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Career profile: Electrical engineer

Career profile: Electrical engineerEvery time you switch on your TV, get a snack from the fridge or use a computer, you have an electrical engineer to thank. We give you the lowdown on what the job involves.

A what?

Most of the appliances that make the modern world go around run on electricity. Electrical engineers are the people responsible for researching and making electrical appliances.

On the job

The equipment and products made by electrical engineers will be used in all sorts of settings such as homes, offices, power stations and factories. They are also involved in other big industries like transport and communication, so you can find electrical engineers in all sorts of places working on a huge range of projects.

The job can be based around researching new technology or it could be more practical, with engineers working out how to install equipment and systems into a new setting. As you have to work as part of a team, there is lots of opportunities to manage a group of engineers once you get more experience.

Future prospects

There are lots of opportunities for electrical engineers in many different industries. There are jobs all over Britain and the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) has members working in 128 countries around the world.

Once you have been working for a few years, there are also lots of chance for people interested in managing teams and big budgets. The salary ranges from £18,000 to over £50,000 a year, depending on where you work and your level of experience.

How do I get there?

There are a few routes to getting into this type of work. One of the most common is to get a university degree in electrical engineering. For degree courses, you normally need at least two A -levels/three H grades, normally including maths and a science subject, and five GCSEs/S grades (A-C/1-3), or equivalent qualifications. Some universities also offer an access course for students with no background in science and maths. Once you’ve done this, you should qualify for the degree programme.

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