Consider a Featured Online STEM / Engineering Program
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University of West Alabama
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George Mason University
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Point Park University
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Electrical engineering is the study of designing, developing and working with electrical systems to deliver power and sometimes data. With the increased use of electronics and electrical systems in our lives today, this field allows the engineer the opportunity to keep up with the latest technology.
We live in a world of electricity. Nearly every home convenience, means of transportation, and entertainment device that we use is connected to the power grid. The simplest electrical devices, such as ceiling fans and light fixtures, are well understood and can be serviced and replaced by almost anyone.
However, for specialized industries such as research, agriculture, and manufacturing, the equipment needed is much more complex and the level of skill necessary to repair and maintain is proportionately greater. Designing and building complex scientific equipment or powerful electromagnetic turbines is a job for an expert, and that is where an electrical engineer is worth their weight in gold.
What is Electrical Engineering?
Electrical Engineering is often confused with electronic engineering, but electrical engineering is a much older and more physically oriented engineering field. Electronic engineers concern themselves with computers, integrated circuits, and electronic devices in general. Electrical engineering relates more to the wiring, the power supplies, the electromagnets, and the transmission lines.
About Electronics Engineering Degrees
There are many people who study both disciplines, but it would be a fair generalization to say that electronics are “small” and electrical engineering is “big” in a literal sense. An electrical engineer cannot necessarily fix a computer but they could conceivably work on a nuclear power plant. Training and degree programs are necessary to enter into the lucrative field of electrical engineering, but the versatility and ability to improvise that the job will require cannot be taught.
For many employers, an electrical engineering degree is a requirement. Some engineers also consider a degree in Mechatronics Engineering, which is closely related to electrical engineering but includes physical component and hardware engineering.
Study and Employment Prospects
Electrical Engineering Degrees & Careers
After studying Electrical Engineering in one of the many technical universities in America, those who receive their bachelor’s degree are eligible to receive certification as a professional engineer. This is necessary for many jobs, especially those relating to construction or infrastructure. Most nations have laws requiring that a certified engineer oversee any major electrical projects.
American engineers, once they are established and certified, are welcome to join such unions of engineers and electrical workers as the Institution of Engineering and Technology. They provide guidance and support, as well as making sure that the engineer has the resources they need to keep their skills up to date.
This is essential for continued success in a field that changes as quickly as electricity. A good electrical engineer is always in demand. Whether it is the maintenance of cell phone towers, automating manufacturing for industry, or the design and construction of scientific equipment, the services of a professional engineer are indispensable.