As a child, were you always curious about how the remote turned on the television, and why the toaster always burned your toast? In the field of electrical engineering, individuals have the opportunity to study all kinds of devices, including communications equipment, medical monitoring devices, and navigational equipment. They may help develop, design, and test these devices, or they may work to repair equipment. Underlying the foundation of every electrical engineering program is an analysis of how things work. A number of accredited online degree programs in electrical engineering can prepare you for a career as an electrical technician or engineer.
Online Associate Degree Programs for Electrical Engineering
Associate degrees in electrical engineering technology will teach students the fundamentals of communications operations, data processing, electronics, and electrical circuitry. Students will develop a theoretical understanding of these concepts and apply them in the laboratory environment. The curriculum will likely include classes in math, physics, programming, databases, networking, and electronics. Graduates may pursue careers in electrical engineering technology as electronics technicians, service technicians, telecommunications technicians, and engineering technicians.
Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs for Electrical Engineering
Online undergraduate engineering degree programs will help students develop a thorough understanding of fundamental concepts in the field. They will take classes in physics, chemistry, mathematics, and the engineering sciences. Students will learn about electrical and electronic circuits, electromagnetics, communications, control systems, and digital image processing. Students may also be required to complete a senior capstone project, a research-based project that combines theory and application. Upon graduation, students may go on to work in the industry or choose to pursue graduate education.
Online Master’s Degree Programs for Electrical Engineering
Most employers do not require electrical engineers to possess master’s degrees, although there may be some exceptions. Graduate online electrical engineering degree programs will further students’ knowledge in the field of electrical engineering, strengthening their foundation in the physical sciences, mathematics, and engineering techniques. Online masters degree programs may include courses on VLSI systems, wireless personal communications, and energy processes. Some master’s degree programs may require individuals to already be equipped with computer programming skills. Students may also be expected to complete a research project or thesis.
Online Doctoral Degree Programs for Electrical Engineering
A Ph.D. in electrical engineering is attractive to those who plan on pursuing research or teaching at the postsecondary level. Most Ph.D. curriculums allow for some flexibility, so that students can customize their courses to suit their interests. Taking a multidisciplinary approach and conducting independent research are encouraged, so Ph.D. students will submit a dissertation that consists of original research. They will also have to pass preliminary and qualifying exams. Interested applicants should note that Ph.D. programs are often lengthy and grueling, but ultimately worth it to the driven and aspiring academic.
Online Degree Programs in Electrical Engineering in the Work Place
Most electrical engineers will work for corporations, although some may take government positions. Career opportunities vary most significantly between those who receive an associate versus a bachelor’s degree. Those who receive an associate degree will become electrical and electronic technicians, whose earnings are lower than those of electrical and electronic engineers. For instance, in 2011, the mean annual wage of electrical and electronic technicians was $57,240, while the salaries of electrical and electronic engineers averaged $89,200 per year. Of course, salaries are dependent on a number of other factors as well, such as the candidate’s past experience, location, and employer.
Some electrical engineers may obtain a license, although licensure is not as common in electrical engineering as it is in other engineering disciplines. To become licensed, engineers must graduate from an ABET-accredited program and pass the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam. After gaining some work experience, engineers may take the Professional Engineering (PE) exam, which will allow them to become fully licensed engineers. However, students should note that licensing requirements may vary slightly from state to state.