Summary Report for:
17-2071.00 - Electrical Engineers
Research, design, develop, test, or supervise the manufacturing and installation of electrical equipment, components, or systems for commercial, industrial, military, or scientific use.
Sample of reported job titles: Circuits Engineer, Design Engineer, Electrical Controls Engineer, Electrical Design Engineer, Electrical Engineer, Electrical Project Engineer, Instrumentation and Electrical Reliability Engineer (I&E Reliability Engineer), Power Systems Engineer, Project Engineer, Test Engineer
Tasks | Tools & Technology | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- Prepare technical drawings, specifications of electrical systems, or topographical maps to ensure that installation and operations conform to standards and customer requirements.
- Operate computer-assisted engineering or design software or equipment to perform engineering tasks.
- Confer with engineers, customers, or others to discuss existing or potential engineering projects or products.
- Direct or coordinate manufacturing, construction, installation, maintenance, support, documentation, or testing activities to ensure compliance with specifications, codes, or customer requirements.
- Design, implement, maintain, or improve electrical instruments, equipment, facilities, components, products, or systems for commercial, industrial, or domestic purposes.
- Prepare specifications for purchases of materials or equipment.
- Perform detailed calculations to compute and establish manufacturing, construction, or installation standards or specifications.
- Investigate customer or public complaints, determine nature and extent of problem, and recommend remedial measures.
- Oversee project production efforts to assure projects are completed on time and within budget.
- Plan or implement research methodology or procedures to apply principles of electrical theory to engineering projects.
- Develop budgets, estimating labor, material, and construction costs.
- Compile data and write reports regarding existing or potential electrical engineering studies or projects.
- Supervise or train project team members as necessary.
- Investigate or test vendors' or competitors' products.
- Plan layout of electric power generating plants or distribution lines or stations.
- Inspect completed installations and observe operations to ensure conformance to design and equipment specifications and compliance with operational and safety standards.
- Conduct field surveys or study maps, graphs, diagrams, or other data to identify and correct power system problems.
- Assist in developing capital project programs for new equipment or major repairs.
- Collect data relating to commercial or residential development, population, or power system interconnection to determine operating efficiency of electrical systems.
- Design electrical systems or components that minimize electric energy requirements, such as lighting systems designed to account for natural lighting.
- Develop systems that produce electricity using renewable energy sources, such as wind, solar, or biofuels.
- Integrate electrical systems with renewable energy systems to improve overall efficiency.
Tools & Technology
Tools used in this occupation:
- Capacitance meters — Inductance capacitance resistance LCR meters
- Computer servers
- Corona treaters — Cylindrical corona testers
- Digital camcorders or video cameras — Digital video cameras
- Electrical frequency meters — Noise figure meters
- Electronic measuring probes — Parameter analyzers
- Flow sensors — Electrical flow meters
- Frequency analyzers — Spectrum analyzers
- Frequency calibrator or simulator — Frequency drives; Signal analyzers
- Frequency counters or timer or dividers — Frequency counters
- Ion implantation equipment — Reactive ion etch systems
- Isolation glove boxes — Glove box systems
- Laboratory balances — Microbalances
- Laboratory evaporators — Filament evaporators; Metal evaporation systems; Vacuum system/thermal evaporators
- Laboratory safety furnaces — Annealing furnaces; Diffusion furnaces; Oxidation furnaces
- Laser measuring systems — Laser ranging systems
- Laser printers
- Level generators — Pulse generators
- Magnetic spin bars or stir bars or stirring beads — Spinners
- Metal markers or holders — Electrochemical etching devices
- Microwave core equipment — Microwave automatic load-pull tuners
- Network analyzers
- Notebook computers — Laptop computers
- Oscillographs — Sweep oscillators
- Oscilloscopes — Digital oscilloscopes; Mixed signal oscilloscopes; Sampling oscilloscopes
- Personal computers
- Plotter printers — Plotters
- Power meters — Microwave power meters
- Reactors — Plasma reactors
- Scanning electron microscopes — Scanning electron microscopes SEM
- Scanning probe microscopes — Atomic force microscopes; Scanning tunneling microscopes STM
- Semiconductor process systems — Electron beam evaporators; Wafer steppers; Wet chemical clean benches; Wire bonders (see all 13 examples)
- Signal generators — Programmable function generators; Synthesized continuous wave CW generators; Vector signal generators
- Spectrographs — Imaging spectrographs
- Spectrometers — Auger electron spectrometers; Electrochemical CV dopant profilers; Secondary ion mass spectrometers SIMS; X ray photoemission spectrometers (see all 5 examples)
- Surface testers — Profilometers
- Temperature cycling chambers or thermal cyclers — Rapid thermal annealers RTA
- Thickness measuring devices — Ellipsometers
- Transistor circuit testers — Universal microwave transistor test fixtures
- Transistor transistor logic TTL — Pattern generator systems
- Tube furnaces — Doping tubes; Oxidation tubes; Vertical furnaces
- Voltage or current meters — Digital voltmeters DVM; Pulsed current-voltage IV analyzer
- X ray generators — X ray guns
Technology used in this occupation:
- Analytical or scientific software — Hewlett-Packard HP Semiconductor Parameter Analyzer; Synopsys PrimeTime; Tektronix EZ-TEST; The MathWorks MATLAB (see all 42 examples)
- Charting software — Microsoft Office Visio
- Computer aided design CAD software — Autodesk AutoCAD software; Bentley Microstation; Cadence Encounter Test; Zuken E3.schematic (see all 18 examples)
- Computer aided manufacturing CAM software — Rapid prototyping software
- Development environment software — C; Eclipse IDE software *; Programmed logic controller PLC code generation software; VHSIC hardware description language VHDL (see all 12 examples)
- Enterprise resource planning ERP software — SAP software
- Industrial control software — Wonderware InTouch HMI
- Object or component oriented development software — C++; JHDL; Python; Sun Microsystems Java (see all 5 examples)
- Office suite software — Microsoft Office software
- Operating system software — Linux; Microsoft Windows Server; UNIX
- Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint
- Program testing software — Debugging software; Defect tracking software
- Project management software — Microsoft Project
- Requirements analysis and system architecture software — Requirements management software
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
- WAN switching software and firmware — ATD protocol; X.25 Protocol
- Word processing software — Microsoft Word
* Software developed by a government agency and/or distributed as freeware or shareware.
