Engineering is a very vast area that has different kinds of disciplines inside it. Engineering is an art of optimization and a common thing in all kinds of engineering fields. There is a system to be optimized and designed from zero, it must be safe, must obey regulations, must be cost-competitive, and must be useful for the people. Engineers are dealing with this kind of thing.
Electrical engineering is a also very important area in which people are trying to solve and create useful tools in electrical areas and fields. There are so many tools and systems that are related to electricity and all of these are designed and implemented by electrical engineers and technicians. In this article, we would like to elaborate on electrical engineering, which kinds of jobs electrical engineers are employed for, and what is the average wages of electrical engineers in different countries.
What is the Electrical Engineering?
Electrical engineering is one of the oldest engineering disciplines that deal with electrical systems such as electric power generation, electrical projects of buildings and factories, electrical transmission between production areas and buildings, electromagnetic systems, etc. These systems are so common in modern society and even in their maintenance, electrical engineers must be employed.
Electrical engineering is a promising area. Because human society will need people who are devising new electrical systems and maintenance of built electrical systems. There is an uninterrupted need for electricity from people and this necessity will continue as long as the human society there is. So the electrical systems need people to carry out their duties every time.
What Kinds of Areas That Electrical Engineers Work in?
As we stated above, electrical engineering is a very wide area. Because of this wideness, it is divided into different sub-disciplines over time. We will talk about these sub-disciplines but first of all, we need to take a look at the general work types that which electrical engineers are employed.
Electrical Installation of Buildings
Electrical installations of buildings must be carried out without any error. Because human life can be heavily affected because of the defects in electrical installations. These installations are generally designed by electrical engineers and implemented by electrical technicians. According to the size of the building and the size of the electrical installation, these businesses are going on in terms of tenders that you offered to the building owner. This kind of employment of electrical engineers is like they are working as freelancers.
After the electrical installation of the building is completed, the approval of an electrical engineer is required. Maintenance of this electrical installation is also required by a professional team which also provides continuous business.
You can make this job freelance or you can work in an office who are taking these kinds of businesses from the market. Most electrical engineers are working as the second one.
Power plants are the source of our energy in every aspect of our lives. All the electricity that we are using and transforming into other kinds of energy types is coming from power plants.
In power plants, electrical engineers must be employed in different kinds of sections. Electrical energy is produced in different kinds of power plants such as hydroelectric plants, nuclear energy plants, thermic plants, etc. This electricity must be provided in high quality to the society. This business requires electrical engineers.
Electrical engineers can also be employed as maintenance responsible in power plants. In power plants, very complex electrical installations are used. So, the maintenance of these systems is very hard, electrical engineers must be employed.
R&D Departments of Electrical Devices
One may think that the electrical devices section is very narrow if you think of other engineering systems. It is false imagination. Nearly all devices both mechanical and electrical have a standard electrical circuit. As an electrical engineer, you can find yourself designing electrical circuits for an automobile which may seem like a job of a mechanical engineer. So in each aspect of the R&D department, electrical engineers are heavily employed.
Green Energy Facilities
Green energy is a very important sector and growing sector all around the world. For our nature and the earth, this sector must get more common in energy production. If you are a sensible person to nature and the earth as you would be, you can take a part in green energy systems as electrical engineering. If there is energy production in a system, an electrical engineer must be employed.
Among the green energy systems, wind turbines, and solar panels are heavily used. Like the other conventional energy production systems wind turbine systems, and solar energy production systems have also very complex electrical installations. So, electrical engineers are commonly employed in these systems.
Maintenance Departments of Production Lines
In production lines, electrical conveyors and other kinds of electrical systems are mainly used. These systems are generally controlled by electric panels. In the maintenance of these systems in most production lines, electrical engineers take the heaviest responsibility.
Telecommunication may seem like electronics engineering stuff but in telecommunication, very big and long cable networks are used. If there is a cable in a system, the electrical engineer must be on stage. Telecommunication is a rapidly growing sector and you can develop yourself in telecommunication systems.
Electrical control is also a very important part of electrical engineering. Electrical controls are made with big electrical panels for big electrical systems such as production lines and it is performed by small electronic cards for small electrical systems.
In the design and maintenance of these systems, you can easily take apart as an electrical engineer.
Which Disciplines have Emerged from Electrical Engineering?
Different kinds of brand-new engineering disciplines are emerged from electrical engineering in time, in the accordance with developing technologies. Check the disciplines below.
