What Can You Do With an Electrical Engineering Degree?

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 4 October 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

As an electrical engineer, you can use your knowledge of electrical systems to build innovative designs and solve problems for society. This allows you to apply your skills to different sectors that require electrical equipment and need talented professionals with an engineering background. Learning about the various applications for an electrical engineering degree can help you determine if you're interested in this field and start planning your future career. In this article, we answer the question, 'what can you do with an electrical engineering degree?' and then review other elements of the degree and career path.

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What can you do with an electrical engineering degree?

Here are some career fields that can answer the question of what can you do with an electrical engineering degree:

Aerospace systems

You can use the knowledge from an electrical engineering degree to apply for jobs in the aerospace industry. Electrical engineers are an essential component of aerospace systems development, producing the electrical components of spacecraft such as shuttles, planes, satellites and missiles. They collaborate with other engineers and designers to create complex mechanical and electrical designs that can function in various atmospheric conditions. Aerospace engineers apply their electrical knowledge to create durable telecommunications devices that function in space and generate enough electrical power to sustain massive space structures.

Automotive engineering

If you're interested in cars and other vehicles, you may want to use your electrical engineering degree to become an automotive engineer. In this field, you create the electrical and mechanical systems that power automobiles. You can work on a variety of electrical elements, including engines for electric and hybrid cars, batteries, starters, alternators, fuses and the automotive wiring system. Automotive electrical engineers can also work on luxury add ons for vehicles, such as vanity lighting and advanced audio systems.

Construction

With a background in electrical engineering, you may consider looking for a career as a construction engineer. The built environment industry has many opportunities for people with electrical engineering knowledge to advise on how to incorporate electrical systems into residential and commercial construction projects. As a construction engineer, you collaborate with architects and construction professionals to determine the best solution for a client's long-term electricity needs and create your own designs. Contracting is common in the construction field, so you can look for a full-time job or pursue self-employment as a consultant or electrical engineering contractor.

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National defence

You may apply the knowledge you gain in your engineering degree to a military context by looking for jobs in the military sector. As an electrical engineer for the military, you can enjoy the benefits of having a government job while working on interesting and complex electrical projects. Your assignments can range from security equipment to robotics machinery for national defence. Military engineering can be an exciting career path because you have the option to work with expansive resources and advanced technology for telecommunications, compact and transportation.

Telecommunication

The telecommunications field is popular for electrical engineering graduates because it can provide opportunities to work on a range of projects. In telecommunications, you can create large-scale electrical systems to support vast networks or engineer microprocessors to intercept small signals. Telecommunications engineers contribute to building essential infrastructure for internet, phone and radio communications, making them a vital part of the workforce. This is an exciting field with constant updates in security protocols and technology, so it's a good option if you enjoy learning and researching innovations in your field.

Electronics

Similar to telecommunications, you can apply your electrical engineering degree to the field of electronics. As an electronics engineer, you design robots, machines, computers and other devices that use electrical impulses to function. These range from consumer products to large industrial machines. Electronics engineers design wiring systems that allow their inventions and products to operate safely and connect to power systems with no interruptions.

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Marine engineering

Marine engineers use their expertise to design ships, boats, submarines and other marine vessels, plus oceanographic technology, such as marine satellites and sonar. Electrical engineers are especially important in marine engineering because they ensure electrical systems are waterproof and can function safely during long-term sea explorations. Marine engineers can work with the hospitality industry by designing ships and accessory equipment for cruise lines, work with commercial fishing companies or apply for jobs with the Singapore Navy. They can also design offshore equipment for oil drilling that occurs underwater.

Oil and gas

An electrical engineering degree is a common qualification for people who work in the oil and gas industry. Understanding how electrical systems work is essential for designing the propulsion systems for oil rigs and other mining equipment that companies use to extract natural resources from the earth. If you have an electrical engineering degree, you can likely start your career in oil and gas as a production engineer, where you work on mining and drilling equipment and collaborate with other engineers to establish efficient and safe drilling processes.

Power generation

Power generation engineers design systems to convert one form of energy into electricity, making a degree in electrical engineering essential for entering this field. A power generation engineer can specialise in several types of energy, including gas, coal, nuclear power, wind power and solar energy. They use their understanding of electrical systems to design generators and transmission systems to transport energy from a power station to their customers. As a power generation engineer, you determine how to distribute energy across a power grid and help businesses and individual citizens access the power they need daily.

Railway development

Railway engineers design and maintain rail systems for freight trains, intercity trains and high-speed rail systems. Because electricity is an essential component for the operation of modern rail systems, having an electrical engineering degree can help you find a job in this field. As a railway engineer, you can help develop public transportation options to accommodate travel for citizens. This includes improving the efficiency and sustainability of existing systems, creating additional rail lines and designing technological updates to improve operations.

Financial analysis

Although financial analysis isn't an engineering discipline, having an electrical engineering degree can qualify you for jobs in the financial and investment analysis sector. You can apply many of the skills you learn from an electrical engineering degree to a finance position. This includes risk assessment, statistics, signal analysis, machine learning, mathematical modelling and other analysis techniques that you use in electrical engineering.

What does an electrical engineer do?

An electrical engineer designs and develops electrical equipment and systems. They can create entire products or design elements of a larger system alongside other engineers. Electrical engineers draft designs, create prototypes, run tests, make adjustments and oversee the manufacturing of final product components. They also repair and replace electrical parts when necessary to ensure that electrical systems operate successfully. Electrical engineers use physics, math and other theoretical concepts to solve problems for their clients and employers.

Skills for electrical engineers

To be successful in one of the industries for electrical engineers, it's important to develop expert professional and technical skills. Here are some of the top abilities to focus on during and after your electrical engineering degree:

  • Data analysis: Electrical engineers in every field may be able to collect, sort and process data to learn about what methods and techniques work for a specific project and situation.

  • Problem-solving: The purpose of electrical engineering is to use electricity and engineering concepts to help clients and solve a specific problem, so it's important to use your critical thinking skills to solve problems at work.

  • Design: As an electrical engineer, one of your main roles is designing the functional and visual elements of products, structures and systems for your clients.

  • Creativity: Being creative and innovative allows you to determine the best way to approach a project and use your resources efficiently as you design your electrical equipment and systems.

  • Circuit design: The ability to design basic and advanced circuits is one of the fundamental skills that you use during your engineering projects.

  • Technical writing: Electrical engineers may have excellent technical writing skills to write instructions for their blueprints and communicate with other professionals on an assignment.

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Electrical engineer salary

The average salary of an electrical engineer is $3,642 per month. Electrical engineers can increase their income by earning additional qualifications, such as graduate degrees or speciality certificates. Gaining more experience can also typically increase your earning potential as an electrical engineer.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.

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