is transformed into a product, its development and full-scale manufacturing.
  • Optics: The science that studies the elements and reaction of light.
  • Engineering control theory: The interdisciplinary branch of engineering that deals with the behaviour of dynamical systems with inputs and how their behaviour is modified by feedback.
  • JavaScript: The techniques and principles of software development, such as analysis, algorithms, coding, testing and compiling of programming paradigms in JavaScript.
  • Electrical engineering: Understand electrical engineering, a field of engineering that deals with the study and application of electricity, electronics, and electromagnetism.
  • Electromagnetism: The study of electromagnetic forces and the interaction between electric and magnetic fields. The interaction between electrically charged particles can create magnetic fields with a certain range or frequency and electricity can be produced by the changing of these magnetic fields.
  • Perl: The techniques and principles of software development, such as analysis, algorithms, coding, testing and compiling of programming paradigms in Perl.
  • Smalltalk (computer programming): The techniques and principles of software development, such as analysis, algorithms, coding, testing and compiling of programming paradigms in Smalltalk.
  • Mathematics: Mathematics is the study of topics such as quantity, structure, space, and change. It involves the identification of patterns and formulating new conjectures based on them. Mathematicians strive to prove the truth or falsity of these conjectures. There are many fields of mathematics, some of which are widely used for practical applications.
  • PHP: The techniques and principles of software development, such as analysis, algorithms, coding, testing and compiling of programming paradigms in PHP.
  • Assembly (computer programming): The techniques and principles of software development, such as analysis, algorithms, coding, testing and compiling of programming paradigms in Assembly.
  • Microelectronics: Microelectronics is a subdiscipline of electronics and relates the study, design, and manufacture of small electronic components, such as microchips.
  • Hardware components: The essential components that make up a hardware system, such as liquid-crystal displays (LCD), camera sensors, microprocessors, memories, modems, batteries and their interconnections.
  • C#: The techniques and principles of software development, such as analysis, algorithms, coding, testing and compiling of programming paradigms in C#.
  • Design principles: The elements used in design such as unity, scale, proportion, balance, symmetry, space, form, texture, colour, light, shade and congruence and their application into practice.
  • Microsystem test procedures: The methods of testing the quality, accuracy, and performance of microsystems and microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) and their materials and components before, during, and after the building of the systems, such as parametric tests and burn-in tests.
  • Firmware: Firmware is a software program with a read-only memory (ROM) and a set of instructions that is permanently inscribed on a hardware device. Firmware is commonly used in electronic systems such as computers, mobile phones, and digital cameras.
  • Control systems: Devices or a set of devices that command and manage the performance and behaviour of other equipment and systems. This includes Industrial control systems (ICS) which are used for industrial production and manufacturing.
  • R: The techniques and principles of software development, such as analysis, algorithms, coding, testing and compiling of programming paradigms in R.
  • Types of electronics: The different categories of electronics, such as consumer electronics, medical devices, microelectronics, computers, information and communication equipment, and measuring equipment.
  • Groovy: The techniques and principles of software development, such as analysis, algorithms, coding, testing and compiling of programming paradigms in Groovy.
  • Hardware testing methods: Those processes in which hardware components or systems are tested, such as the system test (ST), the ongoing reliability test (ORT), and the in-circuit test (ICT).
  • ASP.NET: The techniques and principles of software development, such as analysis, algorithms, coding, testing and compiling of programming paradigms in ASP.NET.
  • Digital camera sensors: Types of sensors used in digital cameras, such as charged coupled devices (CCD) and complementary metal oxide semiconductor sensors (CMOS).
  • APL: The techniques and principles of software development, such as analysis, algorithms, coding, testing and compiling of programming paradigms in APL.
  • Biotechnology: The technology that uses, modifies or harnesses biological systems, organisms and cellular components to develop new technologies and products for specific uses.
  • Integrated circuit types: Types of integrated circuits (IC), such as analog integrated circuits, digital integrated circuits, and mixed-signal integrated circuits.
