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Electrical engineer

Alternative titles for this job include

Electrical engineers design, build and maintain electrical systems, machinery and equipment in lots of different industries.

Average salary (a year)

£27,000 Starter

to

£58,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

35 to 40 a week

You could work

evenings occasionally

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become Electrical engineer

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • applying directly

University

You can do a foundation degree or degree in electrical or electronic engineering. You may also be able to get into this career with a degree in:

  • electromechanical engineering
  • building services engineering
  • applied physics
  • aeronautical engineering
  • mechatronics

Look out for courses that offer work experience opportunities during your studies, such as:

  • internships
  • sandwich course placements
  • Easter and summer vacation schemes

These can give you an advantage when applying for jobs or graduate training schemes. Your university careers service can help you to find opportunities.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 or 3 A levels, or equivalent, including maths and a science for a degree

More Information

College

You could do a higher national certificate or diploma in electrical and electronic engineering at college before looking for a trainee engineer position with a company.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 1 or 2 A levels, a level 3 diploma or relevant experience for a level 4 or level 5 course

More Information

Apprenticeship

You could apply for a place on an apprenticeship, for example:

  • Electrical or Electronic Technical Support Engineer Level 6 Degree Apprenticeship
  • Electro-Mechanical Engineer Level 6 Apprenticeship, which can lead to professional certification

These apprenticeships take up to 5 years to complete.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship

More Information

Work

You could start as an electrical engineering technician and do training on the job to become an engineer.

Direct Application

You can apply for jobs if you've got qualifications and several years' experience in a related area of engineering, for example electronics or power generation.

More Information

Career tips

Many courses and apprenticeships aimed at specific industries, such as aerospace, energy and defence, include electrical engineering as part of their training. It's worth looking into these as another route to becoming a qualified electrical engineer.

Further information

You can find more details about careers in the electrical industry from The Institution of Engineering and Technology and Electrical Careers.

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • knowledge of engineering science and technology
  • maths knowledge
  • complex problem-solving skills
  • design skills and knowledge
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to work well with others
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • persistence and determination
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages confidently

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

As an electrical engineer, you could:

  • draw up project plans and technical diagrams, using engineering design software
  • estimate costs and project timings
  • test installations and systems, and analyse results
  • make sure projects meet safety regulations
  • co-ordinate the work of technicians and craftspeople
  • oversee inspection and maintenance programmes

Working environment

You could work in a factory, at a power station, in a workshop, at a research facility or in an office.

Your working environment may be at height.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

You can work in many different industries, from power and renewable energy to transport, construction and manufacturing.

You can improve your career prospects through professional registration .

Registration can lead to senior roles in:

  • project management
  • electrical design
  • engineering research and development
  • contracts management
  • consultancy services

You could also teach in higher or further education.

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Apprentice Design Engineer

  • Wage: £25,642.50 a year Annually
  • Location: Broomers Hill Lane, Pulborough, West Sussex

Electro-Mechanical Engineering Degree Level Apprenticeship

  • Wage: £20,700 a year Annually
  • Location: CB1 2JD

Courses In England

HNC Engineering (Electrical)

  • Provider: MID-KENT COLLEGE
  • Start date: 02 September 2024
  • Location: Maidstone

HNC IN ELECTRICAL & ELECTRONIC ENGINEERING

  • Provider: HARTLEPOOL COLLEGE OF FURTHER EDUCATION
  • Start date: 16 September 2024
  • Location: HARTLEPOOL

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