As we stated above, if you work in an electricity production plant and electricity transmission systems, you will grow as a power engineer who is dealing with the power generation and power transmission systems. Power engineering is a core electrical engineering discipline. Most electrical engineers are employed as power engineers around the world.
In today’s world and society, most of the systems from the smallest to the biggest are controlled by computers. It may seem weird but computer engineering is another field that emerged from electrical engineering. Before computers, control is made by basic electrical circuits and once the computers took the stage, computer engineering came to the stage. Computer engineering is also divided into sub-disciplines such as hardware engineering and software engineering.
Electronics engineering can be the transition between electrical engineering and computer engineering. Electronics engineers are generally dealing with electronic cards which include tons of electronic components. Because of it, electronics engineering has emerged from electrical engineering.
Microwave systems are heavily used in different engineering systems. Production of microwaves requires electrical-based systems but it is a very complex area. Because of it, some electrical engineers can develop and improve themselves if they take a part in the design of microwave systems in a professional manner.
International Organisations Related to Electrical Engineering
For different fields of engineering, standards and organizations change. Electrical engineers can have professional certifications from different international institutions. These institutions can be;
- International Electrotechnical Commission(IEC): This is an international institution that prepares and defines electrotechnical standardizations. As an electrical engineer, you will have a close relationship with IEC standards and regulations.
- Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers(IEEE): IEEE is an international and non-profit organization that is dedicated to the development of electrical electronics, and computational systems for human society. You can have a professional certification that has international validity as an electrical engineer. In nearly every educational institution around the world, there are IEEE communities where different fields of people are taking part. We strongly recommend you to take part in these communities if you are studying electrical engineering.
These are two important pillars of electrical engineering that you will have an intimate relationship with them both in your professional career and your student life in electrical engineering.
Employment of Electrical Engineers in the World
As you understand from the previous sections of this article, the areas that which electrical engineers are employed are very wide. So, all the countries need electrical engineers.
It is a very easy task to answer this question. The most industrialized countries have the most demand for electrical engineers. These countries are generally; Germany, the US, China, Japan, and other industrially developed countries. If the industry is big, energy consumption is big and the required workforce is big. Also, the workforce requirement of these industrialized countries is big. So, the employment of electrical engineers is directly related to the industrialization level of the countries.
How is the Electrical Engineering Education?
It changes according to the institutions and country. Different countries have different regulations on educational activities in universities. And different educational institutions may have different educational approaches.
In general, engineering education is very hard and the calculation/mathematical side is very burdensome. Engineering educations are not like other fields. You have to study your lessons every time and follow all the lectures. It is a very big success to graduate from engineering institutions with a high GPA.
Electrical engineering education starts with the fundamentals of engineering such as mathematics and algebra lessons. You will gain knowledge about mathematical tools to solve electrical engineering problems. Also, the introduction of chemistry and physics lessons will remind you of all the information related to basic natural sciences.
In the second year of the electrical engineering education, you start with advanced algebra lessons such as differential equations which are used in most engineering studies. And in the second half of the second year, vocational courses related to electrical engineering start. Electrical circuits, systems control, and digital systems are the main courses in the second year of the electrical engineering faculties. In the second semester of the second year, you will take the advanced courses of the first semester such as electrical circuits 202, etc.
The third year of electrical engineering is the hardest in terms of the fundamental lessons of electrical engineering. You will take lessons such as electromagnetic field theory, system dynamics and control, and lessons from electronics. Also, laboratory studies will be added to the curriculum of electrical engineering in the third year.
In some institutions, mandatory or optional internship programs are included on 1 or 2 days of the week. You are going to professional engineering companies to complete your internship. So, the third year of electrical engineering is the year when you gain vocational capabilities.
The fourth year of electrical engineering consists of optional lessons which are not generally hard as third-year lessons. The fourth year of electrical engineering is the year that you prepare and present your final thesis. So, it will be better to choose your optional lessons according to your final thesis. The fourth year of electrical engineering is also a very good advantage to finding your future jobs and it will be better to make your final thesis with a professional engineering company.
Average Electrical Engineering Wages in the World
Electrical engineer students and professionals are always willing to earn lots of money as possible. Because, both the education and the working life of electrical engineers are very stressful and hard. As electrical engineers and engineering students, it is your right to wish for high salaries and wages from your company or where are you working.
Electrical engineering is one of the most paying jobs and engineering fields among others. Nearly in every country, you will get paid much higher compared with other job fields. But the average salaries of electrical engineers change sharply from country to country.
As you guessed, the developed and industrialized countries are paying more than other countries for electrical engineers.