  • Hardware materials: The characteristics, applications and environmental effects of materials used to develop hardware.
  • MOEM: Micro-opto-electro-mechanics (MOEM) combines microelectronics, microoptics and micromechanics in the development of MEM devices with optical features, such as optical switches, optical cross-connects, and microbolometers.
  • Building automation: Type of automatic control system where through a Building Management System or Building Automation System (BAS) the control of a building’s ventilation, humidity, heating, lighting and other systems is being automated at centralized location and monitored through electronic systems. Can be set to optimize energy consumption.
  • Physics: The natural science involving the study of matter, motion, energy, force and related notions.
  • Printed circuit boards: Printed circuit boards (PCB) are essential components to almost all electronic devices. They consist of thin wafers or substrates on which electronic components, such as microchips, are placed. The electronic components are electrically connected through conductive tracks and pads.
  • Consumer electronics: The functioning of electronic consumer goods such as TVs, radios, cameras and other audio and video equipment.
  • Risk management: The process of identifying, assessing, and prioritising of all types of risks and where they could come from, such as natural causes, legal changes, or uncertainty in any given context, and the methods for dealing with risks effectively.
  • Sensors: Sensors are transducers that can detect or sense characteristics in their environment. They detect changes in the apparatus or environment and provide a corresponding optical or electrical signal. Sensors are commonly divided into six classes: mechanical, electronic, thermal, magnetic, electrochemical, and optical sensors.
  • Project management: Understand project management and the activities which comprise this area. Know the variables implied in project management such as time, resources, requirements, deadlines, and responding to unexpected events.
  • Transmission technology: Technologies that allow the transmission of analogue or digital information signals over a point-to-point or a point-to-multipoint through the use of communication channels or transmission media, such as optical fibre, copper wire, or wireless communication channels. The information or data are usually transmitted as an electromagnetic signal, such as radio waves or microwaves.
  • Robotic components: The components that can be found in robotic systems, such as microprocessors, electronics, sensors, circuit boards, encoders, servomotors, controllers, pneumatics or hydraulics.
  • Consumer protection: The current legislation applicable in relation to the rights of consumers in the marketplace.
  • CAE software: The software to perform computer-aided engineering (CAE) analysis tasks such as Finite Element Analysis and Computional Fluid Dynamics.
  • Microsoft Visual C++: The computer program Visual C++ is a suite of software development tools for writing programs, such as compiler, debugger, code editor, code highlights, packaged in a unified user interface. It is developed by the software company Microsoft.
  • TypeScript: The techniques and principles of software development, such as analysis, algorithms, coding, testing and compiling of programming paradigms in TypeScript.
  • Power electronics: The functioning, design, and usage of electronics that control and convert electric power. Power conversion systems are usually categorised as AC-DC or rectifiers, DC-AC or inverters, DC-DC converters, and AC-AC converters.
  • Computer engineering: Engineering discipline that combines computer science with electrical engineering to develop computer hardware and software. Computer engineering occupies itself with electronics, software design, and the integration of hardware and software.
  • Microprocessors: Computer processors on a microscale that integrate the computer’s central processing unit (CPU) on a single chip.
  • Quality standards: The national and international requirements, specifications and guidelines that ensure that products, services and processes are of good quality and fit for purpose.
  • Electronics: The functioning of electronic circuit boards, processors, chips, and computer hardware and software, including programming and applications. Apply this knowledge to ensure electronic equipment runs smoothly.
  • CoffeeScript: The techniques and principles of software development, such as analysis, algorithms, coding, testing and compiling of programming paradigms in CoffeeScript.
  • Objective-C: The techniques and principles of software development, such as analysis, algorithms, coding, testing and compiling of programming paradigms in Objective-C.
  • Mechanical engineering: Discipline that applies principles of physics, engineering and materials science to design, analyse, manufacture and maintain mechanical systems.
