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Electrical Engineers
SOC Code: 17-2071.00

Research, design, develop, test, or supervise the manufacturing and installation of electrical equipment, components, or systems for commercial, industrial, military, or scientific use.

Sample of reported job titles: Circuits Engineer, Design Engineer, Electrical Controls Engineer, Electrical Design Engineer, Electrical Engineer, Electrical Project Engineer, Instrumentation and Electrical Reliability Engineer (I&E Reliability Engineer), Power Systems Engineer, Project Engineer, Test Engineer


  • Operate computer-assisted engineering or design software or equipment to perform engineering tasks.
  • Prepare technical drawings, specifications of electrical systems, or topographical maps to ensure that installation and operations conform to standards and customer requirements.
  • Confer with engineers, customers, or others to discuss existing or potential engineering projects or products.
  • Design, implement, maintain, or improve electrical instruments, equipment, facilities, components, products, or systems for commercial, industrial, or domestic purposes.
  • Direct or coordinate manufacturing, construction, installation, maintenance, support, documentation, or testing activities to ensure compliance with specifications, codes, or customer requirements.
  • Compile data and write reports regarding existing or potential electrical engineering studies or projects.
  • Perform detailed calculations to compute and establish manufacturing, construction, or installation standards or specifications.
  • Prepare specifications for purchases of materials or equipment.
  • Estimate labor, material, or construction costs for budget preparation purposes.
  • Supervise or train project team members as necessary.
  • Conduct field surveys or study maps, graphs, diagrams, or other data to identify and correct power system problems.
  • Investigate customer or public complaints to determine the nature and extent of problems.
  • Oversee project production efforts to assure projects are completed on time and within budget.
  • Inspect completed installations and observe operations to ensure conformance to design and equipment specifications and compliance with operational, safety, or environmental standards.
  • Plan or implement research methodology or procedures to apply principles of electrical theory to engineering projects.
  • Design electrical systems or components that minimize electric energy requirements, such as lighting systems designed to account for natural lighting.
  • Plan layout of electric power generating plants or distribution lines or stations.
  • Assist in developing capital project programs for new equipment or major repairs.

Technology Skills

  • Analytical or scientific software - Minitab ; Powersim PSIM; Synopsys PrimeTime; The MathWorks MATLAB (see all 43 examples)
  • Computer aided design CAD software - Autodesk AutoCAD ; Dassault Systemes CATIA ; PTC Creo Parametric ; Zuken E3.schematic (see all 23 examples)
  • Computer aided manufacturing CAM software - Rapid prototyping software
  • Configuration management software - Perforce Helix software
  • Development environment software - Microsoft Visual Basic Scripting Edition VBScript ; National Instruments LabVIEW ; Verilog ; VHSIC hardware description language VHDL (see all 14 examples)
  • Electronic mail software - IBM Notes
  • Enterprise resource planning ERP software - SAP
  • File versioning software - Apache Subversion SVN
  • Financial analysis software - Oracle E-Business Suite Financials
  • Graphics or photo imaging software - Microsoft Visio
  • Industrial control software - Supervisory control and data acquisition SCADA software ; Wonderware InTouch HMI
  • Object or component oriented development software - C++ ; JHDL; Practical extraction and reporting language Perl ; Python (see all 6 examples)
  • Office suite software - Microsoft Office
  • Operating system software - Linux ; Microsoft Windows Server; UNIX
  • Presentation software - Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Program testing software - Debugging software; Defect tracking software
  • Project management software - Microsoft Project ; Oracle Primavera Enterprise Project Portfolio Management
  • Requirements analysis and system architecture software - Requirements management software; Unified modeling language UML
  • Spreadsheet software - Microsoft Excel
  • WAN switching software and firmware - ATD protocol; X.25 Protocol
  • Word processing software - Microsoft Word

