The field of electrical engineering is a specialty needed in many industries and hundreds of types of companies and organizations. Broadly, the field is focused on electricity, electronics, and electromagnetism, and job responsibilities include designing, developing, testing, and supervising the manufacture of electrical equipment.
Within the field of electrical engineering, there are some designations or specializations. Engineers whose work is related exclusively to computer hardware are considered computer hardware engineers.
Also, note that two adjacent fields—electrical engineering and electronics engineering are similar, but the latter is focused on the development of electronics or electronic components; the position also tends to pay slightly more. Both use engineering and design software and equipment.
Electrical or electronics engineers are needed in many industries, including research and development, engineering services, manufacturing, and telecommunications.
The field of electrical engineering emerged with the invention of the thermionic valve diode vacuum tube in 1904 by John Ambrose Fleming. This invention was the basis of all electronics, including the radio, television, and radar until the mid-20th century.
Since then, the field has transformed with the explosion of consumer electronics and products with integrated electrical interfaces. Experts say specialization in new technologies and AI-driven software tools that increase productivity will drive employment and growth in the field.
Many sectors of the engineering field have played a critical role in combatting the virus. From designing and manufacturing medical equipment critical for patient care to developing solutions to increase manufacturing production, companies have used the problem-solving skills of engineers.
Honeywell, a Fortune 100 technology company, recently published stories about several of its engineers working on projects helping fight the pandemic, such as Steven Lowery, an advanced electrical engineer who makes sensors for ventilators, respirators, and oxygen concentrators.
Recruiting the top electrical engineers can ensure you have the expertise and know-how needed to plan, manage, and complete projects on time and budget.
However, hiring the best in itself won’t distinguish one company from another. Aligning those engineers and other team members to work toward a central mission or purpose will make the best use of talent and resources. Consider the USA Olympic basketball team, the first-year pro athletes were allowed to compete. They were the best players, but they failed to play well together as a team. Teams with lesser talent beat the U.S. because they played better together.
Also, if there are talent gaps in your current team, you can source candidates that excel with a particular skill. For example, companies that need a boost in innovation can source candidates who have been a part of “innovation jams” or other programs that teach how to incorporate innovation into the company culture.
Technology is another area that is key for engineers. When you are looking for recruits, be prepared with specific questions about a candidate’s expertise with the latest technology systems and software to give your organization critical technology expertise.
Before we get to exactly how to recruit the best electrical engineers in Irvine, here are some of the details of the job.
According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics, electrical engineers design, develop, test, and supervise the manufacture of electrical equipment, such as electric motors, radar and navigation systems, communications systems, or power generation equipment. Electrical engineers also design the electrical systems of automobiles, aircraft, and electronics.
In large companies, electrical engineers are often part of cross-collaboration teams working with engineers from other disciplines, such as mechanical or manufacturing engineers to optimize designs for production. At times, electronics engineers will work with user experience and marketing teams to ensure the product meets cost, service, and functional goals.
The main job responsibilities include:
Electronics engineers typically do the following:
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Typically, a bachelor’s degree is required for most electrical engineering jobs, including entry-level jobs.
At some universities, students can enroll in a 5-year program that leads to both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree. A graduate degree allows an engineer to work as an instructor at some universities, or in research and development.
Some employers will require a degree from a school that is accredited by ABET, so keep that in mind when researching schools and programs for electrical engineering, electronics engineering, or electrical engineering technology.
US News & World Report ranked the top 3 undergraduate college programs for electrical engineering. These programs train students to design, develop, and test electrical equipment, components, and products. Armed with a degree, graduates have a multitude of opportunities working in the public or private sector.
These are the top undergraduate schools where the highest electrical engineering degree offered is a doctorate.
According to the BLS, the mean annual wage for electronics engineers, (except computer engineers) was $103,480 in May 2019.
Nationally, compensation for electrical engineers ranges between $63,000 for entry-level positions and $155,000 for those with more experience and in higher-level positions. The BLS said there were 285,000 electrical engineers employed in 2019, with 11.6% of those positions being women. The ethnic makeup of the field is estimated as 71.3% white, 8.7% Hispanic or Latino, 7.3% African American, and 12.7% Asian.
The median annual wage for electrical engineers in 2019 was $98,500, compared with $94,500, the median annual wage for all engineers.
The average annual salary for electrical engineers in California was 117k in 2019. The hourly wage averaged $56.
For more detailed compensation information for electrical engineers in Irvine, download our free compensation/salary report below.
