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Electrical Engineer

Position TitleElectrical Engineer
Alternate Title(s)Electronics Engineer, Project Engineer, Power Systems, Transmission Engineer
Education & Training LevelAdvanced, bachelor’s required, prefer graduate degree
Education & Training Level DescriptionElectrical engineers must have a bachelor’s degree. Employers also value practical experience, so graduates of cooperative engineering programs, in which students earn academic credit for structured work experience, are valuable as well.
Brief job description Electrical engineers design, develop, test, and supervise the manufacture of turbines' electrical components, including electric motors, machinery controls, lighting and wiring, generators, communications systems, and electricity transmission systems. 
Preferred Level of EducationGraduate degree (Master’s in Engineering or BS in Engineering and Master’s in related field)
Preferred Level of ExperienceSee the Bureau of Labor Statistics for more information.
Estimated/Expected SalarySee the Bureau of Labor Statistics for more information.
Job Profile

Electrical engineers apply their education and training in various ways throughout every sector of the wind industry.

A primary role for electrical engineers is to design, develop, test, and supervise the manufacturing of turbines’ electrical components, including electric motors, machinery controls, lighting and wiring, generators, communications systems, and electricity transmission systems. They are responsible for developing and implementing systems that use electricity to control turbine systems or signal processes.

Electrical engineers work on the complex electronic systems used to operate the turbine. Using SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition), they implement systems that operate the turbine(s) remotely and transfer data about the turbine for future analysis. They ensure that the power electronics and all turbine controls for safety, grid, and power production work properly.

Electrical engineers are the primary link between the transmission system operators and design teams in research & development. In this role, they are responsible for specifying electrical requirements for AC, DC, on-, and offshore grid interconnections for both firm requirements and forecasted evolution. 

Electrical engineers may work for an organization as an electrical engineer or as another position such as Project Engineer, Power Systems or Transmission Engineer, or as a Sales Engineer. Electrical engineers may also work in Research fields, using their experience to research, develop, and evaluate electronic devices and systems or in Education and Training fields, conducting research and training students to enter the workforce.

In general, electrical engineers typically do the following:

  • Design new ways to use electrical power to develop or improve products such as electronic components, software, products, and systems
  • Analyze electrical system requirements, capacity, cost, and project needs and then develop a system plan
  • Perform detailed calculations to compute manufacturing, construction, and installation standards and specifications
  • Direct manufacturing, installing, and testing to ensure that the product as built meets specifications and codes
  • Develop maintenance and testing procedures for electronic components and equipment.
  • Inspect electronic equipment, instruments, and systems to make sure they meet safety standards and applicable regulations
  • Evaluate systems and recommend repair or design modifications
  • Work with project managers on production efforts to ensure projects are completed satisfactorily, on time, and within budget
  • Plan and develop applications and modifications for electronic properties used in parts and systems to improve technical performance.
Job Skills
  • Active learning. Electrical engineers have to apply knowledge learned in school to new tasks in every project they undertake. In addition, continuing education is important for them so that they can keep up with changes in technology.
  • Communication skills. Electrical engineers work closely with other engineers and technicians. They must be able to clearly explain their designs and reasoning and to relay instructions during product development and production. They may also need to explain complex issues to customers who have little or no technical expertise.
  • Detail oriented. Electrical engineers design and develop complex electrical systems and electronic components and products. They must keep track of multiple design elements and technical characteristics during these processes.
  • Math skills. Electrical engineers use the principals of calculus and other advanced topics in mathematics for analysis, design, and troubleshooting in their work.
  • Teamwork. Electrical engineers must work with others during production to ensure that their plans are being correctly applied. This includes monitoring technicians to see that plans are being implemented properly and devising remedies to problems.
Resources

Bureau of Labor Statistics: Electrical Engineer

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