In this article, we are showing you a career graph of an electrical engineer that includes the responsibilities and duties, skills and qualifications, salaries, and current and future market demand of working as an electrical engineer.
You can find a proper guideline with a set of basic electrical engineer interview questions that can ease your pressure to prepare for an electrical engineering career here, along with other crucial information.
What is Electrical Engineering?
Electrical engineering is an important branch of engineering science that gives insight into developing and designing electrical elements. And those individuals who work in this field are called electrical engineers.
The electrical engineer's main job is to design, build, develop, and test the electrical aspects of any project. By gaining a deep insight into this field, you can understand more about electrical engineering and determine whether you want to choose electrical engineering as your career.
What Does an Electrical Engineer Do?
The main job of an electrical engineer is to plan electrical projects, develop electrical items for a project, and test and evaluate those electrical products.
Electrical engineers focus on planning electrical projects like developing a smartphone or building up sizable electrical power plants. Their main task is to define the project’s working process, set appropriate budgets, and estimate the time to complete the project.
Electrical engineers are also responsible for developing necessary project elements as they are required. To develop such elements for the project, they go through some product testing processes to check their durability and longevity.
It is necessary for electrical engineers to ensure that the project they are working on is safe and durable enough to satisfy customer expectations. That’s why they need to discover the areas where they can improve by testing and repeatedly evaluating before launching the product into the market.
Moreover, an electrical engineer also needs to build a communication network among his coworkers, customers, buyers, and suppliers to develop a project. They get their project’s review by communicating with each level of this network.
An electrical engineer goes through all these steps, from planning a project to launching it into the market. Finally, a successful product depends on how they execute these jobs during the product development period.
Responsibilities and Duties of an Electrical Engineer
An electrical engineer's role carries many responsibilities and duties for a company. They design and develop electrical equipment and products and maintain those products for necessary improvements for customers and business electronics. Though companies offer different responsibilities and duties for different associated positions of electrical engineers, the common responsibilities and duties include-
- Designing and developing new electrical products as per customer requirements.
- Testing and evaluating the efficiency of electrical products.
- Apply electrical science knowledge to testing methods that show an electric system's and machinery's proper capabilities.
- Apply electrical science knowledge to design specifications and technical drawings.
- Testing product quality.
- Troubleshooting electronic systems and plans of a product.
- Research unique and adaptable manufacturing methods.
- Understanding of software for designing technical plans.
- Creating prototypes through designing software.
- Monitoring products and improving the future design.
- Collaborating with coworkers and customers by collecting data on a product.
- Attending technical and educational training and workshops to maintain professional knowledge.
Basic Skills Needed for an Electrical Engineer Job
An electrical engineer’s skills include various technical, professional, and qualification abilities, including-
- Mathematical skills
- Analyzing data
- Communicating with supervisors and customers
- Keeping up to date with emerging technologies
- Designing and understanding complex electrical systems
- Time management skills
- Adhere to safety concerns
You must complete your bachelor’s degree to work in an entry-level position in the electrical engineering sector. Also, you can upgrade your resume by participating in any laboratory work or field studies.
In addition, to work as a professional, you must go through the Fundamentals of Engineering Exam and obtain a Professional Engineering License by completing two exams and on-the-job training.
Common Questions Asked in the Interview for an Electrical Engineer Job
Electrical engineers are essential in this world of technology and science. As consumption is increasing daily and yearly, the number of electrical engineers is growing proportionally. Electrical engineering is a sub-discipline field of engineering covering widespread things, including small circuits to large power grids. Here electrical engineers come into the role. They design, check, and test all electrical components that operate with electricity.
So, this engineering sector is potentially growing and requires lots of engineers working in this field. So when you think of working as an electrical engineer for any industry, you must face a job interview where you have to give sharp answers to the interview questions.
On the interview board, you may encounter different types of electrical engineering field-related questions that may run the gamut from defining Norton’s Theorem and evaluating electrical circuit components to your special practical knowledge in this sector, such as industrial and residential applications or, say, microelectronics.
I would say you don’t need to panic after reading whatever we have been discussing from the beginning to now. Here, we will show you the most straightforward guideline for how you can prepare for some commonly asked electrical engineering questions so that you can quickly answer those questions in an interview.
Question#1: Can you explain the difference between digital and analog circuits? Also, which one is more effective in your sense?
(This question is related to the basic knowledge of any electrical engineer. An interviewer will ask this type of question to start your interview, learn more about your background, and get you talking. )
Sample Answer: An analog circuit generates a signal through an analogous wave with the same value. An analog circuit needs no conversion before transmitting input signals to the receiving endpoint. That’s why the analog circuit is simple and flexible.
