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Occupation Profile

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Electronics Engineers, Except Computer
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Description: what do they do?
Research, design, develop, or test electronic components and systems for commercial, industrial, military, or scientific use employing knowledge of electronic theory and materials properties. Design electronic circuits and components for use in fields such as telecommunications, aerospace guidance and propulsion control, acoustics, or instruments and controls.
Also known as:
Design Engineer, Electronics Design Engineer, Evaluation Engineer, Product Engineer, Engineering Manager, Integrated Circuit Design Engineer (IC Design Engineer), Radio Frequency Engineer (RF Engineer), Test Engineering Manager, Test Engineer, Research and Development Engineer (R&D Engineer)

    What does this information tell me?

    This description is a quick overview of what workers in this career might do.

    "Also known as" shows other common names for this career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from an O*NET database. Learn more on the Help page.

Career video
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00:00

    Transcript: Anyone who’s ever experienced a major power outage appreciates just how crucial electricity is to our everyday lives. In our homes and cities…. electricity even powers the devices in our pockets. That’s where electronics and electrical engineers come in. Electronics engineers design and test electronic devices… from portable music players to global positioning systems, and computer hardware. They oversee device production, and may install and maintain it as well. They test satellites, flight systems, and broadcast equipment. Electrical engineers maintain the power grids that provide power for the country. They also develop and install electrical equipment, such as motors, navigation systems, and power generation equipment. Additionally they ensure vehicle electrical systems operate effectively. The work is intricate and demands great attention to detail and problem-solving ability. They must be able to interpret technical manuals and understand government guidelines. Handling electricity can be dangerous, although following safety regulations prevents most accidents. These engineers almost always work on teams, so communication skills are essential, especially when talking to people unfamiliar with the field. Electrical and electronics engineers must have a bachelor’s degree in the field. The Professional Engineer license or graduate education can improve a candidate’s employment prospects. If you’re looking for an empowering career… electrical or electronic engineering just might be… a bright idea.
View transcript
Outlook: will there be jobs?
Image. Employment outlook for this occupation
New job opportunities are less likely in the future.


    What does this information tell me?

    Outlook information can tell you whether a career is expected to be in demand in the future—that is, whether there are likely to be job openings if you choose this career. Careers can have one of three outlooks:

    • A Bright outlook means new job opportunities are very likely in the future
    • An Average outlook means that a small number of new job opportunities are likely in the future (less than an 8 percent increase)
    • A Below Average outlook means new job opportunities are less likely in the future

    You can also view local job listings in this field by clicking "Find job openings" above. This can help you see if local businesses are hiring—another way of looking at demand.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET’s Bright Outlook occupations. Note this information is only available at a national level, so even if you selected a state, you’ll only see this information for the whole country.

Projected employment
United States
138,500
2018 Employment
137,300
2028 Employment
-1%
Percent change
9,000
Annual projected job openings

    What does this information tell me?

    Projected employment shows how much employment is expected to grow in this occupation over a 10-year period. This can help you decide if this career is a good choice for future job opportunities. You can look at projected employment in your state, or in other states where you might consider living.

    You can see the total number of people employed in this occupation in 2016 (for states) or 2018 (for the United States), the number expected to be employed in 2026 (for states) or 2028 (for the United States), and rate of growth over those years.

    The projections are based on assumptions of unemployment rates and labor productivity growth rates.  While the projected numbers may not be exact, they are helpful to compare one career to another, or one location to another.

    What is the source of this information?

    State-level data come from Projections Central and each state's Labor Market Information office, 2016-26.

    National-level data come from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Projections, 2018-28.

Typical wages

Annual wages for Electronics Engineers, Except Computer in United States
This graph displays wage data.  Find details by selecting the table view.
This chart displays wage data.  Find details by selecting the table view.
LocationUnited States
10%$64,840
25%$79,640
Median$102,700
75%$130,150
90%$162,200


    What does this information tell me?

    This chart shows you a range of how much most workers in this occupation earn per hour, in the location that you selected.

    You can select from three views of this data:

    • The Graph shows you wages at the 10th, 25th, 50th, 75th and 90th percentiles. Note that the lowest (10th %ile) wage shown is not necessarily a "starting wage." Instead it means that 10 percent of all workers in this career earn less that this amount, and 90 percent earn more. However, you can assume that you might earn close to the 10th or 25th %ile wages when you start out in most careers.
    • Select "Chart" to see a visual comparison between national wages and wages in the location you selected.
    • Select "Table" to see more wage data the national and local level.

    Please note that wage data are not available at the city or ZIP code level. If you selected a city or ZIP code, you will see wage data for the regional area.

    Also note that in this update, 21 detailed occupations found within the 2010 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) were replaced with 10 new aggregations of those occupations; read more about these OES changes.

