What Is Electrical Engineering?

Electrical engineering is the study and application of electricity, electronics and electromagnetism. This includes the design of devices, equipment and systems from large-scale power grids to microscopic computer components.

Like all branches of engineering, electrical engineers require a wide range of skills and knowledge to complete their work. They also need strong communication and organisational abilities to work as part of a team.


Electrical engineers design electrical systems to help people use, supply and transfer electricity. They solve design challenges to make the system efficient, economical and safe.

Historically, electrical engineering was used to develop devices and equipment that changed the way we live. Today, it is the basis for a wide variety of technologies and industries.

It is essential that electrical design engineers have a strong understanding of how a circuit works. This helps to ensure that the device will be safe to operate, and also that it can be built to withstand the harsh environment.

The field of electrical engineering covers a wide range of topics, from satellite communications to power grids and aircraft. The discipline is also a source of inspiration for many people and innovations in technology.

There are several ways to get started in this career, including earning a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering or pursuing an advanced education with a master’s or doctoral degree. These degrees provide a strong foundation in the basics of the field and give students the knowledge needed to design and create electrical systems.

You can start learning about this exciting field by taking courses in electronics, computer applications, drafting, analog electronics and electrical codes. You may also choose to study a more specialized area of the field, such as electrical power or control.

While you’re in school, build a portfolio of your designs to show employers that you have the skills necessary to design and implement electrical systems. This can include sketches, models and schematics that you create for classes. Eventually, you can curate your portfolio to only display the most professional work.

The job outlook for electrical design engineers is good, with employment growth projected to be 7% between 2016 and 2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This is because of the increasing demand for electronic devices and the development of automated production equipment.

Those who want to become electrical design engineers should earn a bachelor’s or associate’s degree in electrical engineering technology. This degree will prepare you for a career in the field, and will cover a broad range of topics, such as digital electronics, computer applications, CAD and drafting, analog electronics and electrical codes.


Electrical engineers use a wide range of skills to design and develop electrical systems. They may work for engineering firms, telecommunications companies, consultancies, the military, or for utilities. They often create a wide variety of products and systems, such as computers, cell phones, and power distribution.

Planning is a crucial part of the electrical engineering process, as it allows engineers to accurately gauge what needs to be done in order to meet an end goal. It also gives them a roadmap to follow as they move forward with their project.

A good plan saves time and money by preventing delays or problems that can occur in the actual construction phase. This is because it highlights everything that might be in the way, which means that professionals can make changes quickly before anything serious occurs.

When planning a building, it is important to take into account the layout of the rooms and how electrical devices will be connected to them. This includes how the switches will be positioned for air-conditioners, ceiling fans, lights, and outlets.

It is also important to consider the size of the electrical wiring, since it will be running through walls or beneath floors. This is to ensure that the electrical system is installed correctly and can be properly maintained after the construction is completed.

In addition to planning, electrical engineers also have to keep track of the progress of the construction process. This can be a challenging task, as it requires them to collaborate with other team members and utility providers in order to complete the necessary work on time and within budget.

They must also ensure that all the work is performed according to the proper codes and safety standards. This can be a daunting task, but it is a job that can be well-suited for engineering managers with strong leadership and communication skills.

Planning is one of the most important aspects of electrical engineering, as it helps to ensure that the work gets completed on time and in a cost-effective manner. It is also vital for ensuring that the electrical system is designed in accordance with industry regulations and guidelines.


Electrical engineers test the design and performance of electrical equipment and systems to ensure that they perform safely and efficiently. Some examples of the tests performed by electrical engineers include voltage testing, insulation resistance testing, and earth continuity testing.

Voltage testing is a basic type of electrical testing that involves measuring the electric potential difference between two points in an electrical circuit. It’s important for electricians and other electrical professionals because it lets them know if their wiring is properly connected to the rest of the system and that it won’t harm people or property.

Insulation resistance testing is another common type of electrical testing that’s used to make sure that the insulation on an electrical device is intact. This testing can help identify problems with the insulation that could lead to an electrical short or other safety hazard.

A dielectric voltage withstand test (also known as a hipot test) puts an electrical product or installation under a higher voltage than the normal operating voltage to measure its resistance to the stress. This type of testing is often used for type testing purposes, but it can also be done for a variety of other reasons.

For example, if you’re designing a new circuit board and want to see how it will function before it’s implemented, you can use a multimeter to test the diode in forward-bias or diode function mode. To do this, connect the test probes to the corresponding terminals of the diode and apply a small voltage between them.

This test can help determine whether or not the diode is functioning correctly and if it’s safe for operation. It can also reveal if there are any defects or problems with the diode that could cause it to fail.

Other types of electrical testing include IR scanning, which reveals excess heat in an electrical system that is caused by unbalanced loads, loose or defective connections, harmonics, overloads and more. This testing can be used during pre-occupancy inspections and on a regular basis to keep an electrical facility running smoothly and safely.

In addition to testing the physical and electrical properties of a product or system, electrical engineering testing technicians may also work on software that runs on computers or other devices. Depending on the job, these engineers may test the performance of the software in different situations or they might use creative testing methods to create a system that will run well in a variety of circumstances.


Electrical engineering is a field that deals with the science and technology of electricity, electronics and electromagnetism. It includes a number of sub-disciplines such as power systems, controls, instrumentation, circuits and computers, among others.

Today, the products designed by electrical engineers pervade every part of human life from personal electronic devices to space exploration sensors. They also play an important role in the development of renewable energy sources to help save our planet from unsustainable fossil fuels.

The discipline of electrical engineering has been evolving for centuries and is undergoing tremendous transformation in the world of today. New areas are gaining momentum such as wearable medical sensors and wireless communication technologies.

These developments have the potential to significantly impact the quality of life around the globe, as well as the way we do business and conduct our daily lives. This is why it is critical to ensure that electrical engineering systems are safe and efficient.

EEs need to have a thorough understanding of how electricity works and the physics that govern it. They need to be familiar with both the physical and mathematical properties of these fields, so they can develop effective solutions for a variety of situations.

In addition, they need to be able to evaluate and understand the potential societal, technological and economic impacts of their designs. For this purpose, they will use a needs statement that outlines their project’s societal value, technological challenges/needs and the economic requirements for such a product.

Evaluation is a fundamental part of the design process, and all of our electrical engineering students receive the opportunity to learn about the importance of it during their sophomore design course. They will be exposed to the topics of creativity, societal impacts and economics through a series of lectures as well as an assignment in which they are asked to write a needs statement for their design.

The student’s performance in these courses is evaluated using a combination of indirect assessment (student and instructor post assessment surveys) as well as direct assessment of selected student work applicable to the outcome under assessment. For the outcomes that are mapped to specific courses in Table 5-3, these assessments are used to determine the overall level of attainment of each outcome for the program as a whole.


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