Electrical and electronics engineers have crucial roles that impact the physical devices and technology people often use daily. From designing the parts found in cell phones to analyzing how to improve the electrical system of an airplane, electrical and electronics engineers are tasked to do some of the most important jobs that make the devices and technology people use work. It's no wonder individuals in these roles develop lucrative careers and make some of the highest salaries reported in engineering.
But building a path to success calls for having a plan. The planning phase begins while you’re still in high school when you’re finding yourself and your deepest desires. Among many great engineering courses, electrical and electronics engineering has a special place. It certainly takes a particular personality to successfully study and graduate as an electrical and electronics engineers. In this article, we’ll discuss what these engineers actually do, and what skills you need to have, as well as discovering how to be a success story based on four famous electrical and electronics engineers:
What Do Electrical and Electronics Engineers Do?
Electronics and electrical engineers take on several responsibilities to achieve their duties in their positions. These engineers are involved in the process of supervising manufacturing, designing, testing and developing electrical equipment. Your exact task and duties will depend on your company, the process phase you are responsible for and the type of engineering position you hold. For instance, you may develop and design GPS devices or the components of a mobile phone as an electronics engineer. As an electronics engineer, you may also evaluate the needs of your customers and devise ways to improve the design of the device's components as well as map out the costs and capacity you will need to produce the device and its components.
However, you can expect different duties as an electrical engineer. As an electrical engineer, your duties may include directing the installation or manufacturing of electric motors, electrical systems for an airplane or other electrical devices. Your role as an electrical engineer may also involve investigating issues with a design of an electrical device or designing new ways to improve the device.
What Skills Help You Have A Successful Electrical Engineering?
Some of the most successful electrical and electronics engineers owe their success to the skills they have developed in their careers. Some important skills to have include writing, math and interpersonal skills. As an electronics or electrical engineer, math is essential to ensure you properly design, troubleshoot and analyze the devices or components of the devices you are working on. You will also need to communicate your findings from research, so knowing how to explain your discoveries or ways to improve devices and parts is crucial for success. Thus, learning how to collaborate, speak and write well can prove beneficial in your electrical engineering career. You should also be able to focus on the task at hand, stay organized and use problem-solving and analytic skills to increase your chances for success. Having these essential skills is part of why these engineers were able to create transformers, solar panels, the electric bulb and other marvels of electrical engineering.
How Do You Become a Successful Electrical Engineer?
The path to success for electrical engineers often starts with a sound education in electrical and electronics engineering. Some of the most successful engineers in the field studied at an ABET-accredited institution but also took time to develop their skills with real-world experience. Check out how these electrical and electronics engineers carved out a path for success:
- Nikola Tesla. Nikola Tesla was a futurist, physicist and electrical engineer who helped shape the field of electrical engineering. He attended the University of Graz and studied physics and math. Tesla experienced several failures along his path to success but he also improved a high-voltage transformer and lights. Tesla was also integral in creating meters and electrical oscillators and served as an inspiration for many of today's wealthiest and successful engineers.
- Lawrence Carin and Paul Runkle. Duke University colleagues Lawrence Carin and Paul Runkle help develop technology for national defense through Signal Innovations Group. Carin is a chair of Duke's electrical and computer engineering program while Runkle served as an associate for Duke ECE, an organization they created. Their path to success went beyond holding degrees and teaching aspiring electronics engineers. They ventured into the world of business by successfully procuring contracts from the U.S. government and getting the support they needed while teaching.
- Alexander Graham Bell. One of the most famous electrical engineers in history is Alexander Graham Bell. He was responsible for inventing the first device that could transmit voices along with his partner Thomas Watson. Bell's career path started with a role as a telegraph operator. But his impact and success have forever changed the history of telecommunications.
- Edith Clarke. As the first professional female electrical engineer in 1922, Edith Clarke made history during a time when women were still not considered for STEM roles. But Clarke's impact in the field was important for transcontinental telecommunications. She patented a device that sent power through very long electrical transmissions lines while she worked at GE. Clarke was also the first woman to earn an electrical engineering degree from MIT.
If you want to be successful as an electrical engineer or be at the top of your game as an electronics engineer, then it's important to have a plan. Just take a cue from the engineers mentioned here and learn from their paths to success. You can use their success stories as inspiration for devising your own plan to help you achieve your career goals in the field of electrical engineering.