The discipline and career prospects of Electronic Engineering
A career in Electronic Engineering promises to be one that is filled with new technology and inspiring processes. Considering engineering careers or want to learn more about Electronic Engineering jobs? Read on for more information on what the career is all about, the fields and industries in which an electronic engineer would work and more.
The Job of an Electronic Engineer
So what is an electronic engineer and how does it differ from an electrical engineer? While these engineering jobs are quite similar, and both can work on projects together, their roles differ. Each of the engineers work on software, equipment and projects that have electronic elements but the various technical details are where they differ in the work and type of work they do.
Electronic engineers are found in specialised engineering fields. You could also choose to further specialise in control engineering, telecommunications and other electronic engineering fields.
As an electronic engineer what would you do? Your focus would be on developing, design and testing systems and devices. You would be involved in a range of sectors and industries. Your other main areas of focus would be to help test and implement prototypes and you’d be involved in all areas of production, from implementation to manufacturing.
You can find yourself in a range of industries and sectors including: manufacturing, defence, aerospace, electronics, telecoms and fast moving consumer goods industry.
The projects you may find yourself in include: mobile devices, robotics, nanotechnology, defence work and much more. All of these are cutting edge and ensure the opportunity for you to stretch and grow.
Technical performance is a vitally important aspect, with the role of an electronic engineer being that of one who aims to improve and best design systems and processes.
Electronic Engineer jobs entail that you normally be based in an office or laboratory, depending on the industry you have chosen to work in. You may be required to travel, to different sites and to oversee and manage certain aspects of projects.
You’ll also find that you will usually have normal working hours but it may vary depending on certain projects or deadlines. This mean overtime may be required in the run up to a larger project or launch.
These engineering careers involve a set of responsibilities, and while they may differ depending on the industry you find yourself in, there are a host of similarities.
Responsibilities Associated with Electronic Engineering
You’ll be working on the design of circuits, devices and various technology, to improve or create something entirely new. With this, you’ll also test designs, write reports and processes, improve the design of existing products, projects and more.
Engineering jobs of this nature will entail that you also help supervise and manage various employees and craftsmen, depending on the industry.
You’ll find yourself working within clear parameters of a project, from measurements to calculations to ensure the ideal product or system. In doing so, you may also find yourself analysing and understanding consumers’ needs to create the best product or system.
Other responsibilities include working with a range of project managers and other teams to ensure projects are met and completed within certain standards. Projects could include developing and working on new ways to harness and make use of electronics and power to best be used in various products and systems.
Electronic engineering roles and responsibilities also include maintaining, testing and evaluating systems. These would be used in new projects as well as those to best repair and make use of various elements.
All this would be done alongside recommending safety measures, as well as offering insight into the project outcomes.
Working on electronic properties, systems and parts are a key part of the job. Improving performance and efficiency are another key responsibility.
While the responsibilities of engineering vacancies depend on the industry and your experience, this is much of what you’ll do on a day-to-day basis.
To take on such responsibilities it is important to have a certain skillset and understanding.
Skills needed for Electronic Engineering Jobs
You’ll find you will need a certain skillset as an electronic engineer. While many of your responsibilities may differ depending on the industry you find yourself in, you will find your skillset will be invaluable, no matter the industry.
You’ll need a varied skillset if you are interested in these types of engineering vacancies. As one you will find yourself working on complex and detailed products and systems, using a range of electronic parts, with a range of different elements and technicalities involved.
As such, you’ll need to have high levels of technical, maths and IT skills as well as concentration. Maths, IT and technical skills come in when designing and working on various projects; while the ability to concentrate on complicated and detailed work for hours on end is needed in a range of scenarios. These skills coupled with innovation and creativity makes a formidable mix.
You’ll also need to have problem solving skills should a situation arise and have the analytic ability to understand the situation and possible outcomes.
Having high levels of communication and interpersonal skills are also key for Electronic Engineering jobs as you will find yourself working in teams, on various projects, with a diverse range of employees and people. You’ll need to be able to effectively communicate and work with a host of people on different aspects of any given project. Along with this, you’ll need to be able to explain ideas and project designs effectively, to ensure all involved understand the various elements.
The job market is a good one for engineers as well as electronic engineers. There is always a demand for highly skilled engineers on a range of projects, across the country.
Electronic Engineer Salary and Career Opportunities
You can expect an annual electronic engineer salary of around R301, 674 per annum. You’ll most likely find that during the first five years of employment, your salary will increase and will even out and remain stable for much of the rest of the duration of employment.
The benefits of the job are working in a high paced, technologically based environment, with like-minded people on a range of projects. The rewards and benefits lie in the successful completion of a project that has the possibility of having a vast impact on lives.
As for the career opportunities and engineering vacancies, they are found in a host of industries and sectors, where your expertise and specialised skills will be needed. This allows for job and industry flexibility.
Education needed for Engineering Jobs
If you would like to peruse engineering careers, there are a range of tertiary education institutions and colleges in South Africa that offer programmes.
A degree in electronic engineering requires an undergraduate programme, with some options for Honours and Masters programmes to specialise in a certain aspect of the exciting field.
There is a range of institutions that you can study at, around South Africa.
North-West University, or NWU, has a strong department focusing on engineering and electronic engineers. You can study towards an undergraduate degree through the NWU Electrical Department.
The Department makes use of experts to train and consult in power, quality and electronics to ensure the best foundation. A degree takes around 4 years, with Honours and Masters options available.
At TUKS: Technological development is an important factor and you can study towards a degree through the Department of Electrical, Electronic and Computer Engineering. The department is one of the biggest in the countries and offers the chance to specialise in a range of more niche fields. A degree takes around 4 years, with Honours and Masters options available.
Both the University of Cape Town and Stellenbosch University offer undergraduate and postgraduate options for a degree in this field of engineering. At Stellenbosch it is through the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering.
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There are a host of ways to start your path as an electronic engineer and it promises to be a truly rewarding job.
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