When you decided to pursue a career in electronics engineering, you knew the road wouldn’t be easy. You knew the studying would be difficult and intense, but the ultimate payoff – landing your dream job as an electronics engineer – would be well worth your effort.
Now that you have your degree in-hand and your future is looking bright, your next steps will shape your career for life. There are a lot of things to consider. This guide will help you navigate the big decisions you’re facing in the near future, compare job prospects and potential employers, and secure your ideal job in electrical engineering.
There are a lot of things to consider as you embark on your first career in electrical engineering. Which companies are ideal for entry-level electronics engineers? What employment benefits should you be looking for? How can you make your resume stand out from the competition? Beyond these standard job search considerations, electronics engineering is a complex and changing field. There are many directions you can take a career in electronics engineering, and choosing a specialization at the entry level will shape the remainder of your career.
Image via Flickr by NAIT
You should also be thinking about memberships to professional electronics engineering associations. These groups can help you network your way up the career ladder, and they’re also good resume-boosters. And while new graduates are ready to put their studying days behind them, continuing education will be critical to your continued success in your new career.
You’ll find all you need to know to network and interview your way to your first job in electronics engineering in this guide with comprehensive information from more than 80 trusted resources, ranging from professional electronics engineering associations to government websites and educational institutions.
Table of Contents
- Writing an Electronics Engineering Resume
- Navigating the Electronics Engineering Career Landscape
- Electronics Engineering Industry Sub-Segments and Career Paths
- Where to Find Electronics Engineering Jobs
- Evaluating Entry-Level Jobs
- Where Should You Work? The Best Companies and Metros for Electronics Engineers
- Ongoing Learning and Continuing Education
- Professional Electronics Engineering Publications and Journals
- Associations, Networks and Professional Organizations
Writing an Electronics Engineering Resume
Most fresh college graduates are excited to get into the working world and start actually bringing home a substantial paycheck. Fortunately, electronics engineering is a field in which there are lots of job prospects for entry-level candidates, so you won’t have to settle for something out of your field just to pay the bills. Your CV, or resume, is a critical tool in landing your first job as an electronics engineer.
There are several ways you can construct your resume, but the one bit of advice that experts emphasize repeatedly is that you must grab the reader’s attention within 30 to 45 seconds – or your CV is far more likely to end up in the trash bin. For many electronics engineers, that means presenting a clear, concise, and compelling career objective as an introduction.
Image via Flickr by NAIT
As a new graduate seeking your first job in electronics engineering, you probably don’t have a lot of on-the-job experience. That means the chronological resume might not be your best option. Instead, focus on your skills and highlight your achievements and certifications. Include your employment history, but don’t make it the focus of your resume – and do play up any related skills and competencies you’ve acquired, such as exceptional organization skills or problem-solving capabilities. Even unrelated jobs can provide valuable career skills that translate to other industries.
Check out these 7 resources for sample electrical engineering resumes and other expert resume advice.
- How to Write the Perfect CV for your First Engineering Job
- 10 tips for a successful engineering resume
- Tips for Writing an Engineering Resume
- Tufts Career Center – Resumes for Engineers [PDF]
- Sample Resume: Electrical Engineer
Navigating the Electronics Engineering Career Landscape
Chances are, you’ve been focused on maintaining your stellar GPA for the past few years and studying frantically for finals. So if you feel a bit like a fish out of water heading into your electrical engineering job search, you’re not alone. You can get a leg up on your fellow graduates by learning about the current landscape in the electrical engineering field, the employment outlook, the most promising avenues for future employment growth, and other industry details.
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When you head into an interview, being able to speak intelligently about where the field is headed will paint you in a positive light with your potential employers. Knowing the career landscape will also help you look outside of the box for career opportunities. Electronics engineering is a diverse field, and your degree qualifies you for a wide range of entry-level positions.
The following 10 resources will help you figure out the ins and outs of the current landscape in the electrical engineering field and handle your job search like a pro.
