What's it like to be an Electrical Engineer in Australia?
Tasks and duties of an Electrical Engineer
- Develop new systems that use electrical power.
- Install and test electrical systems and processes.
- Use software to plan, design and improve electrical systems.
- Perform detailed calculations to develop manufacturing, construction and installation standards and specifications.
How to become an Electrical Engineer in Australia
To become an Electrical Engineer in Australia you need to complete a university degree in engineering with a major in electrical engineering.
A Bachelor of Engineering (Electrical Engineering) is 4 years in duration.
After you have completed the academic requirements, you will need to do 440 hours of work experience in an engineering environment to apply for your Engineering accreditation through Engineers Australia. This work experience can also be completed throughout your degree program.
You can also complete a Masters in Electrical Engineering which is 2 years in duration.
Is Electrical Engineer the right program for me to study?
If you’re great at maths and physics and interested in technology, then Electrical Engineering is probably the right program for you. In today’s modern world, we use electronic gadgets for almost every aspect of our lives and they’ve made our lives simple and much more efficient time wise. From inventions like the microwave, calculator, electronic watches, smart phones to supercomputers and spaceships the list is endless. Electronic devices are now intricately intertwined with how we live our lives.
Most of us wouldn’t be able to work without a computer or can you imagine trying to navigate without a mobile phone and google maps now? If you’re interested in all of these developments and thinking about what electronic devices will be invented in the future then Electrical Engineering is the perfect field for you.
Electrical Engineering and Electronic Engineering are very closely aligned. Electrical engineers are focused on the large-scale production and distribution of electrical power while Electronic Engineers are focussed on much smaller electronic circuits. When you study Electrical Engineering, you’ll look at the design and production of electrical and electronic systems, microelectronics, and nanotechnology.
Electrical engineering requires you to understand complex designs and build them using componentry. To be successful, you’ll need to be a good problem solver and have strong analytical skills. Having an ability to look at the bigger picture, an interest in design, the ability to trouble shoot are essential skills to have.
Job opportunities for Electrical Engineers
There are currently over 3,700 Electrical Engineer jobs on SEEK in Australia at the moment with the projected job growth over the next 5 years of 9.5% and a typical salary of $A110,000.
The good things about working as an Electrical Engineer:
Electrical engineering has very wide aspects in terms of fields and applications an engineer can get involved with. The roles you get offered as an electrical engineer will send you mentally and physically to journeys you would always dream of as an engineer. I have been to most of the states in Australia through my roles, and i got to see plenty (apart from work sites), and the best part of it is that the majority of my expenses were covered by work. While at work, i have encountered some really nice situations where i found myself in front of plenty of opportunities to advance in my career. Of course, nothing is for free, i had to take on work that i wasn’t familiar with or I haven’t practised on before, but i have soon discovered that this was my daily bread.
Some of the challenges are
Engineering in general is the first party in most businesses (in my experience) that gets the blame when things don’t turn up to be exact expectations of the external clients. This was very easy to overcome though, all you need as an engineer is to be great at getting hold of contracts and interpreting them, and even greater at establishing & maintaining great relationships with internal and external customers to your business. You will get all the positive feedback that you would be after when you achieve the above!
Specialisations in Electrical Engineering
Some of the common areas of Electrical Engineering that students can specialise in include: Energy Generation and Transmission, Electrical Installations, Magnetostatics and Electrostatics, Computers, Communications, Signal processing, and Power System Control.
The Electrical Engineering industry is very broad and there are many areas of expertise for you to choose from. You might be required to design a new system, maintain complex systems, be involved in fault diagnosis, simulation and modelling, data analysis and also assessment of equipment behaviour.
Many Universities combine Electrical and Electronic Engineering in their Bachelor degrees. Engineers who specialise in both Electrical and Electronic Engineering are multi-skilled and often work across diverse engineering projects associated with electrical systems. Your studies in Electrical Engineering will cover large scale power systems. This is complemented by expertise in Electronic Engineering where you will develop the ability to design and create smaller electronic circuits.
Engineering is one of the top careers projected to grow in the next five years and there are fantastic opportunities in Australia in renewable energy systems.