  • Microassembly: The assembly of nano, micro or mesoscale systems and components with dimensions between 1 µm to 1 mm. Because of the need for precision on a microscale, micro assemblies require reliable visual alignment equipment, such as ion beam imaging systems and stereo electronic microscopes, as well as precision tools and machines, such as microgrippers. The microsystems are assembled according to techniques of doping, thin films, etching, bonding, microlithography, and polishing.
  • Hybrid control systems: Control systems containing both subsystems with continuous dynamics as well as subsystems with discrete dynamics.
  • CAD software: CAD software should be differentiated from computer-aided design and drafting (CADD) software. CADD systems are CAD systems with additional drafting features. For example, CADD systems enable an engineer or architect to insert size annotations and other notes into a design.
  • ML (computer programming): The techniques and principles of software development, such as analysis, algorithms, coding, testing and compiling of programming paradigms in ML.
  • Nanotechnology: Technologies, science, and engineering activities conducted on a nanoscale, where material or extremely small components are manipulated on an atomic, molecular, or supramolecular scale.
  • Microoptics: Optical devices with a size of 1 millimeter or smaller, such as microlenses and micromirrors.
  • Environmental engineering: The application of scientific and engineering theories and principles aimed at improving the environment and sustainability, such as the provision of clean habitation necessities (such as air, water, and land) for humans and other organisms, for environmental remediation in the event of pollution, sustainable energy development, and improved waste management and waste reduction methods.
  • Micromechanics: The design and production of micromechanisms. Micromechanisms combine mechanical and electrical components in a single device that is less than 1mm across.
  • Precision measuring instruments: Instruments used for precision measuring or manufacture, such as micrometers, calipers, gauges, scales, and microscopes.
  • AJAX: The techniques and principles of software development, such as analysis, algorithms, coding, testing and compiling of programming paradigms in AJAX.
  • C++: The techniques and principles of software development, such as analysis, algorithms, coding, testing and compiling of programming paradigms in C++.
  • Instrumentation engineering: The science and engineering discipline that attempts to control process variables of production and manufacturing. It also focuses on the design of systems with desired behaviours. These systems use sensors to measure the output performance of the device that is being controlled.
  • Microelectromechanical systems: Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) are miniaturised electromechanical systems made using processes of microfabrication. MEMS consist of microsensors, microactuators, microstructures, and microelectronics. MEMS can be used in a range of appliances, such as ink jet printer heads, digital light processors, gyroscopes in smart phones, accelerometers for airbags, and miniature microphones.
  • Electric drives: Electromechanical systems that utilise electric motors to control the movement and processes of electrical machinery.
  • SAP R3: The techniques and principles of software development, such as analysis, algorithms, coding, testing and compiling of programming paradigms in SAP R3.
  • Nanoelectronics: Quantum mechanics, wave-particle duality, wave functions and inter-atomic interactions. Description of electrons on a nanoscale. Use of nanotechnology in electronic components on a molecular scale. 
  • Swift (computer programming): The techniques and principles of software development, such as analysis, algorithms, coding, testing and compiling of programming paradigms in Swift.
  • Control engineering: Subdiscipline of engineering that focuses on controlling the behaviour of systems through the use of sensors and actuators.
  • MATLAB: The techniques and principles of software development, such as analysis, algorithms, coding, testing and compiling of programming paradigms in MATLAB.
  • Electromagnets: Magnets in which magnetic fields are produced by electric current. By manipulating the electric current, the magnetic fields can be changed and manipulated as well, which allows more control than permanent non-electric magnets. Electromagnets are commonly used in electrical devices, such as loudspeakers, hard disks, MRI devices, and electric motors.
  • Electromagnetic spectrum: The different electromagnetic wavelengths or frequencies that are situated on the electromagnetic spectrum. Wavelengths are divided into several categories according to their wavelength and energy level, starting from radio wavelengths with a long wavelength and a low energy level, to microwaves, infrared, visible light, ultraviolet, X-rays, and finally Gamma-rays with a short wavelength and a high energy level.
