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Working as an Electrical or Electronics Engineer [NOC 2133]

Job Description

Electrical and electronics engineers design, manufacture and test electrical and electronic equipment and systems.

You may perform the following duties:

  • conduct research into the feasibility, design, operation and performance of power systems, electrical machinery and electronic communications, instrumentation and control systems, including the individual equipment and components
  • prepare material cost and timing estimates, reports and design specifications for electrical and electronic systems and equipment
  • design electrical and electronic circuits, components, systems and equipment, such as systems that transmit voice, video and data over copper wires, fibre optics or microwave networks
  • supervise and inspect the installation, modification, testing and operation of electrical and electronic systems and equipment

You may specialize in:

  • electrical design for residential, commercial or industrial installations
  • electrical power generation and transmission
  • instrumentation and control systems
  • development of electronics and nanoelectronics, such as solar cells, thin film display, quantum computers, high-speed communications systems, optics and optoelectronics, and medical electronics.

Source: WorkBC NOC 2133

Industry Overview

Most job openings in the Electrical and Electronics engineering field are expected to result from replacing retiring workers.

Electric, gas, telephone and other utility companies are typical provincial employers that will likely experience increased need in the near future. Since firms increasingly obtain electronic engineering expertise from consulting and service companies, most employment growth will be in these non-manufacturing firms.

The aerospace, oil and high voltage power system industries may provide opportunities for larger electronic and electrical engineering companies to work on international contracts.

Source: WorkBC [NOC 2133]

Job Outlook in BC

forecasted average employment growth rate; job openings; composition of job openings for 2019 to 2020 in BC

You can learn more about the engineering sector from:

  • Career Cruising – Profiles for Electrical Engineer and Electronics Engineer

Types of Employers

Electrical and electronics engineers work for:

  • electrical utilities
  • communications companies
  • manufacturers of electrical and electronic equipment
  • government agencies
  • professional, scientific, and technical services firms (consulting firms)
  • a wide range of manufacturing, processing and transportation industries

You may work in a more specialized field if you have a master’s degree. If you obtain a doctoral degree, you can contribute to the field through research and teaching at the post-secondary level, or you may find employment in a large firm in your area of specialization.

Salary

In BC, the median annual salary is $76,794. Your salary depends on a number of factors, including experience, level of education, employer, and specialization.

In addition to a salary, most full time engineers also receive benefits such as health and dental insurance, paid sick leave and vacation time. You may also receive further benefits, including performance-based bonuses, use of a company car, and pension plan contributions.

In its 2016 Report on Members’ Compensation and Benefits, Engineers & Geoscientists British Columbia (formerly APEGBC) provided these salary figures:

Mean Lower
Quartile
Median Upper Quartile
Engineering Consulting– Electrical/Electronics $104,561 $80,000 $100,000 $119,000
Industry – Electric power & gas utilities incl. BC Hydro $105,873 $80,000 $103,000 $125,272
Bachelor’s degree – Base salary – Electrical/Electronics $104,425 $96,500

Source: Engineers & Geoscientists British Columbia

In BC regions you can expect to make:

Low, median, and high hourly wages forBC regionsfor BC

Source: Job Bank, Wage Report

Working Hours

You usually work a standard 40-hour week. However, you may occasionally be expected to work longer hours in order to meet project deadlines.

Engineers work mostly in offices or labs. These spaces tend to be clean and comfortable. Those who work in manufacturing may spend time on the factory floor. They may need to wear protective gear, steel-toed boots and helmets.

  • Career Cruising – Profiles for Electrical Engineer and Electronics Engineer

Skills, Education and Experience

Skills

  • a strong aptitude for math and science
  • good written and oral communication
  • strong computer skills
  • critical thinking and problem solving
  • logical and detail oriented
  • leadership
  • teamwork
  • project management

Education and Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree in electrical or electronics engineering or in a related engineering discipline
  • Master’s degree or doctorate in a related engineering discipline may be required

Qualifications

This occupation is regulated in British Columbia.

You must be licensed by Engineers & Geoscientists British Columbia (formerly APEGBC) to use the title Professional Engineer in BC.

However, you can work in engineering, even if you haven’t been licensed by a professional engineering association, as long as you are working under the direct supervision of a professional engineer (P.Eng) or professional geoscientist licensed in the province or territory in which you are working.

Only licensed engineers are permitted to undertake and assume responsibility for engineering projects in BC.  Licensing is required to approve engineering drawings and reports, and to practise as a Professional Engineer (P. Eng.)

In order to become a registered member of Engineers & Geoscientists British Columbia you require:

  • graduation from an accredited educational program
  • four years of supervised work experience in engineering, at least one of these years must be gained in a Canadian environment
  • passing a professional practice examination
  • completion of the law and ethics seminar

For more information:

Internationally trained engineers

If you have completed your P. Eng application process you may qualify as a “Provisional Member” with Engineers & Geoscientists British Columbia. This designation provides member status to internationally trained engineering graduates who have completed the academic, experience, professionalism, character, and residency requirements.

For more information:

Finding Jobs

You’ll find job advertisements in local newspapers, trade journals, and electronic sources, as well as through professional associations’ publications.

Local Newspapers

You can look at the Vancouver Sun & The Province at Vancouver Public Library for free. Check the job postings daily, the careers section in the Vancouver Sun on Wednesdays and Saturdays and in The Province on Sundays.

Job White Pages

  • Available in print at the Central Library or online at JOBFreeway.com
    NOTE:  Access at VPL locations only

Online Job Postings

  • BC JobConnect
    **must have permanent resident number**
    newcomers can post their skills, education and work experience to BC employers looking for workers

Professional Associations’ Career Resources

Identifying the Right Position

When you browse job advertisements, you’ll find a range of different job titles that are relevant.

For electrical & electronics engineers, look at these related job titles (NOC 2133):

  • Avionics Engineer
  • Control Systems Engineer
  • Design Engineer, Electrical
  • Distribution Planning Engineer, Electrical
  • Electrical Network Engineer
  • Instrumentation and Control engineer
  • Process Control Engineer, Electrical
  • Test Engineer, Electronics

Source: NOC

Creating a List of Potential Employers

You can use directories to produce lists of potential employers in the electrical and electronics industries. Contact them directly to find out if they’re hiring.

  • Reference Canada
    Click on “Start Search” beside Canadian Businesses, then select the “Advanced Search” button.
    Select both “Keyword/SIC/NAICS” under Business Type and “City” under Geography.
    In the top search box enter “electrical engineerORelectronic engineer”and click SEARCH.
    Select the appropriate headings.
    Lower down, select the Province, choose the cities, and click the “View Results” button.
    NOTE: You can access this database from a Library computer. If you are using a computer from outside the Library, you will need a Vancouver Public Library card to login to this database. After clicking on the database name, you will be asked to enter your library card number and PIN (usually last four digits of your telephone number).

Applying for a Job

In Canada, employers usually expect to receive a resume or curriculum vitae and a cover letter that identifies the position you are applying for and summarizes your relevant experience.

Use the library catalogue to find books on writing resumes and cover letters specific to your industry.

To learn about applying for jobs in Canada, use the following guides:

Getting Help from Industry Sources

Industry Associations

Associations for professional and electrical & electronics engineers in BC and Canada provide information and assistance. Registration and fees are required for membership.

Industry Journals

Search the Vancouver Public Library catalogue for journals related to your profession. Examples include:

  • Innovation / Journal of Engineers & Geoscientists British Columbia
    Also available at VPL Central Library, 650.5 B86