Electronics engineers research, design, develop, or test electronic components and systems.
What does an Electronics Engineer do?
Electronics engineers research, design, develop, or test electronic components and systems employing knowledge of electronic theory and materials properties. They design electronic circuits and components for use in fields such as computing, telecommunications, aerospace guidance and propulsion control, acoustics, or instruments and controls
As an electronics engineer you might research, design and develop electronic components and equipment in a range of industries, for example:
- telecommunications - mobile phones, radio, TV and satellite communications
- data communications - PCs, tablets and ATMs
- scientific research - acoustics, optics, physics and nanotechnology
- medical instruments - clinical and laboratory equipment
- military - communications, navigation and weapons systems
- aerospace – avionics, radar, navigation and communication systems
- manufacturing - programmable logic controls (PLCs) and industrial machinery.
On a day-to-day basis, you might:
- assess new developments or innovations to see if they are workable
- prepare technical plans using computer-aided engineering and design software
- estimate manufacturing and labour costs, and project timescales
- coordinate the work of technicians
- test prototypes and analyse data
- make sure that projects meet safety regulations
- plan and oversee inspection and maintenance schedules.
You would often work on a project with a team of other engineers and technicians.
Key skills and interests
To become an electronics engineer, you would need:
- a flair for maths, science, technology and IT
- the ability to analyse problems
- strong decision-making skills
- excellent communication skills
- the ability to prioritise and plan work effectively
- the ability to manage a budget.
Working hours and conditions
Electronics engineers normally work standard weekly hours, but you may work longer to meet project deadlines.
Most of your work would take place in offices or in a lab. Occasionally, you may have to work on site in factories, workshops or outdoors.
How to become an Electronics Engineer?
Entry Level Education
To become an electronics engineer you usually have to study electronic engineering at university. To get into these courses you usually need to gain your senior secondary school certificate or equivalent. English, mathematics, chemistry and physics would be appropriate subjects to study prior to university.
Graduates may be eligible for membership of Engineers Australia.
Employment of electronics engineers is projected to grow slower than the average for all occupations.
Job growth is expected because of electronics engineers’ versatility in developing and applying emerging technologies. On the other hand, employment growth could be tempered by slow growth or decline in most manufacturing sectors in which electronics engineers are employed.
Job growth for electronics engineers will largely occur in engineering services firms, because more companies are expected to contract engineering services rather than directly employing engineers. These engineers will also experience job growth in computer systems design, as these industries continue to implement more powerful portable computing devices.
The rapid pace of technological innovation and development will likely drive demand for electronics engineers in research and development, as engineering expertise will be needed to develop distribution systems related to new technologies.