Become an Electrical Engineer

By Eric Hammer

As with any engineering job, those who wish to become an electrical engineer will need to earn a degree in engineering. In the case of an electrical engineer, you will be working at designing new and better electronics.

Typically, you'll work on computers to create the designs for these devices and then you will turn them into prototypes for use in the field. For example, an electrical engineer was probably heavily involved in the creation of the new iPad 2 tablet computer since it's basically an engineering problem.

You need to know quite a bit about math and science in order to do this job and you need to have a good imagination to be able to come up with ideas for new products and new ways of doing things that no one has ever thought of before.

How Much Can You Make?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for an electrical engineer in 2008 was $88,670.

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For those who wish to become an electrical engineer, the future seems bright. US News and World Report recently wrote that electrical engineering is one of the fastest growing professions in the United States and that it is a very well paid profession as well.

You do however need to be fast on your toes and you need to be able to learn new things since electrical engineers work on the cutting edge of technology at all times. You should also look into getting an internship if at all possible so that you can gain firsthand experience. While you'll need a degree for this job, most companies also value those with experience.

Of course, if you like some aspects of the concept of electrical engineering, such as the design aspects, you could also consider the possibility of becoming a different kind of engineer. Most engineering degrees are well paid today and many are in great demand, including computer engineering and nuclear engineering.

Qualifications / Requirements

You'll need at least a bachelor's degree and often a master's degree as well in order to become an electrical engineer. Engineering schools are also highly competitive with limited slots so your scores in math and science need to be excellent if you want to get into a good school.

First Steps

Start by applying to an electrical engineering school. There are a number of them in the United States and any of them will do the job. While in school, look for internship opportunities to increase your chances of landing a job once you graduate.


Electrical Designer Guide - A good introduction to what it takes to become an electrical engineer.

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