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Electrical Engineer

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

Also Known As

Communications Engineer, Control Systems Engineer, Digital Systems Engineer, Electronics Engineer, Engineer, Instrumentation Engineer, Power Systems 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) 
  • 2016 NOC: Electrical and electronics engineers (2133) 
Interests & Abilities

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2006 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Electrical and Electronics Engineers

2006 NOC: 2133

Interest Codes

Interest Codes for This NOC Group
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

Your Interest Codes

To identify or change your interest codes, complete the Interests Exercise in CAREERinsite.

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 for this NOC group 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 About Interests

Abilities

Typical ability expectations for this NOC group
Your abilities

To fill in or change the values for your abilities, complete the Abilities Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Mental Abilities

General Learning Ability

Verbal Ability

Numerical Ability

Visual Abilities

Spatial Perception

Form Perception

Clerical Perception

Physical Abilities

Motor Coordination

Finger Dexterity

Manual Dexterity

Understanding Abilities

A Quick Guide

You are born with abilities that help you process certain types of information and turn it into action. These abilities influence which skills you can learn more easily.

The abilities or aptitudes shown for this NOC group come from the General Aptitude Test Battery (GATB). The GATB measures 9 aptitudes. It groups them into 3 categories: mental, visual, and physical.

The abilities scores range from 1 to 5, with 5 being stronger.

Learn About Abilities

Duties
Updated Apr 08, 2022

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 (SLD), schematics, wiring diagrams, cable tray layouts, junction box layouts, and so on. They must comply with safety codes and industry 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 (for example, 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 hardware)
  • Electrical systems for buildings (such as lighting, power distribution, fire alarm and security systems, and information technology distribution systems)
  • Design of electrical and communications infrastructure supporting the development of new communities

In each of these fields, electrical engineers may further specialize in areas such as:

  • Maintaining and solving problems with existing systems
  • Conducting research
  • Specifying, designing, simulating / studying, implementing, and testing products and systems
  • Designing and simulating electronic product prototypes (working models)
  • Designing manufacturing processes
  • Developing test and quality control procedures to 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 coordinate the work of others
Working Conditions
Updated Apr 08, 2022
  • Strength Required Lift up to 10 kg

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.

Traits & Skills
Updated Apr 08, 2022

Electrical engineers need:

  • Natural curiosity
  • Observation skills
  • The ability to study and solve problems
  • Math and science skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Persistence
  • Organization skills
  • Time-management skills
  • 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 and as part of a team
  • Making decisions

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2011 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Top 10 Skills Employers Are Looking For

Electrical and electronics engineers

2011 NOC: 2133

This chart shows which job skills are currently in highest demand for this occupational group. It was created using this occupation's 20 most recent Alberta job postings, collected between Dec 28, 2021 and Sep 28, 2022.

Review these skills to learn:

  • Whether or not this occupation matches your skill set
  • What training you may need to get these skills
  • What skills to highlight in your resumé, cover letter, and interview.
Health benefits: Health care plan
Construction Specialization: Team player
Construction Specialization: Excellent oral communication
Construction Specialization: Excellent written communication
Work under pressure
Attention to detail
Health benefits: Dental plan
Computer Systems: Willing to travel
Electrical
Health benefits: Vision care benefits
Educational Requirements
Updated Apr 08, 2022
  • Minimum Education 4 years post-secondary

The minimum requirement for electrical engineers is a 4-year bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering. Many programs include optional paid internships or cooperative components to give students work experience.


Required Education

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


To expand or narrow your search for programs related to this occupation, visit Post-Secondary Programs.

Completing a program does not guarantee entrance into an occupation. Before enrolling in an education program, prospective students should look into various sources for education options and employment possibilities. For example, contact associations and employers in this field.

Certification Requirements
Updated Apr 08, 2022
  • Certification Provincially Regulated

Certain professional titles or duties within this occupation are protected by provincial legislation. Requirements vary if you use these titles or perform these duties.

The related legislation is shown below. If there are multiple related legislations, select a certification heading to learn about each one.

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] and Engineering and Geoscience Professions General Regulation [pdf], you must register as a 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.

For information on what you need and other details, visit the certification profile Engineer.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Apr 08, 2022

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
  • Process plants

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.

Industry Concentration

This section shows the industries where the majority of people in this occupation work. The data is based on the 2016 Census.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups.

In the 2133: Electrical and electronics engineers occupational group, 80.0% of people work in:

Employment Outlook

Employment outlook is influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • Time of year (for seasonal jobs)
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation
  • Trends and events that affect overall employment, especially in the industry or industries from the previous list

In Alberta, the 2133: Electrical and electronics engineers occupational group is expected to have an average annual growth of 1.9% from 2019 to 2023. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 135 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

Note
NOC groups often include several related occupations. Although there is labour market data for the larger NOC group, this occupation makes up only a part of that group. It means data for this occupation may be different than the data shown. For example, only some of the new positions to be created will be for this occupation. It also applies to other data for the NOC group such as number of people employed.

Source: Alberta Regional Occupational Demand Outlook

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

Related Alberta Job Postings
Wage & Salary
Updated Apr 08, 2022

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Electrical and electronics engineers

2016 NOC: 2133
Average Wage
$51.35
Per Hour
Average Salary
$103,500.00
Per Year
Average Hours
38.9
Per Week
Average Months on Payroll
12
Survey Methodology Survey Analysis

Source
2019 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey

NOC 2133 Wage Profile

Unless otherwise noted, the data shown here is for all industries and all regions in Alberta.

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.

To see the full survey data for this NOC group, visit the wage profile.

Other wage sources
To make an informed wage and salary decision, research other wage sources [pdf] to supplement this data.

A: High Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

High Reliability, represents a CV of less than or equal to 6.00% and 30 survey observations and/or represents 50% or more of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top

Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $24.03 $64.90 $40.99 $36.06
Overall $25.96 $76.72 $51.35 $49.52
Top $28.85 $94.66 $62.74 $61.10

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.

Pay brackets for hourly wages

  • Starting pay: average pay offered for entry-level positions
  • Overall pay: average pay across all employees in this occupation
  • Top pay: average pay offered to top-paid employees

Industry Information

Public Administration
Professional, Scientific & Technical Services
ALL INDUSTRIES
Manufacturing

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years
20%
20%)
Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties
10%
10%
Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months
6%
6%
Vacancy Rate
3%
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Engineering, Architecture and Related Studies
Other Sources of Information
Updated Apr 08, 2022

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

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

Updated Mar 31, 2022. 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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