Electrician rely on a variety of tools to keep their jobs running smoothly. Specialized electrical hand tools, such as those that can measure electricity and clean contact surfaces, help ensure that power is flowing properly in a circuit. Insulated gloves also protect electricians from potential shock while working on live wires. Tools such as a voltage tester, used to determine whether a contact is carrying electricity, and an oscilloscope, which measures electronic signals, are popular choices among electrical engineers.
Almost any tool that could come into contact with energized circuits must be insulated. Insulated hand tools are typically marked with the international 1,000-volts rating symbol, which certify that they meet rigorous testing standards. Insulated tools may also be labeled with a double triangle, which is the international sign of danger from electrical shock or physical harm. Cuts, nicks or scrapes on an insulated tool can create pathways for electricity to flow through the tool and damage its insulating properties.
Manufacturers of hand tools often include features that allow a single tool to replace multiple other tools, such as a multipurpose tool that can cut, crimp and punch. This type of tool helps reduce the time spent searching for a particular tool and improves productivity. In addition to the traditional hand tools, electrical engineers use a range of electrical software tools. These tools are used to perform system modeling and modification, evaluate equipment overload conditions, test adequacy of protective devices and conduct reliability analyses. Some of the most popular electrical software tools include ETAP, SKM PowerTools, EasyPower and PowerWorld.
An electrical engineer is the person in charge of creating and improving electronic devices and systems. This involves a lot of math and physics as well as critical thinking skills. These professionals are often responsible for overseeing the creation of power generators, GPS devices, automobile parts and more. They are also in charge of testing these devices, fixing them and ensuring they follow industry standards.
Most people in this position will have a bachelor’s degree. In some cases, they may even earn a master’s degree in the field of electrical engineering. They will likely also have some professional certifications to make them more attractive to employers.
Those interested in becoming an electrical engineer should take as many science and math classes as possible, along with elective courses focusing on the subject matter. Additionally, it is a good idea to participate in co-op programs as these will give students real-world experience and help them become better prepared for their careers.
Some companies will hire people with a high school diploma and several years of work experience in the electrical field. These individuals will typically assist engineers and work under their supervision until they have gained some level of expertise in the field. In some cases, the employer will pay for on-the-job training to ensure that the new employee is able to perform their job duties to the best of their ability.