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Electrical Engineer

Electrical engineers specify, design, construct, analyze, and test electrical and electronic components and systems and are responsible for their safe operation.

  • Avg. Salary $98,528.00
  • Avg. Wage $48.35
  • Minimum Education 4 years post-secondary
  • Outlook avg
  • Employed 4,300
  • In Demand Lower
Also Known As

Communications Engineer, Control Systems Engineer, Digital Systems Engineer, Electronics Engineer, Engineer, Instrumentation Engineer, Professional Engineer

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: Electrical and Electronics Engineers (2133) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Electrical and Electronics Engineers (C033) 
  • 2011 NOC: Electrical and electronics engineers (2133) 
Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

11%
11%
Average Wage
Starting
Overall
Top
  • Certification Provincially Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 10 kg
Interest Codes
The Electrical Engineer is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Electrical and Electronics Engineers
INNOVATIVE

Interest in synthesizing information to develop maintenance and operating standards and to investigate failures

OBJECTIVE

Interest in precision working to design electrical and electronic circuits, components, systems and equipment

DIRECTIVE

Interest in supervising technicians, technologists, programmers, analysts and other engineers; and in overseeing the installation, modification, testing and operation of systems and equipment

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 
It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn More

Duties
Updated Mar 31, 2018

Electrical engineers work with systems. These systems generate, transmit, distribute, store, control, or use electromagnetic energy or electrically coded information. Engineers may be involved in developing, manufacturing, or applying electrical and electronic devices, circuits, systems, products, and equipment. They produce single line diagrams, schematics, wiring diagrams, cable tray layouts, junction box layouts, and so on. They must apply and comply with known standards. They may be involved in developing those standards.

Electrical engineers may specialize in:

  • biomedical engineering (to learn more, see the Biomedical Engineer occupational profile)
  • communications engineering (for example, compressing, transmitting, routing, and receiving multimedia or digital data on the internet or mobile phones)
  • computer engineering (to learn more, see the Computer Engineer and Software Engineer occupational profiles)
  • control systems engineering (for instance, controlling chemical processes like those used in petroleum extraction, refining, and delivery)
  • digital systems engineering (such as developing hardware systems for communications, process control, computers, and signal processors)
  • electronic materials and nanotechnology (for instance, integrating semiconductor devices and nanoscale sensors)
  • electronics engineering (such as designing integrated circuits for the electronic equipment used in communication or automotive systems)
  • electromagnetics and photonics (such as radio frequency antennae and laser applications)
  • power systems engineering (generating, transmitting, and distributing electrical energy)
  • embedded systems engineering (such as designing a device or part of a device to do specific tasks using little computer memory or other hardware).

In each of these fields, electrical engineers may further specialize in one or more areas:

  • maintaining and solving problems with existing systems
  • conducting research
  • specifying, designing, implementing, and testing products and systems
  • designing and simulating electronic product prototypes (working models)
  • designing manufacturing processes
  • developing test and quality control procedures (to help ensure products meet quality specifications and safety standards).

As well as their technical duties, electrical engineers often:

  • study design proposals, write reports, and make suggestions (on the specifications, design, development, manufacture, testing, or application of products and systems)
  • prepare contract documents (such as drawings and specifications for project construction)
  • supervise and co-ordinate the work of others.
Working Conditions
Updated Mar 31, 2018

Most electrical engineers work in offices. They may travel to operating, construction or infrastructure sites, or manufacturing facilities. They may work long hours and deal with pressure to meet deadlines and design standards. In rare cases they may be exposed to chemical gases or work in severe climate conditions.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 10 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Mar 31, 2018

Electrical engineers need to possess:

  • natural curiosity
  • observation skills
  • the ability to study and solve problems
  • strong math and science skills
  • the ability to pay close attention to details
  • persistence
  • the skills to be organized
  • the skills to manage time well
  • speaking and writing skills
  • the ability to work well in teams made up of people from varied backgrounds.

They should enjoy:

  • being innovative
  • doing precision work
  • keeping up to date with technology
  • working on their own
  • making decisions.
Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2018

The minimum requirement for electrical engineers is a 4-year bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering.


