A typical bachelor's degree program in electrical engineering prepares graduates for careers in the public or private sector researching, designing, building or maintaining electrical tools, equipment and products. Electrical engineers use physics, math and engineering science to develop and operate things like communication devices, physical electronics, electronic circuits, computers and power systems.
Admission into these programs requires students to have a high school diploma or GED and competitive ACT or SAT scores.
Bachelor's Degree in Component Engineering
Most four-year bachelor's degree programs in engineering include general education in liberal arts along with engineering-specific courses. Computer training for engineers is also typically included. Class topics might include:
- Engineering design fundamentals
- Basics of electromagnetics
- Electronic and electric circuits
- Principles of energy conversion
- Fundamentals of analog electronic circuits
- Digital electronic circuit basics
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
In January 2016, the online job information engine Payscale.com reported that the median annual salary for component engineers was $80,188. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual salary for electrical engineers in May 2015 was $93,010 (www.bls.gov). The BLS also indicates that the median annual salary for electronics engineers, excluding computer engineers, was $98,270 in May 2015.
Continuing Education Information
Master's and doctoral degree programs are available for individuals who want to move into management jobs or do research in electrical or electronic engineering. According to the BLS, it is important for people working in all engineering specialties to seek out continuing education, either through schools or professional societies, to keep up with technology innovations.
There is one organization for component engineers in Orange County, CA, that provides information about the specialty and job opportunities. The Component Engineering Society of Orange County (www.cesoc.org) also offers information on engineering software, Southern California engineering firms and component manufacturers.
The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE-USA) is a national association that provides job and public policy information for engineers in the field. Based in Washington, D.C., the association (www.ieee.org) also offers career information and training webinars for member engineers.
Component engineering includes the selection and design of the small parts that make up larger machines. Training for a career in this field is commonly available through electrical engineering bachelor's degree programs, which include the study of engineering design principles and electronic circuit basics. Related professional organizations offer additional continuing education to program graduates.