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Electrical Engineering Professions Video: Becoming an Electrical Engineer

Electrical Engineering Professions Video: Becoming an Electrical Engineer Transcript

More than just an electrician, electrical engineers are experts in mathematics, the principles of electrical theory, computer technology and circuit design. They are responsible for designing, developing and testing new electronics equipment and technologies. Opportunities abound in research, academia and a variety of industries. A bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering is required for most positions, with advanced positions demanding a graduate degree.

Introduction

A bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering can start you on the path to a challenging career working with, and developing, some of the most exciting technologies around. In recent years, electrical engineers have designed everything from electrical systems on the space shuttle to new methods of generating and storing electricity from the sun, tides and winds.

Job Duties and Skills

Like all engineers, the duties of an electrical engineer center around experimentation, innovation and discovery. Depending on their employer's needs, some electrical engineers may devote their efforts to improving existing products and electrical equipment or developing new technologies.

Most electrical engineering careers involve the designing, testing and manufacturing of electrical circuits and components. Electrical engineers are frequently responsible for sketching schematics, using a computer to create a model and prototype preparation. Although technicians typically perform the actual fabrication of a design, some electrical engineers prefer to be more involved with this process, either overseeing the creation of a prototype or actually assembling it themselves. Completed prototypes are tested and refined until a satisfactory final product is completed.

Training Required

Electrical engineers typically start with a bachelor's degree from a college or university accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. These programs include courses on advanced mathematics and physics, with an emphasis on scientific theories behind electricity. Students can also expect to take lab based courses that offer a chance to build circuits and other electrical equipment.

While a bachelor's degree will be sufficient for most entry-level positions, a master's degree in Electrical Engineering can offer additional career opportunities. Employers respect the commitment that a graduate degree requires and recognize that those with a master's degree have spent time researching the latest technologies and their practical applications. This makes master's degree holders ideal candidates for the most challenging leadership and managerial positions.

Career Options

Electrical engineers are some of the most versatile professionals around. Electrical engineers are responsible for designing everything from the electrical systems aboard the space shuttle to the inner workings of precision watches. If there's an industry or technology that interests you, chances are that there's a need for electrical engineers in it.

Electrical engineers willing to work in research also have career opportunities with larger electronics and industrial companies and, of course, colleges and universities. Research positions generally require at least a master's degree and in most cases, a doctoral degree. However, the rewards for working with cutting edge technologies and developing the electrical systems of tomorrow can be fantastic.

A formal education and professional experience in electrical engineering can build a foundation for opportunities in decidedly non-technical positions. Many lawyers specializing in patent law begin their education with an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering. Policy makers and lobbyists can also benefit from a technical background.

Sources

http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos027.htm
http://www.collegeboard.com/csearch/majors_careers/profiles/majors/14.1001.html
http://www.bls.gov/k12/math02.htm
http://www.wisegeek.com/what-does-a-electrical-engineer-do.htm

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