Electrical engineering, especially after World War II, has become a very fundamental discipline. Therefore people studying electrical engineering are exposed to fundamentals of engineering, as well as advanced device and technique designing processes. Thus preparing a student to develop the knowledge for the future. This is why electrical engineering majors are one of the most sought after engineers of our times.
Electrical engineering, in the most basic sense, is a degree that revolves around the ability to design and develop electronic equipment, as well as the integration of such equipment into more intricate systems. Therefore, electrical engineers develop systems right from the first block till it starts to function as an elaborate, multifaceted machine. A good example would be that of a computer motherboard. It serves as a base of a computer system whereupon other hardware components, like hard disks and processors are assembled. An electrical engineer is also concerned with the hybridization of hardware and its pertinent software for smooth functioning.
Electrical engineering, as a field, is wide open. There are so many specializations that you can go into. One of the traditional areas of electrical engineering is power generation and distribution. Currently, and in the future, a lot of work is being done to make devices and systems more energy efficient. In addition, renewable energy is also seeing a very rapid uptake; both in consumer and commercial sectors. Electrical engineers are one of the core members in the implementation of this new wave of renewable energy. Furthermore, if you are into computer networking, a lot of research and development is also going on in this area to allow for networking to be more seamless and widespread.
The research and development of smart cars is also a growing facet in electrical engineering. While the actual assembly is relegated to mechanical engineers, electrical engineers work to construct the brain behind the car – its sensors, navigation system and other pertinent circuitry. The 2014 Tesla’s Model S was the first electronic smart car that is based on intelligent cloud computing whose creation has been attributed to significant advancement in electrical engineering applicability.
As an electrical engineer, you can take a variety of jobs. The chief classes of careers you can opt for are:
- Consulting – Consulting services employed the highest share of electrical engineers at 22 percent. Basically, while working for a consulting firm, you provide advice to businesses as to how they can improve their operations. This field is tipped to be the fastest growing for electrical engineers up until 2020, at least, as small electronics manufacturers are outsourcing engineering tasks to curtail employee costs.
- Energy – Power generation, transmission and distribution employs 10 percent of electrical engineers in the USA. This career choice has been a hallmark of electrical engineering for well over a century and is credited with the birth of this discipline.
- Electronics – A shade over 7 percent of electrical engineers work in the consumer and business electronics sector. Here they are tasked with designing circuits, semiconductors and networking solutions for various types of electrical equipment.
The median salary for electrical engineers stood at $95,780, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics. The top paying industry for this discipline is oil and gas extraction at a mean annual wage of $122,900. This is closely followed by wireless telecommunications and electronic component manufacturing at $114,390 and $107,700 respectively. The top paying state for electrical engineers is California, at a median salary of $114,730.
Electrical engineering is one of the most comprehensive engineering disciplines. You have a vast array of specializations to choose from, with an equal multitude of job options. Therefore if you have a penchant for electronics and electrical equipment then electrical engineering might just be the right field for you.