Electronics Engineering is often confused with electrical engineering but the question 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 inside of an electronic gadget such as hardware components, while electrical engineers often deal with powering the system.
If you are currently trying to decide between studying electrical engineering or electronic engineering, the Bureau of Labor Statistics may help you gain some clarity about outlook and possibilities.
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, and such to create electronic circuits, microprocessors, devices, microcontrollers, and other systems that work 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 often deals with handling power, heavy-currents, and high voltages; thus, electrical engineers almost always work in teams with electronics engineers.
What are the responsibilities of an electronics engineer?
Electronic engineering job descriptions include 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 the software embedded in them and incoming signals.
Electronics engineers design and develop devices, test components, equipment, and systems that primarily run on low voltage power or electricity. A part of their responsibilities is discussing proposals with clients, working with colleagues to design new systems, circuits, and devices, improving existing technology, testing 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 be compatible with devices developed by other manufacturers. They create user-friendly interfaces, adhere to existing safety regulations, plan projects, prepare budgets, and supervise technicians, craftspeople, and other colleagues.
The work is usually inside a laboratory or office type environment, although, there are lines of work that require fieldwork.
Most companies require a degree in electrical or electronics engineering or other related fields like aeronautical engineering, communications engineering, software or computer engineering, mathematics, mechatronics engineering, applied physics, or manufacturing engineering.
It is always a plus to have a Master’s degree in the relevant profession and vast experience in the said field.
Having a high level of technical knowledge and IT skills, strong analysis and problem-solving skills, especially in improving designs is important. Excellent communication skills allow them to explain complex ideas into clear concepts. Also, strategic thinking, commercial awareness, project management, and leadership skills, the ability to work within a team, and being able to understand electrical safety regulations are a must in this field of work.
3 jobs that offer the highest salaries for electronics engineering:
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 electronics engineer job descriptions include performing detailed calculations to construct, manufacture, and implement specifications. They work with senior electronics engineers to design new systems, circuits, devices, and related embedded systems and software.
Such engineers are highly in demand in areas such as automotive and aerospace engineering companies, as well as telecommunication and hardware solutions use in wireless communication or space defense applications. Entering these fields is sometimes a bit harder than other engineering fields as per the security and privacy concerns, which is why often employees are required to be a full-time resident or citizen of the country in which they'll be working in.
Staff electronics engineers can often earn salaries of around $114k per year, with companies such as Intel paying staff electronics engineers salaries as high as $145k per year, depending on their experience and skill set. The company you work for will ultimately dictate the salary amount you'll receive, especially since there aren't any hard regulations for salary amounts within the private corporations.
2. Electronics Field Engineers
Electronics field engineers work in the field, visiting customers to sell complex technological products and services. Therefore they must have extensive knowledge of the products that they are selling including its parts, functions, 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 hold discussions 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’ expectations, help clients to solve problems with installed equipment, make recommendations in materials or machinery improvements, and assist in the research for new products.
They specialize 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 salaries of around $117k per year; with most companies also paying a commission or bonus payment which can result in considerably higher net pay. Field engineers must also pay close attention to the lifestyle requirements of such positions, and note that these careers can require frequent travel and long working hours, hence these positions are best if you can be flexible in your work hours. You should also have an adaptive personality and strong communication skills, to enable you to work with people from a variety of locations and in your country or state.
3. Senior Electronics Engineers/Technicians
Senior electronics engineers and technicians are responsible for troubleshooting and finding solutions to complex technical problems that relate to a wide variety of industries. It is their responsibility to create, modify, and test processes and products, through 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 and identify the areas that need improvement – so part of this job involves the collection of data and conducting tests. They assist in product design, development, production, building, and equipment setup 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 their design virtually, and manufacture electrical and electronic equipment for different fields, etc.
Senior Electronics Engineers and Technicians earn around $103k on average, going up to $132k per year.