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What does an Electronic Engineer do?

By Carol Francois
Updated May 17, 2024
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An electronic engineer is someone who is responsible for designing electronics, quality assurance, and project management. They are fully certified engineers who have completed an undergraduate degree in electronic engineering. Electronic engineers find employment in manufacturing, research, and product development. Electronic engineers design many new electronic products. These products range from the simple radio to a global positioning system or GPS.

In order to become an electronic engineer, you will need both post-secondary education and certification. A degree in electronic engineering is available from a wide range of universities, both traditional and online. This type of degree is available through the faculty of engineering.

To qualify for admission into a degree program, you will need high marks in high school physics, math, English, calculus, and technology courses. The competition for these programs is very intense, as they lead directly to employment opportunities as an engineer. Due to the increased usage of electronics in a wide range of consumer products, electronic engineers are in high demand. They are often employed directly out of university into well paying positions.

Engineers generally must obtain certification before they can accept a position and in the US, this process is management by the American Association of Engineers. Upon graduation, the candidate must apply to this association. Additional courses and examination are required before certification is granted. Upon successful completion of this program, the designation of P.Eng or professional engineer can be used.

Design engineers work with clients, suppliers, and manufacturers to create the schematics for a new product. They are responsible for designing all aspects of the circuit board and programming for the device. Computer software skills are necessary to create the designs and different versions to review with the client.

Once the design has been approved, a test unit is created. This unit must then be subjected to a testing or quality assurance process. There are two roles for quality assurance, new products, and existing products. For all new products, there is a battery of tests required to ensure that the unit functions as expected, meets engineering standards, and is able to be manufactured.

For existing products, the electronic engineer works on the factory floor, randomly selecting items from the production line and testing them. There are certain specific tests that are run and the results must fall into the accepted parameters to pass the test. Once this is done, the results are recorded and analyzed.

Project management is a very common role for an electronic engineer. In this role, they are responsible for managing client expectations, delivering a prototype, and obtaining approval. They must then liaison with suppliers and modify the design for mass production. An assembly method and location must be determined and agreements made with the different companies involved in this process.

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Discussion Comments
By anon356859 — On Nov 29, 2013

What is the highest post/position for a E & TC engineer in a company and what are the criteria for it?

By anon346712 — On Aug 31, 2013

I have a question: how does this affect society? I know there is some reason for having these engineers, but I can't figure it out.

By anon290700 — On Sep 10, 2012

Engineering school is not easy, and the curriculum is heavy on math. There are many engineering schools, though, and anyone who wants to attend can find one. You can do the fist two years in a community college if you like, just be sure that the credits are fully transferable to a four year university.

By sammyG — On Oct 14, 2010

With no surprise, electronic engineer salaries can vary greatly depending on the specific type of work is being completed. Different firms will pay different amounts for their specific types of engineers and because of this you can make a very low entry level job wage that you would expect as a college graduate or make as high as the six digit range.

because this discrepancy is hard sometimes for young individuals consider such stringent research and educational needs that takes to become an electronic engineer. An effective college counselor will help guide a student through the different types of courses they will take to find their niche inside of electronic engineering.

For instance, computer electronic engineering is a very lucrative but very often over saturated field on the market. Because many students desire to become a computer engineer it might be a good career choice to find a more specific niche in this job market.

By ronburg44 — On Oct 14, 2010

Perhaps one of the biggest thinks that we owe to electronic engineers is their ability to create standards and specifications for devices that will work with each other. Developing compatibility between electronic devices is difficult and create a rigorous standards for manufacturers to have to Adhere to in order for the devices to be compatible across a platform.

Without this cross compatibility in the market, we would be faced with a myriad of choices that can be confusing and incompatible with trying to complete the task that we are asking of electronic device.

One thing is certain, that and electronic engineer technician career would be a very valuable job choice for young person these days. Because of the reliability and the obvious trend towards more and more electronic devices someone entering this field would be hard-pressed to go without work.

By summertime — On Oct 14, 2010

as senior electronic engineer in my firm I can tell you that the industry in which I work has changed rapidly over the last 30 years.

While I haven't seen the advent and the change from tube technology to electronic transistor technology, there have been been major developments in the microchip and microprocessor parts of our economy.

Continuing education is a must in the field where the types of electronic devices being developed changes on a quarterly basis.

By Ubiquitous — On Oct 14, 2010

Out of all types of engineering I think that electronic engineering is the most impressive. While construction engineering, civil engineering, structural engineering have all had their times in history of significance it seems to me that days dated age, electronic engineers are the King's of engineering.

to be able to design and control the flow of electrons over conductive material is simply the work of God's. These devices that we covet as our small contraptions of entertainment would never have been possible without the studies of electrical engineers.

The most amazing parts of electronic engineer technology are yet to be discovered. as he continued to study the building blocks of electronic components and their interactions with others will continue to develop new technologies that will astound or the world.

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