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Research Assessment #1 
Date: ​September 12, 2015 
 
Subject:​ Electrical Engineering
 
 
MLA Citations:  
 
"What Is Electrical Engineering?" ​L​ iveScience. TechMediaNetwork, n.d. Web. 12 Sept. 2016. 
"Summary." ​U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, n.d. Web. 12 Sept. 
2016. 
Jacobs, Peter. "The 10 College Majors With The Highest Starting Salaries."​B​ usiness Insider. 
Business Insider, Inc, 10 Nov. 2014. Web. 12 Sept. 2016. 
 
Job Title:​ ​Electrical Engineering  
 
Job Description: ​ Electrical engineers design, develop, and test electronics and electrical 
components of products, such as radar and navigation systems, electric engines, power 
generation equipment, and communication systems. They manufacture and maintain products for 
commercial, military, industrial, and medical uses.  Electrical engineers can also produce 
electrical systems for automobiles and aircraft. 
 
Training, Education, and Certification: ​Entry level jobs require a bachelor's degree in 
electrical engineering, electronics engineering, or electrical engineering technology. Experience 
in the form of cooperative programs or internships is highly valued. Cooperative programs 
combine classroom learning with practical work, and need to be accredited by ABET. After 

 
 
 

working for at least 4 years, you can obtain your Professional Engineers (PE) license after 
passing a series of tests, allowing for higher levels of leadership and independence. 
 
College, Post­High School & High School Recommended Courses:​ ​Recommended high 
school classes include physics and mathematics, such as algebra, trigonometry, and calculus. 
Taking classes in drafting would also be beneficial because electrical engineers often create 
technical drawings, however many high schools don’t offer such classes. 
 
National and Local Professional Organizations: ​The National Society of Professional 
Engineers, the organization that affords PE licenses, is a very large and prominent organization 
that encompasses all fields of engineering. A national organization more specific to my field is 
the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), an organization that ​promotes the 
engineering process of creating, developing, sharing, and applying knowledge about electro­ and 
information technologies.  
 

Related Areas: ​Related areas are Architectural Engineers, Engineer Managing, Computer 
Hardware Engineering, Software Engineering, and Aerospace Engineering. 
 
Salary:​ The median salary for electrical engineers in May 2015 was $93,000. Median meaning 
that half earned more than that and half earned less, with the bottom 10% making less than 
$60,000 and the top 10% making more than $150,000. The average starting salary for an entry 
level electrical engineer is $57,000.  

 
 
 

 
Career Outlook: ​The projected job growth from 2014­2024 is little to none (1%), maybe even a 
slight decline due to industries contracting engineers rather than hiring them. However it depends 
mostly on the specific company.  
 
Terminology:​ The terminology associated with Electrical Engineering includes not only 
engineering and electrical jargon, but also mathematical and software related jargon. A few 
examples of electrical engineering jargon words would be ampere, analog, ANSI, bandwidth, 
broadband, brownout, capacitor, switch, and resistor. 
 
Assessment: 
Last year, I studied the field of aerospace engineering. Aerospace consists of designing, 
developing, and testing aircraft, with focuses in aerodynamics, propulsion, and structural 
analysis. I loved this field, and I still do. However, this year, I decided to look into electrical 
engineering, because when I was creating my quadcopter, I realized my favorite part of the 
project was the electronic portion. Before beginning my research, I believed that I needed to 
choose between the two fields of aerospace and electrical engineering. However, my suspicion 
that my logic was flawed was confirmed when I read that the two fields often overlap, and you 
can indeed have the best of both worlds. For instance, an electrical engineer can be employed by 
the government or a commercial company and work on electrical systems, motors, 
radar/navigation, and/or communication systems for an aircraft. I want this “for instance” to be 
my instance. I want to be an electrical engineer working in the aerospace industry.  

