Are you looking to pursue a career as an electrical engineer? If you have already obtained a degree in electrical engineering and are on your way to getting a license, you may be interested in knowing the job prospects in this field.
Electrical engineers are concerned with the design, installation, and manufacturing of electrical equipment, electrical components, power systems, and telecommunication systems for commercial, scientific, industrial, and residential use. Electrical engineers use the principles of physics, mathematics, and engineering to work on electrical equipment and systems. From household appliances to power transmission, wiring and lighting systems of residential and commercial buildings to satellite communications, electrical engineers work with a range of technologies. Some engineers specialize in signal processing, electronics, microelectronics, telecommunications, power, or instrumentation.
The job market for electrical engineers in the U.S.
As per statistics from the Bureau of Labor, the employment rate is expected to increase by 2% by 2028. The employment growth rate is slower than the national average for all occupations.
However, according to other estimates, the job market for electrical engineers is expected to increase by 8.6% from 2016 to 2026. Over the next decade, there will be a demand for 20,200 electrical engineers in the US, where 16,200 additional engineers will be required, while 4000 current engineers will retire.
Top industries for electrical engineers
Industries that had the highest published employment levels for electrical engineers include:
• Engineering, architectural, and related services
• Electric power generation, distribution, and transmission
• Navigational, Electromedical, Measuring, and Control Instruments Manufacturing
• Aerospace parts and product manufacturing
• Scientific research
• Communications Equipment Manufacturing
Some of the top-paying industries for electrical engineers are the oil and gas, mining industry, aerospace parts, and product manufacturing and scientific research services.
Top locations for finding a job
Apart from the industries, another factor you need to consider when looking at employment prospects is the location. The states that have the highest employment rates for electrical engineers are California, Texas, New York, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. When it comes to metropolitan areas, the following have the highest employment levels for electrical engineers:
• New York-Jersey City-Newark
• Los Angeles-Long Beach
• Boston-Nashua -Cambridge
• San Jose–Santa Clara
• San Francisco-Oakland
• Houston-Sugar Land
• Dallas-Fort Worth
Motivated and passionate electrical engineers have many avenues to advance in their field.
Getting the right qualifications and licensure in the field boosts your chances of employment. The basic qualification you require is a four-year accredited bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering. Immediately after obtaining your degree, you can take the Fundamentals of Engineering exam, following which you need to work as an intern or engineer-in-training for four years under the supervision of a licensed electrical engineer. This enables you to write the Professional Engineering exam and obtain licensure. Gaining higher qualifications such as a master’s degree or doctoral degree in electrical engineering may open up research, academic, and other related positions while also helping you advance in your career.
Some electrical engineers also take up management roles or project management positions. Many electrical engineers prefer to work as freelance consultants or contractors that give them flexible lifestyles and better control over their careers.
The other ways to boost your employment chances are to take up membership of professional bodies in the field, such as the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers). Networking with industry leaders, communities, and groups is essential to build connections and get referrals and recommendations, particularly when you are working as a freelancer or contractor. The earlier you start building connections, the better your chances of getting a job, referrals, or recommendations. Attend industry events and participate in community events to expand both your professional and social connections. You can also leverage social media platforms such as Instagram and LinkedIn to connect with more people and showcase your work.
Whether you work with large scale power grids or residential wiring, there are multiple risks you face in your day-to-day work. An electrical arc, shocks, fire, explosion, or other accidents can happen even with the most experienced electrical engineer. It is also possible that your client trips on an electrical component at the worksite and sustains an injury.
If you have entrusted parts of the electrical work to third party contractors or vendors, the poor quality of work they do also reflects on you.
These are the type of risks that can result in your being slapped with a negligence lawsuit that you just cannot afford, particularly when you are starting out as an electrical engineer. When you are not at fault, fighting a lawsuit to prove your innocence and protect your reputation can land you in financial difficulties. The costs related to lawyer’s fees, judgments, settlements, and the entire legal battle are daunting.
Get ahead in your career with Engineer Liability Insurance
The only way to protect yourself against such risks is to purchase Engineer Liability Insurance from a reliable insurance provider. This type of insurance covers all the costs related to fighting a claim, giving you maximum peace of mind. When you can prove your innocence, you can also ensure your reputation does not suffer, which, in turn, boosts your career prospects. Find out more about Engineer Liability Insurance before purchasing the right policy.