Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics

Electrical Engineer Career Path: Is Electrical Engineering a Good Career?

Do you love physics and are keen to solve problems with new experiments related to electricity and electronic systems? Then you may enjoy life as an electrical engineer. Experienced electrical engineer Janakiraman L. discusses everything about the electrical engineer career path to help you decide if it’s the right fit for you.

how-to-become-electrical-engineer-in-india

1. Electrical Engineer Career Path: What does an Electrical Engineer do?

To get a better understanding of the electrical engineer career path, let’s see what an electrical engineer does. Basically, electrical engineer deals with electricity, electromagnetism and electronic systems. Their work consists of

  • preparing electrical design drawings using AutoCAD, EPlan software’s, etc.
  • power system analysis using ETAP (Electrical Transient Analyzer Program), SKM, PSCAD, PSS/E software’s, etc.
  • preparing design records
  • sizing electrical power equipment like a transformer, cable, generator, etc.

Also, it includes working with, setting up, or maintaining control systems, telecommunications, signal processing, satellite systems, and much more.

electrical engineer career path

Contents: Jump to Section

1.1 Industry/Sector
1.2 Social Image
1.3 Reasons to Become an Electrical Engineer
2.1 Personality Traits Required
2.2 Physical Demands
2.3 Psychological Demands
3.1 Extra-Curricular Activities Recommended
3.2 Related Hobbies to Take Up
3.3 Related Movies/ TV Shows
3.4 Related Fiction to Read/ Novels
4.1 Part-Time Options
4.2 Traveling Required
4.3 Average Workday/What to Expect
5.1 Retirement Prospects
5.2 Threats from Automation
5.3 Common Reasons for People to Quit

1.1 Industry/Sector

Power sectors, private and government industries

When you choose the electrical engineer career path, there is no limit to employment opportunities. You can get employment in various companies from the government to private industries and power sectors. Some of the industries that hire electrical engineers are oil and gas companies, power generation companies, automation industries, aerospace industries, electronic industries, and product development companies.

1.2 Social Image

Highly respected

In India, most of the students choose engineering as their profession as it is considered highly respected. Though when it comes to choosing the electrical engineer career path, people consider this as one of the most respected professions after lawyers and doctors.

electrical engineering career social image

1.3 Reasons to Become an Electrical Engineer

Great salary and other great benefits

Becoming an electrical engineer can give some awesome benefits like a good salary, medical insurance, education compensation, and so on. Though the electrical engineer career path demands logical, realistic, creative, analytical thinking skills, and curiosity to learn new things. These key traits can help to reach your desired position in the electrical engineering field.

2. What It Takes to Be an Electrical Engineer

2.1 Personality Traits Required/ Preferred

Curious, creative, problem-solving

The following personality traits are required for this profession:

  • Logical reasoning
  • Creativity
  • Basic technical knowledge
  • Knowledge of the electrical design software
  • Communication skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Analytical skills, etc.

professional skills personality traits

The primary trait one needs in order to take up the electrical engineer career path is good communication skills plus logical and intellectual thinking. A career in electrical engineering requires a curious mind that is regularly trying to learn something new about their field. The ones with an investigative attitude are the best suited for the field of electricity and technology systems. So, you need to be very practical and persistent, too.

2.2 Physical Demands

Long working hours

In this profession, engineers need to work continuously on computers and systems, so you need to sit for long hours. Plus, it’s also important to maintain an active lifestyle and a healthy body. You have to be dedicated and committed to your career. Also, you should have good speaking and listening skills, as well as good eyesight to see objects from a distance. As you choose the electrical engineer career path, your mathematics skills are a must to take quick measurements and calculations.

electrical engineering long working hours

2.3 Psychological Demands

Stressful deadlines


Yes, the career of an electrical engineer can be stressful sometimes but in most jobs, you won’t have any targets or pressure from top authorities. Mostly meeting deadlines can give you stress, but as long as you are dedicated, nothing matters. With full focus and concentration, you can handle any difficult situation in your job.

