What does a Principal Electrical Engineer do?
Electrical engineers are responsible for the design, development, and testing of electrical devices and equipment. This includes communication systems or power generators and motors and navigation systems as well as electrical systems within automotive and aircraft industries. Electrical engineers oversee the manufacture of these devices, systems, and equipment.
Electrical engineers design, maintain, implement or improve upon electrical instruments, facilities, components, equipment products, or systems. They perform various engineering tasks by operating computer assisted design or engineering software and equipment. They meet with customers, engineers, and other relevant parties and discuss the existing or potential engineering products and projects and ensure that installation and operations conform to standards and customer requirements. They also estimate the material, labor, and construction costs, and assist in budget preparation. They supervise and train project team members and work with various technicians. Electrical engineers need a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from an accredited school and license as a professional engineer. They also need knowledge of the applicable codes related to electrical engineering and proficiency in design and calculation software.
- Develop electrical systems design narratives, technical studies, and reports.
- Use advanced analytical and product design engineering software tools.
- Oversee the work of technicians who provide technical support.
- Create and maintain electrical design portion of project schedules.
- Present technical briefings to management, program officials, and technical staff.
- Assist in the development of new products or processes or systems.
- Lead and review the work of other engineers on a regular basis.
- Support trade studies for component or system level designs.
- Develop, control, and help maintain a project budget and timeline.
- Adhere to all safety standards and practices.
- Develop and oversee test programs as needed to evaluate components and systems.
- Create and deliver concise technical summary reports to customers.
- Prepare and present design reviews for internal and external customers.
- Ensure best design practices are followed and drive process improvements.
- Oversee multi-discipline projects to develop conceptual designs, estimates, design drawings and specifications.
- Facilitate and ensure the quality of the project deliverables.
- Complete assigned projects on time and on budget.
- Science Degree or certification in relevant field.
- Natural problem solver with leadership capabilities and consulting experience.
- Fluent in a variety of programs and software.
- Comfortable with debugging and instructing others in how-to debug.
- Use firmware and schematic capture functions.
How much does a Principal Electrical Engineer make?
Principal Electrical Engineer Career Path
Learn how to become a Principal Electrical Engineer, what skills and education you need to succeed, and what level of pay to expect at each step on your career path.
Years of Experience Distribution
Principal Electrical Engineer Insights
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Principal Electrical Engineer Interviews
Frequently asked questions about the role and responsibilities of electrical engineers
The typical day of an electrical engineer involves designing, developing, and testing various types of electrical equipment. They work with computer systems, motors, electrical systems on vehicles, and more. Other duties include investigating and troubleshooting issues with existing electrical systems.
Yes, electrical engineering offers a good living and a chance at upward mobility. An advantage of being an electrical engineer is that a variety of industries hire these professionals, offering an array of work environments and locations. An individual with up-to-date skills should enjoy job security in this field.
These professionals get paid well; the average salary for an electrical engineer in the U.S. is $158,539 a year. The high earners in the field make $249,714 a year, with the possibility to earn more in lead or senior roles.
As with any job, there are some challenges to working as an electrical engineer. For example, it requires communication about complicated electrical issues to other employees. Electrical engineers need to be able to concentrate on lab work for long periods of time, as well as to communicate with production and manufacturing teams about electrical products.