Last Updated on March 11, 2021 by Filip Poutintsev
There are different kings of engineers. Electrical engineering is the design, building, and maintenance of electrical control systems, machinery, and equipment. Electrical engineering is considered the oldest yet the most advanced discipline of engineering.
To obtain an electrical engineering degree, one must complete a rigorous university curriculum. Electrical engineers work on a wide range of components, devices, and systems, from tiny microchips to huge power station generators.
The term electrical engineering electronics engineering are closely related. Electrical engineers mainly focus on large-scale production and distribution of electrical power, whereas electronics engineers are concerned with electronic circuits and often also work with computers and related technologies. Any undergraduate course includes elements of both electronic and electrical engineering.
Some electrical engineering applications are also found in mechanical and civil engineering. The arrival of the modern age is marked by the introduction of electricity to homes, businesses, and industries, all of which were made possible by electrical engineering.
A Brief History
Electricity has been a subject of scientific interest since the early 17th century. Early experiments with electricity included primitive batteries and static charges. Michael Faraday invented a law, known as Faraday’s law of Electromagnetic Induction, which led the application of electricity into new heights. This law applies to the basic principles of the electric generator, the electric motor, and the transformer. After this actual design, the construction and manufacturing of electronic devices and systems began. For this reason, he is known as the father of electrical engineering.
Some of the most notable pioneers in the field of electrical engineering include Thomas Edison, George Westinghouse, Nikola Tesla, Guglielmo Marconi, and Philo T. Farnsworth. These innovators turned ideas and concepts about electricity into practical devices and systems that are now an essential part of our lives.
Since its early beginnings, the field of electrical engineering has grown and branched out into several specialized categories, including power generation and transmission systems, motors, batteries, and control systems.
What do Electrical Engineers do?
Electrical engineers design, develop, test and supervise the manufacturing of electrical equipment, such as electric motors, radar and navigation systems, communications systems, and power generation equipment. They also elaborate project plans, estimate project timescales, and costs manage the work of technicians and craftspeople, test installations, analyze data, and ensure that health and safety regulations are met.
Electrical engineering also includes electronics, so electrical engineers find work in the field of electronics too, such as the design and development of electronic devices and equipment.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Electrical Engineering
1. Pay Grade
Engineering job is one of the handsomely paid jobs in the world. In particular, electrical engineers earn some of the highest salaries in the field. According to the Bureau for Labor Statistics, the median salary is over $85,000. The top 10 percent of electrical engineers earn over $130,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The reason behind the high salary is the job complexity, require a high level of knowledge and skills and dealing with the electricity most of the time
2. Variety of Fields
Electrical engineering has a wide variety of sub-disciplines that one can choose, such as power, control, electronics, and microelectronics, signal processing, communication, instrumentation, and computers.
Engineers can choose to work on projects such as designing hydro power, designing a telecommunications system, wiring buildings, designing household appliances, or operating an electric power station. As an engineer, you never have to worry about your work becoming static because there always new opportunities and developments.
3. Career Opportunities
There are plentiful career opportunities for electrical engineers. Electrical engineers can choose to work in a variety of industries including telecommunications, computers, aerospace, power generation, and manufacturing industries.
As electrical engineering is closely related to electronics engineering, therefore both can work together to work on some projects which combine both technologies.
You can earn a master’s or doctorate in electrical engineering or any other discipline such as business (MBA). Engineers often escalate to management positions and earn excellent money. With additional education, engineers can also become lawyers, writers, politicians, teachers, bankers, and business people.
Electrical engineers have profound practical and theoretical knowledge in their field. Skills learned can be used in other fields and make great use of it. It will help you to learn some other related skills easier. An understanding of high-level math and electric circuits helps you to gain some great solving skills. Alongside being the ultimate problem solver, an electrical engineer also has remarkable creativity and practical skills.
Electrical engineering graduates have abundant job opportunities worldwide. The laws of math and physics are universal, and your gained knowledge doesn’t limit you to only the country you studied in. The skills and intellect of the electrical engineer are needed everywhere around the globe.
There are a lot of international technology companies that need electrical engineers, and they are willing to employ people from other countries if they match the job requirements. An electrical engineer gets lots of travel opportunities around the world due to job prospects.
6. Respect and Recognition
An electrical engineer is one of the high profile jobs out there. Being an electric engineer is a matter of pride and prestige. It is obvious that the whole world relies on electrical technology, without it our life would cease. Thus, becoming an electrical engineer affords you prestige and importance not found in other occupations.
Job satisfaction is a crucial part of every job out there. The work environment can differ greatly depending on the type of electrical engineering you choose to go to. Most engineers work on teams and there is always competition ongoing between them. The fact the electrical engineers are in competition and must meet deadlines can make electrical engineering a high-stress occupation.
2. Risks Involved
Due to the nature of the job, electrical engineers are always at risk of personal injury. The most common risk is getting an electric shock. Contract electrical engineers spend most of the time outdoors at construction sites, and construction sites are prone to accidents. The equipment or structure has the potential to impact human life.
3. Pay Based on the Level of Education
The payroll of electrical engineers is usually based on their highest level of qualification. Those with a master’s degree are paid greater than those having only bachelor degrees. The reason behind this difference in salary is, with the advancement of technology, professionals must update their education and knowledge to match the technology requirements.
4. Requires a High Level of Knowledge
The job of an electrical engineer is extremely intricate, as it requires a high level of intelligence and problem-solving skills. It requires ability and knowledge with numbers, which might be difficult for some. Electric engineers mostly work with electric circuits, which is a very intelligent task. It demands problem-solving skills, a lot of patience, and never quitting attitude. Due to the complexity, some large scale jobs might require numerous work hours.
Every career has its pros and cons, so does electrical engineering. Electrical engineering is one of the core branches of engineering and has many benefits such as high salary, more career opportunities, worldwide work opportunities, and respect.
However, the job is risky as there is always a risk of hurting yourself with electricity or tool/electrical devices. However, the advantages of a career in electrical engineering can certainly overcome the disadvantages for someone interested in the field.