  • Electrical testing methods: Test procedures performed on electrical equipment and machinery in order to check the performance and quality of the electrical equipment and their adherence to specifications. During these tests electrical properties, such as voltage, current, resistance, capacitance, and inductance, are measured using electrical measuring equipment, such as multimeters, oscilloscopes, and voltmeters.
  • Electric generators: The principles and operations of devices that can convert mechanical energy into electrical energy, such as dynamos and alternators, rotors, stators, armatures, and fields.
  • Python (computer programming): The techniques and principles of software development, such as analysis, algorithms, coding, testing and compiling of programming paradigms in Python.
  • Electrical wiring plans: Pictorial representation of an electrical circuit. It shows the components of the circuit as simplified shapes, and the power and signal connections between the devices. It gives information about the relative position and arrangement of devices and terminals on the devices, to help in building or servicing the device. A wiring diagram is often used to troubleshoot problems and to make sure that all the connections have been made and that everything is present.
  • Regulations on substances: The national and international regulations on the classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures, e.g. regulation (EC) No 1272/2008.
  • Scratch (computer programming): The techniques and principles of software development, such as analysis, algorithms, coding, testing and compiling of programming paradigms in Scratch.
  • Mechatronics: Multidisciplinary field of engineering that combines principles of electrical engineering, telecommunications engineering, control engineering, computer engineering, and mechanical engineering in the design of products and manufacturing processes. The combination of these areas of engineering allows for the design and development of “smart” devices and the achievement of an optimal balance between mechanical structure and control.
  • Biomedical engineering: The biomedical engineering processes used to create medical devices, prostheses and in treatments.
  • VBScript: The techniques and principles of software development, such as analysis, algorithms, coding, testing and compiling of programming paradigms in VBScript.
  • Power engineering: Subdiscipline of energy and electrical engineering which specialises in the generation, transmission, distribution, and usage of electrical power through the connection of electrical devices to motors, generators, and transformers, such as an AC-DC power adapter.
  • Computer technology: Computers, computer networks and other information technologies and equipment that can store, retrieve, transmit and manipulate data.
  • COBOL: The techniques and principles of software development, such as analysis, algorithms, coding, testing and compiling of programming paradigms in COBOL.
  • Hardware architectures: The designs laying out the physical hardware components and their interconnections.
  • Product data management: The use of software to track all information concerning a product such as technical specifications, drawings, design specifications, and production costs.
  • Semiconductors: Semiconductors are essential components of electronic circuits and contain properties of both insulators, such as glass, and conductors, such as copper. Most semiconductors are crystals made of silicon or germanium. By introducing other elements in the crystal through doping, the crystals turn into semiconductors. Depending on the amount of electrons created by the doping process, the crystals turn into N-type semiconductors, or P-type semiconductors.
  • Optoelectronics: Branch of electronics and optics dedicated to the study and use of electronic devices that detect and control light.
  • Microsensors: Devices with a size smaller than 1 mm that can convert a non-electric signal, such as temperature, into an electrical signal. Because of their size, microsensors offer better accuracy, range, and sensitivity compared to larger sensors.
  • Robotics: The branch of engineering that involves the design, operation, manufacture, and application of robots. Robotics is part of mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, and computer science and overlaps with mechatronics and automation engineering.
  • Pascal (computer programming): The techniques and principles of software development, such as analysis, algorithms, coding, testing and compiling of programming paradigms in Pascal.
  • ABAP: The techniques and principles of software development, such as analysis, algorithms, coding, testing and compiling of programming paradigms in ABAP.
  • Electrical wiring diagrams: The visual schematic representation of an electrical circuit, its components, and the connections between these components.
  • Mechanics: Theoretical and practical applications of the science studying the action of displacements and forces on physical bodies to the development of machinery and mechanical devices.