- Electrical Engineer Interview
- Five dos and don’ts for your first engineering job
- How To Succeed In The Entry Level Engineering Job Market
- Electrical and Electronics Engineers – Occupational Outlook Handbook
- Landing Your First Job as an Engineer
- 10 Reasons Why You May Not Be Getting a Job Offer
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering Technicians in California
- Classification & Qualifications – All Professional Engineering Positions (OPM.gov)
- Careers in Electronic Engineering Technology
- Career Outlook – Electrical and Electronics Engineers, except Computer
Electronics Engineering Industry Sub-Segments and Career Paths
The field of electronics engineering isn’t simple black and white. It’s a varied industry with opportunities spanning many industries, and there are a variety of facets and specializations professionals with degrees in electronics engineering can focus on, ranging from consumer electronics engineering to embedded systems specialists and everything in between. That means there’s a broad array of potential careers for electronics engineers.
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Don’t limit yourself to the standard “entry-level electronics engineer” job posts. Whether you’re staying in your current city or relocating, research local companies and identify the various ways they may make use of an electronics engineering professional. Get acquainted with the many job titles and responsibilities an electronics engineer may hold to expand your job prospects beyond the norm. If you have a secondary interest, you might just be able to translate it into a unique career that combines two subjects that you’re passionate about.
Take a look at these 8 resources for more information on the many careers you can pursue with an education in electronics engineering.
- Electronics Engineering
- Career: Electrical Engineer
- Computer/Electrical Engineering
- Career Paths for Electrical Engineering Majors
- Career Paths in Electrical and Electronic Engineering
- Career Guide for Electrical Engineers
- Career Paths in Computer Engineering [PDF]
Where to Find Electronics Engineering Jobs
Electronics engineers aren’t limited to employment within a tight niche or select set of industries. Companies in practically any industry might have the need for an electronics engineer, which means more opportunity but also that finding available positions can be a bit tricky. Fortunately, there are several excellent resources for finding open job opportunities in the field of electronics engineering.
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Resources dedicated solely to the advancement of the electronics engineering profession are often excellent resources for finding employment opportunities. The benefit to these resources is that there’s not as much clutter to sift through as on mainstream career and job search websites. Don’t limit yourself; every interview is an opportunity to practice and hone your person-to-person interfacing skills. When you finally land an interview with your dream employer, you’ll be prepared to nail it.
Check out these 8 resources to find limitless electronics engineering job opportunities.
- IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) Job Site
- The Institution of Engineering and Technology – Engineering & Technology Jobs
- Association for Computing Machinery – Career & Job Center
- Navy Engineering Careers
- Electronics Industry Central
- Engineering Central
- Engineering.com Jobs
- Engineer.com Jobs – Electrical Engineering Jobs
Evaluating Entry-Level Jobs
It might be tempting to jump at the first offer you receive. If you play your cards right, you’ll be weighing multiple offers from different companies vying for your expertise. In that case, there are some important things to consider such as health and retirement benefits, ongoing education, the opportunity to work on projects you’re passionate about, company reputation, opportunities for advancement, and other factors.
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Even if you receive a single job offer, negotiating is often expected. If you can convince your employer to sweeten the deal with extra paid vacation days, better retirement matching, or a higher salary, you’ll be ahead of the game.
Check out these 8 resources for tips on comparing competing job offers and identifying ancillary fields and opportunities to expand your prospects.
- Electrical Engineers Lured by Systems Engineer Careers
- Cornell University College of Engineering – Offers
- Deciding on Job Offer(s)
- Engineering Careers at a Glance
- Negotiating Your Salary And Position
- Guide for Evaluating Your Firm’s Jobs and Pay
- Entry Level Electrical Engineer Job Description
Where Should You Work? The Best Companies and Metros for Electronics Engineers
Getting a job offer from a world-renowned company is a definite ego-booster. But some of the best companies for electronics engineers may not be the companies you’re most familiar with. There are some excellent companies spanning a multitude of industries that have a need for electronics engineers – and treat them quite well. Landing your dream job might also mean relocating to a new city, but what areas are the most promising for electronics engineers?
