Electrical engineer

What they do

Electrical engineers design and develop equipment used in the generation, distribution and use of electrical energy, as well as overseeing any maintenance, installation and operation. They design and develop new electrical systems and products, including arranging their circuitry, develop improvements for existing electrical equipment, organise and manage resources used in the supply of electrical components, machine, cables and fittings, and ensure that these products meet specifications and adhere to safety regulations. They may also plan and develop power stations, power grids and equipment for generators. In Western Australia, electrical engineers usually work throughout the State, on hydroelectric dams in the Kimberley to coal power plants in the State's South West.

Working conditions

Electrical engineers work mostly in offices, but may also undertake practical work in laboratories, workshops or on-site at power generation facilities or construction projects. Conditions may be dangerous, especially if live electrical equipment is being used. They usually work regular hours, but may be required to work longer hours at particular times.

Tools and technologies

Electrical engineers often work with computers and specifically with CAD
(computer-aided design) software as well as electrical system modelling and testing programs. They also need to be familiar with a range of different types of electrical circuitry and parts, including transformers, circuit-breakers and transmission lines. They also use electrical testing equipment such as multimeters to measure electrical amperage, voltage and resistance.

How do I become one?

Education and training

To become an electrical engineer, you usually need to complete a degree in engineering, majoring in electrical and electronic engineering, electrical power or a related area. You may need to complete postgraduate study to specialise in electrical engineering.

Most universities in Western Australia offer relevant courses. Contact the universities you are interested in for more information.