Are you considering a career in electronics? You are on the right path. Thanks to the rapid expansion of digital technology, electronics engineering does not only have an extensive pool of job options but is also continuously growing.
Your tasks and responsibilities in electronics vary depending on the industry in which you are working. In a nutshell, it deals with electronic circuits and the devices, equipment, and systems that utilise them. The field, however, is immense and wide-ranging that it has branched out into several sub-categories. These include analogue electronics, consumer electronics, digital electronics, embedded systems, and power electronics. Additionally, you can choose a career in radio frequency design and mobile communications, telecommunications, transportation, computing, signal processing, and even military and aeronautical electronics.
A career in electronics is not only lucrative but also challenging. Perhaps the most rewarding aspect of your profession is, you get to be at the forefront of researching, designing, and supervising the development of technologies that make people’s lives better. What types of careers can you pursue in this profession? More importantly, which fields are in demand? Here are the most sought-after jobs in electronics.
Electronics Test Engineer
Electronics test engineers evaluate newly-developed electrical products to ensure they meet quality standards before they become available for consumer use. They must be present at all levels of product development and oversee every aspect of the testing procedure. In the pre-production stage, electronics engineers review the prototype’s functionality and provide suggestions for possible improvements. During the actual testing, they guarantee that the product’s electronic circuits and systems comply with the legal standards of efficiency and safety. Lastly, they continuously monitor and inspect the finished product to ensure it retains its high quality throughout its life cycle.
The national average salary for an electronics test engineer in the United Kingdom is £42,724 per year. Entry-level may be around £28,761 to £38,855, but can go up as high as £49,021, depending on one’s work experience, the location of the company, and the nature of the industry.
Electronics test engineers often specialise in research, design, and development in telecommunications, robotics, IT, semiconductors, automotive, aerospace, acoustics, and the fast-moving consumer goods industry. Job vacancies can be found on specialist electronics recruitment websites such as KO2 Recruitment Solutions.
Electronic Design Engineer
Electronic design engineers use their knowledge of electronic theory to create and develop various layouts of electronic components, software, or equipment for industrial, commercial, military, medical, or scientific use. They conduct feasibility studies, provide cost estimates, and run several diagnostic tests to detect irregularities in the product before its mass production. Electronic design engineers also build or modify products based on their clients’ specified budget, deadline, and target market.
According to the Office for National Statistics, the average pay for an electronic design engineer in the UK is £46,371.67 per anum. The base salary for entry-level ranges from £24,000 to £38,247 and go as high as £74,750. Like most professions, pay varies depending on education, qualification, and experience.
As an electronic design engineer, your career option is vast and includes telecommunications, aerospace research, manufacturing and device enhancement, acoustics and instrumentation, and computer software development.
Embedded Systems Engineer
Almost every modern technology has an embedded system, from digital watches and microwaves to automated trains and rocket ships. An embedded system controls how a machine or device works. For instance, a smoke detector has microprocessors that enable it to set off an alarm when it senses fumes. Embedded system engineers are responsible for designing, developing, and implementing the instructions or codes that tell a device how to function. They test, monitor, and analyse the efficiency and reliability of an embedded system or device. Additionally, they provide technical documentation to show how the system should function.
The salary of an embedded systems engineer varies depending on education, certifications, additional skills, years of experience. The location of the company and the type of industry also matters. Base pay ranges from £26k to £52k per year, with £34,989 as the average. The salary can go up to £69,000 or higher for senior engineers.
Embedded systems engineers are in demand in medical science, manufacturing, consumer electronics, aviation, and automotive technology.
C++ Software Engineer
C++ is a general-purpose computer programming language used in browsers, photo and video editing, games, operating systems, and other graphics-heavy software. The primary focus of C++ software engineers is to design and build efficient and stable C++ codes. However, they are also responsible for managing, testing, executing, and improving existing applications, programs, or software. C++ software engineers mainly deal with desktop and mobile applications and collaborate with the software development team most of the time. They should be adept at incorporating computer science with electronics engineering and mathematical analysis to create optimal output.
Based on data gathered by payscale.com, the average salary of a C++ Software Engineer Salary in the United Kingdom is £39,526 per year. Pay for entry-level engineers is around £27k, but the rate can go up to £82k for experienced developers.
C++ software engineers can work in embedded systems or financial systems in the corporate business world. However, they are also sought-after in the technical gaming design sector, network control systems, and operating systems.
Firmware is a set of programmes encoded on a hardware device, which tells it how to communicate with other devices. Examples include a TV remote, timing and control systems of a washing machine, and computer software. Firmware engineers create and install algorithms into hardware devices to enable them to function according to their purpose. Additionally, they monitor the performance of the devices to ensure efficiency and reliability. In some cases, they may need to modify or upgrade existing software based on the clients’ needs and requirements.
The national average pay for firmware engineers in the UK is £34,581 annually, as reported by PayScale. The base salary for entry-level staff is £25,000, while senior engineers may enjoy £54,000 or higher. Location, nature of the industry, qualifications, and experience are factors that affect the salary.
Sectors hiring firmware engineers include telecommunications, manufacturing, information technology development, and networking hardware companies.