Electrical engineers design and develop electrical systems and/or components to high specifications, focusing on:
They are involved in projects from the concept and details of the design through to implementation, testing and handover.
Most electrical engineers work in a multi-disciplinary project team, including engineers from other specialisms, as well as architects, marketing and sales staff, manufacturers, technicians and customer service personnel.
Electrical engineers need technical knowledge as well as the ability to project manage and multitask. Additional attributes, such as team leadership skills and commercial awareness, are required as careers progress.
Typical work activities
Many organisations now operate cross-functional teams in which the electrical engineer is involved at every stage of design and development in collaboration with colleagues in other engineering functions, as well as those working in production, research, marketing and after-sales services.
The nature of the role varies according to industry or sector, but the range of activities common to many posts is likely to include the following:
- Identifying customer requirements;
- Designing systems and products;
- Reading design specifications and technical drawings;
- Researching suitable solutions and estimating costs and timescales;
- Making models and prototypes of products;
- Working to BS and EN standards;
- Liaising with others in the design team;
- Liaising with clients and contractors;
- Attending meetings on site;
- Designing and conducting tests;
- Recording, analysing and interpreting test data;
- Proposing modifications and retesting products;
- Qualifying the final product or system;
- Servicing and maintaining equipment;
- Preparing product documentation, writing reports and giving presentations;
- Monitoring a product in use so as to improve on future design.