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Since some of our students in the YCITYSCI Program are interested in electrical engineering, today’s blog post is going to explore the electrical engineering career. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics defines electrical engineering as designing, developing, testing, and supervising the manufacture of electrical equipment. Nikola Tesla (invented the system of electric power delivery we still use today almost 150 years later!) and Thomas Edison (invented hundreds of light bulb designs, resulting in the current light bulbs used nearly everywhere 150 years later!) were electrical engineers! The average median pay across the U.S. is around $100,000 (imagine being paid nearly $50 an hour!) and electrical engineering jobs are expected to grow 3% over the next 10 years (this means if there are 100 jobs in 2020, there will be 103 by 2030). You can begin working in this field with only a bachelor’s degree.
Electrical engineers work in a wide variety of environments and companies. Electrical engineers can work with transport systems such as railroads and highways, power plants, laboratories, offices, and anywhere there might be electronics being created! Some companies you can work for include Boeing (building planes), Ameren (providing electricity to homes), Intel (building computers and their parts), Space-X (trying to get to Mars), Boston Dynamics ( building robots) and Apple (building phones, laptops, and tablets). Most of the time, electrical engineers work indoors with occasional visits to sites where your electronics may be used. Electrical engineers are responsible for designing many different products such as household appliances, cars, computers, and power grids for entire cities. Day to day tasks generally include: reviewing and studying technical manuals and research articles (how a device works, advances in technology, how different technologies are being used in new ways), designing and testing new electrical systems, attending meetings, planning and tracking progress on projects, and contacting clients. Electrical engineering is an incredibly fast paced field that is only speeding up due to most electronics being estimated to only have a two year life before new and improved models are created.
To become an electrical engineer, a bachelor’s degree is required at a minimum. Around St. Louis, Southern Illinois University – Edwardsville, Washington University in St. Louis, and University of Missouri – St. Louis, and St. Louis University offer electrical engineering degrees. Electrical engineering students will take a variety of classes including some on engineering design, advanced mathematics, physics, electrical circuitry, and computer science. To be an electrical engineer, it helps if you enjoy or understand math easily, can understand how complex systems work, can explain complicated subjects to others, and most importantly, keep learning!
References and Additional Resources
Second photo: Photo by milosljubicic from Shutterstock
Third photo: Photo by Pixabay from Pexels