Based on your feedback, we're launching weekly articles to provide more detailed information on securing some of best jobs out there for veterans, along with a list of four things you need to secure these jobs. This week's hot job: Electrical Engineers.
To work successfully as an electrical engineer, you must possess a fundamental interest in, and talent for, working with electrical equipment. Electrical engineers are responsible for thinking of new ways to optimize existing systems, create new ones, and implement their ideas. A range of skills and abilities are required such as attention to detail, communication, exceptional math ability, and the willingness to constantly learn about new standards and procedures.
All electrical engineers must have at least a bachelor's degree, and that's the minimal requirement. Preparation can happen as early as high school by taking classes in advanced mathematics, physics, and drafting. Of course, any classes directly relating to electronics or engineering would also be beneficial.
Entry-level jobs in electrical or electronics engineering generally require a bachelor's degree. Programs typically last 4 years and include classroom, laboratory, and field studies. Courses include digital systems design, differential equations, and electrical circuit theory. Programs in electrical engineering should be accredited by ABET (formerly the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology).
Some colleges and universities offer cooperative programs in which students gain practical experience while completing their education. Cooperative programs combine classroom study with practical work. At some universities, students can enroll in a 5-year program that leads to both a bachelor's degree and a master's degree. A graduate degree allows an engineer to work as an instructor at some universities, or in research and development.
Becoming a successful applicant for electrical engineering positions goes beyond obtaining advanced degrees – licenses are often required too. They aren't as common as they are for other engineering fields, but becoming licensed means officially becoming a designated professional engineer. Licenses usually require a degree from an accredited engineering program, a passing score on the Fundamentals of Engineering program, relevant work experience, and a passing score on the Professional Engineering exam.
The initial Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam can be taken right after graduation from a college or university. Engineers who pass this exam commonly are called engineers in training (EITs) or engineer interns (EIs). After getting work experience, EITs can take the second exam, called the Principles and Practice of Engineering exam.
If you feel prepared and are ready to plunge into the job search, search for: Electrical Engineer jobs on Monster.com.