    You can learn more about wages for this and other occupations by clicking “See more wages” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    The wage information comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics Program, 2018 data. For more detailed state wage data, please find the link to your state's wage data program in the Other Resources box.

Education and experience: to get started
People starting in this career usually have:
  • Bachelor's degree
  • No work experience
  • No on-the-job training

Programs that can prepare you:

    What does this information tell me?

    This shows you the typical level of education, work experience, and on-the-job training that most people have when they start in this career. Note that these are not requirements for entering this field, but the information can help you understand how qualified you might be.

    Interested in starting in this career? You can search for education programs in your local area by clicking “Find local training” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Projections, Education and training assignments by detailed occupation, 2018.

Typical education
How much education do most people in this career have?
Chart. Percent of workers in this field by education level attained

    What does this information tell me?

    This chart shows you the range of education levels that people who currently work in this field have. You can use this to see if you fit in this range. Note that this includes ALL people who work in this field and not just those getting started.

    Interested in getting qualified for this career? You can search for programs that lead to the education needed, in your local area, by clicking “Find local training” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Projections, Educational attainment for workers 25 years and older by detailed occupation, 2016–17.

Certifications: show your skills
Let employers know you have the skills to do well at this job.
Earning a certification can help you:
  • Get a job
  • Get a promotion

    What does this information tell me?

    When you click "Find certifications" you'll see a list of national certifications that are related to this career. From there, you can learn how to achieve one of these certifications to help you enter or get ahead in this field.

    What is the source of this information?

    This collection of occupational certifications is collected and regularly updated by CareerOneStop. Learn more at Certification Finder Help.

Licenses: do you need one?
Some states require an occupational license to work in this career.

    What does this information tell me?

    When you click "Find license details in your state" you'll see the license name and contact information for the agency in your state that oversees licensing for this field. If you have not selected a location, you'll see a list of all state licenses for this occupation.

    What is the source of this information?

    Information on licensed occupations is gathered in each state by Labor Market Information units under a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. Learn more at License Finder Help.

Apprenticeships: learn on the job
Apprenticeships combine paid on-the-job-training with classroom lessons.

    What does this information tell me?

    When you click "Find apprenticeship sponsors" you'll find information that can help you locate apprenticeship opportunities in your state:

    • If there are businesses that have sponsored apprenticeships in this field in the past, you'll find their name and contact information.
    • If there are related occupations that might have apprenticeship opportunities, you'll find links to that information.
    • You'll also see contact information for state and federal agencies that oversee apprenticeship programs.

    What is the source of this information?

    Apprenticeship information comes from the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Apprenticeships, and from CareerOneStop. Learn more at Apprenticeship Finder Help.

Activities: what you might do in a day
  • Estimate technical or resource requirements for development or production projects.
  • Create schematic drawings for electronics.
  • Document technical design details.
  • Evaluate characteristics of equipment or systems.
  • Design electronic or computer equipment or instrumentation.
  • Analyze design requirements for computer or electronics systems.
  • Inspect finished products to locate flaws.
  • Confer with technical personnel to prepare designs or operational plans.
  • Communicate technical information to suppliers, contractors, or regulatory agencies.
  • Discuss designs or plans with clients.
  • Operate computer systems.
  • Provide technical guidance to other personnel.
  • Advise customers on the use of products or services.
  • Determine operational criteria or specifications.
  • Research design or application of green technologies.
  • Direct industrial production activities.
  • Prepare operational reports.
  • Schedule operational activities.
  • Recommend technical design or process changes to improve efficiency, quality, or performance.
  • Prepare project budgets.
  • Estimate operational costs.
  • Test products for functionality or quality.
  • Explain project details to the general public.
  • Design energy production or management equipment or systems.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of typical work activities that people in this career might do on the job. You can use this list to get an idea of whether this career might be a good fit for you.

    Click on “More activities” to see more detailed examples of activities for this career.

    You can also use this list to help you prepare for a job interview. Or, if you’ve already held a job like this, you can copy these activities to use on your resume.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from O*NET OnLine's Occupation Information. They are O*NET’s Detailed Work Activities.

Knowledge
People in this career often know a lot about:
  • Engineering and Technology - Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Design - Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
  • Physics - Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of general knowledge areas that are most commonly required for jobs in the career. Knowledge is typically gained through education and related experience.

    This list can help you learn if you are prepared for a job in this career. It can also help you decide on education or training programs that could help you prepare for the career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Knowledge descriptors.

