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How to become an Electronics Engineer

electronics engineer careers

What does a Electronics Engineer do?

Electronics engineers research, design and develop precision electronic components, products and installations for commercial, industrial and military applications. They also develop inspection, testing and maintenance programmes for these fields. Their work spans a wide range of sectors including:

  • telecommunications – mobile phones, radio, TV and satellite communications
  • datacommunications – PCs, laptops, peripherals, PDAs, ATM machines and EPOS terminals
  • scientific research – acoustics, optics, physics and nanotechnology
  • medical instruments – clinical and laboratory apparatus
  • military – communications and weapons systems
  • aerospace – radar, sonar and navigation systems
  • programmable logic control (PLC) systems – industrial machinery
  • automated systems – robotics and artificial intelligence (AI).

Electronics engineers often work on a project with a team of professionals including engineers from other disciplines, engineering technicians and IT staff.

Duties vary depending on the exact role and responsibility but can include:
  • carrying out feasibility studies for new developments or innovations
  • drawing up technical plans and specifications for projects using computer-assisted engineering and design software
  • estimating component costs, manufacturing and labour costs, and project timescales
  • coordinating the work of associated technicians and craftspeople
  • testing prototypes, analysing data, modifying and retesting
  • ensuring projects adhere to safety regulations
  • implementing and overseeing inspection and maintenance schedules
  • attending meetings, writing reports and giving presentations to managers and clients.

Fully qualified professional engineers usually hold incorporated or chartered status.

Chartered engineers are normally involved at a strategic planning level, researching and developing new designs, innovations and more efficient processes for the application of new and existing technologies within their chosen engineering specialism. They are often project leaders and are responsible for teams of incorporated engineers and technicians.

Incorporated engineers specialise in managing the process of applying current engineering solutions in the most cost-effective manner. They have a detailed knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology, and have the skills and know-how to put plans into practice. They often hold key operational management roles.

What's the working environment like working as a Electronics Engineer?

Working hours depend on the project, priorities and deadlines. Working weekends and nights may sometimes be required.

Most electronics engineers work in clean and well lit, air-conditioned offices or laboratories. Occasionally, they may have to work on site in factories, workshops or outdoors.

What does it take to become a Electronics Engineer?

To be an electronics engineer, you should:

  • have excellent maths, science, technology and IT skills
  • be able to analyse complex problems and critically evaluate solutions
  • be able to visualise and explain theoretical design solutions
  • have strong decision-making skills
  • have excellent communication skills
  • be able to categorise, prioritise and plan effectively
  • be able to work within budgetary constraints
  • have excellent interpersonal and teamworking skills
  • have a comprehensive understanding of electrical health and safety regulations.

Electronics Engineer Career Opportunities

There are opportunities for qualified electronics engineers in a wide range of industries, including aerospace, marine, telecommunications, defence, IT, robotics and electronics manufacturing. Scientific, medical, educational and private research institutions also employ electronics engineers to develop and maintain systems and equipment.

With relevant skills and experience, engineers can specialise in project management, research and development or consultancy.

There is increasing scope for employment overseas, both in the expanding EU and elsewhere, with the signing of international accords recognising signatory states' engineering qualifications and professional development schemes. Countries covered by the accords include UK and Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Honk Kong, South Africa, United States and Canada.

Further information

If you would like to know anything about Electronics Engineer that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.

SEMTA (Science Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies Alliance)
14 Upton Road
Watford
Hertfordshire
WD18 0JT
Tel: 0808 100 3682
www.semta.org.uk

The Engineering Careers Information Service (ECIS)
www.enginuity.org.uk

Women into Science and Engineering
22 Old Queen Street
London
SW1H 9HP
Tel: 020 7227 8421
www.wisecampaign.org.uk

Engineering Training Council (Northern Ireland)
Interpoint
20-24 York Street
Belfast
BT15 1AQ
Tel: 028 9032 9878
www.etcni.org.uk

The Institution of Engineering and Technology
Savoy Place
London
WC2R 0BL
Tel: 020 7240 1871
www.theiet.org

British Computer Society
1 Sanford Street
Swindon
Wiltshire
SN1 1HJ
www.bcs.org.uk

The Institute of Nanotechnology
6 The Alpha Centre
University of Stirling Innovation Park
Stirling
FK9 4NF
Tel: 01786 447520
www.nano.org.uk

Engineering Council
10 Maltravers Street
London
WC2R 3ER
Tel: 020 7240 7891
www.engc.org.uk

The UK Standard for Professional Engineering Competence (UK-SPEC)
www.uk-spec.org.uk



Facts and Stats:

  • Isambard Kingdom Brunel was only 5ft tall and wore a top hat to make himself look taller
  • Engineering generates more than 40 per cent of the UK¿s national wealth
  • The Box Hill tunnel, part of Brunel¿s Great Western Railway, took five years to dig and at two miles long was the longest tunnel in the world at the time