Last edited 06 Oct 2016

Electrical engineer

Electrical engineers design, develop and maintain electrical systems and components.

They may work in a variety of sectors, including:

  • Construction, and in particular, building services such as; heating, lighting and ventilation.
  • Transport.
  • Power generation and distribution.
  • Telecommunications.
  • Manufacturing.
  • Industrial processes.
  • Petrochemical industries.
  • Research and development.
  • Armed forces.

They are involved in all stages of project life cycles, ensuring projects are designed, developed and maintained to be efficient, safe, reliable and sustainable.

Generally, an electrical engineer will work within a project team that may include other engineers (such as structural, mechanical and building services engineers), architects, contractors and suppliers. The may undertake a wide range of activities such as:

  • Identifying the requirements of the employer.
  • Researching potential solutions.
  • Designing systems and components.
  • Producing drawings, models and prototypes (including the use of Building Information ModellingBIM).
  • Collaborating with other team members.
  • Attending site meetings.
  • Testing systems and components.
  • Recording, analysing and interpreting data.
  • Certifying systems and components.
  • Maintaining and servicing equipment.

Electrical engineers require technical expertise, project management skills and commercial awareness.

Generally a degree in electrical or electronic engineering or a related subject is required for entry into this profession. A relevant professional body will support career progression, such as the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET). In order to become a chartered engineer (CEng), postgraduate qualifications are required. It is possible to become an incorporated engineer (IEng) with a degree level qualification.

To see some of the modules studied as part of an engineering degree course, see Construction engineering management course essentials.

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