Analog design is a specialized category of electronics engineering. Electronics engineers are responsible for designing and developing a broad range of electronic equipment, from navigation and communication systems to everyday personal items such as MP3 players and GPS devices. While electronics engineers have a range of skills and responsibilities related to the production of equipment, analog designers focus on developing and refining electrical signals. Having good communication, concentration, interpersonal, and math skills can help them succeed in the field. In the next part of this lesson, we'll explore some of the steps involved in becoming an analog designer.
|Degree Level||Bachelor's degree|
|Degree Field||Electrical or electronics engineering or electrical engineering technology|
|Experience||Most employers prefer technical experience using computer-aided design (CAD)|
|Licensure Requirements||Licensure as a Professional Engineer (PE) is not usually required but is encouraged for those who wish to increase their chances of getting hired or are seeking employment with the government|
|Key Skills||Concentration and initiative; interpersonal, math, and speaking skills|
|Median Salary (2015)*||$93,010 (for electronics engineers)|
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Step 1: Learn About Analog Devices
Analog signals allow people to send data through electronics devices. Sending analog signals often requires converting analog information into digital formats and then back to analog. This ensures a signal is recognized by human senses. Nearly all devices that transmit data, such as sound waves, pictures, and documents, use analog signals. Learning how analog systems work involves gaining an understanding of electricity, computers, technology, and mathematics.
Step 2: Bachelor's Degree
Analog designers, sometimes referred to as electronics engineers, usually need a minimum of a bachelor's degree in electrical or electronics engineering or electrical engineering technology to find employment. Common undergraduate courses include the study of electrical circuits and devices and electronic signals and systems design. Undergraduates also study logic design and microprocessors. Courses in analytic geometry, magnetism, and technical physics can also be part of a bachelor's degree program in electrical engineering.
Step 3: Technical Experience
To qualify for employment, analog designers usually need experience, particularly in the use of computer-aided design (CAD) software programs often found in electronics engineering programs. CAD courses include topics in drafting and design, such as 3-D modeling, drawing technical blueprints, graphic geometry, and materials usage.
Step 4: Licensing
According to the BLS, electronics engineers usually don't need a state license. Nevertheless, some employers may prefer to hire licensed professional engineers (PEs), especially employers who work as government contractors.
Although the licensing requirements for professional engineers differ in each state, most states have minimum education and experience requirements. These include earning a degree from a program that has been approved by ABET (formerly the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology). To gain experience, individuals often start out by working under the close supervision of already licensed engineers. Prior to being hired, some states require that unlicensed engineers pass the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam.
Upon fulfilling all eligibility requirements, individuals must pass their state's licensing exams. Professional engineers may have to complete continuing education coursework as part of the license renewal process, which could include attending classes or seminars.
Step 5: Employment
Because of the decline of the manufacturing industry in the United States, electrical and electronics engineers will see minimal to no growth in jobs between 2014 and 2024, according to the BLS. Electronics engineers made a median annual salary of $93,010 as of May 2015. Analog designers seeking career advancement should take the opportunity to work with more experienced engineers. These guided mentoring opportunities will help prepare designers and engineers for managerial positions.
Remember, analog designers usually need a bachelor's degree in electrical or electronics engineering or electrical engineering technology, experience with computer-aid design (CAD), and maybe even a professional engineer's license to qualify for employment. As of May 2015, electronics engineers earned a median yearly salary of $93,010.