What is the Role of an Electrical Engineer?
There are a large number of engineers currently in the workforce today, yet there are a number of different types of engineering. While no single type is more important than the other, certain types are seeing a growth in necessity due to economic and societal factors. Electrical engineering, a field with projected employment growing at an estimated 3% through 2031, has seen a rise in prominence due to the emergence of new technology.
What Does an Electrical Engineer Do?
Based on the name alone, a person can garner a decent understanding of what an electrical engineer actually does but working with electricity is only the tip of the iceberg. Specifically, electrical engineers focus on designing, testing, developing, and supervising the creation of various forms of electrical equipment. This equipment can range from the following, but is not limited to:
- Communication systems
- Power generators
- Computer equipment
- Navigation or radar equipment
- Electric motors in machinery or vehicles
What Degree Does an Electrical Engineer Need?
Becoming an electrical engineer is no easy feat and all those in this occupation have studied extensively to get where they are. Specifically, electrical engineers typically have at least a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering or a related field, though this can vary depending on the type of electrical engineer a person is. However, trade schools which give hands on experience have allowed some skilled individuals to enter the field as an apprentice and work their way up through the ranks. Regardless of how they got to be where they are, an electrical engineer is sure to have plenty of experience in their field.
The Common Types of Electrical Engineers
Deciding which type of electrical engineer you need to consult for the issue your organization is facing requires an understanding of what the different types of electrical engineering are. The following are among the most common categories:
Computer hardware engineer
This type of electrical engineer specifically focuses on researching, designing, and testing new computer systems and the hardware associated with those systems. Whether that be working to develop new circuit boards or focusing on improving the memory devices within a computer, this type of engineer can do it all.
Oftentimes when people think of an electrician they think of the individual who comes to their home to help with a wiring issue. Electricians monitor a wide array for electrical equipment, however, including electric motors, radars, and more. They are often the “catch-all” engineer who has a large amount of experience in different areas.
Robotic engineers focus specifically on constructing and configuring robotic technology. This can include the cutting-edge development of walking and talking robots that attempt to utilize artificial intelligence, or it can be related to the development of robotics for the purpose of manufacturing lines and other similar areas.
The mechanical engineer is a specialty type who focuses on designing and creating power-producing machines such as combustion engines, gas turbines, and air-conditioning systems. They are one of the most common types of engineers and is often a degree that is coveted by college students.
An industrial engineer focuses on developing ways to improve the wastefulness that occurs in a production process. Whether it’s finding ways to improve the workflow employees have, the machines that are used, the information that is given, or something else, an industrial engineer specializes in the end-to-end process of a creating or providing a product or service. This is a more niche form of engineering that is not as commonly seen but is undoubtedly important.
All of the above types of engineers may find themselves working with electricity in one way or another which is why they all qualify as electrical engineers for the list. To determine which type you need, focus on what solution you are trying to create within your organization.
Why Electrical Engineers Matter
The importance of electrical engineers cannot be overstated, with these professionals literally helping to keep our world as we know it running. By designing, installing, and monitoring cutting edge electronics, electronic engineers can impact businesses ranging from artificial intelligence to simple, everyday shops. Due to the wide breadth of services that electrical engineers can offer, they will be necessary for the foreseeable future.
The continued development of technology reliant on electricity will only further increase the importance of electrical engineering. Find professionals in your industry who can help you to develop the engineering solutions you need to succeed.