 
 
 

Only a bachelor’s degree is needed to get an entry level job, so I’m planning on getting a 
job right after I get my bachelor’s in electrical engineering. Then, after I gain a few years of 
experience, go back and get my master’s degree, as many people have suggested. Also, after 
working for four years I want to get my PE (Professional Engineering) license so that I am able 
to have more leadership opportunities at my job. I’ve been taking multiple mathematics and 
physics classes as well as engineering classes in high school, so my hope is that I will be 
prepared for the rigorous engineering courses that I will have to take in college to get my degree 
in electrical engineering. I will also probably join one of the organizations that electrical 
engineers can be apart of, such as the IEEE. 
The pay for the job isn’t quite as much as it was for aerospace engineering, however the 
salary that one receives depends not only on the major, but the level of education (bachelor’s v. 
master’s) as well as being a licensed professional, the amount of time someone has been working 
in one place, and the location and company that you work for. However, that is not to say that I 
am unhappy with the average salary of an electrical engineer, which is about $93,000. The fact 
that the career growth is little to none only whets my appetite for the career more, because I 
know that getting the job will be a  competitive process, meaning I get to overcome a challenge 
and my coworkers will be top notch. Furthermore, you have a greater appreciation and respect 
for something if it wasn’t easy to attain. 
 I gained a copious amount of information from each article that I read, mostly 
concerning what an electrical engineer does, how to become one, how much they make, and 
what the field is turning into (all outlined in the sections above the analysis). Reading about 
things on the internet and gaining information through those means are extremely beneficial and 

 
 
 

helpful, though I’m thoroughly excited to begin learning from first hand experience by working 
with a mentor. Last year I learned the most through my mentorship opposed to research on a 
computer, so I’m looking forward to having a similarly enriching experience this year, furthering 
my knowledge and passion for electrical engineering in the aerospace industry. 
 
Article 1: 

What Electrical and Electronics Engineers Do 
Electronics engineers analyze the requirements and costs of electrical systems. 
Electrical engineers design, develop, test, and supervise the manufacturing of electrical equipment, such as 
electric motors, radar and navigation systems, communications systems, or power generation equipment. 
Electrical engineers also design the electrical systems of automobiles and aircraft. 
Electronics engineers design and develop electronic equipment, such as broadcast and communications 
systems, from portable music players to global positioning systems (GPSs). Many also work in areas closely 
related to computer hardware. 

Duties 
Electrical engineers typically do the following: 

Design new ways to use electrical power to develop or improve products 

Perform detailed calculations to develop manufacturing, construction, and installation standards 
and specifications 

Direct the manufacture, installation, and testing of electrical equipment to ensure that products 
meet specifications and codes 

Investigate complaints from customers or the public, evaluate problems, and recommend 
solutions 

Work with project managers on production efforts to ensure that projects are completed 
satisfactorily, on time, and within budget 

Electronics engineers typically do the following: 

 
 
 

Design electronic components, software, products, or systems for commercial, industrial, 
medical, military, or scientific applications 

Analyze customer needs and determine the requirements, capacity, and cost for developing an 
electrical system plan 

Develop maintenance and testing procedures for electronic components and equipment 

Evaluate systems and recommend design modifications or equipment repair 

Inspect electronic equipment, instruments, and systems to make sure that they meet safety 
standards and applicable regulations 

Plan and develop applications and modifications for electronic properties used in parts and 
systems in order to improve technical performance 

Electronics engineers who work for the federal government research, develop, and evaluate electronic 
devices used in a variety of areas, such as aviation, computing, transportation, and manufacturing. They 
work on federal electronic devices and systems, including satellites, flight systems, radar and sonar 
systems, and communications systems. 
The work of electrical engineers and electronics engineers is often similar. Both use engineering and design 
software and equipment to do engineering tasks. Both types of engineers also must work with other 
engineers to discuss existing products and possibilities for engineering projects. 
Engineers whose work is related exclusively to computer hardware are considered ​computer hardware 
engineers​. 

How to Become an Electrical or Electronics Engineer 
 
Becoming an electrical or electronics engineer involves the study of math and engineering. 
Electrical and electronics engineers must have a bachelor’s degree. Employers also value practical 
experience, so participation in cooperative engineering programs, in which students earn academic credit for 
structured work experience. Having a Professional Engineer (PE) license may improve an engineer’s 
chances of finding employment. 