On the other hand, a digital circuit generates signals that have two values, 0 and 1. So it operates more like an off-on switch. The information that goes through a digital circuit signal is more reliable because it does not need to be converted. That is why the digital circuit is more effective for various applications.
Question#2: What are the meanings of different colors on a wire?
(This is another technical question to judge your capacity for knowledge in this field. These questions are asked to check your capability of practical knowledge in the relevant field. So it would be best if you precisely answered these questions with an example of its practical use.)
Sample Answer: There are five types of colors in an electric wire; black, white, green, red, and yellow. Black wire indicates the hot wire that carries power in circuits. The white wire is used to carry the current to the ground. Red and yellow are both live wires. Red is the secondary live wire used in a circuit with two switches. Another wire is green in color and is always used as the ground wire.
Question#3: How do you determine the size of an electrical wire?
(This question is also a relatively technical question for this field. But it is pretty tricky to answer. With these kinds of questions, an interviewer will check your practical knowledge for working in this field.)
Sample answer: The size of a wire is determined by the AWG system. Practically, the wire size depends on the application, the current and resistance it takes, and the load a wire can carry.
Question#4: Can you explain the terms capacitance and inductance?
(An interviewer will try to dig deep into your electrical engineer knowledge. So you will be asked more technical questions, which will be trickier than the previous one! As an expert electrical engineer, you must answer these questions quickly.)
Sample Answer: Capacitance means the total amount of stored charge inside a capacitor for any given voltage. The charge is released in two ways, when it is needed or when the capacitor’s limit is reached. Inductance is defined as a coil’s property that can resist any imbalances in the current supply. We can see the applications of these two terms whenever designing a circuit.
Question#5: What is an RLC circuit?
(Don't get confused when you notice that the questions are getting a bit more complex and complicated than the previous ones! Rather than it is a good sign that the interviewer is gaining confidence in you for hiring you as an employee. So try to answer properly with confidence, the way you previously answered.)
Sample Answer: An RLC circuit is a simple circuit consisting of an inductor, a capacitor, and a resistor. We can give a parallel connection or series connection with this circuit. This circuit is used as a second-order circuit for its characteristics.
Career Path of an Electrical Engineer
There are large-scale career paths open for electrical engineers. However, to build a career in electrical engineering, you must complete the necessary professional development, train for the relevant certifications, and complete a master’s degree.
Starting from working as an RF design engineer or a Junior electrical engineer of a project, you can build up your career to head of electrical engineering after years of personal skill development and experience.
1. Entry-level Positions
An entry-level position requires a four-year bachelor's degree in electrical engineering. Entry-level positions, such as Engineering Intern, Apprentice Engineer, Engineer Aide, Engineering Clerk, Junior Engineer, Project Engineer, and Associate Engineer, can help you to build up skills and gain experience in the relevant field.
2. Mid-level Positions
A mid-level engineer’s main job is supervising other engineers working under him and providing the work report to his seniors. A mid-level electrical engineer usually has 5 to 10 years of experience in the relevant field. Mid-level positions are Senior Engineer, Staff Electrical Engineer, Senior Project Engineer, Electrical Engineer Technician, and Engineering Manager.
3. Senior-level Positions
Senior-level engineers are highly experienced engineers with many responsibilities. Their main job is to oversee any project operation, take reports from mid-level engineers, and review them on a necessary basis. Senior Staff Engineer, Senior Associate Engineer, Chief Engineering Officer, and Head of Electrical Engineering are senior-level positions.
Current and Future Market Demand for Electrical Engineers
In recent times, technical projects that include communication development, technological development, semiconductors, and solar arrays have been expanding daily. On a serious note, the national grid’s upgradation is now considered one of the most high-valued projects. All these developing projects need professional electrical engineers, which results in the high job demand in this sector.
Moreover, a skilled electrical engineer can start his own business or serve as a general contractor, handling various systems. The more we look forward, the more we see our dependency on technology. So in this technology race, electrical engineers have immense potential to build their own careers with their qualifications, abilities, and skills.
Salary Range of an Electrical Engineer
An electrical engineer’s salary varies by some factors of their skill and the company nature they work in.
New entry-level positions in this job sector can earn approximately $20,000 to $45,000 annually. After a few years of experience and gaining skills, their mean salary increases from $60,000 to $70,000, whereas for senior electrical engineers, the wage can rise from $105,000 to $107,00.