Electrical Engineer

Job Description:

Electrical engineers design, build and maintain electrical systems, machinery and equipment.

Job Category:
Engineering & Construction

What you will do:

Your day-to-day tasks depend on the industry you’re in, but could include:

  • carrying out feasibility studies for new technical developments
  • drawing up project plans and circuit diagrams using computer-assisted
  • engineering and design software
  • estimating costs and project timings
  • coordinating the work of technicians and craftspeople
  • testing installations and systems, and analysing test data
  • making sure projects meet safety regulations
  • overseeing inspection and maintenance programmes
  • attending meetings, writing reports and giving presentations

You’ll usually work on projects with other professionals, like civil engineers, architects and engineering technicians (teamwork)


You’ll need:

  • knowledge of engineering science and technology
  • maths knowledge
  • knowledge of computer operating systems, hardware and software and ability to use the main software packages confidently
  • design knowledge & skills (creative skills)
  • the ability to make and understand technical diagrams

As well as:

  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • analytical thinking skills
  • persistence and determination (ambition/drive)
  • excellent verbal communication skills (the ability to explain design ideas clearly)
  • decision-making skills
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

To become an Electrical Engineer, you should pursue a strong educational foundation in mathematics and science during your high school years. Here are the typical subjects and considerations for aspiring Electrical Engineers:

  1. Mathematics (Maths): A strong foundation in mathematics is essential for electrical engineering.
  2. Physics: Physics provides a fundamental understanding of principles related to electricity, magnetism, and other physical phenomena that are critical for electrical engineering.
  3. Science: While physics is the most relevant science subject, a general understanding of other science disciplines, such as chemistry, can be helpful in some aspects of electrical engineering.
  4. English: Strong communication skills are important in engineering, including writing reports, documentation, and communicating ideas effectively.
  5. Design and Technology (D&T): If available, D&T courses can provide practical skills and insights into engineering design and electronics.
  6. Information and Communication Technology (ICT): Proficiency in using computer software and technology is valuable for modern electrical engineering tasks, including computer-aided design (CAD) and simulation.

Post School

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • applying directly

You can do a degree in electrical or electronic engineering. You may also be able to get into this career with a degree in:

  • electromechanical engineering
  • building services engineering
  • applied physics
  • aeronautical engineering
  • mechatronics

In the UK, you could do a Level 4 and 5 Higher National Diploma in Electrical and Electronic Engineering at college before looking for work.

Apprenticeships relevant to this role include:

  • Electrical or electronic technical support engineer degree apprenticeship
  • Electro-mechanical engineer higher apprenticeship

These apprenticeships typically take between 4 and 6 years to complete.

You could start on an engineering technician apprenticeship and work your way up to qualified engineer.

You could start as an electrical engineering technician and do training on the job to qualify as an engineer.

Direct Application
You can apply for jobs if you’ve got qualifications and several years’ experience in a related area of engineering, for example electronics.

You’ll need colour-normal vision.


Working Hours and Environment:

You’ll usually work around 40 hours a week. You may have to work occasional overtime to meet deadlines.

You could be based in an office, factory, production plant, workshop, power station or research facility.

You may need your own transport to get from site to site.

Career Path & Progression:

You could work in different industries, from power and renewable energy to transport, construction and manufacturing.

You can improve your career prospects with incorporated or chartered engineer status. Chartered status can help you move into electrical design and project management roles, specialise in a particular field, or work as an engineering consultant.