We're building a new service – your feedback will help us to improve it.

Electrical engineer

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

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £21,000 to £45,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 35 to 40 per week

1. Entry requirements

You'll usually need to complete a foundation degree, HND or degree.

Courses include:

  • electrical or electronics engineering
  • building services engineering
  • mechanical engineering
  • applied physics
  • aeronautical engineering
  • mechatronics

You may be able to join a company's graduate trainee scheme with a degree in a relevant subject.

You'll need colour-normal vision.

Electrical Careers has information on careers in electrical engineering.

2. Skills required

You'll need:

  • excellent maths, science and IT skills
  • the ability to make and understand technical diagrams
  • analytical skills
  • the ability to explain design ideas clearly
  • decision-making skills

3. What you'll 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.

4. Salary

Starter: £21,000 to £25,000

Experienced: £25,000 to £40,000

Highly Experienced: £45,000 or more

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns 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.

6. Career path and 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.

Related careers

You may be interested in:

Last updated: 06 December 2016