- Canada: If you are an experienced electrical engineer and if you know English and French, it will not be hard for you to go to Canada and work in there. In Canada, electrical engineers are employed in the oil and gas sectors and energy generation sectors and are paid as high as around $120.000 per year.
- South Korea: South Korea is a very industrialized country in east Asia. If you are also a very experienced electrical engineer, you can find jobs in the electronics field in South Korea. The salaries of an electrical engineer are between $95.000-105.000 in South Korea.
- The United States: In the US, electrical engineers with no experience or low experience can find jobs easily. If you are an inexperienced electrical engineer in the US, you can earn $60.000-70.000 per year. With increasing experience, you can earn up to $100.000.
- Switzerland: Electrical engineers can earn very good money in Switzerland its true but the cost of living is very high, especially in Zurich. You can earn up to $108.000 per year in Switzerland. And the work conditions are very good. Switzerland is the country where the hour/week is the lowest.
- Germany: There are lots of companies in Germany that serve the world in electrical issues such as Schneider Electric, Siemens, Braun, Philips, etc. An electrical engineer can find a job in Germany easily. The energy sector in Germany is also very developed and big. Also, the salaries of electrical engineers in Germany are good. The average salary of electrical engineers in Germany is around $80.000 per year. But if you want to come from a foreign country to Germany to work as an electrical engineer, you need to learn the German language for the first condition.
- The UK: In the United Kingdom, electrical engineers are employed in the energy sector heavily. There are lots of energy companies in the UK such as BP, and electrical engineers are hired by these companies. Salaries can be up to $100.000 per year according to experience. Graduate salaries of electrical engineers can be around 25.000 pounds which sharply increases with the increasing experience.
How to Be a Good Electrical Engineer?
Being a good engineer starts from the student year. The first important aspect of being a good electrical engineer is foreign language capabilities. If you wish to work in the biggest companies around the world, you need to have multi-language skills. For example, if you want to work at Siemens in Germany, you need to know English and German fluently.
In student life, it will be better to graduate with a high GPA as much as possible. A high GPA will be an indicator that you love your job and will be a very important asset to your CV. Also, it will give you the right to make your master’s degree in the best universities in the world.
Also in student life, it will be precious if you work or take a part in student engineering projects or communities to create a network. The network is a very important aspect to find the best job you want in the sector.
You need to learn computational programs such as Autocad Electrical. Most companies are using software programs in every department including electrical engineering. It will be very good if you learn the most used software packages in the electrical engineering companies.
Learn MS Office tools. MS Office tools especially Excel is heavily used by most companies. As an electrical engineer, you will have to make presentations of your works to your managers and you will use MS Office tools extensively.
Being an electrical engineer is not easy stuff. It required lots of time, lots of labor, and outstanding skills. Electrical engineering is a very good field that will not end anytime in human history.
In this article, we would like to handle electrical engineering from all aspects. We would like to give the latest situation in every side of electrical engineering and we think this article is very useful for those who want to be an electrical engineer.
Experienced electrical engineers’ comments are also important for people and us. If you are an experienced electrical engineer, please send your comments and questions below about electrical engineering in the world.
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FAQs About Electrical Engineering
- Do the salaries of electrical engineers high?
It depends. The total salary that you earn changes according to your capabilities and experiences. But because electrical engineering is a very hard subject, in general, electrical engineers earn higher than other jobs.
- Is the electrical engineering education hard?
Yes, it is. It is engineering and engineering is the practical approach to natural sciences. The roots of engineering disciplines in natural sciences. So, the subjects of electrical engineering are hard to learn and apply. It will take years to be a very good electrical engineer. But it is not impossible.
- Which countries that electrical engineers the highest salaries?
The answer to this question is very straightforward. As we listed above, the industrialized countries pay the most money to electrical engineers.
- Where are the best institutions to study electrical engineering in the world?
The institutions that build upon engineering subjects and technical subjects are the best ones to study electrical engineering. In the world, MIT, Stanford, and Oxford may be given as examples of the best universities but we strongly recommend studying electrical engineering in Germany. Technical Univesity of Munich and RWTH Aachen are the best technical schools to study electrical engineering.
- How to be a good electrical engineer?
Engineering is an ability and it depends on how you improve this ability. Engineering abilities depend on other kinds of abilities such as computer skills, language skills, people management skills, etc. To acquire all of these skills you need to give years for it. So, it depends on which kinds of engineering projects that you worked in, which kinds of an institution you graduated from, and which kinds of companies that you worked in.
After being a good electrical engineer, you will proudly say: “Trust me I am an engineer!” 🙂