Electronics affects many parts of our lives and an electronic engineer can work in a large number of sectors from radio and satellite production, to the field of acoustics, robotics, mobile phones, telecommunications, signals processing, nanotechnology and others.
The job of an electronics engineer is to research, design and test electrical components in order that electricity is effectively and efficiently utilised in equipment. They may work with engineers from other disciplines as part of a project, and may see projects through from start to finish, beginning with the research and design, and ending in the actual implementation of the product and processes.
Typical duties associated with this job include
o Discussing proposals and coming up with new systems and circuits in order to develop their ideas
o Create prototypes and test them
o Altering the design of products in order to make them work more efficiently
o Check that the product’s specification allows it to be consistently produced and fit for purpose – oversee quality control
o Produce detailed technical specifications which can be utilised by appropriate people
o Adhere to all safety aspects
o Manage budgets and make decisions based on cost analysis
o Manage teams of technicians and make sure plans are being followed
Electrical engineers have access to a large number of employers from the government (defence and MOD departments), to telecommunications companies, research establishments, electronic equipment manufacturers, digital technology and automotive sector, utility companies, hospitals and educational organisations.
Salaries start at around £22,000 to £30,000 and upon gaining experience can be up to £60,000 and above. Salaries vary according to the sector worked in. Most electrical engineers work in areas where there is a lot of manufacturing and work for small to medium sized firms. The hours of work may be long, since the world of electrical engineering is deadline driven and very competitive. Work abroad is possible and career advancement may be helped if an engineer has knowledge of a second language. If working in Europe, engineers can apply for status as a European engineer (Eur Ing) which provides professional recognition abroad and increased employability.