  • Electrical machines: Electrical apparatus that are able to convert mechanical energy to electrical energy (generators), electrical energy to mechanical energy (motors), and change the voltage level of an AC or alternating current (transformers).
  • Automation technology: Set of technologies that make a process, system, or apparatus operate automatically through the use of control systems.
  • Supply chain management: The flow of goods in the supply chain, movement and storage of raw materials, work-in-process inventory, and finished goods from point of origin to point of consumption.
  • Scala: The techniques and principles of software development, such as analysis, algorithms, coding, testing and compiling of programming paradigms in Scala.

Optional skills and competences

These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of electrical engineer. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Provide technical documentation: Prepare documentation for existing and upcoming products or services, describing their functionality and composition in such a way that it is understandable for a wide audience without a technical background and compliant with defined requirements and standards. Keep documentation up to date.
  • Design electrical systems: Draft sketches and design electrical systems, products, and components using Computer Aided Design (CAD) software and equipment. Draw panel arrangement layouts, electrical schematics, electrical wiring diagrams, and other assembly details.
  • Gather technical information: Apply systematic research methods and communicate with relevant parties in order to find specific information and evaluate research results to assess the information’s relevance, relating technical systems and developments.
  • Conduct literature research: Conduct comprehensive and systematic research of information and publications on a specific literature topic. Present a comparative evaluative literature summary.
  • Process customer requests based on the REACh Regulation 1907 2006: Reply to private consumer requests according to REACh Regulation 1907/2006 whereby chemical Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC) should be minimal. Advise customers on how to proceed and protect themselves if the presence of SVHC is higher than expected.
  • Communicate with customers: Respond to and communicate with customers in the most efficient and appropriate manner to enable them to access the desired products or services, or any other help they may require.
  • Develop electronic test procedures: Develop testing protocols to enable a variety of analyses of electronic systems, products, and components.
  • Automotive engineering: The discipline of engineering that combines mechanical, electrical, electronic, software and safety engineering to design motor vehicles such as trucks, vans and automobiles.
  • Apply soldering techniques: Apply and work with a variety of techniques in the process of soldering, such as soft soldering, silver soldering, induction soldering, resistance soldering, pipe soldering, mechanical and aluminium soldering.
  • Design firmware: Design the appropriate firmware to a specific electronic system.
  • Monitor machine operations: Observe machine operations and evaluate product quality thereby ensuring conformity to standards.
  • Manage budgets: Plan, monitor and report on the budget.
  • Test microelectromechanical systems: Test microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) using appropriate equipment and testing techniques, such as thermal shock tests, thermal cycling tests, and burn-in tests. Monitor and evaluate system performance and take action if needed.
  • Solder electronics: Operate and use soldering tools and soldering iron, which supply high temperatures to melt the solder and to join electronic components.
  • Align software with system architectures: Put system design and technical specifications in line with software architecture in order to ensure the integration and interoperability between components of the system.
  • Maintain electrical engines: Understanding of electrical circuits and being able to repair. Test and replace electrical components and wiring, using test meters, soldering equipment, and hand tools.
  • Perform data analysis: Collect data and statistics to test and evaluate in order to generate assertions and pattern predictions, with the aim of discovering useful information in a decision-making process.
  • Assemble microelectromechanical systems: Build microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) using microscopes, tweezers, or pick-and-place robots. Slice substrates from single wafers and bond components onto the wafer surface through soldering and bonding techniques, such as eutectic soldering and silicon fusion bonding (SFB). Bond the wires through special wire bonding techniques such as thermocompression bonding, and hermetically seal the system or device through mechanical sealing techniques or micro shells. Seal and encapsulate the MEMS in vacuum.
  • Record test data: Record data which has been identified specifically during preceding tests in order to verify that outputs of the test produce specific results or to review the reaction of the subject under exceptional or unusual input.
  • Troubleshoot: Identify operating problems, decide what to do about it and report accordingly.
  • Create software design: Transpose a series of requirements into a clear and organised software design.
