Electrical engineering is at the forefront of innovation. From smart grid technology to advancements in lighting and lighting control systems, electrical engineers work diligently to enhance our everyday lives and move communities forward.
Electrical engineering is the study, design, and application of equipment, devices, and systems that use electricity, electronics, and electromagnetism. This discipline emerged as an occupation in the late 1800’s with the invention of the electrical telegraph, a development that introduced a way to transmit information without physical transportation. Basically—antique texting. There you have it, folks; a concrete example of history repeating itself.
Electrical engineering is an industry with vast opportunities. Should you choose to enter this profession, you can explore careers in a diverse range of fields to include: power engineering, computer engineering, systems engineering, telecommunications, radio-frequency engineering, signal processing, and more. You may also have a chance to specialize in specific branches such as hardware engineering, power electronics, mechatronics, renewable energies, among others.
Electrical engineers enjoy collaborative projects, rewarding work, and competitive salaries. However, this type of job comes with its share of challenges.
High-quality work calls for high-quality workers. Electrical engineers are expected to be expert analysts and problem-solvers, in conjunction with staying on top (and ahead of) the latest industry trends. Therefore, electrical engineering is a profession that demands continuous education—something that isn’t always easy when you work a full-time job and have ongoing projects. In fact, according to the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services, Wisconsin engineers are required to complete 30 professional development hours (PDH) every other year by July 31.
There are many online resources for electrical engineers seeking continuing education and certificate programs. Additionally, your place of work may have on-site training. For this reason, it’s important to keep up with company updates and events. For example, Staff Electric tries to ease some of this burden by having its own Staff University for employees who want to learn valuable skills and earn new certifications.
When it comes to the world of electrical engineering, there are a lot of moving pieces. Electrical engineers have got to manage a million different things and navigate spontaneous challenges. And as a nationwide hiring shortage persists, electrical engineers—among other professionals—are asked to do more with less.
This “do more with less” mentality coupled with the fact that electrical engineers typically work on multiple projects at one time, can result in a stressful work environment. And there’s more. Rapid developments in technology put pressure to decrease time-to-market measures. Engineers are forced to either keep up or step down.
While this type of career is best suited for people who thrive in fast-paced environments, frustration happens to everyone. Maintaining regular communication and a positive work culture are critical. Set your health as a priority and know when it’s time to take a break to help manage your stress.
Delivering projects on time and within budget is the ultimate goal of every job. A simple yet weighty promise, a lot that goes into making it happen.
Electrical engineers are responsible for ensuring compliance with specifications, codes, and customer requirements, and estimating costs—and most contractors will expect quality materials at a low cost.
Because electrical engineers are critical thinkers by trade and want to give clients the most bang for their buck, they know that there are ways to maximize efficiency and save money without cutting corners. This requires implementing techniques such as agile construction methods, Building Information Modeling (BIM), and prefabrication.
From electrical shocks to falls, explosions, and more, the electrical engineering industry is no stranger to danger. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), there are approximately 350 electrical-related fatalities a year, just over one-third of those deaths being electrical workers. The leading cause of industry-related injuries occur when a worker has contact with high-voltage electrical lines, and falls come in second place.
Being aware of your surroundings and having safety integrated into operations is critical to maintain a safe work environment. At Staff Electric, our mobilized safety team conducts weekly visits to job sites to verify all safety processes and procedures are being followed. Additionally, our Safety Incentive Program invites employees to share ideas on improving safe practices.
Prefabrication is an excellent way to enhance safety for all team members, as it reduces time spent on the actual jobsite.
People are more conscientious than ever about creating environmentally friendly developments. The Promega Kornberg Center for Research & Development is a prime example of designing for sustainability with innovations to increase energy efficiency, save water, and generate clean power.
Electrical engineers have become vital resources in helping organizations establish sustainable practices. This increasingly important facet of their job adds duties such as maintaining and updating generators, setting up substations for circuit breaking, predicting future power needs, and more to an already full plate of responsibilities.
Smart grids have become key players in collecting data about transmission and distribution, and enhancing sustainability. For remote areas not connected to the grid, renewable energy hybrid power systems can increase access to cleaner electricity.
Electrical engineers have become as essential to modern life as the buildings wherein we live and work. It’s a lucrative and rewarding career; that is, if you’re up to the challenge.
Staff Electric is proud to be Southeast Wisconsin’s trusted electrical and technology partner. If you thrive in fast-paced environments and enjoy solving complex problems, check out our careers page or contact us today. We may just have an opportunity for you.