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Electrical engineer

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

Annual Salary

£20,000 to £60,000

Average UK salary in 2019 was £30,378
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

35 to 40 a week

You could work: evenings; occasionally

3%
Future employment

There will be 3% more Electrical engineer jobs in 2025.
In your local area

Day to day tasks

Your day-to-day tasks will depend on the industry you're in. You could:

  • carry out feasibility studies for new technical developments
  • draw up project plans and circuit diagrams using computer-assisted engineering and design software
  • estimate costs and project timings
  • coordinate the work of technicians and craftspeople
  • test installations and systems, and analyse test data
  • make sure projects meet safety regulations
  • oversee inspection and maintenance programmes
  • attend meetings, write reports and give presentations

Working environment

You could work in a factory, at a power station, in a workshop, at a research facility or in an office.

Your working environment may be at height.

You can get into this job through:

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

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

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
For more information
College

You could do a Level 4 and 5 Higher National Diploma in Electrical and Electronic Engineering at college before looking for work.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 1 or 2 A levels, a level 3 diploma or relevant experience for a level 4 or level 5 course
For more information
Apprenticeship

You could do an electrical and electronic technical support engineer higher apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship
For more information
Work

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.

Requirements and restrictions

You'll need to:

  • take a colour vision test

More information

Further information

You can find more details about careers and training from Electrical Careers and The Institution of Engineering and Technology.

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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. The Engineering Council have further details on how to become a chartered engineer.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • knowledge of engineering science and technology
  • maths knowledge
  • knowledge of computer operating systems, hardware and software
  • design skills and knowledge
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • analytical thinking skills
  • persistence and determination
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • the ability to work well with others
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages confidently
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