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ELECTICAL DESIGNER: From Audio to Defense Drones to Designing Electrical Layouts

About this video 

Paul works in the building engineering field designing electrical systems for buildings. On a typical day, he works with architects, clients and vendors to design electrical systems for buildings. He tells us that in his field, many people work from the ground up and don't necessarily need a college degree, which worked out for him because this wasn't his originally intended career.

Job Title: Electrical Designer

Job Summary: Electrical Engineers

Job Description

Electrical engineers design, develop, test, and supervise the manufacturing of electrical equipment such as electric motors, radar and navigation systems, communications systems, and power generation equipment. Electronics engineers design and develop electronic equipment, such as broadcast and communications systemsfrom portable music players to global positioning systems (GPS).

On-the-Job Training

None

Quick Facts

Average salary
Average salary
National Statistic Change Location
Confirm
$55,000 - $130,000
Projected job growth
Projected Job Growth
0 to 10 percent
Typical schedule
Typical schedule
Full-time
Typical workplace
Typical workplace
Office, Indoor, Military
Personal qualities
Personal Qualities
Detail oriented, Problem solving skills, Creativity, Teamwork, Mathematical skills, Likes working with hands

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P3.instances[0].transcript.parse_transcript_data({"transcript":"<p><span m='710'>I</span> <span m='1000'>work</span> <span m='1410'>in</span> <span m='1490'>the</span> <span m='1580'>building</span> <span m='2090'>engineering</span> <span m='2760'>field</span> <span m='3620'>so</span> <span m='3770'>I design</span> <span m='3880'>electrical</span> <span m='4350'>systems</span> <span m='4930'>for</span> <span m='5650'>buildings</span> <span m='6350'>anywhere</span> <span m='6710'>from</span> <span m='6970'>small</span> <span m='8250'>residential</span> <span m='9430'>spaces</span> <span m='10070'>up</span> <span m='10240'>to</span> <span m='10430'>huge</span> <span m='10890'>skyscrapers</span> <span m='11990'>and</span> <span m='12290'>commercial</span> <span m='13000'>campuses.</span> <span m='14600'>That's</span> <span m='14760'>what</span> <span m='14910'>I do.</span> </p><p><span m='15440'>Typically,</span> <span m='16219'>it's</span> <span m='16360'>usually</span> <span m='17020'>get</span> <span m='17270'>there</span> <span m='17590'>earlier</span> <span m='18090'>in</span> <span m='18150'>the</span> <span m='18240'>morning.</span> <span m='20780'>Every</span> <span m='21060'>day</span> <span m='21290'>you</span> <span m='21400'>have</span> <span m='21580'>a</span> <span m='21640'>multitude</span> <span m='22140'>of</span> <span m='22250'>projects,</span> <span m='22840'>different</span> <span m='23140'>buildings,</span> <span m='23610'>different</span> <span m='23910'>clients.</span> <span m='24490'>You</span> <span m='24590'>have</span> <span m='24680'>to</span> <span m='24760'>interface</span> <span m='25330'>with</span> <span m='25520'>architects,</span> <span m='26910'>interpret</span> <span m='27690'>their</span> <span m='27870'>designs,</span> <span m='28740'>and</span> <span m='29660'>go</span> <span m='29840'>through</span> <span m='30030'>code</span> <span m='30310'>books.</span> <span m='31580'>And</span> <span m='31920'>have</span> <span m='32080'>to</span> <span m='32180'>understand</span> <span m='32759'>how</span> <span m='32870'>to</span> <span m='32940'>use</span> <span m='33280'>code</span> <span m='33570'>books</span> <span m='34550'>to</span> <span m='34700'>design</span> <span m='35620'>any</span> <span m='35820'>number</span> <span m='36180'>of</span> <span m='36240'>systems</span> <span m='36750'>for</span> <span m='36840'>the</span> <span m='36930'>building.</span> <span m='38180'>So</span> <span m='38680'>it's</span> <span m='38810'>a</span> <span m='38880'>lot</span> <span m='39090'>of</span> <span m='39180'>interfacing</span> <span m='39760'>with</span> <span m='39940'>architects,</span> <span m='40760'>a</span> <span m='40800'>lot of</span> <span m='41050'>interfacing</span> <span m='41440'>with</span> <span m='41580'>clients,</span> <span m='42160'>with</span> <span m='42350'>vendors,</span> <span m='43510'>with</span> <span m='43800'>people</span> <span m='44180'>on</span> <span m='44320'>your</span> <span m='44450'>team</span> <span m='44830'>who</span> <span m='44930'>may</span> <span m='45130'>know</span> <span m='45400'>different</span> <span m='45760'>thing</span> <span m='46100'>or</span> <span m='46220'>different</span> <span m='46550'>things</span> <span m='46800'>from</span> <span m='46890'>you,</span> <span m='47290'>different</span> <span m='47630'>systems</span> <span m='48180'>like</span> <span m='48370'>HVAC,</span> <span m='49170'>plumbing,</span> <span m='50180'>all</span> <span m='50500'>that.