What Do Electronic Engineers Do? An Electronics Business Perspective

by Jeremiah on May 19, 2015

Electronic Engineers

From a business perspective, electronic engineers are some of the most important employees in any particular organization for a host of different reasons. To boil the position down to its most basic concept, electronic engineers are tasked with utilizing various components like semiconductors, transistors, diodes, electron tubes and more to design the types of circuits, devices and systems that businesses and customers depend on daily. They rely heavily on electronics components suppliers to provide them with their daily assets.

These valued employees use these electronics components to design everything from portable data assistants (PDAs) to global positioning systems (GPS) and everything in between. Simply put: without a team of hardworking, dedicated and extremely knowledgeable electronic engineers, many businesses would be unable to function.

Knowledge Base

An electronic engineer can work with a wide range of different types of equipment depending on the larger organization that they work for. These individuals usually study and therefore have intimate experience with both analog and digital electronics, along with consumer grade systems, embedded systems and more. On a daily basis they usually deal with applications ranging from signal processing to solid state physics, electric power control, computer engineering and more. In order to pursue a career in the electronic engineering field, individuals will need to have obtained at least a bachelor’s degree from a secondary educational institution.

How is an Electronic Engineer Different from an Electrical Engineer?

Though the two terms may be used by some interchangeably, they are actually very different positions. An electrical engineer is tasked with the design, development and testing of various electronics components like radar and navigation systems, power generation devices and more. Electronic engineering is actually a smaller, more niche subfield of the larger electrical engineering category.

In the most basic terms possible, an electrical engineer is someone who specializes in using electronics parts to create heavy current or high voltage devices. This is one of the many reasons that the term “power engineering” has become so prominent when describing the work that electrical engineers do on a daily basis.

Electronic engineers, on the other hand, often engage in what is commonly referred to as information engineering or communication systems engineering due to the different types of devices that they are tasked with designing, testing and creating.

In addition to working in a hands on environment, many electronic engineers also work directly with computers for the purposes of computer aided design, or CAD. This not only allows the engineer to see a fully realized, 3D design of the electronics components that they are tasked with creating, but it also yields significant benefits by way of both productivity and the eventual ease at which those components are manufactured. The types of CAD files that are created, tested and perfected by an electronic engineer will then be used for print operations, by machining employees or even by manufacturing houses to bring those finished products to life in the best way possible.

Working Conditions

Generally speaking, most electronic engineers work in the research and development industries for either private corporations or even the federal government depending on the situation. An electronic engineer will commonly be found in an indoor facility surrounded by electronics components, though they will likely also have to periodically visit a third party site to observe complicated electronics parts and the ways in which they are being utilized.

Project Management

Though electronic engineers are designed with the development and application of certain types of advancements, this is not what they will spend every minute of their time on while at work. Electronic engineers re usually also adept at advanced project management, which involves working directly with clients to discuss project proposals, delegating tasks to team members, determining a project schedule and outlining its requirements for completion and more.

While an entry level electronic engineer may be one smaller part of a larger team working directly with various electronics parts, senior engineers are usually responsible for the management of that team. This is one of the many reasons why strong communication and leadership skills are such an important requirement for those looking for careers in the electronic engineering field.

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