Required Education

The following schools offer programs and courses that meet this occupation’s educational requirements. Other eligible programs and courses may be available.


Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

Grande Prairie Regional College

Grant MacEwan University

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2018

Engineer

Professional engineers design, construct, evaluate, advise, monitor and report on the performance of materials, equipment, systems, works, processes and structures.

Legislation

Under Alberta’s Engineering and Geoscience Professions Act [pdf], you must be a registered member of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA) to practice as a Professional Engineer or engage in the practice of engineering. You do not have to register if you work under the direct supervision of a professional engineer and do not call yourself a Professional Engineer or use the word “engineer” in your job title.

What You Need

Registration as a Professional Engineer in Alberta requires successful completion of:

  • a 4-year bachelor’s degree in a recognized engineering program and at least 4 years of acceptable work experience under the supervision of a Professional Engineer, or an equivalent combination of education and experience
  • a minimum of 3 acceptable references
  • successful completion of an approved examination in law, ethics and professionalism.

A new Provisional Member category has been introduced. For official, detailed information about registration requirements, contact APEGA.

Working in Alberta

Engineers who are registered and in good standing with a regulatory organization elsewhere in Canada may be eligible for registration in Alberta if the 2 jurisdictions require similar responsibilities and competencies.

For more information, see What if I am already certified in another province or territory in Canada? and APEGA.

To find more information on the certification process for internationally educated engineers, see Professional Engineer Licensing Process [pdf] on the Opportunity Alberta website.

Contact Details

Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA)
1500 Scotia One, 10060 Jasper Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta  T5J 4A2
Canada

Call: 780-426-3990
Toll-free in North America: 1-800-661-7020
Fax: 780-426-1877
Email: email@apega.ca
Website: www.apega.ca

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 31, 2018

Electrical engineers may work for:

  • consulting firms
  • electrical utilities
  • construction companies
  • governments
  • electrical equipment makers
  • resource extraction and processing firms
  • transportation firms
  • communication (including telecommunication) firms
  • health authorities
  • universities
  • research institutions.

Many engineers spend their entire careers in technical jobs. Some engineers become managers, administrators, or sales reps (to learn more, see the Technical Sales Representative occupational profile).

Electrical engineers are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 2133: Electrical and electronics engineers. In Alberta, 78% of people employed in this classification in the following industries:

The employment outlook [pdf] in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • trends and events that affect overall employment (especially in the industries listed above)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities that come up when people leave existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities that come up when new positions are created)
  • size of the occupation.

In Alberta, the C033: Electrical and Electronics Engineers occupational group is expected to have an average annual growth of 1.7% from 2016 to 2020. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 114 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 31, 2018
Electrical and electronics engineers

Survey Methodology

Survey Analysis

Overall Wage Details
Average Wage
Average Salary
Hours Per Week

Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $21.00 $72.12 $36.04 $29.81
Overall $26.44 $83.65 $48.35 $43.75
Top $30.00 $102.56 $61.57 $57.69

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

B: Good Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

Good Reliability, represents a CV of between 6.01% and 15.00% and/or fewer than 30 survey observations and/or if survey observations represent less than 50% of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Industry Information
Manufacturing
Public Administration
Professional, Scientific & Technical Services
ALL INDUSTRIES

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

36%
36%

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

11%
11%

Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

4%
4%

Vacancy Rate

2%
Related High School Subjects
  • English Language Arts
  • Mathematics
  • Media, Design and Communication Arts
    • Design Studies
  • Natural Resources
    • Environmental Stewardship
  • Science
    • Chemistry
    • Physics
  • Trades, Manufacturing and Transportation
    • Electro-Technologies
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Engineering, Architecture and Related Studies
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 31, 2018

Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA) website: www.apega.ca

For more information on career planning, education and jobs call the Alberta Supports Contact Centre toll-free at 1-877-644-9992 or 780-644-9992 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Supports Centre near you.

Updated Mar 31, 2018. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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