Electrical and electronics engineers design, plan, research, review and test electrical and electronic equipment and systems.
Electrical and electronics engineers can work in the public and private sector. People in this career are employed by companies in many different sectors including manufacturing, processing, transportation, electrical utilities and communications. They may work for manufacturers of electrical and electronic equipment, consulting firms and government.
Watch the video below to see what a day in the life of an electrical engineer is like.
Estimated median employment income based on 2021 Job Bank median hourly wage rate (median annual salary = hourly wage rate x 40 (hours per week) x 52.14 (weeks per year))
Note:Estimated median employment income based on 2021 Job Bank median hourly wage rate (median annual salary = hourly wage rate x 40 (hours per week) x 52.14 (weeks per year))
Source: 2021 Job Bank Wage Report
Source: B.C. Labour Market Outlook
10 year expected job openings: 2,440
N/A - Data not available
In general, electrical and electronics engineers:
People in this job may also supervise technicians, technologists, programmers, analysts and other engineers on a project or in a department or company.
In addition, electrical and electronics engineers may specialize in a number of areas including electrical design for residential, commercial or industrial installations, electrical power generation and transmission, and instrumentation and control systems.
People in this career may also be involved in the development of electronics and nanoelectronics, such as solar cells, thin film display, quantum computers, high-speed communications systems, optics and optoelectronics, and medical electronics.
Electrical and electronics engineers usually work a standard 40-hour week; however, project deadlines may require them to work longer hours and in some cases at night or on the weekend.
People in this job can work in a variety of settings due to improvements in technology, including a company office or a home office. Some electrical and electronics engineers inspect, oversee and solve on-site problems in laboratories or industrial plants while others do outdoor field work as a part of operational, maintenance or construction activities.
Job hazards vary depending on the situation; however, during field activities there may be a risk of electrical shock from field wiring if safety procedures are not followed.
Source: 2016 Census
Electrical and electronics engineers must complete a bachelor's degree in electrical or electronics engineering or in an appropriate related engineering discipline. They must also be registered with Engineers and Geoscientists of British Columbia.
For those working to earn their university degree for this career, it is helpful to participate in an undergraduate co-op/internship program or find a summer job that is related to the work of an electrical and electronics engineer.
Once education requirements are met, an electrical or electronic engineering graduate can apply for an Engineer-In-Training membership as they gain the four years of engineering experience needed to register as a Professional Engineer.
Continuing professional development (for example, participation in professional committees, self-directed studies, additional coursework and workshops) is encouraged and may soon be required for continued membership in Engineers and Geoscientists of British Columbia, which offers these types of educational opportunities.
A master's or doctoral degree in a related engineering discipline may be required for some positions.
For more information about programs offered specifically for this career, visit EducationPlannerBC.
Every job calls for a certain set of skills. Knowing those skills is the first step in finding a good career fit.
Here, you will find the 35 most relevant workplace skills. Some are more important to achieving success in a certain career than others. These skills may come naturally to you or you may need to gain them through education, training and experience.
See the list of work-related skills below, ranked in order of importance for this career. You’ll also find the skill strength needed, letting you know how capable you must be in that skill.
Check out the list and see if this career matches your skills—take that first step!
Electric, gas, telephone and other utility companies are typical employers in the province of British Columbia that may have an increased need for electrical and electronics engineers in the future. More and more, companies are using consulting and service companies for their engineering needs which means that most employment growth will be in these non-manufacturing firms.
Since most companies looking to hire an engineering firm consider the reputation of the whole firm and not just the people who work there, self-employment may not be a good option for those in this career.
The aerospace, oil and high voltage power system industries may offer opportunities for larger electronic and electrical engineering companies to work on international contracts. People in this career who would like to work in international consulting must have a good reputation, be able to adapt to different cultures, and work with a multicultural team.
Continued changes in technology mean that people in this job must stay up to date in this area.
Alternative and renewable energy resource sectors may create a change for those in this career. New technologies such as wind, geothermal, solar, tidal, biomass and other non-traditional resources are being used more and more and will likely change how electrical and electronics engineers to do their jobs in the coming years. This could also result in an increase in jobs that are located outside of larger cities.
Generally, recent graduates begin as a junior engineer or engineer-in-training. With experience, people in this job can advance to positions such as senior engineers, project managers, principal engineers or partners. Individuals in this career may earn master's degree to work in a more specialized field.
There are many different areas of specialization in this field. Some electrical and electronics engineers:
Electrical and electronic engineers who go on to earn a doctoral degree can contribute to the field through research and teaching at the post-secondary level or they may find work in a larger firm in their specialty.