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Career and Education Opportunities for Electrical Engineers in San Francisco, California

If you want to be an electrical engineer, the San Francisco, California area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. There are currently 19,600 working electrical engineers in California; this should grow 6% to 20,700 working electrical engineers in the state by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for electrical engineers are expected to grow by about 1.7%. Electrical engineers generally design, develop, or supervise the manufacturing and installation of electrical equipment, components, or systems for commercial, industrial, or scientific use.

A person working as an electrical engineer can expect to earn about $44 per hour or $92,980 yearly on average in California and about $39 per hour or $82,160 per year on average in the U.S. as a whole. Earnings for electrical engineers are better than earnings in the general category of Engineering in California and not quite as good as general Engineering category earnings nationally. People working as electrical engineers can fill a number of jobs, such as: relay engineer, solar energy systems designer, and broadcast engineer.

There are two schools within twenty-five miles of San Francisco where you can study to be an electrical engineer, among eighty-six schools of higher education total in the San Francisco area. The most common level of education for electrical engineers is a Bachelor's degree. You can expect to spend about four years studying to be an electrical engineer if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Electrical Engineer

Electrical Engineer video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, electrical engineers design, develop, or supervise the manufacturing and installation of electrical equipment, components, or systems for commercial, industrial, or scientific use.

Electrical engineers talk with others to consider existing or potential engineering projects and products. They also ready and study technical drawings, specifications of electrical systems, and topographical maps to insure that installation and operations conform to standards and customer requirements. Equally important, electrical engineers have to ready requirements for purchase of materials and equipment. They are often called upon to operate computer-assisted engineering and layout software and apparatus to perform engineering tasks. They are expected to oversee project production efforts to assure projects are completed satisfactorily, on time and within budget. Finally, electrical engineers direct and schedule manufacturing, construction and testing efforts to insure adherence to specifications and customer requirements.

Every day, electrical engineers are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. They need to read and understand documents and reports. It is also important that they listen to and understand others in meetings.

It is important for electrical engineers to compile data and write reports regarding existing and potential engineering studies and projects. They are often called upon to layout and improve electrical instruments and systems for commercial and domestic purposes. They also design budgets and construction costs. They are sometimes expected to investigate customer or public complaints, decide on nature and extent of problem, and recommend remedial measures. Somewhat less frequently, electrical engineers are also expected to help in developing capital project programs for new equipment and major repairs.

They also have to be able to investigate and test vendors' and competitors' products and inspect completed installations and observe operations to insure conformance to layout and equipment specifications and adherence to operational and safety standards. And finally, they sometimes have to supervise and train project team members as needed.

Like many other jobs, electrical engineers must be thorough and dependable and be able to absorb the factors involved and a problem and provide a well thought out solution.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in San Francisco include:

  • Agricultural Engineer. Apply knowledge of engineering technology and biological science to agricultural problems concerned with power and machinery, electrification, structures, soil and water conservation, and processing of agricultural products.
  • Biomedical Engineer. Apply knowledge of engineering, biology, and biomechanical principles to the design, development, and evaluation of biological and health systems and products, such as artificial organs, prostheses, instrumentation, medical information systems, and health management and care delivery systems.
  • Chemical Engineer. Design chemical plant equipment and devise processes for manufacturing chemicals and products, such as gasoline, synthetic rubber, and pulp, by applying principles and technology of chemistry, physics, and engineering.
  • Civil Engineer. Perform engineering duties in planning, designing, and overseeing construction and maintenance of building structures, and facilities, such as roads, railroads, airports, bridges, harbors, channels, dams, irrigation projects, pipelines, power plants, water and sewage systems, and waste disposal units. Includes architectural, structural, and geo-technical engineers.
  • Computer Engineer. Research, design, and test computer or computer-related equipment for commercial, industrial, or scientific use. May supervise the manufacturing and installation of computer or computer-related equipment and components.
  • Electronics Engineer. Research, design, and test electronic components and systems for commercial, industrial, or scientific use utilizing knowledge of electronic theory and materials properties. Design electronic circuits and components for use in fields such as telecommunications, aerospace guidance and propulsion control, acoustics, or instruments and controls.
  • Fire Prevention Research Engineer. Research causes of fires, determine fire protection methods, and design or recommend materials or equipment such as structural components or fire-detection equipment to assist organizations in safeguarding life and property against fire, explosion, and related hazards.
  • Health, Safety, and Environment Manager. Plan, implement, and coordinate safety programs, requiring application of engineering principles and technology, to prevent or correct unsafe environmental working conditions.
  • Mechanical Engineer. Perform engineering duties in planning and designing tools, engines, and other mechanically functioning equipment. Oversee installation, operation, and repair of such equipment as centralized heat, gas, and steam systems.
  • Nuclear Engineer. Conduct research on nuclear engineering problems or apply principles and theory of nuclear science to problems concerned with release, control, and utilization of nuclear energy and nuclear waste disposal.
  • Product Safety Engineer. Develop and conduct tests to evaluate product safety levels and recommend measures to reduce or eliminate hazards.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Electrical Engineer Training

University of California-Berkeley - Berkeley, CA

University of California-Berkeley, , Berkeley, CA 94720. University of California-Berkeley is a large university located in Berkeley, California. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 35,353 students and an admission rate of 23%. University of California-Berkeley has bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree programs in Electrical, Electronics and Communications Engineering which graduated two, forty-two, and fifty-two students respectively in 2008.

