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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

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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

Tasks

  • Operate computer-assisted engineering or design software or equipment to perform engineering tasks.
  • Prepare technical drawings, specifications of electrical systems, or topographical maps to ensure that installation and operations conform to standards and customer requirements.
  • Confer with engineers, customers, or others to discuss existing or potential engineering projects or products.
  • Design, implement, maintain, or improve electrical instruments, equipment, facilities, components, products, or systems for commercial, industrial, or domestic purposes.
  • Direct or coordinate manufacturing, construction, installation, maintenance, support, documentation, or testing activities to ensure compliance with specifications, codes, or customer requirements.
  • Compile data and write reports regarding existing or potential electrical engineering studies or projects.
  • Perform detailed calculations to compute and establish manufacturing, construction, or installation standards or specifications.
  • Prepare specifications for purchases of materials or equipment.
  • Estimate labor, material, or construction costs for budget preparation purposes.
  • Supervise or train project team members as necessary.
  • Conduct field surveys or study maps, graphs, diagrams, or other data to identify and correct power system problems.
  • Investigate customer or public complaints to determine the nature and extent of problems.
  • Oversee project production efforts to assure projects are completed on time and within budget.
  • Inspect completed installations and observe operations to ensure conformance to design and equipment specifications and compliance with operational, safety, or environmental standards. Green Task Statement
  • Plan or implement research methodology or procedures to apply principles of electrical theory to engineering projects.
  • Design electrical systems or components that minimize electric energy requirements, such as lighting systems designed to account for natural lighting. Green Task Statement
  • Plan layout of electric power generating plants or distribution lines or stations.
  • Assist in developing capital project programs for new equipment or major repairs.

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Tools & Technology

Tools used in this occupation:

  • Accelerometers
  • Capacitance meters — Inductance capacitance resistance LCR meters
  • Computer servers
  • Corona treaters — Cylindrical corona testers
  • Diffractometers
  • 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
  • Multimeters
  • 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
  • Pyrometers
  • 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
  • Thermocouples
  • 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 — Minitab Hot technology ; Synopsys PrimeTime; Tektronix EZ-TEST; The MathWorks MATLAB Hot technology (see all 43 examples)
  • Computer aided design CAD software Hot technology — Autodesk AutoCAD Hot technology ; Dassault Systemes CATIA Hot technology ; PTC Creo Parametric Hot technology ; Zuken E3.schematic (see all 22 examples)
  • Computer aided manufacturing CAM software Hot technology — Rapid prototyping software
  • Configuration management software — Perforce Helix software Hot technology
  • Development environment software — C Hot technology ; Eclipse IDE Hot technology ; National Instruments LabVIEW Hot technology ; Verilog Hot technology (see all 13 examples)
  • Electronic mail software — IBM Notes Hot technology
  • Enterprise resource planning ERP software Hot technology — SAP Hot technology
  • Graphics or photo imaging software — Microsoft Visio Hot technology
  • Industrial control software — Wonderware InTouch HMI
  • Object or component oriented development software — C++ Hot technology ; JHDL; Practical extraction and reporting language Perl Hot technology ; Python Hot technology (see all 5 examples)
  • Office suite software — Microsoft Office
  • Operating system software — Linux Hot technology ; Microsoft Windows Server; UNIX Hot technology
  • Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint Hot technology
  • Program testing software — Debugging software; Defect tracking software
  • Project management software — Microsoft Project Hot technology ; Oracle Primavera Enterprise Project Portfolio Management Hot technology
  • Requirements analysis and system architecture software — Requirements management software; Unified modeling language UML Hot technology
  • Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel Hot technology
  • WAN switching software and firmware — ATD protocol; X.25 Protocol
  • Word processing software — Microsoft Word

Hot technology Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.

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Knowledge

  • 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.
  • Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Design — Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
  • Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • 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.
  • Production and Processing — Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
  • Education and Training — Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

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Skills

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • 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.
  • Mathematics — Using mathematics to solve problems.
  • 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.
  • Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • 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.
  • Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.
  • Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Instructing — Teaching others how to do something.
  • Management of Personnel Resources — Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job.
  • Negotiation — Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.
  • Persuasion — Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.

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Abilities

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • 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.
  • Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • 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).
  • Mathematical Reasoning — The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
  • Number Facility — The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.
  • 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.
  • Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
  • Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
  • Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.

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Work Activities

  • 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.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
  • Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
  • 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.
  • Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
  • Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
  • 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.
  • Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
  • 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.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
  • 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.
  • Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
  • Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
  • Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
  • Repairing and Maintaining Electronic Equipment — Servicing, repairing, calibrating, regulating, fine-tuning, or testing machines, devices, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of electrical or electronic (not mechanical) principles.
  • Provide Consultation and Advice to Others — Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.
  • Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
  • Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.

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Detailed Work Activities

  • Operate computer systems.
  • Create electrical schematics.
  • Confer with technical personnel to prepare designs or operational plans.
  • Discuss designs or plans with clients.
  • Design electrical equipment or systems.
  • Design structures or facilities.
  • Maintain electronic equipment.
  • Survey land or bodies of water to measure or determine features.
  • Direct construction activities.
  • Direct equipment maintenance or repair activities.
  • Direct installation activities.
  • Prepare operational reports.
  • Investigate system, equipment, or product failures.
  • Estimate technical or resource requirements for development or production projects.
  • Direct industrial production activities.
  • Inspect operational processes.
  • Devise research or testing protocols.
  • Design energy-efficient equipment or systems.
  • Design energy production or management equipment or systems.
  • Estimate operational costs.
  • Prepare project budgets.
  • Supervise engineering or other technical personnel.
  • Train personnel on proper operational procedures.
  • Test products for functionality or quality.
  • Design alternative energy systems.

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Work Context

  • Electronic Mail — 98% responded “Every day.”
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 89% responded “Every day.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 72% responded “Every day.”
  • Telephone — 62% responded “Every day.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team — 64% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Duration of Typical Work Week — 68% responded “More than 40 hours.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 64% responded “Very important.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions — 49% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Contact With Others — 44% responded “Constant contact with others.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work — 44% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Spend Time Sitting — 49% responded “More than half the time.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 59% responded “Important results.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making — 34% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others — 32% responded “Very important.”
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 32% responded “Very high responsibility.”
  • Time Pressure — 58% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 40% responded “Every day.”
  • Letters and Memos — 28% responded “Every day.”
  • Deal With External Customers — 26% responded “Very important.”

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Job Zone

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, graphic designers, chemists, art directors, and cost estimators.
SVP Range (7.0 to < 8.0)

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Education


Percentage of Respondents
Education Level Required
70   Bachelor's degree
23   Master's degree
3   High school diploma or equivalent Help

This occupation may require a background in the following science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) educational disciplines:

Engineering — Electrical, Electronics and Communications Engineering

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Credentials

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Interests

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.

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Work Styles

  • Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
  • Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • 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.
  • Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
  • Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
  • 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.

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Work Values

  • 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.

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Related Occupations

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Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages (2015) $44.71 hourly, $93,010 annual
State wages Local Salary Info
 
Employment (2014) 178,000 employees
Projected growth (2014-2024) Little or no change (-1% to 1%) Little or no change (-1% to 1%)
Projected job openings (2014-2024) 41,100
State trends Employment Trends
 
Top industries (2014)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data external site and 2014-2024 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

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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.

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