What you need to know
Electronics engineers design and develop electronic equipment, including broadcast and communications systems, such as portable music players and Global Positioning System (GPS) devices.
Electronics engineers work in industries including research and development, engineering services, manufacturing, telecommunications, and the federal government. Electronics engineers generally work indoors in offices. However, they may have to visit sites to observe a problem or a piece of complex equipment.
Some of the things electronics engineers might do:
- Design electronic components, software, products, or systems for commercial, industrial, medical, military, or scientific applications
- Analyze customer needs and determine the requirements, capacity, and cost for developing an electrical system plan
- Develop maintenance and testing procedures for electronic components and equipment
- Evaluate systems and recommend design modifications or equipment repair
- Inspect electronic equipment, instruments, and systems to make sure they meet safety standards and applicable regulations
- Plan and develop applications and modifications for electronic properties used in parts and systems in order to improve technical performance
- Concentration. Electronics engineers design and develop complex electrical systems and electronic components and products. They must keep track of multiple design elements and technical characteristics when performing these tasks.
- Initiative. Electronics engineers must apply their knowledge to new tasks in every project they undertake. In addition, they must engage in continuing education to keep up with changes in technology.
- Interpersonal skills. Electronics engineers must work with others during the manufacturing process to ensure that their plans are implemented correctly. This collaboration includes monitoring technicians and devising remedies to problems as they arise.
- Math skills. Electronics engineers must use the principles of calculus and other advanced math in order to analyze, design, and troubleshoot equipment.
- Speaking skills. Electronics engineers work closely with other engineers and technicians. They must be able to explain their designs and reasoning clearly and to relay instructions during product development and production. They also may need to explain complex issues to customers who have little or no technical expertise.
- Writing skills. Electronics engineers develop technical publications related to equipment they develop, including maintenance manuals, operation manuals, parts lists, product proposals, and design methods documents.
The average pay for electronics engineers in the United States ranges from $66,620 to $164,210 as of May 2019.
The specific pay depends on factors such as level of experience, education and training, geographic location, and specific industry.
Overall employment of electronics engineers is projected to grow 2 percent from 2018 to 2028, slower than the average for all occupations.
Job growth for electronics engineers is projected to occur largely in engineering services firms, as more companies are expected to tap the expertise of engineers in this industry for projects involving electronic devices and systems.
In order to enter the occupation, prospective electronics engineers need a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, electronics engineering, electrical engineering technology, or a related engineering field. Programs include classroom, laboratory, and field studies. Courses include digital systems design, differential equations, and electrical circuit theory. Programs in electrical engineering, electronics engineering, or electrical engineering technology should be accredited by ABET.
High school students interested in studying electronics engineering benefit from taking courses in physics and math, including algebra, trigonometry, and calculus. Courses in drafting are also helpful, because electrical and electronics engineers often are required to prepare technical drawings.
Discover some of the courses you will take pursuing a degree in Electrical Engineering.