Electrical Engineer Mataaro Pūhiko

Electrical engineers design, construct and manufacture electrical systems. They also maintain, operate and manage these systems.

Professional engineers who have five to eight years of experience can apply to Engineering New Zealand to become a chartered professional engineer (CPEng).

Electrical engineers may do some or all of the following:

  • develop, design or update engineering plans
  • design ways to generate, distribute and manage electricity
  • design automated and computerised methods to control electrical processes
  • calculate the cost of projects, and materials needed
  • write reports and develop instruction manuals for installing new electricity systems and equipment
  • supervise the installation and maintenance of electrical systems and equipment
  • oversee electricity system tests and correct any faults.

Physical Requirements

Electrical engineers need to have normal colour vision, as electrical components are often colour-coded.

They also need to be reasonably fit as they may have to walk long distances to work sites, and carry equipment.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for electrical engineers includes work as:

  • an electrician
  • a mechanic
  • an electrical engineering technician.

Personal Qualities

Electrical engineers need to be:

  • accurate and organised
  • safety-conscious
  • good at maths
  • adaptable
  • practical
  • able to work well in a team.


Electrical engineers need to have:

  • knowledge of electronics
  • knowledge of key electrical principles such as circuit theory
  • an understanding of electrical engineering equipment and safe practices
  • knowledge of the laws, resource management and industry standards that apply to electrical engineering
  • design and drawing skills, including knowledge of computer-aided design (CAD) software.


Electrical engineers:

  • usually work regular business hours, but may have to be on call or work irregular hours
  • usually work in offices, but may also work in laboratories, workshops or on-site at power stations or building sites.

Electrical Engineers can earn around $50K-$70K per year.

Chances of getting a job as a Electrical Engineer are good due to a shortage of people interested in this type of work.

Pay for electrical engineers varies depending on skills and experience.

  • Graduate electrical engineers usually earn $50,000 to $70,000 a year.
  • Mid-level electrical engineers can earn between $75,000 and $115,000.
  • Senior, specialised electrical engineers can earn $120,000 to $200,000.

The average wage for electrical engineers in 2019 was about $95,000 a year.

Sources: Seek, 'Job Search', 2019; Trade Me Jobs, 'Salary Guide', 2019; and WSP Opus, 2019.

Electrical engineers may progress to work:

  • as managers
  • for engineering consulting firms
  • their own consultancies.

Years Of Training

4 years of training required.

To become an electrical engineer you need to have a Bachelor of Engineering with Honours.

Electrical Engineer