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Career profile Electronics Design Engineer

Also known as Design Engineer, Electronics Design Engineer, Evaluation Engineer, Integrated Circuit Design Engineer (IC Design Engineer), Product Engineer, Radio Frequency Engineer (RF Engineer), Research and Development Engineer (RD Engineer), Test Engineer

Electronics Design Engineer

Also known as Design Engineer, Electronics Design Engineer, Evaluation Engineer

Interests Profile
  • Investigative
  • Realistic
  • Artistic
Pay Range
$69,210 - $167,410 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Critical Thinking
  • Complex Problem Solving
Knowledge Areas
  • Engineering and Technology
  • Computers and Electronics
  • Mathematics
Core tasks
  • Determine project material or equipment needs.
  • Prepare engineering sketches or specifications for construction, relocation, or installation of equipment, facilities, products, or systems.
  • Prepare documentation containing information such as confidential descriptions or specifications of proprietary hardware or software, product development or introduction schedules, product costs, or information about product performance weaknesses.
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What does an Electronics Design Engineer do?

Electronics Design Engineers research, design, develop, or test electronic components and systems for commercial, industrial, military, or scientific use employing knowledge of electronic theory and materials properties.

In addition, Electronics Design Engineers design electronic circuits and components for use in fields such as telecommunications, aerospace guidance and propulsion control, acoustics, or instruments and controls.

What kind of tasks does an Electronics Design Engineer perform regularly?

Electronics Design Engineers are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Determine project material or equipment needs.
  • Prepare engineering sketches or specifications for construction, relocation, or installation of equipment, facilities, products, or systems.
  • Prepare documentation containing information such as confidential descriptions or specifications of proprietary hardware or software, product development or introduction schedules, product costs, or information about product performance weaknesses.
  • Evaluate project work to ensure effectiveness, technical adequacy, or compatibility in the resolution of complex electronics engineering problems.
  • Analyze electronics system requirements, capacity, cost, or customer needs to determine project feasibility.
  • Operate computer-assisted engineering or design software or equipment to perform electronics engineering tasks.
  • Confer with engineers, customers, vendors, or others to discuss existing or potential electronics engineering projects or products.
  • Prepare necessary criteria, procedures, reports, or plans for successful conduct of the project with consideration given to site preparation, facility validation, installation, quality assurance, or testing.
  • Plan or develop applications or modifications for electronic properties used in components, products, or systems to improve technical performance.
  • Direct or coordinate activities concerned with manufacture, construction, installation, maintenance, operation, or modification of electronic equipment, products, or systems.
  • Recommend repair or design modifications of electronics components or systems, based on factors such as environment, service, cost, or system capabilities.
  • Develop or perform operational, maintenance, or testing procedures for electronic products, components, equipment, or systems.

The above responsibilities are specific to Electronics Design Engineers. More generally, Electronics Design Engineers are involved in several broader types of activities:

Working with Computers
Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems
Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Drafting, Laying Out, and Specifying Technical Devices, Parts, and Equipment
Providing documentation, detailed instructions, drawings, or specifications to tell others about how devices, parts, equipment, or structures are to be fabricated, constructed, assembled, modified, maintained, or used.
Documenting/Recording Information
Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

What is an Electronics Design Engineer salary?

The median salary for an Electronics Design Engineer is $107,540, and the average salary is $112,320. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Electronics Design Engineer salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Electronics Design Engineers earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Electronics Design Engineers earn less than $69,210 per year, 25% earn less than $84,400, 75% earn less than $135,290, and 90% earn less than $167,410.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Electronics Design Engineers is expected to change by 6.2%, and there should be roughly 9,000 open positions for Electronics Design Engineers every year.

Median annual salary
$107,540
Typical salary range
$69,210 - $167,410
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
6.2%

What personality traits are common among Electronics Design Engineers?

Interests

Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as an Electronics Design Engineer are usually higher in their Investigative, Realistic, and Artistic interests.

Electronics Design Engineers typically have very strong Investigative interests. Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

Also, Electronics Design Engineers typically have strong Realistic interests. Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Lastly, Electronics Design Engineers typically have moderate Artistic interests. Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.

Values

People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as an Electronics Design Engineer tend to value Working Conditions, Recognition, and Achievement.

Most importantly, Electronics Design Engineers strongly value Working Conditions. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions.

Second, Electronics Design Engineers strongly value Recognition. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious.

Lastly, Electronics Design Engineers strongly value Achievement. Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Electronics Design Engineers must consistently demonstrate qualities such as attention to detail, dependability, and analytical thinking.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Electronics Design Engineers, ranked by importance:

Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Analytical Thinking
Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
Cooperation
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Adaptability/Flexibility
Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.

What education and training do Electronics Design Engineers need?

Many Electronics Design Engineers will have a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.

Electronics Design Engineers usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.

Educational degrees among Electronics Design Engineers

  • 0.2% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 3.4% completed high school or secondary school
  • 6.6% completed some college coursework
  • 6.7% earned a Associate's degree
  • 50.4% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 26.4% earned a Master's degree
  • 6.2% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Electronics Design Engineers

Electronics Design Engineers may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as engineering and technology, computers and electronics, or mathematics knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Electronics Design Engineers might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Engineering and Technology
Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
Computers and Electronics
Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Mathematics
Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Design
Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
Physics
Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub-atomic structures and processes.

Important Abilities needed by Electronics Design Engineers

Electronics Design Engineers must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Electronics Design Engineers need abilities such as oral comprehension, written comprehension, and oral expression in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Electronics Design Engineers, ranked by their relative importance.

Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Written Comprehension
The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Oral Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Problem Sensitivity
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
Deductive Reasoning
The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.

Critical Skills needed by Electronics Design Engineers

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Electronics Design Engineers frequently use skills like reading comprehension, critical thinking, and complex problem solving to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Electronics Design Engineers, ranked by their relative importance.

Reading Comprehension
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
Critical Thinking
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
Complex Problem Solving
Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Writing
Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Speaking
Talking to others to convey information effectively.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

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