Electronics Engineering is often confused with electrical engineering and the debate for me when I was studying electronics engineering was: Is the electronics engineer salary higher than electrical engineers?
Electronics engineering is another branch of engineering that is closely related to electrical engineering. The main difference is that electronics engineers primarily focus on what goes on the inside of an electronic gadget such as hardware components, while electrical engineers often deal with powering the system.
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Let’s go into detail about what electronics engineering is, and what the responsibilities of an electronics engineer are.
What is electronics engineering?
Electronics engineering utilizes non-linear and active electrical components. This involves semiconductor devices such as transistors, integrated circuits, resistors, capacitors, diodes, etc to create electronic circuits, microprocessors, devices, microcontrollers and other systems speak together.
Electronics engineering often deals with the implementation of hardware applications, system principles and embedded software algorithms developed within areas like signal processing, control systems, telecommunications, computer hardware engineering, electric power controls, instrumentation engineering, systems engineering, robotics and much more.
As mentioned above, it is interrelated with electrical engineering as the latter more often deals with power, heavy-current, and high voltage engineering; and electrical engineers almost always work in teams of electronics engineers.
What are the responsibilities of an electronics engineer?
Electronics engineers are responsible for designing and developing electronic equipment. These can be for broadcasting and communication equipment such as mobile phones and portable music players. Electronics engineers design the components that allow electrical systems to operate according to their embedded software algorithms and incoming signals.
Electronics engineers design and develop devices, and test components, equipment, and systems that primarily run on low voltage power or electricity. A part of their responsibilities is discussing proposals to clients, working with colleagues to design new systems, circuits, and devices, improving existing technology, testing abstract models, writing specifications and technical reports.
Electronics engineers are also responsible for following a defined development process, developing the detailed design of a piece of electronic equipment, and ensuring that a product will work with devices developed by others. They create user-friendly interfaces, providing safety regulations are met, carrying out project planning and preparing budgets, and supervising technicians, craftspeople, and other colleagues.
The work is usually inside a laboratory or office type environment, although, there are instances that field work is required.
Most companies do need a degree in electrical or electronics engineering or other related fields like aeronautical engineering, communications engineering, software or computer science engineering, mathematics, mechatronics engineering, applied physics or manufacturing engineering.
It is a plus to have a Master’s degree in the relevant profession and a vast experience in the said field.
Having a high level of technical knowledge and IT skills, strong analysis, good problem-solving abilities, especially in improving designs. Excellent communication skills allow them to explain complex ideas into clear concepts, creative, innovative, attentive to detail. Strategic thinking skills, commercial awareness, project management and leadership skills, ability to work within a team and being able to understand electrical health and safety regulation are the skills required for this field of work.
3 jobs that offer some of the highest electronics engineer salary:
1. Staff Electronics Engineer
Staff electronics engineers are responsible for concept design, new product introduction and developing, pre-market entry testing, and supervising the manufacturing process of electrical equipment, which can include electric motors, radar & navigation systems, communication & broadcasting systems, power generation equipment, etc.
Staff engineers are responsible for performing detailed calculations to construct, manufacture, and install standards and specifications. They work with senior electronics engineers to design new systems, circuits, devices, and related embedded systems and software.
Staff electronics engineers can often earn as high as $114k per year; with companies such as Inter Corporation paying Staff electronics engineers as high as $145k per year, depending on their experience and specific skillset.
2. Electronics Field Engineers
Electronics field engineer work in the field, visiting customers to sell complex scientific and technological products, and services. Therefore they must have extensive knowledge of the products that they are selling including its parts, functions and most importantly, knowledge of how it works and how it will benefit the customers in the short and long run.
Electronics field engineers are responsible for the preparation and delivery of technical presentations that aim to explain the products or services to the customers or prospects. They are to discuss with the clients and fellow engineers to assess equipment needs and to determine the system requirements. They work with the in-house sales teams to understand customer requirements and to provide sales support.
Electronics field engineers also renew and secure purchase orders and arrange delivery, plan and modify products to meet customers’ expectation, help clients to solve problems with installed equipment, make recommendations in materials or machinery improvement and assist in the research for new products.
They are specializing in the technological and scientific advancement of products. With their technical skills, they explain the benefits of the product and services they are selling to show that their products are better than the competitors’.
Electronics field engineers can earn as high as $117k per year; with most companies also paying a commission or bonus payment which will result in such engineers taking home as much money as they can make, depending on how much they sell.
3. Senior Electronics Engineers/Technicians
Senior electronics engineers and technicians are responsible for troubleshooting and finding solutions to complex technical problems that relates to a wide variety of industries. It is their responsibility to create, modify, and test processes and products, through performing extensive research and development while creating the product or process is also part of their tasks.
Senior electronics engineers and technicians also inspect the flaws in products and processes to identify the areas that need improvement – part of it is the collection of data and conducting tests. They assist in product design, development, production, building and setting up equipment as well.
An engineering technician should be able to calculate, record results during experiments, create prototypes, and utilize computer aided design. They must make a draft during the design phase, operate and maintain equipment used in testing. They calibrate test equipment, manage computer simulations to test the design virtually, design, develop, test, and manufacture electrical and electronics equipment for communication, medical, navigation, computers, etc.
About The Contributing Author:
Nader Mowlaee is an Electronics Engineers who chose a career in Engineering Career Coaching. Nader helps Engineers break away from their fears, create the career they love and earn a salary they deserve. Nader is inspired by Motivating Confidence in Job Seekers and helping engineers reach their career goals fast. In this podcast he shares How to Create a Winning Strategy for a Successful Career.You can connect with Nader m on Linkedin or Facebook.