</span> <span m='50900'>So it's</span> <span m='51040'>a</span> <span m='51070'>lot</span> <span m='51250'>of</span> <span m='51300'>collaboration</span> <span m='52240'>essentially.</span> </p><p><span m='53940'>I</span> <span m='54180'>started</span> <span m='55800'>back</span> <span m='56120'>in</span> <span m='57860'>summer</span> <span m='58460'>of</span> <span m='58580'>2008.</span> <span m='60650'>That's</span> <span m='60830'>when the</span> <span m='60930'>economy</span> <span m='61470'>started</span> <span m='61800'>going</span> <span m='62130'>downhill.</span> <span m='63280'>Originally,</span> <span m='63660'>I</span> <span m='63700'>wanted</span> <span m='63960'>to</span> <span m='64019'>be</span> <span m='64480'>in</span> <span m='64590'>the</span> <span m='64700'>audio</span> <span m='65069'>field</span> <span m='65530'>actually,</span> <span m='66070'>transducer</span> <span m='66750'>design.</span> <span m='68170'>And</span> <span m='69020'>since</span> <span m='69160'>the</span> <span m='69230'>economy</span> <span m='69630'>wasn't</span> <span m='69860'>doing</span> <span m='70050'>so</span> <span m='70210'>well</span> <span m='70480'>in</span> <span m='70650'>'08,</span> <span m='71610'>I</span> <span m='72310'>kind</span> <span m='72720'>of</span> <span m='72820'>had</span> <span m='73170'>to</span> <span m='73250'>look</span> <span m='73580'>far</span> <span m='73930'>and</span> <span m='74000'>wide</span> <span m='74390'>for</span> <span m='74540'>jobs.</span> <span m='75830'>I originally</span> <span m='76420'>was</span> <span m='76560'>with</span> <span m='76690'>a</span> <span m='76770'>contracting</span> <span m='77440'>firm</span> <span m='78160'>that</span> <span m='78360'>did</span> <span m='79020'>audio</span> <span m='79300'>visual</span> <span m='79660'>design</span> <span m='80130'>and</span> <span m='80300'>installation.</span> <span m='81220'>I</span> <span m='81240'>worked</span> <span m='81490'>with</span> <span m='81580'>them</span> <span m='81780'>for</span> <span m='81940'>awhile.</span> </p><p><span m='82970'>I</span> <span m='83120'>worked</span> <span m='83310'>for</span> <span m='83380'>the</span> <span m='83480'>Defense</span> <span m='83880'>Department</span> <span m='84390'>for</span> <span m='84520'>a</span> <span m='84580'>little</span> <span m='84770'>bit</span> <span m='84990'>too</span> <span m='85210'>working</span> <span m='85420'>on</span> <span m='85560'>UAVs,</span> <span m='86450'>unmanned</span> <span m='86870'>aerial</span> <span m='87160'>vehicles.</span> <span m='87730'>So</span> <span m='87960'>it's</span> <span m='88110'>for</span> <span m='88640'>reconnaissance</span> <span m='89350'>usually</span> <span m='90020'>or</span> <span m='90530'>for</span> <span m='90690'>larger--</span> <span m='91190'>it's</span> <span m='91440'>like</span> <span m='91570'>drones,</span> <span m='92080'>essentially.</span> <span m='93150'>I</span> <span m='93250'>worked</span> <span m='93440'>for</span> <span m='93510'>the</span> <span m='94900'>Reconnaissance</span> <span m='95540'>Division.</span> <span m='96530'>Larger</span> <span m='97120'>drones</span> <span m='97490'>also</span> <span m='97780'>do</span> <span m='98060'>like</span> <span m='99920'>basically</span> <span m='100390'>hitting</span> <span m='100640'>targets</span> <span m='101140'>with</span> <span m='101260'>missiles</span> <span m='101690'>and</span> <span m='101760'>doing</span> <span m='101930'>all</span> <span m='102090'>that</span> <span m='102750'>video</span> <span m='103110'>game</span> <span m='103340'>kind</span> <span m='103490'>of</span> <span m='103560'>stuff.</span> <span m='103970'>But</span> <span m='104170'>I</span> <span m='104350'>worked</span> <span m='104660'>in</span> <span m='104990'>for</span> <span m='105080'>more</span> <span m='105290'>reconnaissance.