Electrical engineer

Electrical engineers design, build and maintain electrical systems, machinery and equipment.

Average salary (a year)

£20,000 Starter

to

£60,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

35 to 40 a week

You could work

evenings occasionally

How to become an 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 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

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 1 or 2 A levels for a foundation degree or higher national diploma
  • 2 to 3 A levels for a degree

More information

College

You could do a Level 4 and 5 Higher National Diploma in Electrical and Electronic Engineering at college before looking for work.

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 do an electrical and electronic technical support engineer higher apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

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

More information

Work

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

More information

Further information

You can find more details about careers and training from Electrical Careers and The Institution of Engineering and Technology.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • knowledge of engineering science and technology
  • maths knowledge
  • knowledge of computer operating systems, hardware and software
  • design skills and knowledge
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • analytical thinking skills
  • persistence and determination
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • You will be expected to know how to use a computer and tools to benefit this job.

Restrictions and requirements

You'll need to:

  • take a colour vision test

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day tasks depend on the industry you're in, but could include:

  • carrying out feasibility studies for new technical developments
  • drawing up project plans and circuit diagrams using computer-assisted engineering and design software
  • estimating costs and project timings
  • coordinating the work of technicians and craftspeople
  • testing installations and systems, and analysing test data
  • making sure projects meet safety regulations
  • overseeing inspection and maintenance programmes
  • attending meetings, writing reports and giving presentations

Working environment

You could work in a factory, at a production plant, 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

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

You can improve your career prospects with incorporated or chartered engineer status. Chartered status can help you move into electrical design and project management roles, specialise in a particular field, or work as an engineering consultant. The Engineering Council have further details on how to become a chartered engineer.

Training opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Apprentice Machinist/Mechanical Fitter Level 3

  • Wage : £144.30 Weekly
  • Location: Doncaster DN5 0QY

Engineering Apprenticeship 2019

  • Wage : £14,250.00 Annually
  • Location: SG1 2DA

Courses In England

Electrical / Electronic Engineering BTEC Diploma Level 3

  • Provider: DUDLEY COLLEGE OF TECHNOLOGY
  • Start date: 04 September 2019
  • Location: Dudley

BEng (Hons) Electrical and Electronic Engineering

  • Provider: LIVERPOOL JOHN MOORES UNIVERSITY
  • Start date: 01 September 2019
  • Location: Liverpool

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