Image via Flickr by Christopher Irvine
Sometimes, moving to a new city where industries are booming is your best bet for securing a prosperous first job in electronics engineering. Or, if you live in an area where the economy is thriving, you might secure your dream job in your own backyard. Evaluate your prospects and consider making a move if it’s the best option for your career.
Find out more about the best companies for electronics engineers from these 7 resources.
- Top Electrical Engineering Companies To Work For
- The Dream Employers For Engineering Students
- 2013 Top 40 Electrical Design Firms
- Electrical Engineering – Industry Sectors
- Top 10 Metro Areas for Entry-Level Electrical Engineers
- Highest-paying markets for electrical engineers
- Electrical Engineering’s Identity Crisis
Ongoing Learning and Continuing Education
Whether your employer pays for it or not, continuing education is going to be a part of your career path. Electronics engineering is an ever-evolving field, so staying on top of new technologies and certifications will be critical to your ability to move up the career ladder.
In fact, professional engineers are required to obtain a certain number of continuing education or professional development hours (PDHs) periodically. The specific requirements vary from state to state, but the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) maintains a database of the state licensing boards and agencies responsible for developing standards and ongoing oversight of professional development education requirements for professional engineers.
Image via Wikipedia.org
Many electronics engineering graduates pursue professional credentials during employment, taking advantage of company-sponsored education and other benefits to obtain the necessary prerequisites to sit for the state licensing exam. Organizations may classify education as continuing education units or credits, or professional development hours; in general, one continuing education unit is equivalent to 10 professional development hours.
These 10 resources will guide you to the best opportunities for continuing education and professional development hours for electronics engineers.
- Engineering Continuing Education and Short Course
- Continuing education – University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Engineering
- Professional Certification in Power Electronics
- Professional Development Options
- CED Engineering
- International Engineering Consortium
- Fifteen Free PDHs
- PDH Online
- Professional Development Hours
- Engineering Professional Development Hours
Professional Electronics Engineering Publications and Journals
In the evolving field of electronics engineering, you want to keep your finger on the pulse of the industry. The best way to stay ahead of the game is by reading the latest news and research in respected industry publications, such as electrical engineering journals and leading blogs.
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Staying educated on the latest industry standards, news, and opportunities won’t just help you advance your career; it will help you excel in your first electronics engineering position and bring more to the table. Exceeding your employer’s expectations will earn you accolades like raises and promotions, as well as ensure you’ll get a stellar professional reference when you decide it’s time to make a move.
Check out these 10 resources for some of the best professional electronics engineering literature.
- Journal of Electrical Engineering
- EE Times
- Electronic Engineering Journal
- EDN Network
- Army Engineering Publications
- Electronic Design Magazine
- New Electronics
- IEEE Journals and Magazines
- Journal of Systems Engineering and Electronics
Associations, Networks and Professional Organizations
Experts consistently say that networking is one of the most effective ways to land your first job in electronics engineering. And one of the best ways to build your network is to join and get involved with associations and professional organizations in the industry. In the electronics engineering field, there are a multitude of associations related to the many sub-segments and facets of the field.
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Check out these 13 resources for more information on professional groups and networking opportunities for electronics engineers.
- IEEE Consumer Electronics Society
- IEEE Circuits & Systems Society
- American Engineering Association
- Consumer Electronics Association
- SLA Engineering Division
- Electric Power Research Institute
- The Association of Computer Electronics and Electrical Engineers (ACEEE)
- Continuing Professional Development Information/Resources
- National Society of Professional Engineers
- Engineering.com Professional Associations
- IEEE Memberships and Subscriptions Catalog – Societies
- IEEE Memberships and Subscriptions Catalog – Councils
You’re about to embark on one of the most exciting journeys of your life as you begin your electronics engineering career. Using these resources to evaluate job offers and find the best first job in line with your career aspirations, you’ll be moving up the career ladder quickly.
This guide was developed by Pannam Imaging, Membrane Switch Manufacturing.