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Article: Electronics/Electrical Engineering

Summary

This article covers the following jobs:

  • Electronics/Electrical Assembler
  • Electronics/Electrical Engineer
  • Electronics/Electrical Engineering Technician
  • Engineering Draughtsperson.

The job descriptions are only a brief summary. It's recommended that you do further research on jobs that interest you.

Introduction

Electronics/electrical engineering is about the generation of electricity from oil, coal, gas and nuclear power, as well as the design, development and manufacture of products that use electricity.

In general, electrical engineers design and develop products that use relatively high levels of electricity, such as heating and lighting systems. They also work on the generation and distribution of electricity.

Electronics engineers design and develop products that use low levels of electricity and microprocessor technology. They work on a wide variety of products, including computers, telecommunications technology, televisions, and audio and video equipment.

Some of the careers in this area

Electronics/Electrical Assembler

Electronics/electrical assemblers put together electronic or electrical products, such as computers, televisions and CD players. There are two main types of work: mass production and batch production.

In mass production, assemblers usually work on an assembly line. They sit near a moving conveyor belt that carries the items to be worked on. As each board passes in front of them, they insert a particular number of parts into the correct positions.

In batch production, assemblers usually work at a bench. A supervisor gives the assembler a number of parts and special instructions, which may include a parts list and a diagram or technical drawing. They then work to finish the batch within a target time.

There are no formal academic entry requirements. However, many employers look for GCSEs in English, Maths and a science, technology or engineering subject.

Electronics/Electrical Engineer

Electronics engineers design, develop, operate and maintain products that use electronics, for example, telecommunications systems, electronic imaging devices and computer-controlled systems (from satellite tracking systems to washing machines).

Electrical engineers are involved in the generation and supply of electricity for the industrial, commercial and public sectors, as well as for domestic use.

The usual requirement for this career is a relevant degree or HND, such as electronics/electrical engineering.

Electronics/Electrical Engineering Technician

Electronics engineering technicians support electronics engineers in the design, development, maintenance and testing of electronic products, including personal computers, digital television, control systems for heating, cooking and washing, games machines and multimedia information systems.

Electrical engineering technicians are involved in the generation and distribution of the electricity used to heat and light homes, and power industries.

Engineering technicians work in areas such as research and development, design and technical drawing (draughtswork), maintenance and quality assurance (testing products to make sure they are safe and of high quality).

Entry into a trainee technician post is usually with at least four GCSEs at grade C or above, including English, Maths and a science, technology or engineering subject.

Engineering Draughtsperson

Engineering draughtspeople produce detailed drawings and instructions, which production workers use to make electrical/electronic products and equipment. There are two main types of draughtsperson: design and detail.

Traditionally, a draughtsperson would use a drawing board and technical drawing equipment such as stencils. These days, they'll usually have computer-aided design (CAD) technology.

Design draughtspeople examine designs. They calculate the number, size and weight of the required parts. They then produce a 'scheme' (a general outline) drawing.

Detail draughtspeople produce the final accurate drawing for use by the production workers. They break the drawing down into a series of smaller drawings for each stage of the production process.

Both detail and design draughtspeople use mathematical calculations, and need to be comfortable working with calculators and computers.

Entry into a trainee technician post is usually with four GCSEs at grade C or above, which should include English, Maths and a science, technology or engineering subject.

Further Information

Engineering Council

Address: 246 High Holborn, London WC1V 7EX

Tel: 020 3206 0500

Website: www.engc.org.uk

Utility Week

Publisher: Faversham House

Website: www.utilityweek.co.uk

Inside Careers

Specialists in graduate careers

Address: Unit 6, The Quad, 49 Atalanta Street, Fulham, London SW6 6TU

Tel: 020 7565 7900

Website: www.insidecareers.co.uk

Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET)

Address: Michael Faraday House, Six Hills Way, Stevenage, Hertfordshire SG1 2AY

Tel: 01438 313311

Email: postmaster@theiet.org

Website: www.theiet.org

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