Electrical engineers are an important part of many industries. From companies that develop spacecraft to companies that build coffee makers, electrical engineer jobs are a crucial aspect of creating quality products. Jobs generally fall into five classifications, ranging from research and design to testing, project management and systems controls. Each serves a different purpose, but all utilize an electrical engineer's understanding of electrical properties and how power flows.
Research-based electrical engineer jobs mostly take place in laboratories. These jobs require a great deal of creativity and problem solving ability because researchers often document current products and practices, then use that data to think of improved products. These jobs are commonly found in the research and development offices of companies that produce electrical products.
The next step in the production process moves from research to actual design. Electrical engineer jobs dealing with design take the ideas created by researchers and break them down into a system that can actually be created and put on the market. Electrical design engineer jobs not only require a strong understanding of electrical circuitry, but also the limitations of a production facility. These jobs are found in production facilities, but also utility companies like a power company.
Testing jobs are another essential stop in the process of creating an electrical product. In a production setting, these electrical engineering jobs are the main troubleshooters before an item is created. They design programs or physical tests to gauge how an item will withstand everyday use and extreme conditions. Test electrical engineer jobs put a premium on an individual's ability to not only understand a product's limitations, but to find a creative way to measure and improve those limits.
System engineers are found more commonly in industrial and utility settings. These electrical engineer jobs require individuals to understand power grids and circuitry providing power to large projects. Whether they are keeping a town electrified or maintaining the power supply to a factory, these engineers are expert planners and problem solvers. When an electrical malfunction happens on a massive scale, these electrical engineering jobs require fast action.
One of the more important jobs in all of electrical engineering is the project manager. These engineers must have a thorough understanding of all the other electrical engineer jobs and duties because they usually oversee those individuals. These engineers must coordinate research, test, and design engineers to meet deadlines and create a usable product. These jobs require not only electrical knowledge, but excellent communication and managerial skills.