Careers in Electrical Engineering
HBU Electrical Engineering (EE) majors are ready to work with many types of employers nationwide to research, design, develop, test or supervise the manufacturing and installation of electrical equipment, components or systems for commercial, industrial, military or scientific use. Students at Houston Baptist University receive excellent classroom learning and hands-on experience in labs and internships to be prepared for successful careers.
According to O*Net Online, which is sponsored by the US Department of Labor, Electrical Engineering career paths reflect a range of job titles. Here’s a sample:
- Circuits Engineer
- Design Engineer
- Electrical Controls Engineer
- Electrical Design Engineer
- Electrical Engineer
- Electrical Project Engineer
- Instrumentation and Electrical (I&E) Reliability Engineer
- Power Systems Engineer
- Project Engineer
- Test Engineer
Overall employment is projected to grow nine percent through 2026, about as fast as the average for all occupations, reports the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
The need to upgrade the nation’s power grids will also require more EE jobs. Job growth is projected to be largely in engineering services firms, as more companies need more expertise for projects involving electronic devices and systems. Electrical engineers also will be in demand to develop sophisticated consumer electronics.
The rapid pace of technological innovation will likely drive demand for jobs in research and development, an area in which engineering expertise is needed to design distribution systems related to new technologies. Electrical engineers will play key roles in new developments with solar arrays, semiconductors and communications technologies. Additionally, electrical engineers may play a role in assisting with the automation of various production processes.
Electrical engineers work on a variety of projects, ranging from computers, robots, cell phones, cards and radar to navigation systems, wiring and lighting in buildings, and other kinds of electrical systems. Such projects often start by defining what new electronics should be able to do. Electronic engineers will then design the circuits and parts of the electronics using a computer. Electrical engineers create a prototype and test the product to improve it. Most products do not work initially or have some bugs that need to be fixed. The electrical engineer needs to figure out the problem and make the product work.
Texas is #2 nationwide with the highest employment of electrical engineers.
Electrical Engineering careers include many sub-disciplines, according to Sokanu, an online career-matching platform. Some specialize exclusively in one sub-discipline, while others specialize in a combination of sub-disciplines. The most popular sub-disciplines are:
- Electronic Engineer Deals with electronic circuits such as resistors, capacitors, inductors, transistors and diodes
- Microelectronics Engineer Works with design and micro-fabrication of tiny electronic circuit components
- Signal Processing Engineer Focuses on signals, such as analog or digital signals
- Power Engineer Deals with electricity and the design of related electrical devices such as transformers, generators, motors and power electronics
- Controls Engineer Directs the design of controllers that cause systems to behave in a certain way, using micro-controllers, programmable logic controllers, digital signal processors and electrical circuits
- Telecommunications Engineer Focuses on the transmission of information via a cable or optical fiber
- Instrumentation Engineer Deals with the design of measuring devices for pressure, flow and temperature; this involves a deep understanding of physics
- Computer Engineer: Specializes in the design of computers and computer hardware
Jobs: A Range of Employers and Locations
According to the BLS, top-paying industries for Electrical Engineering jobs, along with average salaries, include:
- Support activities for mining – $123,940
- Oil and gas extraction – $122,830
- Business support services – $116,020
- Wholesale electronic markets, and agents and brokers – $115,780
- Aerospace product and parts manufacturing – $115,320
Texas is one of the top five states with the highest employment of electrical engineers in the U.S., reports the BLS. These five states include the following with their respective median EE salaries:
- #1 California ($113,140)
- #2 Texas ($104,670)
- #3 New York ($101,740)
- #4 Michigan ($88,250)
- #5 Massachusetts ($114,200)