Idaho National Laboratory
There are many routes you can go down with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering. It’s not as simple as following one career path, when there are lots of different specialisms you can move into. If you’re interested in electrical engineering, one of the roles you can think about is that of a transmission line engineer. These engineers design and analyze transmission lines. They include cables and other media used for power supplies and telecommunication. It can be an excellent choice of career, with a median salary of over $67,000.
What Does the Job Involve?
Transmission line engineers might work in an office setting to develop designs. They can also work out in the field to review potential construction sites. Projects usually begin with the engineer meeting with colleagues and clients to work out the requirements for the system. They use their expertise to research the appropriate materials, equipment and designs for the project. They also use computer-aided design to create mathematical models and system designs. Finally, they test the models to evaluate its safety and effectiveness.
Often, a transmission line engineer coordinates the project with a sales team, helping to develop budgets and prepare construction bids. The role might also involve product demonstrations. It might also include providing project status updates and answering technical inquiries. They might also have to schedule deliveries of materials, from power poles to cables. Negotiating contracts is another task they might do.
To become a transmission line engineer, you first need to complete a degree in civil or electrical engineering. The course needs to be approved by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). As well as general education classes, students will also study circuit theory, fluid mechanics, and digital signal processing. You might also learn about CAD and using advanced design principles to create and analyze models.
Once you have your degree, you need to be licensed to provide your services to the public. Although the requirements will vary depending on your state, you will still need to be licensed wherever you are. As well as your accredited degree, you should also be able to show four years of documented work experience. You usually have to pass a state examination. These exams come in two parts. After passing the first part, you are an engineer-in-training (EIT). An EIT with four years of experience can take the second part of the exam and become a professional engineer. In some states, you will have to undergo continuing education after you qualify.
Career opportunities for transmission line engineers could be growing at a slower rate than the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn’t have a figure for the exact role. But prospects for electronics engineers, which are similar, are only expected to grow 3% from 2012 to 2022. But civil engineers also share similarities with the role, and their prospects are supposed to increase by 20%.
Although the career outlook for transmission line engineers might be hard to pin down, it is an excellent career choice if you’re interested in electronics.