  • Install hardware: Assemble the necessary hardware components, such as the motherboard, Central Processing Unit (CPU), hard drive, disk drive, power supply unit, RAM, PCI card, mouse, keyboard, cameras and other necessary components to build the computer device. Attach the components manually using screwdrivers or use assembly machines and install the wiring.
  • Monitor manufacturing quality standards: Monitor quality standards in manufacturing and finishing process.
  • Conduct quality control analysis: Conduct inspections and tests of services, processes, or products to evaluate quality.
  • Perform test run: Perform tests putting a system, machine, tool or other equipment through a series of actions under actual operating conditions in order to assess its reliability and suitability to realise its tasks, and adjust settings accordingly.
  • Define manufacturing quality criteria: Define and describe the criteria by which data quality is measured for manufacturing purposes, such as international standards and manufacturing regulations.
  • Test electromechanical systems: Test electromechanical systems, machines, and components using appropriate equipment. Gather and analyse data. Monitor and evaluate system performance and take action if needed.
  • Model electromagnetic products: Model and simulate the designed electromagnets or products utilising electromagnetism using technical design software. Assess the viability of the product and examine the physical parameters to ensure a successful production process.
  • Test hardware: Test computer hardware systems and components using appropriate equipment and testing methods, such as the system test (ST), the ongoing reliability test (ORT), and the in-circuit test (ICT). Monitor and evaluate system performance and take action if needed.
  • Create technical plans: Create detailed technical plans of machinery, equipment, tools and other products.
  • Manage instrumentation systems: Set up, adjust, operate and maintain instrumentation systems. Process and analyse data, and present research results.
  • Define quality standards: Define, in collaboration with managers and quality experts, a set of quality standards to ensure compliance with regulations and help achieve customers’ requirements.
  • Identify customer’s needs: Use appropriate questions and active listening in order to identify customer expectations, desires and requirements according to product and services.
  • Ensure equipment availability: Ensure that the necessary equipment is provided, ready and available for use before start of procedures.
  • Design integrated circuits: Design and draft integrated circuits (IC) or semiconductors, such as microchips, used in electronic products. Integrate all necessary components, such as diodes, transistors, and resistors. Pay attention to the design of input signals, output signals, and power availability.
  • Test sensors: Test sensors using appropriate equipment. Gather and analyse data. Monitor and evaluate system performance and take action if needed.
  • Design circuit boards: Draught circuit boards used in electronic product such as cell phones and computers, make sure to include integrated circuits and microchips in the design.
  • Assemble electromechanical systems: Put together electromechanical equipment and machinery according to specifications.
  • Write routine reports: Compose regular reports by writing clear observations on the monitored processes in a respective field.
  • Model electromechanical systems: Model and simulate an electromechanical system, product, or component so that an assessment can be made of the viability of the product and so the physical parameters can be examined before the actual building of the product.
  • Test microelectronics: Test microelectronics using appropriate equipment. Gather and analyse data. Monitor and evaluate system performance and take action if needed.
  • Use CAM software: Use computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) programmes to control machinery and machine tools in the creation, modification, analysis, or optimisation as part of the manufacturing processes of workpieces.
  • Coordinate engineering teams: Plan, coordinate and supervise engineering activities together with engineers and engineering technicians. Ensure clear and effective channels of communication across all departments. Make sure the team is aware of the standards and objectives of the research and development.
  • Analyse test data: Interpret and analyse data collected during testing in order to formulate conclusions, new insights or solutions.
  • Design microelectronics: Design and develop microelectronic systems, products, and components according to specifications, such as microchips.
  • Examine engineering principles: Analyse the principles that need to be considered for engineering designs and projects such as functionality, replicability, costs and other principles.
  • Design electromagnets: Design and develop conducting electromagnets or products and machines using electromagnetism, such as loudspeakers and MRI machines. Make sure the requirements for performance, reliability, and manufacturability are met.
  • Write technical reports: Compose technical customer reports understandable for people without technical background.
