Engineer, career

Electrical Engineer

What is electrical engineering?

Electrical engineering is a field of engineering that generally deals with the study and application of electricity, electronics, and electromagnetism. Electrical engineering covers a wide range of subfields including electronics, digital computers, power engineering, telecommunications, control systems, RF (radio frequency) engineering, and signal processing.

Electrical engineering may include electronics engineering. Where a distinction is made, usually outside the USA, Electrical engineering is considered to deal with systems such as electrical power generation, power transmission, and power distribution to various types of electrical equipment, whereas electronic engineering deals with the study of electronic systems including computers, communications systems, integrated circuits , and radar.

Profiles of electrical engineers in the water/wastewater industry.

BAYWORK agencies have gathered profiles, photos and videos of electrical engineers working in the water/wastewater industry, to give you an idea of what they do, how they feel about it, and how they got there. These case studies will take you behind the scenes at some of the Bay Area’s utilities.

“The best part of my job is to use my education and skills to complete the design of electrical system, oversee the construction, and finally observe it working to help either treat or deliver the drinking water to the customers.”
Amandeep Saini, Santa Clara Valley Water District

Amandeep Saini Profile
Greg Yim Profile Video

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What do electrical engineers do in the water and wastewater industry?

Electrical engineers design electrical systems to provide lighting, electrical power and controls to process treatment equipment that are part of a water or wastewater treatment plant. Electrical engineers prepare design plans and specifications for electrical contractors detailing the size, type and installation of new electrical equipment such as transformers, electrical raceway and conductors, lighting systems, emergency power systems, electrical power distribution switchgear and motor control centers. Additionally, electrical engineers support maintenance groups evaluating electrical equipment maintenance practices, perform failure analysis and troubleshooting of electrical equipment.

Salary range

The median wage in 2011 for Electrical Engineers in California was $98,004 annually, or $47.12 hourly. The median is the point at which half of the workers earn more and half earn less*.

Educational requirements

A bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering is generally the minimum educational level that employers will consider for a position as an electrical engineer. Most engineering programs involve a concentration of study in an engineering specialty, along with courses in design, mathematics, physical and life sciences, and hands-on laboratory classes. An Engineer-In-Training Certificate is also highly recommended.

High school students planning to become electrical engineers should take college preparatory courses such as English, mathematics, chemistry, physics, computer science, and mechanical drawing or computer aided design courses.

Future trends

In California, the number of electrical engineers is expected to remain stable between 2008 and 2018. In California, an average of 430 job openings due to net replacement needs is expected per year for electrical engineers*.

Where can I learn more about electrical engineering?

*Source Employment Development DepartmentElectrical Engineers in California for all electrical engineers, not just the water and wastewater industry

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