Career change to Electrical Engineering

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I stumbled across your website while doing a broad area aviation
search. I am currently an A&P mechanic, and have been so for about 6
years now, (I am 26). However, I must admit that I am growing tired
of the industry, at least the maintenance side of it. With that said I
am seriously thinking about going back to school to get my Bachelors
in Electrical Engineering. I was wondering if I could pick your brain
about what its like to be an Electrical Engineer. I have a whole list
of questions I would like to ask you.

Justin H.

-- Justin Hersh, May 10, 2008


Design engineering tends to be a lot more solitary than aircraft maintenance. You will spend a lot of time by yourself sitting in a cubicle working out puzzles.

EE can be a good career, but you will have much less choice of jobs than in aviation. A good A&P can find work in all 50 states and in many places where the cost of living is quite low. Most of the EE jobs are in Silicon Valley, Boston, and other high-cost urban areas.

If you love math and puzzle-solving, EE might be a more satisfying career and certainly the bachelor's degree in EE will be very interesting and a reasonable social experience.

School is a lot of fun and a BSEE is a useful degree, so I can't think of a downside. If you don't decide to take up a cubicle in a big company and end up back in aviation, at least you will be the world's best debugger of avionics.

-- Philip Greenspun, May 17, 2008

Hi Justin, I think Philip's answer is more on EE as in Computer Science EE. You can always focus on Power Gen and Distribution which looks like its getting a good future. Because of Electric Cars and even electric planes. I also have an EE degree and focused on Computers. When I started, computers were a million dollar's for a megaflop machine. Now you get 100 times more computing power for $300. Oh yes, Philip is absolutely right. With an EE Degree, you would be the best avionics guy in the field. Something I'm trying to learn to be in our neck of the woods. Feel free to write me if you have anymore questions.

-- andrew co, August 30, 2009