Good technical abilities and the ability to work under pressure are required in order to become an electrical engineer.
There are so many different jobs within the engineering industry and the electrical engineering side employs roughly 55,000 workers in the UK.
If you wish to be one of those workers, a postgraduate electrical engineering course may suit you down to the ground. New year, new opportunities!
What is electrical engineering?
Electrical engineering is the field of engineering that deals with the technology of engineering. It is concerned with the study, design, and application of equipment and systems which use electricity, electronics and electromagnetism.
What does an electrical engineer do?
The day to day duties of an electrical engineer may differ depending on the exact job at hand and your role in that. Electrical engineers typically work around 40 hours a week and often flexible work is required. Duties may include:
- Design and oversee the installation of electrical systems
- Create projects and plans using computer aided software
- Consult with clients on project budgets
- Consider designs and technical drawings
- Consult with clients on projects specifications, timelines and deadlines
- Carry out relevant research
- Be able to analyse data and make suggestions where necessary
- Implement designs
- Test products, including re-testing
- Evaluate and modify products after testing
- Interpret data
- Attend meetings and give presentations to clients and colleagues where necessary
- Ensure work meets health and safety standards in Britain and Europe
- Design testing
- Monitor products in order to make improvements to future products
- Prepare and record documentation
There are many courses to choose from across the UK. Some courses offer the option of studying part time or full time. There may also be Covid-19 restrictions in particular universities. Examples of courses available include:
Electrical Engineering and Renewable Energy
Postgraduate courses in this area will equip students with the skills and expertise and practical experience to work as an electrical engineer. Students will be aided in developing their knowledge of the latest developments in power electronics and learning how to apply that to modern technologies. They will also look at the development of embedded generation and micro-grids.
Students who opt for one of these courses may have the option to study part time or full time. They will gain all the relevant material and experience in order to develop their knowledge and skills in the area of electrical engineering and have the opportunity to work face-to-face with supervisors.
Electronic and Telecommunications Engineering
Students who embark on a course such as this one will study analogue, digital electronics and control systems. They will also gain a practical understanding of embedded systems and the growing trends for network enabled devices in homes as well as optical fibre systems for broadband and computer networks.
There are also courses available in order to gain a certificate in the area such as Certificate in Professional Studies – Electrical and Electronic Engineering.
Entry requirements may differ from course to course and university to university. In most cases, you will be required to have a 2.1 honours degree in a relevant subject. Some courses may accept a 2.2 honours degree. It is important to research your particular course to make sure you meet specific requirements. English entry qualifications are necessary for most courses. Experience in the field is helpful and often, applicants can be considered on a case to case basis.
Potential employers for electrical engineers may include:
- Construction and building industry
- Power and renewable energy companies
- Transport companies
- Telecommunications companies
- Specialist engineering firms
- Consultancy firms
The average salary of an electrical engineer in the UK is around £32,346. Starting out, your salary may be lower, possibly between £24,000-£28,000. With time and experience, your salary can increase. Those with many years experience may earn closer to £55,000. These figures are based on estimates gathered from a sample of salaries of electrical engineers.
Skills and requirements
Skills and requirements that are helpful, and often necessary, in this field:
- Problem solver
- Excellent communication skill
- Critical thinker
- Enthusiasm to learn and develop your skill
- Organisational skills
- Numerical skills
- Creative thinker
- Strong work ethic
- Ability to multitask
- Project management skills
- Leadership skills