How to become an... Electrical Engineer

how to become an electrical engineer
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by Jessica Tabinor on

There is a high demand for electrical engineering jobs in the UK, thanks to a variety of projects planned around the country, as well as steady investment.

Keep reading to find out more about the skills you’ll need and to find out if a career as an electrical engineer is the right fit for you.

RATES
£20-60k dependent on experience

HOT SPOTS
Hinkley Point C / HS2

QUALIFICATIONS
NVQ, City & Guilds


What do electrical engineering jobs involve?

As an electrical engineer, you’ll be responsible for designing, developing, controlling and maintaining electrical systems, machinery and components. Your work will focus on ensuring a consistently high level of quality, safety and reliability across all systems and components.

The electrical equipment you work with can be used across many sectors, giving you a good selection of different career routes.

Your daily responsibilities will vary depending on your employer and industry, but can include creating project plans and circuit diagrams using computer software, designing systems and products, estimating costs and timeframes, testing installations, ensuring safety regulations are met, and more.
 

What is an electrical engineer’s salary?

Salaries can vary from employer to employer, as well as in different locations or sectors. However, you can expect to earn a starting salary of between £20,000 and £25,000 per year. As you progress through your career and gain more experience, this could increase to up to £40,000.

More senior electrical engineers, especially those who have achieved chartered status, can earn up to £60,000 per year.

These figures are intended as a guideline only. 
 

What skills do I need?

In electrical engineering jobs, you’ll need to possess excellent maths, science and IT skills. You’ll need a keen eye for detail and the ability to create and understand complex, technical diagrams.

It’s important that you have both commercial and technical knowledge, and an enthusiasm to keep your knowledge up-to-date. Planning, organisational and time management skills are also key, as is the ability to work confidently both on your own and as part of a team.
 

What qualifications do I need?

To become an electrical engineer, you’ll usually need to complete a foundation degree, HNC, HND or degree. While it is your best option to complete a degree in electrical or electronic engineering, entry may still be possible with other related engineering degrees, including:

  • Aeronautical Engineering
  • Building Services Engineering
  • Communications Engineering
  • Computing and Software Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Production Engineering
  • Physics and Applied Physics

Some organisations will offer graduate trainee schemes, which can be a good route into the industry, although they are usually highly competitive.

A postgraduate degree isn’t necessary to gain employment but can help with career progression, as can gaining incorporated or chartered engineer status.

Finally, if you’re going to be spending time on a construction site, you may need to apply for a relevant Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card.
 

What are the hours and conditions?

Electrical engineers usually work between 37 and 40 hours per week, although some overtime may be required to meet deadlines, as and when projects dictate. Some roles may offer flexible working arrangements, while others will fall more in line with the traditional Monday to Friday, 9 to 5.

Depending on the employer and project, you could spend your days in a number of locations, such as an office, workshop, production plant, construction site or research facility. This means travel within your working day is a common occurrence.
 

Career progression

With the right training and experience, there are opportunities to progress in your career. Many people will choose to move into general management or project management roles, while others will opt to go into consultancy.

Achieving chartered status and gaining membership to a relevant professional body are seen as essential steps in successful career progression.
 

Areas of specialism 

There are a number of areas you can choose to specialise in, from power and renewable energy to transport and manufacturing. 
 


To search for opportunities across the sector click here. Or, browse our dedicated HS2 and Hinkley Point C pages for more information.


Cx Jobs

Senior Solution Manager - Wireless products

Morson International is working with one of the largest ICT solution providers in the world. We are looking for a Senior Solution Manager to join my client at their Paris office, where under the responsibility of the current Product Line Director, they will be responsible for presales support in France and / or Abroad of our clients Wireless portfolio ResponsibilitiesPresales support including quote, network design, proposal, testing.Find, identify, develop and close business opportunities with operators.Collect and analyze marketing information. Enhance customer relations.Manage and coordinate activities between our client and the operators they work with.Promote the full range of our clients solutions to defined customers.Establish product presentations.Identify the needs of key customers and coordinate with product teams and engineering to ensure that these needs are implemented in products.Develop partnership projects with operators and their partners, help define new business models and product support features.Identify, quantify and recommend an action plan for new business opportunities, in line with the overall strategy of the company.QualificationsMinimum Master Degree in Engineering or Business.Minimum 5 years of experience in Telecoms.Technical capabilities, business and negotiating skills.Ability to understand customer needs to target the desired solution.Respect and appreciation of customer requirements.Detailed knowledge of business models and market strategies management services.Good knowledge of telco products & solutions.Excellent ability to collaborate with a variety of people (product management, engineering, marketing).Very good relationship building skills.Ability to interface with the customer and work in a multicultural environment.Bilingual, English and French