</span> </p><p><span m='107090'>So</span> <span m='107640'>anyway,</span> <span m='108300'>that</span> <span m='108550'>didn't really</span> <span m='108990'>fit</span> <span m='109260'>me</span> <span m='109420'>so</span> <span m='109650'>much.</span> <span m='110890'>And</span> <span m='111170'>then</span> <span m='111280'>I</span> <span m='111340'>got</span> <span m='111630'>into</span> <span m='111720'>this</span> <span m='111970'>field</span> <span m='112280'>because</span> <span m='112820'>it's</span> <span m='113080'>one</span> <span m='113230'>of</span> <span m='113280'>the</span> <span m='113480'>easier</span> <span m='113970'>engineering</span> <span m='114530'>fields.</span> <span m='115010'>It</span> <span m='115120'>seems</span> <span m='115530'>to</span> <span m='115610'>have</span> <span m='115730'>a</span> <span m='115770'>lot</span> <span m='116060'>of</span> <span m='116330'>openings</span> <span m='116970'>and</span> <span m='117030'>a</span> <span m='117080'>lot</span> <span m='117280'>of</span> <span m='117390'>turnover,</span> <span m='118080'>honestly.</span> <span m='119440'>So</span> <span m='119990'>that's</span> <span m='120180'>when</span> <span m='120260'>I</span> <span m='120320'>started</span> <span m='120700'>in</span> <span m='120760'>'08.</span> <span m='121640'>And</span> <span m='122060'>I've</span> <span m='122150'>been</span> <span m='122350'>doing</span> <span m='122600'>it</span> <span m='122780'>since</span> <span m='123260'>then</span> <span m='123460'>actually,</span> <span m='123870'>so</span> <span m='124280'>about</span> <span m='124700'>five,</span> <span m='125020'>six</span> <span m='125270'>years</span> <span m='125510'>now.</span> </p><p><span m='126070'>Well</span> <span m='127420'>when</span> <span m='127580'>I</span> <span m='127960'>came</span> <span m='128169'>out</span> <span m='128289'>of</span> <span m='128340'>college,</span> <span m='128740'>I was</span> <span m='129100'>kind</span> <span m='129280'>of</span> <span m='129340'>starry</span> <span m='129810'>eyed</span> <span m='130389'>and</span> <span m='130970'>really</span> <span m='132090'>wanted</span> <span m='132310'>to</span> <span m='132380'>learn</span> <span m='132610'>a</span> <span m='132670'>whole</span> <span m='132930'>lot,</span> <span m='133320'>but</span> <span m='133430'>I</span> <span m='133490'>realized</span> <span m='134020'>it's</span> <span m='134150'>a</span> <span m='134220'>very,</span> <span m='134560'>very</span> <span m='134810'>mature</span> <span m='135320'>field</span> <span m='136950'>in</span> <span m='137490'>terms</span> <span m='137720'>of</span> <span m='137810'>engineering.</span> <span m='138990'>It's</span> <span m='139130'>a</span> <span m='139170'>very</span> <span m='139770'>old</span> <span m='140420'>industry</span> <span m='141060'>where</span> <span m='141570'>not</span> <span m='141770'>everyone</span> <span m='142150'>exactly</span> <span m='142580'>has</span> <span m='142930'>experience.</span> <span m='143520'>A</span> <span m='143560'>lot</span> <span m='143710'>of</span> <span m='143770'>people</span> <span m='144050'>come</span> <span m='144350'>from</span> <span m='144430'>the</span> <span m='144510'>ground</span> <span m='144880'>up.</span> <span m='145590'>They</span> <span m='145730'>work in</span> <span m='146010'>contracting</span> <span m='146580'>firms.</span> <span m='147070'>You</span> <span m='147130'>don't</span> <span m='147470'>necessarily</span> <span m='147870'>need a</span> <span m='148040'>college</span> <span m='148460'>degree.</span> </p><p><span m='151160'>So</span> <span m='151350'>I</span> <span m='151670'>learned</span> <span m='152310'>that</span> <span m='152430'>it's</span> <span m='152570'>a</span> <span m='152600'>very</span> <span m='152870'>old</span> <span m='153200'>industry.</span> <span m='154120'>It</span> <span m='154360'>uses</span> <span m='154530'>very,</span> <span m='154740'>very</span> <span m='154970'>basic</span> <span m='155480'>principles.</span> <span m='156940'>And</span> <span m='157430'>it's</span> <span m='157670'>not</span> <span m='158400'>quite</span> <span m='158640'>as</span> <span m='158790'>innovative</span> <span m='159260'>as</span> <span m='159350'>high</span> <span m='159580'>tech</span> <span m='159950'>as</span> <span m='160060'>like</span> <span m='160280'>Google</span> <span m='161000'>or</span> <span m='161200'>any of</span> <span m='161360'>those</span> <span m='161980'>dot</span> <span m='162250'>com</span> <span m='163310'>you</span> <span m='163380'>know</span> <span m='164070'>Apple</span> <span m='164590'>kind</span> <span m='164830'>of</span> <span m='164900'>companies.