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How to Become an Electrical or Electronics Engineer

Bachelor's degree

In order to become an electronics or electrical engineer involves studying numerous courses in engineering and math. Typically, electronics engineers and electrical engineers have a bachelor's degree. Practical experience is highly valued by employers; therefore, students may earn academic credit for structured work experience. Individuals with a PE or Professional Engineer license may have more opportunities finding employment.

Education & Training

Students in high school who wish to study electronics engineering or electrical engineering will benefit from taking the following classes: calculus, trigonometry, algebra, mathematics and physics. Drafting courses will prove beneficial due to the fact that these engineers are commonly called on to prepare technical drawings.

Entry-level jobs in electronics engineering or electrical engineering often require a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering technology, electronics engineering or electrical engineering. Programs include: field studies, classroom work and a laboratory component. Courses include: electrical circuit theory, differential equations and electrical circuit theory. Check ahead of time to ensure all electrical engineering courses are ABET accredited.

Certain universities and colleges provide cooperative programs for students to gain practical experience while finishing their education. Classroom study is combined with practicum work to make the cooperative programs effective.

Students may enroll in a 5 year program available at specific universities and secure their bachelor's and master's degree simultaneously. Having a graduate degree enables engineers to work in research and development as well as become an instructor at certain universities.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Licensing for electronics engineers and electrical engineers is not as vital as it is for other engineering occupations. Licensure is however preferred for individuals working with government contracts including: local, state or provincial and federal. Engineers are designated as Professional Engineers or PEs once they obtain licensure.

Licensure usually requires the following:

A) Relevant work experience

B) Passing score on the FE or Fundamentals of Engineering exam

C) Degree from an ABET accredited engineering program

The FE or initial Fundamentals of Engineering exam may be taken after graduation is over from a university or college. Once this exam is successfully passed, engineers are referred to as EITs or Engineers in Training or EIs or Engineer Interns. Once work experience is complete, EITs are eligible for taking a second exam known as the Principals and Practice of Engineering exam.

Many places have made continuing education courses a requirement for an active license. The majority of places will recognize licensing from elsewhere as long as it meets or exceeds local licensing requirements.

Skills and Qualities that will Help

Concentration: Since electrical and electronic engineers are responsible for developing complex electronic components and electrical systems and products, they have to keep track of numerous technical characteristics and design elements.

Initiative: Electronics engineers and electrical engineers need to apply their extensive knowledge to each project they undertake. Undergoing new continuing education courses is vital to keep up with technological changes.

Interpersonal Skills: Electronics engineers and electrical engineers need to work with numerous people during the manufacturing component to be sure that their plans are correctly implemented along every step. Finding solutions to issues as they arise and monitoring technicians is part of the entire collaboration.

Math Skills: Electronics engineers and electrical engineers need to rely on the principals of advanced math including calculus in order to successfully design, analyze and troubleshoot items.

Verbal Skills: Electronics engineers and electrical engineers work closely with technicians and engineers. They are responsible for clearly explaining designs and clearly reasoning to effectively communicate instructions during production and product development. Explaining complex issues to individuals including customers with zero technical expertise is essential.

How To Advance

Electronic engineers or electrical engineers may wish to take on supervisory positions. This often requires leading a team of technicians or engineers. Certain individuals may prefer management positions and secure work as a program or engineering manager. Commonly, managerial positions require spending time under the supervision and guidance of a more experienced engineer.

Having an engineering background can be vital for those interested in sales. They will have the ability to discuss the technical aspects of a product and assist in product usage and planning.