Hiring an Electrical Engineer: Job Description, Pay, Interview Questions, & More

Electricity makes machines run, lights illuminate, and data transfer almost instantaneously through miles of wire. Its invisible current is integrated throughout most peoples’ daily lives. Electrical engineers are the designers, inventors, technicians, and builders who understand how to harness electricity to advance technology.

Read on to see a basic electrical engineer’s job description, including their common roles and responsibilities and interview questions to use when hiring an electrical engineer!

What is an electrical engineer?

Electrical engineers specialize in designing, building, installing, maintaining, and testing electrical equipment and systems. You can find electrical engineers working on everything from laptops and smartphones to automobiles and aircraft to power grids that provide light and energy to cities and towns.

Because electricity is used in so many devices and for so many purposes, electrical engineering is a broad field with roles in a vast number of industries. Regardless of where they work, an essential part of an electrical engineer’s job is ensuring the systems they design, develop, and install are safe, reliable, and efficient.

Electrical engineer roles and responsibilities

An electrical engineer’s roles and responsibilities will vary with the industry and their position, but a general summary of their responsibilities includes:

  • Designing electrical systems, including new ways to use electricity or improve products.
  • Collaborating with other professionals like software developers, mechanical engineers, project managers, and other stakeholders.
  • Ensuring their designs are in compliance with relevant laws and regulations.
  • Developing manufacturing standards for the equipment they design.
  • Directing the manufacturing, installation, and testing of their designs.
  • Testing and troubleshooting electrical systems to identify any dangers, problems, or defects.
  • Researching new technologies to stay up-to-date with advances in the field.

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Top skills of an electrical engineer

Engineers are sometimes given problems to solve that have no known solution, so they need to have a strong grasp of the technical details so they can use their knowledge to generate new ideas. Electrical engineers combine an in-depth understanding of mathematics, physics, and computer science with the ability to creatively explore possible solutions.

Hard and soft skills you may see in an electrical engineer job description include:

  • Technical skills, including circuit knowledge
  • Electronic troubleshooting
  • Computer programming
  • Innovative thinking
  • Complex problem-solving skills
  • Communication and interpersonal skills
  • Organization
  • Project management
  • Attention to detail
  • Leadership


An electrical engineering degree is the first step in working as an electrical engineer. A master’s degree is not required, but it can increase earning potential. Some students specialize in topics like communications and signal processing, power systems, electrophysics, computer engineering, control, and microelectronics.

For candidates interested in electrical engineering and leadership, an MBA in Engineering Management may help them advance in their industry.

In addition to education, a professional engineer (PE) license helps candidates stand out as exceptional. However, technical skills are only part of the equation for a successful electrical engineer. They need to be able to communicate their ideas in a compelling way that gets them the financial and other support they need to complete them.

Salary and job outlook for electrical engineers

According to Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual compensation for an electrical engineer is $114,050. However, the top 10% in the industry earn an average of $166,970.

The world relies on electricity, and the job growth for electrical engineers is steady. The demand is estimated to continue growing at about 7 percent a year.

Commonly asked interview questions for an electrical engineer role

In addition to general interview questions, here are some electrical engineering interview questions.

  • Define electrical engineering and explain how and where it’s used.
  • What are three of the essential skills for electrical engineers?
  • What attracted you to a career in electrical engineering?
  • What do you consider to be your best technical skills as an electrical engineer?
  • How about a technical skill you’re working on perfecting?
  • Walk me through the critical components of an electrical circuit.
  • What are three cable types electricians use for transmissions?
  • What do you consider to be your best soft skill as an electrical engineer?
  • How about a soft skill you’re working on developing?
  • What does a logic analyzer do?
  • Tell me about the three main steps in power distribution.
  • Tell me three factors that influence the amount of current flowing through a copper wire.
  • What is the difference between AC and DC?
  • What is the difference between a generator and an alternator?
  • What is an active circuit?
  • What is a passive circuit?
  • Explain the difference between a series and a parallel circuit.
  • Explain the difference between capacitance and inductance.
  • Define reverse polarity, and tell me how you would fix it.
  • If the resistance doubles in a series circuit, how is the current affected? What happens to the resistance if the current is increased?
  • How do you stay up-to-date on current trends and advancements in the field?

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Get started on hiring an electrical engineer today

Electrical engineers design the machines and equipment that power our world. Their specialized knowledge and ability to solve complex problems make them essential to every industry.

If you’re hiring electrical engineers, contact us today. Whether you need one or one hundred, we’ll recruit, interview, and vet candidates for you.

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