Education 
High school students interested in studying electrical or electronics engineering benefit from taking courses 
in physics and mathematics, including algebra, trigonometry, and calculus. Courses in drafting are also 
helpful, because electrical and electronics engineers often are required to prepare technical drawings. 

 
 
 
In order to enter the occupation, prospective electrical and electronics engineers need a bachelor’s degree 
in electrical engineering, electronics engineering, or electrical engineering technology. Programs include 
classroom, laboratory, and field studies. Courses include digital systems design, differential equations, and 
electrical circuit theory. Programs in electrical engineering, electronics engineering, or electrical engineering 
technology should be accredited by ​ABET​. 
Some colleges and universities offer cooperative programs in which students gain practical experience while 
completing their education. Cooperative programs combine classroom study with practical work. Internships 
provide similar experience and are growing in number. 
At some universities, students can enroll in a 5­year program that leads to both a bachelor’s degree and a 
master’s degree. A graduate degree allows an engineer to work as an instructor at some universities, or in 
research and development. 

Important Qualities 
Concentration. Electrical and electronics engineers design and develop complex electrical systems and 
electronic components and products. They must be able to keep track of multiple design elements and 
technical characteristics when performing these tasks. 

Initiative. Electrical and electronics engineers must be able to apply their knowledge to new tasks in every 
project they undertake. In addition, they must engage in continuing education to keep up with changes in 
technology. 

Interpersonal skills. Electrical and electronics engineers must be able to work with others during the 
manufacturing process to ensure that their plans are implemented correctly. This collaboration includes 
monitoring technicians and devising remedies to problems as they arise. 

Math skills. Electrical and electronics engineers must be able to use the principles of calculus and other 
advanced math in order to analyze, design, and troubleshoot equipment. 

Speaking skills. Electrical and electronics engineers work closely with other engineers and technicians. 
They must be able to explain their designs and reasoning clearly and to relay instructions during product 
development and production. They also may need to explain complex issues to customers who have little or 
no technical expertise. 

Writing skills. Electrical and electronics engineers develop technical publications related to equipment they 
develop, including maintenance manuals, operation manuals, parts lists, product proposals, and design 
methods documents. 

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations 

 
 
 
Licensure is not required for entry­level positions as electrical and electronics engineers. A Professional 
Engineering (PE) license, which allows for higher levels of leadership and independence, can be acquired 
later in one’s career. Licensed engineers are called professional engineers (PEs). A PE can oversee the 
work of other engineers, sign off on projects, and provide services directly to the public. State licensure 
generally requires 

A degree from an ABET­accredited engineering program 

A passing score on the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam 

Relevant work experience 

A passing score on the Professional Engineering (PE) exam 

The initial Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam can be taken right after graduation from a college or 
university. Engineers who pass this exam commonly are called engineers in training (EITs) or engineer 
interns (EIs). After getting work experience, EITs can take the second exam, called the Principles and 
Practice of Engineering exam. 
Several states require engineers to take continuing education courses to keep their license. Most states 
recognize licensure from other states if the licensing state’s requirements meet or exceed their own 
licensure requirements. 

Advancement 
Electrical and electronic engineers may advance to supervisory positions in which they lead a team of 
engineers and technicians. Some may move to management positions, working as engineering or program 
managers. Preparation for managerial positions usually requires working under the guidance of a more 
experienced engineer. For more information, see the profile on ​architectural and engineering managers​. 
For sales work, an engineering background enables engineers to discuss a product's technical aspects and 
assist in product planning and use. For more information, see the profile on ​sales engineers​. 
 

Pay

 

The median annual wage for electrical engineers was $93,010 in May 2015. The median wage is the wage 
at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 
10 percent earned less than $59,240, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $146,820. 
The median annual wage for electronics engineers, except computer was $98,270 in May 2015. The lowest 
10 percent earned less than $63,430, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $151,990. 

