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Electronics engineer

Electronics engineers design and develop systems for industry, from mobile communications to manufacturing and aerospace.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £21,000 to £65,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 35 to 40 per week

1. Entry requirements

You'll usually need a foundation degree, HND or degree in electronic or electrical engineering, or engineering technology.

Employers may accept qualifications in related subjects like physics, maths or computer science. See the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) for courses.

You could get into this job through an apprenticeship.

2. Skills required

You'll need:

  • maths skills
  • IT skills to use computer-aided design software
  • the ability to analyse problems
  • organisational skills
  • budgeting skills

3. What you'll do

You could research, design and develop electronic components and equipment in a range of industries, for example:

  • telecommunications – mobile phones, radio, TV and satellite communications
  • data communications – PCs, tablets and cashpoints
  • scientific research – acoustics, optics, physics and nanotechnology
  • medical instruments – clinical and laboratory equipment
  • defence – communications, navigation and weapons systems
  • aerospace – avionics, radar, navigation and communication systems
  • manufacturing – programmable logic controls (PLCs) and industrial machinery

Your day-to-day duties will include:

  • assessing new developments or innovations
  • preparing technical plans using computer-aided engineering and design software
  • estimating manufacturing and labour costs, and project timescales
  • co-ordinating the work of technicians and craftspeople
  • testing prototypes and analysing data
  • making sure projects meet safety regulations
  • planning and overseeing inspection and maintenance

You'll often work on a project with a team of engineers, technicians and IT staff. You'll follow electrical health and safety regulations.

4. Salary

Starter: £21,000 to £25,000

Experienced: £40,000 to £55,000

Highly Experienced: £65,000 (chartered electronics engineers)

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You'll usually work around 40 hours a week. You may work longer to meet project deadlines.

You'll usually work in an office or a lab. You may work in factories, workshops or outdoors.

6. Career path and progression

With incorporated or chartered engineer status you could:

  • move into project management roles
  • specialise in research, such as telecommunications, robotics or semiconductors
  • work as an engineering consultant

You could also move into patent law.

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Last updated: 11 April 2017