Do electrical engineers consider Irvine a great place to work? Here are a few things to keep in mind when you are recruiting for electrical engineers in Irvine.
Irvine, California is considered by most a great place to live and work, particularly if safety is at the top of your list. For 15 years in a row, the FBI has rated Irvine as the safest city of its size in the U.S. And directly bordering this city are some of Southern California’s most celebrated beaches, including Newport Beach, picture-perfect Laguna Beach, and the surfing capital of the U.S., Huntington Beach, also known as Surf City U.S.A.
The city of Irvine is considered a model city for master planning. Neighborhoods, streets, parks, and pretty much everything else looks very uniform due to stringent requirements and building codes. The upside?
“Every square inch of the city is well maintained and organized not one part of the city out of place,” commented one Quora reader.
However, like many Southern California cities, high real estate prices drive a high cost of living.
On the other hand, the city, like many others in Southern California, has a high cost of living and expensive real estate. This may affect a company’s ability to hire top candidates unless compensation is commensurate.
Not your city? View other cities where we place electrical engineers.
The BLS has projected overall employment of electrical and electronics engineers is projected to grow 3 percent from 2019 to 2029, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Employment growth is expected to be tempered by slow growth or decline in some industries, such as manufacturing and utilities.
However, there are a few areas that are expected to have higher growth, including professional, scientific, and technical services firms, as more demand is expected for expertise in electronic devices and systems. Engineers also will be needed to develop sophisticated consumer electronics.
The rapid pace of technological innovation will create some demand for electrical and electronics engineers in research and development and emerging technology in areas such as solar arrays, semiconductors, and communications technologies.
The supply of candidates and demand for open positions have a direct correlation to a company's ability to hire. Download a free Supply and Demand report for electrical engineers in Irvine, California below.
Finding and hiring the best electrical engineer candidates can save you money right away and well into the future.
The costs of making a bad hire are well documented. The cost can run as much as 30% of the employee's first-year earnings according to the US Department of Labor. Bad hires can cost a whopping $240,000 in expenses related to hiring, compensation, and retention per The Undercover Recruiter. 74% of companies who admit they've hired the wrong person for a position lost an average of $14,900 for each bad hire according to CareerBuilder. These statistics support our long-held position that behavioral questions are the best way to get to know your candidates and past behavior is the best indicator of future performance.
The information below comes from the best practices Amtec uses for finding the highest quality candidates.
When defining the role you are creating, we recommend a position profile to fully evaluate the position you are hiring for. You must decide if the engineer can work remotely or must work in California. If working in Irvine is essential, make sure you include that in your job posting so candidates can decide how many miles they can commute.
When you are looking to source the best quality candidates for your open positions, make sure you have done the legwork to hire an "A Player". You can do this by making sure your company's perspective is aligned with the current market, you have taken into account the job responsibilities, as well as what type of characteristics you are looking for to fit your company culture. Then proceed to write a job posting to attract high-quality candidates.
Electrical engineering is a field that is evolving, along with the emerging technology and software driving innovation. There are also specializations and nuances to the electrical engineering skillsets and proficiencies. If you need to recruit the sharpest engineering professionals, look for these traits and qualifications when you interview.
You wrote a job posting, posted the position online, and received a lot more resumes than you’d bargained for! Next comes the enormous task of sorting through those resumes to eliminate the ones that are clearly not a good fit. Now, you have a stack of resumes for candidates who have potential. So how do you go about screening the remaining candidates?
It starts on the phone! As a recruiter, the goal of your telephone screening is to learn more about your candidates. You can confirm that they have the educational qualifications and relevant experience, but you also need to determine if they would fit into your company's culture. To make this job easier, use a system to consistently evaluate results. This way you can equally and objectively compare candidates and evaluate their "soft skills", like communication and thinking process. Download Amtec's Professional Assessment Questionnaire below to help with screening candidates.
An individually customized questionnaire that helps assess a candidate's competence with written communication skills, thinking processes, and other relevant skills.
At Amtec, we believe in the power of behavoral interview questions to go beyond the experience and skills listed on the candidate's resume. Although you will want to confirm in the interview that the candidate does indeed have the experience listed on their resume, your assessment needs to go much deeper than that. An interview using behavioral questions can help you determine how well the candidate will fit with your company culture.
Download Amtec's best practices on conducting super effective interviews to find the best candidates and fill your open jobs.
Get the info you need to hire the best electrical engineersFree Interview Guide