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What is an electronics engineer and how can you become one?

16/09/19 Graham Cross Manager, Contract & Interim

The engineering industry is popular, varied and highly specialised. There are a range of disciplines which fall under the engineering umbrella, one of which is electronics engineering. This pioneering field is based on innovation, with a range of different entry pathways and opportunities. The current skills shortage is creating plenty of lucrative opportunities for engineers across the UK, Europe and internationally.

Every market segment has its own unique performance demands, but generally across the industry electronics engineers are continually challenged to develop smaller, lighter-weight, more powerful, more feature-rich and more energy-efficient products — at a lower cost. What are the key responsibilities of an electronics engineer in today’s technology sector? 

The role of an electronics engineer

Electronics Engineers research, design, develop, or test electronic components and systems for commercial, industrial, military, or scientific use employing knowledge of electronic theory and materials properties.

Engineering projects are extremely varied and can require electronics engineers at any stage, whether that’s the initial briefing for a concept, testing prototypes or manufacturing a new product or system. You may specialise in areas such as automotive, aerospace, robotics, defence or mobile communications, or subfields such as control engineering, telecommunications, instrumentation and signal processing. In the past, the industry has been responsible for the introduction of many products and systems such as MP3 players, security systems, digital cameras and even improved weather forecasting, making it an integral part of everyday life. Day-to-day responsibilities of electronics engineers include assessing new developments, preparing technical plans, co-ordinating with technicians and testing projects to ensure they meet safety regulations. 

Electronics engineering jobs can generally be broken down into the following fields:

  • Radio frequency engineering
  • Digital design & development engineering
  • Programmable logic engineering (FPGA)
  • Software engineering
  • Systems engineering


Key skills and attributes

Outside of the fundamental qualifications required, electronics engineers typically have some knowledge of computer operating systems and software, as well as more general knowledge of engineering science, mathematics and technology. This type of professional tends to be analytical and methodical yet creative and inventive, with strong communication skills required to translate complex ideas and jargon into clear concepts. Other soft skills engineering employers look for include teamwork, attention to detail, resilience and self-discipline.

Many electronics engineer roles require circuit and electronics design skills, knowledge of analogue and power electronics and experience in the system architecture of projects, however this varies from specialism to specialism. 

Career pathway

Long-term career opportunities for electronics engineers are abundant. Some employers offer graduate positions to help electronic graduates (and others with applicable degrees) find their feet in the industry and gain exposure. Others offer short courses and long-term training programmes, with some encouraging work towards incorporated or chartered engineer status. Once a candidate has this status, they can move into project management roles, or specialise in research in particular areas or move into an engineering consultancy role. People who exhibit strong skills in teamwork and leadership may move into more Engineering and Technical Management jobs, which involve overseeing staff and taking on larger projects and budgets. 

Find your next electronics engineering role with Redline

Redline has been providing knowledge-led recruitment in the European technology industries since 1982. Our consultants are experts in the electronics engineering field and are committed to finding the perfect solutions for both candidates and clients.

If you’re looking to make your next move in the industry, we’d love to help. View our latest electronics engineering jobs to get started.

For more information on Redline’s current R&D and Engineering jobs, please contact Graham Cross on 01582 878849 or email