3. How to Build Interest in the Electrical Engineering Career Path

3.1 Extra-Curricular Activities Recommended

If you are considering taking up a career as an electrical engineer, you can have creative hobbies, for example, maths, computer programming, investigative games. Or try building small circuits at home as your mini-project. In this profession, the more you learn, the more you gain knowledge and that will help you achieve your path.

electrical-engineer-extra-curricular-activities

Here are some of the software you can also learn:

  • AutoCAD Electrical
  • Simulink
  • Proteus
  • PSpice
  • OrCad

3.2 Related Hobbies to Take Up

  1. Create a small circuit.
  2. Read technology-related magazines.
  3. Develop communication skills through debates, personality courses, or speaking activities.
  4. Analytical and logical skills.

courses-electrical-engineer

3.3 Related Movies/ TV Shows

Tron, Avenger series

You can watch any movies that are related to electrical systems and technology like:

  • Forbidden Planet
  • Tron
  • Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room
  • Flash of Genius
  • Iron Man trilogy
  • Flight of Phoenix, etc.

3.4 Related Books to Read

Here are some books you may enjoy reading:

  • Electricity in Your Life by Bo-Hyun Seo
  • Electronic devices and circuits by David A Bell
  • Electromagnetic theory by Sadiku/Hayt

4. Life as an Electrical Engineer

4.1 Part-Time Options

Yes

Electrical design jobs are almost always full-time. Although, you can become a self-employed professional like a college professor, or take up related freelance jobs like Electrical AutoCAD design, Electrical Wiring Diagram, etc. This will help you to build your portfolio or meet prospective clients or employees.

wiring circuit plant tester

4.2 Travelling Required

Rarely; depends on your job.

Travelling is very rare when you choose the electrical engineer career path. However, depending on your job profile, you may have to travel to different sites to explore and investigate the location for the new project setup.

4.3 Average Workday/ What to Expect in the Electrical Engineering Career Path


Generally, electrical engineers have desk jobs, and working hours around 8-9 hours. It includes team meetings, CAD drawings, working on different projects, and so on. And, highly skilled electrical engineers spend their time reading IEEE papers for updates on the latest design projects. They make research papers and other technical-related papers for further use.

Electrical engineers often have to do overtime while working on major projects or to meet deadlines.

5. Future of the Electrical Engineering Career Path

5.1 Retirement Prospects

65-70 years age

Mostly, electrical engineers work till the age of around 65-70 years depending on their company’s retirement policy. After retirement, some even join electrical engineering institutes where they teach as faculty members. Also, you can work as a building consultant, technical writer, design supervisor, product tester, and so on.

engineering path electrical consultants

5.2 Threats from AI & Automation

No

No, as per the latest news, there are no threats from AI and automation for a profession like electrical engineering. It can’t replace engineers, but it can help them creating advanced technologies with endless systems and techniques. This profession can be highly assisted by automation like 3D Modeling and design drawings. Also, it is creating new work opportunities and field of research for robotics.

5.3 Common Reasons for People to Quit the Electrical Engineering Career Path

It mostly depends upon a person, when they find electrical engineering is becoming stressful with its daily work routine and they just want to settle in their own life, they may want to quit this career. Some common reasons for people to quit this profession are the functional roles and responsibilities that come with the electrical engineer career path like:

  1. They joined without passion.
  2. They don’t have the basic technical knowledge.
  3. Long working hours may create an unbalanced work life.
  4. Another reason to change their profession is that the salaries are low compared to long working hours.
  5. Also, not finding any appropriate projects in their city.

lack of concentration unbalanced work life electrical career path

These reasons lead people to change their profession. But, if you are honestly focused and committed to your goals, you can achieve success in any profession without many difficulties.

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Curated & Edited by Aayushi Berawala (CareerNuts Staff)

Read next:

How to Become an Electrical Engineer in India: Is it Rewarding?

Do you have a deep found interest in electrical stuff and gadgets and want to know how to become an electrical engineer? Find out all you need to know!

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