- Engineering and Technology — Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
- Design — Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
- Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
- Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
- Physics — Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Mechanical — Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
- Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
- Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- Public Safety and Security — Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
- Clerical — Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
- Operations Analysis — Analyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.
- Systems Evaluation — Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
- Mathematics — Using mathematics to solve problems.
- Science — Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
- Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- Systems Analysis — Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
- Instructing — Teaching others how to do something.
- Operation Monitoring — Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
- Troubleshooting — Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
- Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Fluency of Ideas — The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Number Facility — The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.
- Mathematical Reasoning — The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
- Originality — The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Drafting, Laying Out, and Specifying Technical Devices, Parts, and Equipment — Providing documentation, detailed instructions, drawings, or specifications to tell others about how devices, parts, equipment, or structures are to be fabricated, constructed, assembled, modified, maintained, or used.
- Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
- Communicating with Persons Outside Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
- Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
- Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
- Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
- Provide Consultation and Advice to Others — Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.
Detailed Work Activities
- Prepare operational reports.
- Discuss designs or plans with clients.
- Operate computer systems.
- Survey land or bodies of water to measure or determine features.
- Create electrical schematics.
- Supervise engineering or other technical personnel.
- Confer with technical personnel to prepare designs or operational plans.
- Design structures or facilities.
- Design energy production or management equipment or systems.
- Direct equipment maintenance or repair activities.
- Maintain electronic equipment.
- Estimate technical or resource requirements for development or production projects.
- Train personnel on proper operational procedures.
- Devise research or testing protocols.
- Estimate operational costs.
- Design electrical equipment or systems.
- Direct construction activities.
- Investigate system, equipment, or product failures.
- Test products for functionality or quality.
- Direct installation activities.
- Inspect operational processes.
- Prepare project budgets.
- Direct industrial production activities.
- Design alternative energy systems.
- Design energy-efficient equipment or systems.
- Electronic Mail — 100% responded “Every day.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 84% responded “Every day.”
- Telephone — 83% responded “Every day.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 83% responded “Every day.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 59% responded “Extremely important.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 52% responded “Extremely important.”
- Contact With Others — 42% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 50% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 57% responded “Some freedom.”
- Spend Time Sitting — 56% responded “More than half the time.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week — 58% responded “More than 40 hours.”
- Time Pressure — 56% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Letters and Memos — 37% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 38% responded “Very important.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 42% responded “Moderate results.”
- Deal With External Customers — 44% responded “Very important.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 32% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
- Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 33% responded “High responsibility.”
- Consequence of Error — 27% responded “Extremely serious.”
- Level of Competition — 43% responded “Highly competitive.”
- Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 29% responded “Once a year or more but not every month.”
- Physical Proximity — 60% responded “Slightly close (e.g., shared office).”
- Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 33% responded “Very important.”
|Title||Job Zone Four: Considerable Preparation Needed|
|Education||Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.|
|Related Experience||A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant must complete four years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.|
|Job Training||Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.|
|Job Zone Examples||Many of these occupations involve coordinating, supervising, managing, or training others. Examples include accountants, sales managers, database administrators, teachers, chemists, art directors, and cost estimators.|
|SVP Range||(7.0 to < 8.0)|
Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
This occupation may require a background in the following science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) educational disciplines:
Interest code: IR
- Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
- Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
- Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
- Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
- Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2014)||$43.95 hourly, $91,410 annual|
|Employment (2012)||166,000 employees|
|Projected growth (2012-2022)||Slower than average (3% to 7%)|
|Projected job openings (2012-2022)||44,100|
|Top industries (2012)|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2014 wage data and 2012-2022 employment projections . "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2012-2022). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.
Job Openings on the Web
Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
- Electrical and Electronics Engineers . Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition.
- Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) , 111 Market Pl., Suite 1050, Baltimore, MD 21202. Phone: (410) 347-7700. Fax: (410) 625-2238.
- American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) , 1818 N St. NW, Suite 600, Washington, DC 20036-2479. Phone: (202) 331-3500. Fax: (202) 265-8504.
- Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) , 445 Hoes Ln., Piscataway, NJ 08855-1331. Phone: (732) 981-0060. Fax: (732) 981-1721.
- National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE) , 1420 King St., Alexandria, VA 22314-2794. Phone: (703) 684-2800.