Skills
People in this career often have these skills:
  • Reading Comprehension - Reading work-related information.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.
  • Critical Thinking - Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.
  • Speaking - Talking to others.
  • Systems Analysis - Figuring out how a system should work and how changes in the future will affect it.
  • Writing - Writing things for co-workers or customers.
  • Active Listening - Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Thinking about the pros and cons of different options and picking the best one.
  • Monitoring - Keeping track of how well people and/or groups are doing in order to make improvements.
  • Quality Control Analysis - Testing how well a product or service works.
  • Active Learning - Figuring out how to use new ideas or things.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of a list the work-related skills most commonly required for jobs in the career.

    This list can help you understand how well your current skills fit this career. It can also help you plan your education or professional development.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Skills descriptors.

Abilities
People in this career often have talent in:
  • Problem Sensitivity - Noticing when problems happen.
  • Deductive Reasoning - Using rules to solve problems.
  • Inductive Reasoning - Making general rules or coming up with answers from lots of detailed information.
  • Oral Comprehension - Listening and understanding what people say.
  • Oral Expression - Communicating by speaking.
  • Written Comprehension - Reading and understanding what is written.
  • Information Ordering - Ordering or arranging things.
  • Near Vision - Seeing details up close.
  • Mathematical Reasoning - Choosing the right type of math to solve a problem.
  • Written Expression - Communicating by writing.
  • Category Flexibility - Grouping things in different ways.
  • Fluency of Ideas - Coming up with lots of ideas.
  • Visualization - Imagining how something will look after it is moved around or changed.
  • Selective Attention - Paying attention to something without being distracted.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of a list of personal qualities that might influence work and are most commonly required for success in this career.

    This list can help you understand if your natural strengths and abilities are a good fit for this career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Abilities descriptors.

Interests
  • Investigative - Occupations with Investigative interests frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. They often involve research and figuring out problems mentally.
  • Realistic - Occupations with Realistic interests frequently involve practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of work environment-preferences that are most commonly associated with the career. It can help you understand if your natural interests are a good fit for this career.

    Click "Take an interest assessment" for a quick 30-question assessment that can help you understand your interests and see careers that might be good matches for them.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Interest descriptors.

Typical tasks
  • Determine project material or equipment needs.
  • Prepare engineering sketches or specifications for construction, relocation, or installation of equipment, facilities, products, or systems.
  • Prepare documentation containing information such as confidential descriptions or specifications of proprietary hardware or software, product development or introduction schedules, product costs, or information about product performance weaknesses.
  • Evaluate project work to ensure effectiveness, technical adequacy, or compatibility in the resolution of complex electronics engineering problems.
  • Design electronic components, software, products, or systems for commercial, industrial, medical, military, or scientific applications.
  • Analyze electronics system requirements, capacity, cost, or customer needs to determine project feasibility.
  • Inspect electronic equipment, instruments, products, or systems to ensure conformance to specifications, safety standards, or applicable codes or regulations.
  • Confer with engineers, customers, vendors, or others to discuss existing or potential electronics engineering projects or products.
  • Operate computer-assisted engineering or design software or equipment to perform electronics engineering tasks.
  • Provide technical support or instruction to staff or customers regarding electronics equipment standards.
  • Prepare necessary criteria, procedures, reports, or plans for successful conduct of the project with consideration given to site preparation, facility validation, installation, quality assurance, or testing.
  • Plan or develop applications or modifications for electronic properties used in components, products, or systems to improve technical performance.
  • Research or develop electronics technologies for use in electric-drive vehicles.
  • Direct or coordinate activities concerned with manufacture, construction, installation, maintenance, operation, or modification of electronic equipment, products, or systems.
  • Prepare, review, or maintain maintenance schedules, design documentation, or operational reports or charts.
  • Recommend repair or design modifications of electronics components or systems, based on factors such as environment, service, cost, or system capabilities.
  • Prepare budget or cost estimates for equipment, construction, or installation projects or control expenditures.
  • Develop or perform operational, maintenance, or testing procedures for electronic products, components, equipment, or systems.
  • Represent employer at conferences, meetings, boards, panels, committees, or working groups to present, explain, or defend findings or recommendations, negotiate compromises or agreements, or exchange information.
  • Research or develop new green electronics technologies, such as lighting, optical data storage devices, or energy efficient televisions.
  • Develop solar photovoltaic products, such as inverters or energy management systems.
  • Investigate green consumer electronics applications for consumer electronic devices, power saving devices for computers or televisions, or energy efficient power chargers.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of typical tasks that people in this career might do on the job.  You can use this list to get an idea of whether this career might be a good fit for you.

    Click on “More tasks” to see more detailed examples for this career.

    You can also use this list to help you prepare for a job interview. Or, if you’ve already held a job like this, you can copy these tasks to use on your resume.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from O*NET OnLine's Occupation Information. They are O*NET‘s Tasks.

Other resources

    What does this information tell me?

    These are additional online resources related to this career. You may find different or more detailed information at these sources.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information is collected and maintained by CareerOneStop.