</span> <span m='166600'>And</span> <span m='167050'>that's</span> <span m='167260'>really</span> <span m='167760'>pretty</span> <span m='168190'>much</span> <span m='170010'>the</span> <span m='170730'>gist</span> <span m='171080'>of</span> <span m='171220'>it.</span> <span m='171390'>That's</span> <span m='171590'>probably</span> <span m='171810'>the</span> <span m='171850'>biggest</span> <span m='172130'>thing</span> <span m='172300'>I</span> <span m='172570'>learned.</span> </p><p><span m='173100'>If</span> <span m='173220'>you</span> <span m='173370'>really</span> <span m='173590'>wanted</span> <span m='173850'>to</span> <span m='174100'>get</span> <span m='174290'>in the</span> <span m='174420'>career,</span> <span m='175160'>you</span> <span m='175320'>have</span> <span m='175650'>to</span> <span m='176950'>know</span> <span m='177120'>at</span> <span m='177190'>least</span> <span m='177520'>introductory</span> <span m='178090'>Algebra,</span> <span m='179180'>Physics</span> <span m='179620'>helps.</span> <span m='180950'>Most</span> <span m='181290'>of</span> <span m='181390'>all</span> <span m='181580'>actually,</span> <span m='182070'>it's</span> <span m='182200'>probably</span> <span m='182460'>the</span> <span m='182560'>ability</span> <span m='182950'>to</span> <span m='183020'>interface</span> <span m='183580'>with</span> <span m='183740'>people,</span> <span m='184120'>to</span> <span m='184180'>be</span> <span m='184260'>able</span> <span m='184380'>to</span> <span m='184470'>talk</span> <span m='184830'>to</span> <span m='184930'>people</span> <span m='185470'>and</span> <span m='185540'>be</span> <span m='185680'>comfortable</span> <span m='186260'>with</span> <span m='186500'>it</span> <span m='187200'>without</span> <span m='187940'>necessarily</span> <span m='188730'>putting</span> <span m='189050'>yourself</span> <span m='189540'>too</span> <span m='189720'>much</span> <span m='189950'>on</span> <span m='190030'>the</span> <span m='190110'>line</span> <span m='190480'>and</span> <span m='190740'>not</span> <span m='193360'>misrepresenting</span> <span m='194160'>yourself.</span> </p><p><span m='195480'>Because</span> <span m='195980'>in</span> <span m='196080'>this</span> <span m='196310'>industry,</span> <span m='196770'>when</span> <span m='196880'>you're</span> <span m='196990'>doing</span> <span m='197600'>multimillion</span> <span m='198210'>dollar</span> <span m='198460'>contracts,</span> <span m='199080'>$100</span> <span m='199300'>million</span> <span m='199820'>contracts,</span> <span m='201200'>you</span> <span m='201320'>have</span> <span m='201460'>to</span> <span m='201530'>interface</span> <span m='202070'>with</span> <span m='202180'>people.</span> <span m='202870'>And</span> <span m='203390'>they</span> <span m='203530'>can</span> <span m='203670'>usually</span> <span m='203980'>pick</span> <span m='204250'>up</span> <span m='204470'>on</span> <span m='204610'>something</span> <span m='204890'>that</span> <span m='205080'>you</span> <span m='205240'>don't</span> <span m='205530'>know.</span> <span m='206310'>And</span> <span m='206590'>if</span> <span m='206750'>you</span> <span m='207260'>try</span> <span m='207650'>to</span> <span m='207990'>persuade</span> <span m='208600'>people</span> <span m='210190'>and</span> <span m='210420'>you</span> <span m='210540'>don't</span> <span m='210750'>know</span> <span m='210880'>your</span> <span m='211060'>stuff,</span> <span m='211500'>then</span> <span m='211680'>it</span> <span m='211790'>usually</span> <span m='212170'>catches</span> <span m='212500'>up</span> <span m='212670'>to you</span> <span m='212950'>at the end.</span> <span m='213440'>So</span> <span m='213660'>that's</span> <span m='213950'>why</span> <span m='215350'>your</span> <span m='215550'>interpersonal</span> <span m='216070'>skills</span> <span m='216400'>probably</span> <span m='216660'>matter</span> <span m='217380'>as</span> <span m='217620'>much</span> <span m='217980'>if</span> <span m='218050'>not</span> <span m='218240'>more</span> <span m='218460'>than</span> <span m='218650'>your</span> <span m='218780'>technical</span> <span m='219210'>skills.</span> </p>","file":{"id":360253,"video_id":"3229443080001","name":"2090-Paul -p- ElectricalDesigner","duration":220381,"thumbnail_url":null}});