  • Assess supplier risks: Evaluate supplier performance in order to assess if suppliers follow the agreed contracts, meet the standard requirements and provide the desired quality.
  • Use CAE software: Work with computer-aided engineering (CAE) tools to perform analysis tasks such as Finite Element Analysis and Computational Fluid Dynamics.
  • Design electric power systems: Construct generation plants, distribution stations and systems and transmission lines to get energy and new technology where it needs to go. Use high tech equipment, research, maintenance and repair to keep these systems running. Further design and plan layout of the buildings to be constructed.
  • Use precision tools: Use electronic, mechanical, electric, or optical precision tools, such as drilling machines, grinders, gear cutters and milling machines to boost accuracy while machining products.
  • Develop microelectromechanical system test procedures: Develop testing protocols, such as parametric tests and burn-in tests, to enable a variety of analyses of microelectromechanical (MEM) systems, products, and components before, during, and after the building of the microsystem.
  • Draft bill of materials: Set up a list of materials, components, and assemblies as well as the quantities needed to manufacture a certain product.
  • Assemble instrumentation equipment: Build systems and instruments that measure, control, and monitor processes. Fit the instrument parts such as power supplies, control units, lenses, springs, circuit boards, sensors, transmitters, and controllers.
  • Read engineering drawings: Read the technical drawings of a product made by the engineer in order to suggest improvements, make models of the product or operate it.
  • Use CAD software: Use computer-aided design (CAD) systems to assist in the creation, modification, analysis, or optimisation of a design.
  • Design prototypes: Design prototypes of products or components of products by applying design and engineering principles.
  • Model hardware: Model and simulate computer hardware using technical design software. Assess the viability of the product and examine the physical parameters to ensure a successful production process.
  • Design hardware: Design and develop new computer hardware systems and components. Draft blueprints and assembly drawings specifying how the computer equipment should be build.
  • Design microelectromechanical systems: Design and develop microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), such as microsensing devices. Make a model and a simulation using technical design software to assess the viability of the product and examine the physical parameters to ensure a successful production process.
  • Apply technical communication skills: Explain technical details to non-technical customers, stakeholders, or any other interested parties in a clear and concise manner.
  • Install operating system: Install the operating system (OS) or software that manages the software resources and computer hardware on a computer system. The operating system is an essential component of any computer system and mediates between the hardware, the application programs, and the end user. Famous examples of computer operating systems include Microsoft Windows, Linux, and Mac OS.
  • Design electromechanical systems: Draft sketches and design electromechanical systems, products, and components using Computer Aided Design (CAD) software and equipment.
  • Report analysis results: Produce research documents or give presentations to report the results of a conducted research and analysis project, indicating the analysis procedures and methods that led to the results, as well as potential interpretations of the results.
  • Install software: Install machine-readable instructions, such as computer programs, in order to direct the computer’s processor to perform a certain set of actions.
  • Operate scientific measuring equipment: Operate devices, machinery, and equipment designed for scientific measurement. Scientific equipment consists of specialised measuring instruments refined to facilitate the acquisition of data.
  • Perform project management: Manage and plan various resources, such as human resources, budget, deadline, results, and quality necessary for a specific project, and monitor the project’s progress in order to achieve a specific goal within a set time and budget.
  • Manage system testing: Select, perform and track testing on software or hardware to detect system defects both within the integrated system units, the inter-assemblages and the system as a whole. Organise testing such as installation testing, security testing and graphical user interface testing.
  • Model microelectronics: Model and simulate microelectronic systems, products, and components using technical design software. Assess the viability of the product and examine the physical parameters to ensure a successful production process.
  • Program firmware: Program permanent software with a read-only memory (ROM) on a hardware device, such as an integrated circuit.
  • Design control systems: Develop devices that command and manage the behaviour of other devices and systems, using engineering and electronics principles.
