In Summary - Electrical Engineer
Electrical Engineers typically work in the following Career Sectors:
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The Work - Electrical Engineer
Electrical engineers may be involved in the generation and supply of electricity for the industrial, commercial or public sectors, or for domestic use. Engineers design and produce equipment such as electrical generators and turbines. They make sure that all equipment used is safe and runs efficiently. It is also part of their jobs to diagnose and supervise any repairs that may be needed.
In electricity distribution companies, engineers work on transformers and transmission systems. Engineers maintain the right voltage for the system, to prevent overloading. Manufacturing companies need electrical engineers to distribute power to their machinery, to install new equipment and to maintain it. Some electrical engineers design electrical industrial machinery and supervise the installation of heating, ventilating and lighting systems.
Most commonly reported Work Tasks
- Prepare technical drawings, specifications of electrical systems, or topographical maps to ensure that installation and operations conform to standards and customer requirements.
- Operate computer-assisted engineering or design software or equipment to perform engineering tasks.
- Confer with engineers, customers, or others to discuss existing or potential engineering projects or products.
- Direct or coordinate manufacturing, construction, installation, maintenance, support, documentation, or testing activities to ensure compliance with specifications, codes, or customer requirements.
- Design, implement, maintain, or improve electrical instruments, equipment, facilities, components, products, or systems for commercial, industrial, or domestic purposes.
- Prepare specifications for purchases of materials or equipment.
- Perform detailed calculations to compute and establish manufacturing, construction, or installation standards or specifications.
- Investigate customer or public complaints, determine nature and extent of problem, and recommend remedial measures.
- Oversee project production efforts to assure projects are completed on time and within budget.
- Plan or implement research methodology or procedures to apply principles of electrical theory to engineering projects.
Most commonly reported Work Activities
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Interacting With Computers Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Drafting, Laying Out, and Specifying Technical Devices, Parts, and Equipment Providing documentation, detailed instructions, drawings, or specifications to tell others about how devices, parts, equipment, or structures are to be fabricated, constructed, assembled, modified, maintained, or used.
- Analyzing Data or Information Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Processing Information Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
- Thinking Creatively Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
Interests - Electrical Engineer
This occupation is typically suited for people with the following Career Interests:
The Investigative person will usually find a particular area of science to be of interest. They are inclined toward intellectual and analytical activities and enjoy observation and theory. They may prefer thought to action, and enjoy the challenge of solving problems with sophiscticated technology. These types prefer mentally stimulating environments and often pay close attention to developments in their chosen field.
Realists are usually interested in 'things' - such as buildings, mechanics, equipment, tools, electronics etc. Their primary focus is dealing with these - as in building, fixing, operating or designing them. Involvement in these areas leads to high manual skills, or a fine aptitude for practical design - as found in the various forms of engineering.
Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.
Administrative people are interested in work that offers security and a sense of being part of a larger process. They may be at their most productive under supervisors who give clear guidelines and while performing routine tasks in a methodical and reliable way.
They tend to enjoy clerical and most forms of office work, where they perform essential administrative duties. They often form the backbone of large and small organisations alike. They may enjoy being in charge of office filing systems, and using computers and other office equipment to keep things running smoothly. They usually like routine work hours and prefer comfortable indoor workplaces.
You need to have technical ability, and you must be a good problem solver. You must be able to work as part of a team; you need good communication skills for writing technical reports and liaising with other staff and customers. You need organisational skills to plan and co-ordinate resources.
Engineers often work to deadlines, so you must be able to remain calm under pressure. Computer literacy is important. Willingness to take on responsibility and to lead and motivate others is essential. You should also possess good analytical and practical skills.
You should have normal colour vision.
Entry Requirements - Electrical Engineer
Electrical Engineers typically hold a degree with a specific electrical engineering focus. Several programmes are available at colleges and IOTs around the country [See course list on this page].
With effect from 2013, engineers who wish to become Chartered Engineers will need to hold an accredited masters degree (Level 9), or equivalent. A Level 8 Bachelor degree will satisfy the requirements for Institution of Engineers of Ireland membership only.
Specific degree subjects required are:
- Electrical/Electronic engineering
- Communications engineering
- Telecommunications engineering.
See also Engineers Ireland CPD training programme information available here.
Last Updated: October, 2014
Pay & Salary - Electrical Engineer
Salary Range (thousands per year)* 25k - 70k
Electrical Engineer - Construction 35-65
CPL / Hudson / Lincoln
Last Updated: July, 2017
* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
Labour Market Updates - Electrical Engineer
Employment growth in this occupational group, which includes mechanical, electrical and electronic engineers, was above average. Employers are frequently citing these occupations as difficult to fill although the demand is likely to be small in number given the size of the employment stock. While the supply from the education system appears to be growing, demand is mostly for roles requiring sector-specific experience (e.g. medium-high, high-tech and food/beverage manufacturing).
National Skills Bulletin 2018
The National Skills Bulletin 2018 highlights a shortage of Electrical Engineers in the current labour market.