What Does an Electrical Project Engineer Do?
An electrical project engineer is a professional who works in the electrical design field. He oversees the development, design and installation of projects related to electrical power distribution and electronics. An electrical project engineer may be responsible for the electrical power and performance of a single facility, or may oversee power distribution over an entire city or region. Depending on the job, this individual may also design telecommunications and networking systems, or parts and wiring used in electronic machinery and equipment.
Many electrical project engineers work in electrical engineering and design firms. These firms act as consultants for companies or municipalities who wish to install new electrical systems. For example, a business owner who wishes to establish a new facility may consult an electrical engineer to determine the best way to distribute power and supply lighting throughout his new plant. An electrical project engineer who is employed in this capacity may work directly with the client, or may work through an architect, construction manager or other liaison who represents the interests of the owner.
An electrical project engineer may also work for an individual firm, where he works on projects only for that particular firm. For example, a large power distribution company employs many project engineers, who design and maintain wiring and equipment. These types of positions can also be found with municipalities, large businesses, schools and other plants.
Regardless of where an electrical project engineer is employed, his basic job duties remain basically the same. At the start of a project, he meets with the owner or his representatives to determine the scope of the project. This includes determining what type of power is needed and how it will be used. Once he has gathered this information, the electrical project engineer drafts a series of drawings. These drawings show wiring paths, location for transformers and equipment, and even the location for each power outlet, light switch and fixture. These drawings require not only an understanding of the project scope, but also a thorough knowledge of all building codes, fire codes and safety requirements that may impact the job.
Upon completion of the electrical drawings, the electrical project engineer meets with the owner once again for feedback. The owner reviews the drawings and requests any required changes. After making these changes, the electrical project engineer oversees the installation of the new wiring and electrical systems. He may also be required to perform final testing and training on these new systems, as well as overseeing any routine maintenance on the equipment going forward.
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