Amtec Hiring Guides

How to Hire Electrical Engineers in Spokane

Amtec Hiring Guides

How to Hire Electrical Engineers in Spokane

Current Environment

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.

History

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.

Will COVID-19 Affect the electrical engineering 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.

How will Recruiting electrical engineers Help Your Company?

How will Hiring electrical engineers Help Your Company?

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.

Fill the Talent Gap

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

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.

electrical engineer Details

Responsibilities

Before we get to exactly how to recruit the best electrical engineers in Spokane, 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:

  • Design new ways to use electrical power to develop or improve products
  • Perform detailed calculations to develop manufacturing, construction, and installation standards and specifications
  • Direct the manufacture, installation, and testing of electrical equipment to ensure that products meet specifications and codes
  • Investigate complaints from customers or the public, evaluate problems, and recommend solutions
  • Work with project managers on production efforts to ensure that projects are completed satisfactorily, on time, and within budget

Electronics engineers typically do the following:

  • Design electronic components, software, products, or systems for commercial, industrial, medical, military, or scientific applications
  • Analyze customer needs and determine the requirements, capacity, and cost for developing an electrical system plan
  • Develop maintenance and testing procedures for electronic components and equipment
  • Evaluate systems and recommend design modifications or equipment repair
  • Inspect electronic equipment, instruments, and systems to make sure they meet safety standards and applicable regulations
  • Plan and develop applications and modifications for electronic properties used in parts and systems in order to improve technical performance

Looking for another position? View other positions we place in Spokane, Washington.

Education

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.

Top Schools

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology

  • University of California - Berkeley

  • California Institute of Technology

Salary Range

electrical engineers in the U.S.

$63k
Low
$103k
Average
$155k
High
328k

Total electrical engineers Employed in the U.S.

88.4%

Men

11.6%

Women


19.9%

Asian

7.3%

Black

8.7%

Hispanic or
Latino

71.3%

White

electrical engineer Salary Comparison

National

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.

Washington

The average annual salary for electrical engineers in Washington was 116k in 2019. The hourly wage averaged $55.76.

For more detailed compensation information for electrical engineers in Spokane, download our free compensation/salary report below.

Working in Spokane

Spokane is located on the Inland Northwest, an area on the eastern border of Washington near its border with Montana. The city, named for the indigenous Spokane people, is 4-5 hours away from Seattle, but a world away as far as culture and the city itself.

It’s a historic town, with more than half of the buildings downtown are on the historic register. It also boasts the second-largest urban waterfall in the United States.

Here are a few other things about living and working in Spokane that residents give a thumbs up.

Pros

    • Cost of living. You can own a house for $300,000 here. That is literally less than half of what you would pay in Seattle.
    • SpokcanePlanner.com provided the average prices of a 3-bedroom, 2-bath homes. Spokane: $280,000, Vancouver: $1,598,000, Seattle: $939,500, Portland: $650,000, Bay Area: $1,100,000
    • There are 5 universities in the University District: Gonzaga, Washington State, Eastern Washington, Whitworth, University of Washington
    • There are 26 wine tasting rooms and wineries in metro Spokane, which offer relaxing leisure activities right in your backyard.
    • Spokane has an active, thriving downtown with a good mix of big merchants, and small, locally-owned shops and restaurants, all placed in a walkable, urban setting.

People do state some general “cons” about living and working in Spokane.

Cons

    • Employment is spotty. There are not too many large employers in Spokane, so if your goal is a “corporate” gig, you may need to head south to the larger cities in Washington.
    • Lack of diversity is a common complaint, so if a multi-cultural location is important to you, this may not be the town for you.
    • Air pollution can be bad due to forest fires and climate change.

Current Weather

Not your city? View other cities where we place electrical engineers.

Demand for electrical engineers in Spokane

Demand for electrical engineers in Spokane

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 Spokane, Washington below.

How to Hire the Best electrical engineers

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.

Recruiting Best Practices

The information below comes from the best practices Amtec uses for finding the highest quality candidates.

Defining the Position

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 Washington. If working in Spokane is essential, make sure you include that in your job posting so candidates can decide how many miles they can commute.

How to Source the Best Candidates

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.

Characteristics of electrical engineers

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.

  • Programs in electrical engineering, electronics engineering, or electrical engineering technology should be accredited by ABET.
  • Look for candidates who revel in analyzing and solving problems.
  • The best candidates enjoy being focused, self-motivated, and innovative.
  • Good communications skills are needed as engineers often need to present designs and relay instructions during product development and production.
  • Consider candidates who will best fit your engineering environment.
  • Partner with a recruiting agency that specializes in mechanical engineering to find the best candidates that can do the job, and become a valued member of your team.

How to Screen Candidates

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.

Free Professional Assessment Questionnaire

An individually customized questionnaire that helps assess a candidate's competence with written communication skills, thinking processes, and other relevant skills.

How to Interview Candidates

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.

Behavioral Interview Guide

Get the info you need to hire the best electrical engineers

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