How to become an Engineer: Electrical

engineer: electrical careers

What does a Engineer: Electrical do?

Electrical engineers research, design, and maintain electrical facilities, infrastructure, machinery and equipment in the commercial and industrial sector. The work can cover a wide variety of fields including:

  • transport networks - rail electrification and signalling
  • power generation - transmission and distribution systems
  • renewable energy sources - solar panelling, hydroelectric and wind turbines
  • manufacturing and construction - plant and machinery
  • building services - lighting, heating, ventilation and lift systems.

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

Duties vary depending on 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 material, construction, and labour costs, and project timescales
  • coordinating the work of associated technicians and craftspeople
  • testing installation/products, analysing data, modifying and retesting
  • ensuring projects adhere to electrical/construction safety regulations
  • overseeing inspection and maintenance programmes
  • 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 Engineer: Electrical?

Electrical engineers typically work 40 hours a week, however, actual times will be dictated by project deadlines. Weekend and night work may sometimes be required.

Electrical engineers can work in offices, factories, production plant, workshops, power stations or research facilities.

What does it take to become a Engineer: Electrical?

To be an electrical 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.

Engineer: Electrical Career Opportunities

There are opportunities for qualified electrical engineers in a wide range of industries including aerospace, marine, agricultural, chemical, construction transport and energy. Employers include local and central government departments, the armed services, manufacturers in all industries, research and development companies, IT companies, and public utilities.

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. More details can be found on the Engineering Council's website below.

Further information

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

SEMTA (Science Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies Alliance)
14 Upton Road
WD18 0JT
Tel: 0808 100 3682

Engineering Training Council (Northern Ireland)
20-24 York Street
BT15 1AQ
Tel: 028 9032 9878

Women into Science and Engineering
22 Old Queen Street
Tel: 020 7227 8421

The Engineering Careers Information Service (ECIS)

The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET)
Savoy Place
Tel: 020 7240 1871

The Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE)
222 Balham High Road
SW12 9BS
Tel: 020 8675 5211

Engineering Council
10 Maltravers Street
Tel: 020 7240 7891

The UK Standard for Professional Engineering Competence (UK-SPEC)

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

Courses to help you become a Engineer: Electrical