San Francisco State University - San Francisco, CA

San Francisco State University, 1600 Holloway Ave, San Francisco, CA 94132. San Francisco State University is a large university located in San Francisco, California. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 30,014 students and an admission rate of 67%. San Francisco State University has a bachelor's degree program in Electrical, Electronics and Communications Engineering which graduated twenty-one students in 2008.


Planning and Scheduling Professional: The PSP certification is to recognize specialists who meet a demanding set of planning and scheduling criteria by a rigorous examination, experience, education and ethical qualificaion.

For more information, see the AACE International (Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering through total cost management) website.

Geometric Dimensioning & Tolerancing Professional - Technologist: ASME GDTP Certification provides the means to recognize proficiency in the understanding and application of the geometric dimensioning and tolerancing (GD&T) principles expressed in the ASME Y14.

For more information, see the American Society of Mechanical Engineers International website.

Certified Energy Manager: Since its inception in 1981, the Certified Energy Manager (CEM®) credential has become widely accepted and used as a measure of professional accomplishment within the energy management field.

For more information, see the Association of Energy Engineers website.

Certified Lighting Efficiency Professional: AEE's Certified Lighting Efficiency Professional (CLEP) program is designed to provide recognition for professionals who have distinguished themselves as leaders in the field of lighting efficiency.

For more information, see the Association of Energy Engineers website.

CompTIA Radio Frequency Identification (RFID+) Certification: CompTIA Radio Frequency Identification (RFID+) certification validates the knowledge and skills of professionals who work with RFID technology.

For more information, see the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) website.

IPC-A-600 Acceptability of Printed Circuit Boards: The IPC-A-600 Training and Certification Program helps all segments of the electronics interconnection industry improve their understanding of printed board quality issues; greatly enhances communication between PCB manufacturers, their suppliers and their customers; and provides a valuable portable credential to industry professionals as well as recognition for their companies.

For more information, see the IPC (Institute of Interconnecting and Packaging Electronic Circuits) website.

Certified Lighting Management Consultant: The lighting industry prides itself on distinguishing those persons who have accomplished this professional and personal achievement.

For more information, see the International Association of Lighting Management Companies website.

Protective Coatings Specialist: This certification is geared toward individuals who are experienced, knowledgeable and capable of performing work at an advanced level in both the theory and practice of corrosion prevention and control, and who are capable of performing work at an advanced level in the protective coatings field.

For more information, see the NACE International website.

Junior Telecommunications Engineer: Telecommunications certification is applicable to professionals involved in the science and practice of communications by electromagnetic means.

For more information, see the National Association of Radio and Telecommunications Engineers, Inc. website.

PV Installer Certification: The target candidate for NABCEP certification is the person responsible for the system installation (e.

For more information, see the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners website.

System Operator Certification: The System Operator Certification Program awards certification credentials to those individuals who demonstrate that they have attained sufficient knowledge relating to NERC reliability standards and the basic principles of bulk power system operations by passing one of four specialty examinations.

For more information, see the North American Electric Reliability Corporation website.


Electrical Engineer

Licensing agency: Department of Consumer Affairs
Address: Board of Professional Engineers & Land Surveyors, 2535 Capital Oaks Drive, Suite 300, Sacramento, CA 95833-2944

Phone: (916) 263-2222
Website: Department of Consumer Affairs Board of Professional Engineers & Land Surveyors

LOCATION INFORMATION: San Francisco, California

San Francisco, California
San Francisco, California photo by Optigan13

San Francisco is located in San Francisco County, California. It has a population of over 808,976, which has grown by 4.2% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in San Francisco, 180, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in San Francisco cost $218,300 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, fifty-seven new homes were built in San Francisco, up from fifty-five the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in San Francisco are professional, scientific, and technical services, health care, and educational services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, accommodation and food services, and construction. The average travel time to work is about 31 minutes. More than 45.0% of San Francisco residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 16.4%, is higher than the state average.

The percentage of San Francisco residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 41.8%, is less than both the national and state average. Gold Mountain Monastery, Golden Gate Community Church of the Nazarene and Golden Gate Lutheran Church are among the churches located in San Francisco. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Muslim Estimate and the United Methodist Church.

San Francisco is home to the Pier 88 and the Prayer Book Cross as well as Helen Wills Playground and Music Concourse. Shopping malls in the area include Yerba Buena Square Shopping Center, Fox Plaza Shopping Center and Galleria At Crocker Center Shopping Center. Visitors to San Francisco can choose from Astoria Hotel, A-1 Inn Motel and Best Western Canterbury Hotel for temporary stays in the area.