Is Electrical Engineering Hard?

February 27, 2023

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What is Electrical Engineering?

Electrical engineering is a branch of engineering that deals with the design, development, and application of electrical systems, devices, and technologies. Electrical engineers work on a variety of projects, such as power generation and distribution, communication networks, electronic circuits, robotics, biomedical devices, and renewable energy sources. Electrical engineering is one of the oldest and broadest engineering disciplines, and it requires a strong background in mathematics, physics, and computer science.

What are the Topics in Electrical Engineering?

You will find as you progress through Electrical Engineering, that some students have an aptitude for certain topics and a weakness with others. Finding the right topic to specialize in can be challenging in itself.  This list expects that the student has found basic calculus and linear algebra relatively easy to intermediate in difficulty. Electrical engineering covers a wide range of topics, such as:

Field Description Difficulty What you need to succeed
Electromagnetism the study of the interaction between electric currents and magnetic fields, including Maxwell’s equations, electromagnetic waves, antennas, and transmission lines. Challenging Physics, Calculus, Differential Equations
Circuit analysis the study of the behavior and properties of electrical circuits, including resistors, capacitors, inductors, diodes, transistors, and operational amplifiers. Intermediate Physics, Calculus
Signals and systems the study of the representation, analysis, and processing of signals and systems, such as Fourier series, Laplace and Z transforms, convolution, sampling, filtering, and modulation. Challenging Calculus, Differential Equations, Linear Algebra
Electronics the study of the design and operation of electronic devices and circuits, such as amplifiers, oscillators, logic gates, flip-flops, counters, registers, and microprocessors. Intermediate Physics, Circuit Analysis, Calculus
Communication systems the study of the transmission and reception of information, such as analog and digital communication, modulation, coding, encryption, and error correction. Challenging Signals and Systems, Probability and Statistics
Control systems the study of the design and analysis of systems that can regulate their own behavior, such as feedback, stability, root locus, frequency response, and state space methods. Difficult Calculus, Differential Equations, Linear Algebra, Signals and Systems
Renewable energy the study of the sources, conversion, and integration of renewable energy, such as solar, wind, hydro, biomass, and fuel cells. Intermediate Physics, Chemistry, Thermodynamics, Circuit Analysis
Power systems the study of the generation, transmission, distribution, and consumption of electric power, such as power plants, transformers, transmission lines, load flow, fault analysis, and protection. Challenging Circuit Analysis, Electromagnetism, Linear Algebra
Robotics the study of the design, programming, and control of robots, such as kinematics, dynamics, sensors, actuators, and artificial intelligence. Difficult Calculus, Linear Algebra, Programming, Control Systems
Biomedical engineering the study of the application of electrical engineering principles to medicine and biology, such as biosensors, bio-instrumentation, medical imaging, and neural engineering. Challenging Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Calculus, Circuit Analysis

How Difficult is Electrical Engineering?

Electrical engineering is a challenging and demanding field that requires a lot of dedication, creativity, and problem-solving skills. Electrical engineering students have to deal with complex and abstract concepts, rigorous mathematical and analytical tools, and fast-changing technologies. Electrical engineering courses are often considered among the most difficult in the engineering curriculum, and they require a lot of time and effort to master. Electrical engineering students have to cope with a heavy workload, tight deadlines, and high expectations from their professors and peers. Electrical engineering is not a field for the faint-hearted, but for those who are passionate, curious, and resilient.

How Much Can You Make as an Electrical Engineer?

Electrical engineering is a rewarding and lucrative career that offers a lot of opportunities and benefits. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for electrical engineers in 2019 was $98,530, which is much higher than the median annual wage for all occupations of $39,810. The top 10% of electrical engineers earned more than $155,880, while the bottom 10% earned less than $63,020. The highest-paying industries for electrical engineers were oil and gas extraction, aerospace product and parts manufacturing, computer and peripheral equipment manufacturing, scientific research and development services, and semiconductor and other electronic component manufacturing. The highest-paying states for electrical engineers were Alaska, California, District of Columbia, New Mexico, and Maryland. The demand for electrical engineers is expected to grow by 5% from 2019 to 2029, which is faster than the average for all occupations. Electrical engineers can find jobs in various sectors, such as manufacturing, utilities, telecommunications, defense, healthcare, and education. Electrical engineers can also advance their careers by obtaining professional licenses, certifications, and degrees, or by starting their own businesses or consulting firms.

author avatar
Angela Jones

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