Is electrical engineering as hands on as I think it is?
I am an aspiring electrical engineer and I want to do EE because I enjoy it. My main concern is that electrical engineering jobs aren't hands on. I have heard from multiple people that the majority of the jobs are just sitting at a desk all day.
Also, is EE in Boston viable? To me, it seems like yes
#electrical-engineering #engineering #engineer #job #boston
Douglas Lemmo, P.E.
From your question, I can't tell if you are already in college studying EE or you are considering it. I will assume you are already an EE student in college. The specific answer to your question is EE can be somewhat "hands-on" or it can be "in an office". In my experience there are several paths a new engineers might go down: design engineering (almost always in an office), field engineering (seldom in an office), application engineering (mostly in an office), manufacturing engineering (largely in an office, but not all of the time), sales engineering (some office time - some time with customers). It is pretty safe to say that 4-year degreed engineers are not going to be actually working with their hands (unless you go into R&D, which is a part of design engineering) wiring something up. Working with your hands is typically what an Engineering Technician or skilled craft labor electrician would do. A 4 year degreed engineer, would most likely be directing the activities of a group technicians or craft labor people. For example if a utility needed a new substation, they would go to a design engineering group (of 4 year degreed Engineers) to design the substation. Once it is designed, a Field Engineer (4 year degreed engineer) would take the design (drawings) and go to the site of the new substation and direct the activities of the technicians and craft labor to actually build the substation and put it into operation. Any large, complicated device (submarine, ship, airplane, power plant, manufacturing facility, computer center, commercial building) needing to be built or maintained would employ the same team of people: Design Engineers - Field Engineers. So if you like EE and do not want to be in an office, there are many opportunities for "other than design engineers" in the electrical field.
To answer your second question, yes there is a need for EEs here in Boston and all of New England. I would suggest you search job postings on the internet for Electrical Engineering Opportunities at engineering firms, as well as utilities and manufacturing facilities. Search for Electrical Engineering jobs and I believe you will find a significant number and variety of EE jobs.
Hope this helped.
Congratulations on being interested in becoming an engineer. It takes a special person to enter this field and meet the demands which this career area presents. The first step is to get to know yourself to see if you share the personality traits which make engineers successful. The next step is doing networking to meet and talk to and possibly shadow engineers to see if this is something that you really want to do, as a career area could look much different on the inside than it looks from the outside.
You might also want to explore becoming an electrician. The electricians are the ones who carry out the plans that an electrical engineer creates. Do the same exploration as mentioned above to meet and talk to electricians. These are the people who do the real hands on work developed by the electrical engineers.
Ken recommends the following next steps: