Electronics engineer

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Electronics engineers design and develop systems for industry, from mobile communications to manufacturing and aerospace.

Salary range: £21,000 to £65,000

How to become an electronics engineer

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role

University

You’ll usually need a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree in a relevant electronics subject.

Employers may accept related subjects if electronics was covered as part of the course. Examples include:

  • aerospace engineering
  • physics and applied physics
  • computer science
  • nanotechnology
  • maths

Entry requirements

You’ll usually need:

  • 1 or 2 A levels, or equivalent, for a foundation degree or higher national diploma
  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree

More information

College

You can do a Level 4 or 5 Higher National Diploma in Electrical and Electronic Engineering before applying for a job.

Entry requirements

You’ll usually need:

  • 1 or 2 A levels, a level 3 diploma or relevant experience for a level 4 or level 5 course

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Apprenticeship

You can do a degree apprenticeship as an embedded electronic systems design and development engineer.

This usually takes 3 years to complete. You’ll do on-the-job training and spend time at a college or training provider.

You can also do a postgraduate level electronics systems principal engineer apprenticeship.

To do this, you’ll need a degree in electronic engineering or a related subject.

Entry requirements

You’ll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a degree apprenticeship

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Work

You could start as an electrical or electronics engineering technician and do training on the job to qualify as an engineer.

More information

Further information

You can find more details about careers and training from Electrical Careers and The Institution of Engineering and Technology.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You’ll need:

  • knowledge of computer operating systems, hardware and software
  • knowledge of engineering science and technology
  • maths knowledge
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • analytical thinking skills
  • design skills and knowledge
  • the ability to work well with others
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

What you’ll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day duties will include:

  • assessing new developments or innovations
  • preparing technical plans using computer-aided engineering and design software
  • estimating manufacturing and labour costs, and project timescales
  • co-ordinating the work of technicians and craftspeople
  • testing prototypes and analysing data
  • making sure projects meet safety regulations
  • planning and overseeing inspection and maintenance

Working environment

You could work in a workshop, in a laboratory, in a factory or in an office.

Your working environment may be outdoors some of the time.

Career path and progression

With incorporated or chartered engineer status you could:

  • move into project management roles
  • specialise in research, such as telecommunications, robotics or semiconductors
  • work as an engineering consultant

You could also move into patent law.

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