Tools Used

  • Accelerometers
  • Capacitance meters - Inductance capacitance resistance LCR meters
  • Computer servers
  • Corona treaters - Cylindrical corona testers
  • Diffractometers
  • Digital camcorders or video cameras - Digital video cameras
  • Electrical frequency meters - Noise figure meters
  • Electronic measuring probes - Parameter analyzers
  • Flow sensors - Electrical flow meters
  • Frequency analyzers - Spectrum analyzers
  • Frequency calibrator or simulator - Frequency drives; Signal analyzers
  • Frequency counters or timer or dividers - Frequency counters
  • Ion implantation equipment - Reactive ion etch systems
  • Isolation glove boxes - Glove box systems
  • Laboratory balances - Microbalances
  • Laboratory evaporators - Filament evaporators; Metal evaporation systems; Vacuum system/thermal evaporators
  • Laboratory safety furnaces - Annealing furnaces; Diffusion furnaces; Oxidation furnaces
  • Laser measuring systems - Laser ranging systems
  • Laser printers
  • Level generators - Pulse generators
  • Magnetic spin bars or stir bars or stirring beads - Spinners
  • Metal markers or holders - Electrochemical etching devices
  • Microwave core equipment - Microwave automatic load-pull tuners
  • Multimeters
  • Network analyzers
  • Notebook computers - Laptop computers
  • Oscillographs - Sweep oscillators
  • Oscilloscopes - Digital oscilloscopes; Mixed signal oscilloscopes; Sampling oscilloscopes
  • Personal computers
  • Plotter printers - Plotters
  • Power meters - Microwave power meters
  • Pyrometers
  • Reactors - Plasma reactors
  • Scanning electron microscopes - Scanning electron microscopes SEM
  • Scanning probe microscopes - Atomic force microscopes; Scanning tunneling microscopes STM
  • Semiconductor process systems - Electron beam evaporators; Wafer steppers; Wet chemical clean benches; Wire bonders (see all 13 examples)
  • Signal generators - Programmable function generators; Synthesized continuous wave CW generators; Vector signal generators
  • Spectrographs - Imaging spectrographs
  • Spectrometers - Auger electron spectrometers; Electrochemical CV dopant profilers; Secondary ion mass spectrometers SIMS; X ray photoemission spectrometers (see all 5 examples)
  • Surface testers - Profilometers
  • Temperature cycling chambers or thermal cyclers - Rapid thermal annealers RTA
  • Thermocouples
  • Thickness measuring devices - Ellipsometers
  • Transistor circuit testers - Universal microwave transistor test fixtures
  • Transistor transistor logic TTL - Pattern generator systems
  • Tube furnaces - Doping tubes; Oxidation tubes; Vertical furnaces
  • Voltage or current meters - Digital voltmeters DVM; Pulsed current-voltage IV analyzer
  • X ray generators - X ray guns


  • Engineering and Technology - Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Design - Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Physics - Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.
  • Production and Processing - Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.


  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Mathematics - Using mathematics to solve problems.
  • Operations Analysis - Analyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.
  • Systems Evaluation - Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Science - Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Systems Analysis - Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
  • Time Management - Managing one's own time and the time of others.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Instructing - Teaching others how to do something.
  • Management of Personnel Resources - Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job.
  • Negotiation - Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.
  • Persuasion - Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.


  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Category Flexibility - The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Fluency of Ideas - The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
  • Mathematical Reasoning - The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
  • Number Facility - The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.
  • Originality - The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Visualization - The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
  • Flexibility of Closure - The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
  • Selective Attention - The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.


  • Interest code: IR
    • Investigative - Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
    • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Work Context

  • Electronic Mail - 98% responded “Every day.”
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled - 89% responded “Every day.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions - 72% responded “Every day.”
  • Telephone - 62% responded “Every day.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team - 64% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Duration of Typical Work Week - 68% responded “More than 40 hours.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate - 64% responded “Very important.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions - 49% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Contact With Others - 44% responded “Constant contact with others.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work - 44% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Spend Time Sitting - 49% responded “More than half the time.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results - 59% responded “Important results.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making - 34% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others - 32% responded “Very important.”
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results - 32% responded “Very high responsibility.”
  • Time Pressure - 58% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets - 40% responded “Every day.”
  • Letters and Memos - 28% responded “Every day.”
  • Deal With External Customers - 26% responded “Very important.”


Percentage of RespondentsEducation Level Required
70%Bachelor's degree
23%Master's degree
3%High school diploma or equivalent

Work Styles

  • Analytical Thinking - Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • Attention to Detail - Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Persistence - Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Integrity - Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Achievement/Effort - Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Cooperation - Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Dependability - Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Initiative - Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility - Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Stress Tolerance - Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
  • Self Control - Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Independence - Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
  • Innovation - Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
  • Leadership - Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
  • Concern for Others - Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Social Orientation - Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.

Work Values

  • Achievement - Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
  • Working Conditions - Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
  • Independence - Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.

Wages & Trends

  • Median wages (2017)
    • $45.70 hourly, $95,060 annual
  • Employment (2016)
    • 188,000 employees
  • Projected growth (2016-2026)
    • Average (5% to 9%)
  • Projected job openings (2016-2026)
    • 13,900

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