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What Does an Electrical Test Engineer Do?

An Electrical Test Engineer designs and implements tests to ensure electrical systems function as intended. They troubleshoot issues, improve system performance, and ensure safety standards. Their work is crucial in industries like automotive, aerospace, and telecommunications. Curious about the skills needed to become one?
T. Carrier
T. Carrier

Performing testing and evaluations on electric systems and equipment is the responsibility of electrical test engineers. These individuals may be involved in improving and approving new electronic products for manufacturers. They may also work for facilities that replace old electric systems, overseeing the conversions and cataloging progress and setbacks. Typical electrical test engineer duties might include designing valid and reliable product tests, checking the wiring and functionality of new electric operations, and submitting project designs and reports.

In general, a test engineer is involved in testing product designs and final installations. Such individuals also work in a problem-solving capacity if the products or systems do not work properly. In addition, test engineers are often responsible for creating the specific tests that will measure a product’s functionality and performance standards. Electrical test engineers work specifically on products or systems with a strong electronic component.

Test engineers may be tasked with developing new electronics products, or improving existing products.
Test engineers may be tasked with developing new electronics products, or improving existing products.

If an electrical test engineer job is for a manufacturer, the engineer is usually working on products in the design stage. This means that the individual will mainly troubleshoot or offer suggestions for product improvement by performing various testing procedures on test products. All electronic products must typically pass the evaluations of an electrical test engineer before the products are available on the market.

If an electrical test engineer job is for a manufacturer, the engineer is usually working on products in the design stage.
If an electrical test engineer job is for a manufacturer, the engineer is usually working on products in the design stage.

Electrical test engineers may oversee installation of new electronic systems as well. This role involves supervising the process of removing old equipment and wiring and replacing these systems with new equipment and wiring. Leadership skills are therefore important in these specific job types.

Once installation is completed, the electrical test engineer must perform several tasks to ensure that the new system is safe and operational. For one, he or she checks all of the wiring for any apparent physical problems or malfunctions. The entire system is also tested for functionality, so routine uses for the equipment are implemented and evaluated. Day-to-day operations can be assessed when the equipment is used in its normal capacity.

Electrical test engineers are typically tasked with testing and refining designs.
Electrical test engineers are typically tasked with testing and refining designs.

Keeping detailed records of each project is another important responsibility of the electrical test engineer. For example, these individuals must routinely provide system drawings that outline improvements made from old systems and designs. Such information must also be detailed in written reports.

The typical educational electrical test engineer requirements consist of a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering or some closely related field. Strong proficiency in math and drafting is also useful. Since these positions involve highly technical work, an aptitude for handling complex mechanical equipment is desirable as well. In fact, many positions mandate prior experience.

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    • Test engineers may be tasked with developing new electronics products, or improving existing products.
      By: ronstik
      Test engineers may be tasked with developing new electronics products, or improving existing products.
    • If an electrical test engineer job is for a manufacturer, the engineer is usually working on products in the design stage.
      By: Marzky Ragsac Jr.
      If an electrical test engineer job is for a manufacturer, the engineer is usually working on products in the design stage.
    • Electrical test engineers are typically tasked with testing and refining designs.
      By: WavebreakMediaMicro
      Electrical test engineers are typically tasked with testing and refining designs.
    • An electrical test engineer must be a master of testing and calibrating tools.
      By: Sergio Di Giovanni
      An electrical test engineer must be a master of testing and calibrating tools.
    • Most electrical test engineers gained hands-on experience during their degree program or through an apprenticeship.
      By: Lisa F. Young
      Most electrical test engineers gained hands-on experience during their degree program or through an apprenticeship.
    • An electrical test engineer may supervise the removal and replacement of old electrical wiring and equipment.
      By: Kadmy
      An electrical test engineer may supervise the removal and replacement of old electrical wiring and equipment.