Systems Engineer - Maritime and Defence

Role: Systems Engineer - Maritime and Defence Location: Winfrith Newburgh, Dorset Salary: Competitive Start: ASAP ATLAS ELEKTRONIK UK develop, supply and support cutting-edge maritime technology for customers worldwide. Based in Winfrith Newburgh, Dorset, they work closely with the UK Royal Navy and global customers to create products which protect lives at sea.Due to continued success, they are currently looking to recruit a Systems Engineer Candidates should have good electrical / electronic design experience, a good understanding of design assurance, as well as knowledge of appropriate drawing and defence standards. Knowledge of EPLAN would also be advantageous Key Accountabilities Responsible for delivering key system engineering processes across the product lifecycle.Working closely with the project teams including the System Design Authority, Engineering Manager and Team Engineers.Use expertise and knowledge to make a strong contribution to bids and projects. Key Knowledge, Skills and Personal Qualities Good sound knowledge and understanding of systems engineering principles and their application to multi-disciplinary (mechanical, electrical, electronic and software design principles) engineering projects.Sound understanding of requirements management and decomposition.Familiarity with Defence Standards (particularly DEF-STAN and MIL-STD).Ability to solve complex problems and to critically review results and methods to ensure qualityAbility to expand knowledge into new domain areas, and work across domains and see the bigger picture.Strong communication skills, including delivery of presentations.Good written skills particularly technical report writing, ability to communicate with expert and non-expert stakeholders.Educated to degree or equivalent level in an engineering, or related discipline.Knowledge and experience of INCOSE Systems Engineering practice and principles.Preferably have an understanding of military systems, in particular maritime systems. Alternatively, we will consider other highly regulated industries including aerospace, nuclear, or rail.Ideally (but not essential) experienced in one or more of the following domain areas: Maritime Combat Systems, integration of equipment and software; Unmanned Systems; Combat Management Systems; Acoustics / Sonar Processing.Experience in preparation of documentation for bids.Primary software/system skills: IBM DOORS requirements management (9.x / NG); UML / SysML.Desirable software/system skills: Enterprise Architect (EA); IBM Rational Quality Manager (RQM); IBM Rational Publishing Engine (RPE). For the right candidate, our client can offer a competitive salary and excellent benefits package, combined with the opportunity to work for a highly respected, innovative, expanding company at the forefront of their industry offering excellent prospects for future career and salary development and advancement. MORSON INTERNATIONAL, part of the Morson Group, are the leading TECHNICAL & ENGINEERING RECRUITMENT COMPANY in the UK specialising in Technical Support to the following industries: Defence, Nuclear, Power Generation, Aerospace, Rail, Marine, Petrochemical & Construction

Software Quality Assurance Engineer

Our client seek a Software Quality Assurance Engineer for a 6 month contract in Stevenage, Hertfordshire.This role reports via the local Head of Equipment Quality for all quality matters. In this way the Quality Assurance requirements of all Equipment programmes are coordinated and directed and remain independent and have unimpeded access to top management. The successful candidate shall be able to work autonomously within the project team but where necessary has the right to refer any matter to the Head of Equipments Quality for resolution.TYPICAL TASKS AT SQE LEVEL INCLUDE:Definition of the quality objectives and the Project Software Quality Assurance Baseline, producing the applicable Software Quality Assurance Plan, Project Standards and Quality Operational Procedures.Supporting the Software Delivery Manager in the definition and the implementation of the overall software project processes, in the definition of the development logic and in the choice of methods and tools to be used.Assessment of the Software Processes and the quality of the various items of the Software Product through quality inspections, reviews, audits, collection and analysis of metrics.Support and possibly chair reviews (e.g. PDR, CDR, TRR, TRB, DRB).QA Approval of all documentation.Assessment and reporting on the quality of the Software Product and Processes, in periodic reports and in the specific reports allocated to the Reviews.Management of the interface with the internal and/or external customer on Software Quality matters in agreement with the Software Delivery Manager.The SQE is a key factor in process improvement by suggesting improvement actions and participating in their implementation within the project.KEY SKILLS/PROVEN ABILITYEssential A background in Software Product Assurance or directly comparable proven ability within the Space, Aerospace or high tech sectorsKnowledge/experience of high quality /complex manufacturing - in a high scrutiny environmentExperience of Software quality requirement implementation and adherenceExperience of complex assemblies, Software and Hardware interaction, low volume processes Desirable ECSS qualification Q70/08/28/38An understanding of FPGA and ASIC space applications and quality requirements ADDITIONAL:IR35: This role has been deemed Inside IR35Working Pattern: Monday to Friday days - plus occasional ad hoc shiftsTravel: Occasional travel to other UK and overseas sites

Principal Engineer - Human Factors (POOLING)

Our client BAE Systems are seeking a number of Principal Engineer - Human Factors contractors for 6 month positions to support their Submarines business in Barrow in Furness, Cumbria.KEY TASKS / RESPONSIBILITIESDelivery of Human Factors input to boat programmes including:Spatial, workplace and workspace assessment (understanding of anthropometry)Human Computer Interaction (HCI) development and assessment including agile engineering approachesHuman Machine Interface (HMI) assessmentHuman Factors Integration Plan (HFIP) and Target Audience Description (TAD) developmentProvision of Human Factors advice to stakeholders across the range of HF disciplines KEY SKILLS/ PROVEN ABILITYProven ability in delivering Human Factors Expertise to large scale projectsAdditionalDue to the sensitive nature of the product all applicants must have worked within the Defence / Military industry within the last 12 months or be capable of obtaining Security Clearance (SC level minimum).This role has been deemed Inside IR35 by the client.

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