The future is bright for people with electrical engineering qualifications.

| Author: | Posted in Consumer Electronics

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Electric/Electronic is the third largest specialty in the engineering field with 214,000, behind Civil (278,000) and mechanical (238,000). Growth in the field should be steady with the Bureau estimating a need for 11% more between now and 2018. In other words, those with engineering degrees who enter this field should see it follow the national average thanks to retirement, population growth and growth in areas such as micro-electronics and green tech.
While the general public gets the terms mixed up, there is a key difference between Electrical and Electronic Engineering. Electric Engineers focus primarily on power generation, such as power plants and transmission infrastructure. Electronic Engineering concerns itself more with end products ranging from computers to iPods. What the two STEM professions do share in common are very bright futures.
The field then subdivides into eight primary areas: Power, control, electronics, microelectronics, signal, telecommunications, instrumentation and, probably the fastest growing of the areas, computers. There are many who practice more than one of these sub-disciplines, but it’s possible to specialize in just one of them and make quite a career out of it. There’s also one very popular cross discipline called mechatronics that combines mechanical and electronic engineering.
The first step in becoming either type is a Bachelor’s degree. While one can enter the field from there, sooner or later the young engineer is going to need certification. Obtaining this can be done through professional groups such as the Institute of Electric/Electronic Engineers, which can easily be accessed through the Web.
Yet just because one gets their Bachelor’s and certification that doesn’t mean their education is over. Like most STEM professions, this is a career for those who expect to be learning for the rest of their lives. Sooner or later an electronic or electrical engineer will feel the need to get their Masters in one capacity or another, including possibly management. As such, this type of engineer will eventually hook up with online colleges, either to obtain their masters or for webinars for the latest advances in the field.
On the plus side, financial aid for high school students is a lot more common than in other occupational tracks. Not only are there such basics as the Pell Grant, but a savvy student should look into S-STEM scholarships, as well as funding from such institutes as the Institute or private corporations such as Microsoft. For this, it’s always a good idea to not only consult an online college’s financial aid officer, but do a little research on such search engines as Google.
According to the Bureau, the lowest 10% of electrical engineers make slightly over $52,000, with electronic engineers upping the ante to over $55,000 and computer hardware engineers nearing $60,000. The top 10% can range from $120,000 to over $150,000. These jobs include some pretty good perks, including life/health insurance, investment/retirement packages and educational incentives.

Contract Mining. Aveng (Africa) Limited is a multi-discipline construction and engineering group anchored in South Africa and focused on infrastructure, energy and mining opportunities in Africa.

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