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Graduate Electrical Engineering Jobs

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          Helping you find a career in the electrical engineering industry

          Electrical and electronics engineers work to design, develop and build electrical components and systems which can be used in a variety of different industries, from construction to nanotechnology, and from medical technology to power systems. Many larger technology or telecoms businesses will have substantial numbers of electronics or electrical engineers.

          Quite often electrical and electronic engineers will work as part of a broader project alongside engineers from other background (for instance structural or production engineers). Electrical engineering positions are available in both the private and public sector, while electronics engineers tend to be more concentrated in the private sector.

          Electrical engineers will focus on large-scale electrical systems from factories to motors and supplying homes and businesses with electricity. Typically, this will involve working on problems of generation, transmission and distribution of electrical energy. Electrical engineering is crucial to both infrastructure projects, as well as the design of household and business appliances.

          Electronics engineers work on smaller-scale systems and components, typically working with semiconductor devices such as diodes, bipolar junction transistors, metal oxide semiconductor, field effect transistors on printed circuit boards as well as in the form of integrated circuits. Electronics engineering has grown enormously in recent years, with the growth in the size and sophistication of the technology sector. Electronics engineers will specialise in a specific sub-section of the profession (e.g. signal processing or telecommunications engineering).

          Electrical and electronics engineers can work in a variety of different working environments, from laboratories to construction sites or in offices. Often you will work alongside non-specialists on project teams and may also meet with clients or customers to discuss their solutions and to understand their needs and requirements. You will usually need to explain highly technical information to non-experts, or write reports. You will also need to be able to understand complex data and produce useable product and systems specifications.

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          Skills & interests required for a career in Electrical engineering

          It will be important for graduates looking to work in electrical or electronics engineering to display their interest in developments within the sector. You can do this by keeping up to date with news from different industries. You will also be expected to have a passion for new technologies and approaches using electronics, and a flexible and innovative approach to using them to solve complicated industrial problems.

          Solid technical knowledge will be expected from applicants for positions in electrical or electronics engineering, this will include having spent time working with systems and components in a laboratory setting. You will also want to have strong problem-solving skills, numeracy and the ability to analyse large data sets.

          Graduate schemes & other typical career progression routes in Electrical engineering

          Most large-scale employers of electrical or electronics graduates operate structured graduate recruitment training programmes on an annual basis. Typically, these programmes will run over a two or three year period, offering graduate hires the opportunity to rotate across a number of different areas of the business before choosing their specialisation. Often part of the programme will involve securing a MEng-level qualification.

          Smaller-scale businesses may recruit graduates throughout the year, though graduates at smaller businesses might receive less formal training and will get more hands-on experience quicker than at a larger business.

          Most employers will offer support for graduate hires to achieve Chartered Engineer (CEng) or Incorporated Engineer (IEng) status via the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET), or through another Engineering Council-approved institution. Securing CEng or IEng status can be critical to ensuring that you progress your career in the industry, enabling you to lead and manage projects.

          Once you have completed your graduate training programme, you may specialise in a particular sub-discipline of electrical or electronics engineering, or within a particular business unit (e.g. Research & Development - R&D). There may be opportunities for you to gain commercial skills (e.g. in Marketing and Sales, or Project Management), which can help you progress to more senior levels.

          Tips for getting into the field

          Arrange a meeting with your Careers Advisor to discuss your interest in working in Electrical or Electronics Engineering.

          Work experience can be highly beneficial in securing your first position in the industry as a graduate. Many universities will have partnerships with specific businesses (referred to as Knowledge Transfer Partnerships), which can provide opportunities to work on projects and gain experience during term time, over summer holiday or over the course of an industrial placement year during your studies.

          Become a student member of the IET to make sure that you are up-to-date with the latest developments in electrical or electronics engineering. This will help you stand out in your applications and at interview stage.

          How much can graduates earn in Electrical engineering?

          Most graduate electrical and electronics employers will offer salaries between £22,000 and £30,000 per annum. Larger businesses may offer salaries at the higher end of this range.

          After you have completed your graduate training programme and gained a few years' experience, your salary is likely to be between £30,000 and £60,000 per annum - the higher end of the bracket requiring several years of experience and CEng status.

          What qualifications do I need for a career in Electrical engineering?

          Most graduate employers of electronics or electrical engineers will specify that you have at least an undergraduate degree in a related subject (Electrical Engineering / Electronics Engineering, Communications Engineering, Software Engineering, Computer Science, Mechanical Engineering).

          While it is usually not essential that you possess a postgraduate qualification (MSc/MEng/Ph.D), it can be an advantage to you to have completed further academic study in the electronics or electrical engineering space to secure your graduate position in the sector.

          Read more about the Electrical engineering industry

          The IET
          Engineering Council Engineering Council