Electronics engineers are involved with designing, developing, testing and overseeing the manufacturing of electronic equipment for industrial, commercial, scientific, military and medical applications. They work with a wide variety of technologies including global positioning systems, portable music players, radar, televisions and communications systems.
Some electronic engineers work in fields which are closely related to computers. Electronic engineers specialize in areas including signal processing, communications or aviation electronics.
Sample job titles are product engineer, test engineer, application engineer, and integrated circuit design engineer.
- Evaluate operational systems and provide design modifications to fix equipment malfunctions or to make changes in system requirements
- Design test control equipment
- Evaluate the work of others for technical adequacy, effectiveness and compatibility in the resolution of complicated engineering problems
- Determine equipment and material needs
- Establish procedures for product testing
- Design electronic circuits and components
- Oversee field operations and maintenance of electronic installations
- Provide technical support and instructions to customers and staff members regarding equipment standards
- Inspect electronic instruments, equipment, systems and products to make sure they conform to safety standards, specifications and applicable regulations and codes
Most engineers work in offices, industrial plants or laboratories. Many engineers work 40 hours a week, however overtime may be necessary to meet deadlines. In addition, engineers often work in groups.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics has projected little to no employment growth for electronics engineers from 2008 to 2018 due to foreign competition in the development of electronic products and companies using engineering services from foreign countries. The engineering and design services sector is projected to have the highest employment growth for electronics engineers. In addition the median annual earnings for electronics engineers in 2008 was $86,370.
Education, Certification, and Licensing
Many individuals seeking a career as an electronics engineer earn a bachelor's degree in electronics engineering. Most entry-level engineering jobs require a bachelor's degree. Some of the courses provided in many electronics engineering programs are communications, electronic circuits, microprocessors, logic circuit design, electronic materials and devices, and signals processing. Most of these programs include a circuit design project.
Some individuals obtain a master's degree in electronics engineering. The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology provides accreditation for college and university engineering programs. In addition, professional certification can be beneficial for finding a job and advancing into senior technical and managerial positions.
Every state requires licensure for engineers that offer their services directly to the public. Licensure typically requires a degree from an ABET accredited engineering program, four years of relevant work experience and passing a state examination.
The primary employers are electronic consumer product manufacturers, engineering services, computer related companies, aviation electronics, medical equipment manufacturers and communications equipment manufacturers.
Schools for Electronics Engineers are listed in the Browse Schools Section.