 
 
 

Job Outlook

 

Employment of electrical and electronics engineers is projected to show little or no change from 2014 to 
2024. Change in employment is expected to be tempered by slow growth or decline in most manufacturing 
sectors in which electrical and electronics engineers are employed. 
Job growth for electrical and electronics engineers will occur largely in engineering services firms, because 
more companies are expected to cut costs by contracting their engineering services rather than directly 
employing engineers. These engineers also will be in demand to develop sophisticated consumer 
electronics. 
The rapid pace of technological innovation and development will likely drive demand for electrical and 
electronics engineers in research and development, an area in which engineering expertise will be needed 
to develop distribution systems related to new technologies. These engineers will play key roles in new 
developments having to do with solar arrays, semiconductors, and communications technologies. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Article 2: 

The 10 College Majors With The 
Highest Starting Salaries 
 

Electrical engineering majors ​make the most money immediately after 
graduating college​, with an average starting salary of $57,030, according 
to a recent study from Michigan State University. 
The study comes from MSU's College Employment Research Institute, 
and charts the average starting salaries for new college graduates in a 
variety of majors. 
According to the MSU study, the average starting salary among all new 
college graduates is $39,045. The lowest average starting salary — 
advertising — is $36,638. 
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the MSU list is dominated by engineering 
majors. ​Check out the top 10 highest average starting salaries 
below: 
1. Electrical Engineering — $57,030 

 
 
 

2. Computer Engineering — $56,576 
3. Mechanical Engineering — $56,055 
4. Software Design — $54,183 
5. Computer Programming — $54,065 
6. Chemical Engineering — $53,622 
7. Computer Science — $52,237 
8. Civil Engineering — $51,622 
9. Mathematics — $47,952 
10.

Construction — $45,591 

 
 
 

Article 3: 
 

What Is Electrical Engineering?
Electrical engineering is one of the newer branches of engineering, and dates back
to the late 19th century. It is the branch of engineering that deals with the
technology of electricity. Electrical engineers work on a wide range of components,
devices and systems, from tiny microchips to huge power station generators.
Early experiments with electricity included primitive batteries and static charges.
However, the actual design, construction and manufacturing of useful devices and
systems began with the implementation of ​Michael Faraday's Law of Induction​,

which essentially states that the voltage in a circuit is proportional to the rate of
change in the magnetic field through the circuit. This law applies to the basic
principles of the electric generator, the electric motor and the transformer. The
advent of the modern age is marked by the introduction of electricity to homes,
businesses and industry, all of which were made possible by electrical engineers.
Some of the most prominent pioneers in electrical engineering include ​Thomas

Edison​ (electric light bulb), George Westinghouse (alternating current), ​Nikola Tesla
(induction motor), ​Guglielmo Marconi​ (radio) and Philo T. Farnsworth (television).

 
 
 

These innovators turned ideas and concepts about electricity into practical devices
and systems that ushered in the modern age.
Since its early beginnings, the field of electrical engineering has grown and
branched out into a number of specialized categories, including power generation
and transmission systems, motors, batteries and control systems. Electrical
engineering also includes electronics, which has itself branched into an even
greater number of subcategories, such as radio frequency (RF) systems,
telecommunications, remote sensing, signal processing, digital circuits,
instrumentation, audio, video and optoelectronics.
The field of electronics was born with the invention of the thermionic valve diode
vacuum tube in 1904 by ​John Ambrose Fleming​. The vacuum tube basically acts as a
current amplifier by outputting a multiple of its input current. It was the foundation
of all electronics, including radios, television and radar, until the mid-20th century.
It was largely supplanted by the ​transistor​, which was developed in 1947 at AT&T's

Bell Laboratories by William Shockley, John Bardeen and Walter Brattain, for which
they received the 1956 Nobel Prize in physics.

