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What Jobs Electrical Engineers Do? | Roles and Responsibilities

Have you ever thought about what jobs an electrical engineer do after their graduation. Then this article is for you. Keep reading. 



This article explains what are the roles and responsibilities or duties on different positions handled electrical engineers in the Electrical / Technical Industry. After going through this article you will get a clear idea about the various roles handled by electrical engineers in the industry.

Any electrical or technical organization is made up of a group of individuals with various duties, all working together for their own good, the good of their employer and their customers. 

Here is the list of some of those positions.

1. Design Engineer
2. Estimator / Cost Engineer
3. Contracts Manager
4. Project manager
5. Service manager
6. Technician
7. Supervisor / Foreman
8. Operative or skilled operative
9. Mechanic / Fitter
10. Maintenance Manager / Engineer 

There is often no clear distinction between the duties of the individual employees, each do some of the others work activities. Responsibilities vary, even by people holding the same job title and some individuals hold more than one job title. However, let us look at some of the roles and responsibilities of those working in the electrotechnical industry.

1. Design Engineer : Roles and Responsibilities

  • The design engineer will normally meet with clients and other trade professionals to interpret the customer's requirements.
  • He or she will produce the design specification which enables the cost of the project to be estimated.

 2. Estimator / Cost Engineer 

  • This person measures the quantities of labor and material necessary to complete the electrical project using the plans and specifications for the project.
  • From these calculations and the company’s fixed costs, a project cost can be agreed.

 3. Contracts Manager 

  • Contracts manager may oversee a number of electrical contracts on different sites
  • A contract manager will monitor progress in consultation with the project manager on behalf of the electrical companies.
  • They cost out variations to the initial contract.
  • Contract managers may have health and safety responsibilities because he or she has an overview of all company employees and contracts in progress

 4. Project manager

  • Project manager is responsible for the day-to-day management of one specific contract.
  • He/She will have overall responsibility on that site for the whole electrical installation.
  • Project manager attends site meetings with other trades as the representative of the electrical contractor.

 5. Service manager 

  • Service manager monitors the quality of the service delivered under the terms of the contractor
  • He/She checks that the contract targets are being met.
  • All Service managers checks that the customer is satisfied with all aspects of the project.
  • The Service Manager’s focus is customer specific while the Project Manager’s focus is job specific.

 6. Technician 

  • A technician will be more office based than site based
  • He/She will carry out surveys of electrical systems
  • update electrical drawings
  • obtain quotations from suppliers
  • He maintain records such as ISO 9000 quality systems.
  • carry out testing inspections and commissioning of electrical installation
  • troubleshoot

7. Supervisor / Foreman 

  • This person will probably be a mature electrician
  • have responsibility for small contracts
  • have responsibility for a small part of a large contract
  • be the leader of a small team (e.g. electrician and trainee) installing electrical systems.

8. Operative or skilled operative 

  • This person will carry out the electrical work under the direction and guidance of a supervisor
  • will demonstrate a high degree of skill and competence in electrical work
  • will have, or be working towards, a recognized electrical qualification and status as an electrician, approved electrician or electrical technician. 

 9. Mechanic / Fitter 

  • An operative who usually has a ‘ core skill ’ or ‘ basic skill ’ and qualification in mechanical rather than electrical engineering
  • in production or process work, he or she would have responsibility for the engineering and fitting aspects of the contract, while the electrician and instrumentation technician would take care of the electrical and instrumentation aspects
  • all three operatives must work closely in production and process work
  • ‘additional skilling’ or ‘multi-skilling’ training produces a more flexible operative for production and process plant operations 

 10. Maintenance Manager / Engineer 

  • Maintenance Engineer is responsible for keeping the installed electrical plant and equipment working efficiently.
  • He takes over from the builders and contractors the responsibility of maintaining all plant equipment and systems under his or her control
  • This engineer might be responsible for a hospital or a commercial building, a university or college complex.
  • Maintenance Engineers will set up routine and preventative maintenance programmes to reduce possible future breakdowns
  • When faults or breakdowns do occur he or she will be responsible for the repair using the company’s maintenance staff.