  • Execute feasibility study: Perform the evaluation and assessment of the potential of a project, plan, proposition or new idea. Realise a standardised study which is based on extensive investigation and research to support the process of decision making.
  • Operate precision machinery: Operate machinery used for the making of small systems or components with a high level of precision.
  • Develop instrumentation systems: Develop control equipment, such as valves, relays, and regulators, which can be used to monitor and control processes. Test the developed equipment.
  • Define technical requirements: Specify technical properties of goods, materials, methods, processes, services, systems, software and functionalities by identifying and responding to the particular needs that are to be satisfied according to customer requirements.
  • Build business relationships: Establish a positive, long-term relationship between organisations and interested third parties such as suppliers, distributors, shareholders and other stakeholders in order to inform them of the organisation and its objectives.
  • Maintain safe engineering watches: Observe principles in keeping an engineering watch. Take over, accept and hand over a watch. Perform routine duties undertaken during a watch. Maintain the machinery space logs and the significance of the readings taken. Observe safety and emergency procedures. Observe safety precautions during a watch and take immediate actions in the event of fire or accident, with particular reference to oil systems.
  • Apply health and safety standards: Adhere to standards of hygiene and safety established by respective authorities.
  • Ensure material compliance: Ensure that the materials provided by suppliers comply with the specified requirements.
  • Train employees: Lead and guide employees through a process in which they are taught the necessary skills for the perspective job. Organise activities aimed at introducing the work and systems or improving the performance of individuals and groups in organisational settings.
  • Prepare production prototypes: Prepare early models or prototypes in order to test concepts and replicability possibilities. Create prototypes to assess for pre-production tests.
  • Assess financial viability: Revise and analyse financial information and requirements of projects such as their budget appraisal, expected turnover, and risk assessment for determining the benefits and costs of the project. Assess if the agreement or project will redeem its investment, and whether the potential profit is worth the financial risk.
  • Process customer orders: Handle orders placed by customers. Receive the customer order and define a list of requirements, a working process, and a time frame. Execute the work as planned.
  • Develop test procedures: Develop testing protocols to enable a variety of analyses of products, systems, and components.
  • Prepare assembly drawings: Create the drawings that identify the different components and materials, and that provide instructions as to how they should be assembled.
  • Analyse production processes for improvement: Analyse production processes leading toward improvement. Analyse in order to reduce production losses and overall manufacturing costs.
  • Perform resource planning: Estimate the expected input in terms of time, human and financial resources necessary to achieve the project objectives.
  • Design user interface: Create software or device components which enable interaction between humans and systems or machines, using appropriate techniques, languages and tools so as to streamline interaction while using the system or machine.
  • Develop product design: Convert market requirements into product design and development.
  • Design sensors: Design and develop different types of sensors according to specifications, such as vibration sensors, heat sensors, optical sensors, humidity sensors, and electric current sensors.
  • Design electronic systems: Draft sketches and design electronic systems, products, and components using Computer Aided Design (CAD) software and equipment. Make a simulation so that an assessment can be made of the viability of the product and so the physical parameters can be examined before the actual building of the product.
  • Model sensor: Model and simulate sensors, products using sensors, and sensor components using technical design software. This way the viability of the product can be assessed and the physical parameters can be examined before the actual building of the product.

ISCO group and title

2151 – Electrical engineers


References
  1. Electrical engineer – ESCO
  2. Electrical Engineers : Occupational Outlook Handbook – U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
  3. Electrical Engineer Job Description – Indeed.com
  4. Electrical Engineer Job Description – Betterteam
  5. Electrical engineers | Explore careers – National Careers Service
  6. Electrical engineer job profile – Prospects.ac.uk
  7. Electrical Engineer | Your Career
  8. Electrical Engineer Job Description: Salary, Skills, & More – Liveabout.com
  9. Electrical Engineer Job Description – Workable
  10. Electrical Engineers – O*Net Online
  11. Featured image: Image by RAEng_Publications from Pixabay
Last updated on March 18, 2024