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The role of electrical engineer is routinely included in that annual Glassdoor list. Aside from the fact that the job pays well and typical hours run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., you may wonder what electrical engineers actually do on a day-to-day basis that makes this line of work worth pursuing.

The following describes some of the responsibilities people take on in this sphere of engineering, including where electrical engineers work, the problems they typically solve, and the skill sets you need to thrive if electrical engineering seems intriguing.
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According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), electrical engineers design and develop the electrical equipment that consumers and business owners use for various purposes. Classic examples of items electrical engineers play a role in bringing to market include electric motors, navigation systems, power generation equipment and a wide variety of digital systems, such as smartphones, tablets and other handheld personal devices.

While electrical engineering traces back to the late 19th century and the inception of the light bulb, this occupation has surged in popularity, demand and breadth of application in more recent years, due to the proliferation of digital and electrical systems in modern society. A 2018 poll by Gallup found 85% of Americans regularly use navigational apps and nearly three-quarters use video or music streaming services). In a more recent survey also conducted by Gallup, 33% of Americans stated that they have tried digital health products, while 20% claimed to wear digital health apps.

All of these products wouldn’t be possible without the assistance of electrical engineers, who, in addition to participating in the design and development of electronic equipment, may offer a variety of testing and supervision services during the course of manufacturing. In this way, an electrical engineer may perform some of the same tasks as an electronic engineer. Electrical and electronics engineering can be easily confused, as they both involve the use and study of power generation, as noted by Electronic Products. The best way to differentiate between the two is scale. Whereas electrical engineers examine the macro – the large-scale factors involved in the transmission, reception and utilization of electricity for energy use – electronic engineers handle the micro by building the circuitry and components that all of those products and systems need to function properly.

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