What does an electrical engineer do?
"Electrical engineers design, develop, test and supervise the manufacturing of
electrical equipment, such as electric motors, radar and navigation systems,
communications systems and power generation equipment, states the ​U.S. Bureau

of Labor Statistics​. "Electronics engineers design and develop electronic equipment,
such as broadcast and communications systems — from portable music players to
global positioning systems (GPS)."
If it's a practical, real-world device that produces, conducts or uses electricity, in all
likelihood, it was designed by an electrical engineer. Additionally, engineers may

 
 
 

conduct or write the specifications for destructive or nondestructive testing of the
performance, reliability and long-term durability of devices and components.
Today’s electrical engineers design electrical devices and systems using basic
components such as conductors, coils, magnets, batteries, switches, resistors,
capacitors, inductors, diodes and transistors. Nearly all electrical and electronic
devices, from the generators at an electric power plant to the microprocessors in
your phone, use these few basic components.
Critical skills needed in electrical engineering include an in-depth understanding of
electrical and electronic theory, mathematics and materials. This knowledge allows
engineers to design circuits to perform specific functions and meet requirements
for safety, reliability and energy efficiency, and to predict how they will behave,
before a hardware design is implemented. Sometimes, though, circuits are
constructed on "​breadboards​," or prototype circuit boards made on computer
numeric controlled (CNC) machines for testing before they are put into production.
Electrical engineers are increasingly relying on computer-aided design (CAD)
systems to create schematics and lay out circuits. They also use computers to
simulate how electrical devices and systems will function. Computer simulations
can be used to model a national power grid or a microprocessor; therefore,
proficiency with computers is essential for electrical engineers. In addition to
speeding up the process of drafting schematics, printed circuit board (PCB) layouts
and blueprints for electrical and electronic devices, CAD systems allow for quick
and easy modifications of designs and rapid prototyping using CNC machines. A
comprehensive list of necessary skills and abilities for electrical and electronics
engineers can be found at ​MyMajors.com​.

Electrical engineering jobs and salaries

 
 
 

Electrical and electronics engineers work primarily in research and development
industries, engineering services firms, manufacturing and the federal government,
according to the BLS. They generally work indoors, in offices, but they may have to
visit sites to observe a problem or a piece of complex equipment, the BLS says.
Manufacturing industries that employ electrical engineers include automotive,
marine, railroad, aerospace, defense, consumer electronics, commercial
construction, lighting, computers and components, telecommunications and traffic
control. Government institutions that employ electrical engineers include
transportation departments, national laboratories and the military.
Most electrical engineering jobs require at least a bachelor's degree in engineering.
Many employers, particularly those that offer engineering consulting services, also
require state certification as a Professional Engineer. Additionally, many employers
require certification from the ​Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers​ (IEEE)
or the ​Institution of Engineering and Technology​ (IET). A master's degree is often

required for promotion to management, and ongoing education and training are
needed to keep up with advances in technology, testing equipment, computer
hardware and software, and government regulations.
As of July 2014, the salary range for a newly graduated electrical engineer with a
bachelor's degree is $55,570 to $73,908, according to ​Salary.com​. The range for a
mid-level engineer with a master's degree and five to 10 years of experience is
$$74,007 to $108,640, and the range for a senior engineer with a master's or
doctorate and more than 15 years of experience is $97,434 to $138,296. Many
experienced engineers with advanced degrees are promoted to management
positions or start their own businesses where they can earn even more.

The future of electrical engineering

 
 
 

Employment of electrical and electronics engineers is projected to grow by 4
percent between now and 2022, because of these professionals' "versatility in
developing and applying emerging technologies," the BLS says.
The applications for these emerging technologies include studying ​red electrical

flashes​, called sprites, which hover above some thunderstorms. Victor Pasko, an
electrical engineer at Penn State, and his colleagues have developed a model for
how the strange lightning evolves and disappears.
Another electrical engineer, Andrea Alù, of the University of Texas at Austin, is
studying sound waves and has developed a ​one-way sound machine​. "I can listen to
you, but you cannot detect me back; you cannot hear my presence," Alù told
LiveScience in a 2014 article.
And Michel Maharbiz, an electrical engineer at the University of California, Berkeley,
is exploring ways to ​communicate with the brain wirelessly​.
The BLS states, "The rapid pace of technological innovation and development will
likely drive demand for electrical and electronics engineers in research and
development, an area in which engineering expertise will be needed to develop
distribution systems related to new technologies."