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Electrical engineer

Electrical engineering covers a wide range of career choices and offers tremendous scope for advancement for dedicated professionals.

Alternative job titles for this role

  • Design engineer
  • Project engineer
  • Power engineer
  • Control engineer
  • Computer engineer
  • Systems design engineer
  • Telecommunications engineer
  • Test engineer

Introduction

Electrical engineers work with electricity in a variety of areas including aircraft and automobiles; broadcasting and communications systems; lighting and wiring in buildings; machinery controls; power generating and transmitting; and radar and navigation systems. They can be involved with the design of new products as well as testing equipment and solving problems. Electrical engineers can also work in automation and communications engineering, microelectronics and technical informatics.

What the job involves

  • Design and research work on the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity
  • Design a range of related devices such as transformers, electric generators, electric motors and power electronics
  • Model and design dynamic control systems used in areas such as transport and aviation
  • Design computers and computer systems
  • In telecommunications, facilitate transmission of information across a channel such as a coaxial cable, optical fibre or free space
  • Complete maps and technical drawings or specifications of electrical systems
  • Incorporate public safety in all designs

How your career can develop

There is huge scope for specialisation in an electrical engineering role. Experienced electrical engineers sometimes go into project management or progress to taking on a management role. Some opt for an academic career or may become a self-employed consultant or contractor.

Why electrical engineering matters

Electrical engineers will be a core requirement behind the largest ever windfarm constructed in Ireland, at a cost of €240 million, in County Galway.

Skills

  • Aptitude for design
  • Keen interest in technology and engineering
  • Knowledge of physics
  • Good maths skills
  • Interest and aptitude for computers and electronics
  • Good problem-solving and analytical skills
  • Planning and organisational ability`

Typical employers

  • Utility and power companies
  • Sustainable energy suppliers and generators
  • Energy research labs
  • Telecommunications and other engineering industries
  • Electronics developers and manufacturers
  • Commercial electrical manufacturers
  • Local authorities

Typical salary

Graduate/Starting €35,000

Senior/Potential €65,000+

Typical qualifications

Engineers who graduate after 2013 and wish to become chartered engineers will need to hold an accredited masters degree (level 9), or equivalent. Level 8 bachelor degrees will satisfy the requirements for Institution of Engineers Ireland membership only. Gateway degrees for the profession include:

  • Electronics engineering
  • Communications engineering
  • Telecommunications engineering