There are many who still do not understand the differences between an electrical engineer and an electronics engineer, and to be honest there is quite a thin line between the two professions. Those who are not familiar with the different work undertaken by the two professions could be mistaken for thinking they want one, when it is in fact the other. Electrical engineering is one of the most popular areas of the industry, second only to software engineering. There is a relatively long process to becoming an electrical engineer as opposed to a regular electrician. For example, as the former, as well as undertaking several courses, such as the part p courses, you also need an engineering degree, whereas the latter can undergo an electrical course and get a certificate of qualification.
With electrical power and systems being at the very heart of our modern day society, both electrical and electronics specialists are in high demand. The engineers who specialise in these fields are involved in absolutely everything that we take for granted in today's world; from smartphones to ensuring that we have a constant energy supply into our homes and places of work.
While the line between the electrical and electronics sides are frequently blurred, it is generally the case that electrical engineers are mainly concerned with the large scale production and subsequent distribution of the power of electricity, whilst electronics engineers tend to focus on electronic circuits on a much smaller scale. These include those contained within computers and other pieces of modern technology, and electronics is also frequently taught in colleges alongside computer sciences. Both electrical and electronic engineering overlap with civil and mechanical engineering, and to study any of these at university you have to have a strong background in physics and maths. The first step of many courses is a set of foundation modules that have been specifically designed to ensure that the required background knowledge is up to standard required.
There is quite a selection of potential avenues into engineering including various training regimes from the City & Guilds as well as other educational bodies including NICEIC. who are an independent body working to supply qualified candidates that companies are looking for. Wherever you may choose to train, it is an essential that you first find out a little information, in particular what specific courses do they provide and what is the pass rate of former students.
Anyone who wants to move into 'domestic' engineering work will defiantly require ECS Health and Safety qualifications so if that is your area of interest you will need to be sure that you take a course that provides this training.
Common topics studied on an electrical engineering course include energy transmission and generation, electrostatics, magnetostatics and electrical installations, and further into the course you can specialise in the application of electrical engineering within a certain industry. Many industries employ both electrical and electronic engineers, such as communications and media, and this is one reason why some become confused between the two disciplines.