What Do People Think You Do?
Electrical engineering is very broad topic. Most people usually associate the job title with either being a computer programmer or an electrician.
What Do You Really Do?
What I actually do can be broken down into two broad categories. The first one is an electronic hardware designer, and the second is a software developer. The electronic hardware designer designs electronic circuitry as well as printed circuit boards. The software developer writes the code for the actual hardware that is designed.
A Day In The Life of an Electrical Engineer
The day starts by picking up where the previous day left of with whatever projects are assigned priority. Typically if I am just starting a new project, I will do some basic research to decide what direction I want to go as far as designing the circuit.
At first, there is a lot of research, but as you gain experience, you will have a good idea from the beginning what circuits you are going to use. Usually, once I decide for certain what circuit I am going to use I check to see what electronic parts are available and look for parts that have the best parameter match for what I am building.
Now even though I am building the hardware, I still have to keep in mind how the software work with the hardware I am picking out. Once I have the components picked out I will start laying out the circuit schematic in some kind of PCB CAD software. Once the schematic is complete then I will start working on the PCB (printed circuit board) layout. This is where all the components and all the traces are drawn out in the PCB CAD software. Most CAD packages allow for you to develop the schematic and PCB layout with in the same project.
Once all the hardware is completed the PCB’s are ordered through a company that will do the fabrication and usually have the PCB’s back to me with in a week or so. During this time I am working on the software so that I can start testing once the PCB’s are received. At this point testing starts and if any errors are found I make the design changes and start the process over.
Aside from daily projects if any equipment needs repaired or someone is having an issue with it I am usually asked to take a look at it and try and make the repairs. There also a lot of vocational tasks as well such as soldering the circuit boards, using electrical testing equipment such as multimeters, power supplies, and oscilloscopes.
What’s The Average Income?
$90,000 per year
What Education If Any Is Needed?
You will need at least a bachelor of science is Electrical Engineering with a overall GPA of at last 3.5 to be competitive. From there you would start out in an entry-level engineering position with an emphasis on electronics and printed circuit board design.
Something Important To Know
You have to earn an engineering degree and understand all the math and physics. Even though the degree is all academic work in order to get entry-level positions in engineering you must also have some vocational skills, such as being able to read schematics and solder electronic components.