An electronic engineer is someone who is responsible for designing electronics, quality assurance, and project management. They are fully certified engineers who have completed an undergraduate degree in electronic engineering. Electronic engineers find employment in manufacturing, research, and product development. Electronic engineers design many new electronic products. These products range from the simple radio to a global positioning system or GPS.
In order to become an electronic engineer, you will need both post-secondary education and certification. A degree in electronic engineering is available from a wide range of universities, both traditional and online. This type of degree is available through the faculty of engineering.
To qualify for admission into a degree program, you will need high marks in high school physics, math, English, calculus, and technology courses. The competition for these programs is very intense, as they lead directly to employment opportunities as an engineer. Due to the increased usage of electronics in a wide range of consumer products, electronic engineers are in high demand. They are often employed directly out of university into well paying positions.
Engineers generally must obtain certification before they can accept a position and in the US, this process is management by the American Association of Engineers. Upon graduation, the candidate must apply to this association. Additional courses and examination are required before certification is granted. Upon successful completion of this program, the designation of P.Eng or professional engineer can be used.
Design engineers work with clients, suppliers, and manufacturers to create the schematics for a new product. They are responsible for designing all aspects of the circuit board and programming for the device. Computer software skills are necessary to create the designs and different versions to review with the client.
Once the design has been approved, a test unit is created. This unit must then be subjected to a testing or quality assurance process. There are two roles for quality assurance, new products, and existing products. For all new products, there is a battery of tests required to ensure that the unit functions as expected, meets engineering standards, and is able to be manufactured.
For existing products, the electronic engineer works on the factory floor, randomly selecting items from the production line and testing them. There are certain specific tests that are run and the results must fall into the accepted parameters to pass the test. Once this is done, the results are recorded and analyzed.
Project management is a very common role for an electronic engineer. In this role, they are responsible for managing client expectations, delivering a prototype, and obtaining approval. They must then liaison with suppliers and modify the design for mass production. An assembly method and location must be determined and agreements made with the different companies involved in this process.