Importance of Electrical Engineers in Construction Projects

Published on 20th April 2023

Electrical engineers are professionals who ensure the design and implementation of safe and successful electrical components in construction projects. Apart from that, their role in the construction industry also includes working as electrical subcontractors. They work closely with other professionals, including project managers, architects, civil engineers, and other subcontractors.


This blog post will discuss the role and responsibilities of electrical engineers in the construction industry, their educational background, and the pay package for working in the construction industry.


Who is an electrical engineer?

An electrical engineer is a licensed professional engineer who designs, tests, develops, and installs electrical power generation units, transmission lines, and current distribution and safety systems. 


Sometimes electrical engineers have to design and install an entire electrical infrastructure, including power generation, power transmission, and distribution. Such an infrastructure may have a wide-ranging application for civil, industrial, and commercial purposes. An electrical engineer has a crucial role in a diverse range of industries from transportation to telecommunications and healthcare to telecommunications. 


When it comes to the construction industry, an electrical engineer has to perform various responsibilities. From designing the layout of the entire electrical component like power generation units, power distribution units, and power transmission systems, and installing safety measures, electrical engineers are solely responsible for the safe and efficient execution of electrical design and installation of electrical equipment.


Electrical Engineer: Roles and Responsibilities in Construction

In construction, an electrical engineer's job is to ensure that electrical systems are designed, installed, and tested in compliance with safety standards, electrical codes, and project specifications.


Making electrical plans and drawings

Before laying out electrical wiring and installation of electrical components, a plan is made. This electrical plan or electrical diagram is a technical drawing that gives the visual representation of electrical components, circuits, and other electrical units to be used on the construction project. 


The electrical diagram or wiring diagram displays the following things:

  • Complete wiring layouts
  • Ratings of power lines
  • Position of power transformers and switches
  • Position of emergency power supply equipment


Generally, an electrical engineer or a team of electrical engineers design such an elaborate plan to guide the technicians and other electrical system workers.  


Moreover, project owners or project managers hire electrical engineers to review and approve electrical plans to ensure that they meet the safety standards and electrical codes.


Overseeing Electrical Installation

During construction, the electrical site engineer is responsible for overseeing the installation of electrical equipment and systems. They work with electrical contractors and electricians to ensure that the installation of the electrical equipment meets safety standards and project specifications.


Troubleshooting Electrical Issues

The electrical site engineer must troubleshoot any electrical issues that arise during construction. They must have experience and technical knowledge to identify the root cause of the problem and come up with a solution that complies with safety standards and project specifications.


Ensuring Electrical Safety

One of the primary responsibilities of the electrical site engineer is to ensure electrical safety. They must identify potential hazards and take appropriate measures to mitigate those risks. The electrical site engineer must ensure that electrical equipment and systems are installed and maintained according to safety standards and electrical codes.


Commissioning Electrical Systems

The electrical site engineer is responsible for commissioning electrical infrastructure to ensure that they operate as intended. They conduct testing to verify that the electrical systems are reliable and meet project specifications and safety standards.


Tools and Technologies Used by Electrical Engineers

Electrical engineers use various tools and technologies to design and install electrical systems in construction. Some of the tools and technologies commonly used include:

  • CAD software for creating technical drawings and electrical plans
  • Electrical testing equipment to diagnose electrical issues
  • Computer software for simulating and analyzing power systems
  • Programmable logic controllers (PLCs) for controlling electrical systems
  • Power monitoring systems to track energy usage and identify potential issues


Education for Electrical Engineers

A bachelor's degree in electrical engineering is typically required to become an electrical engineer. Coursework typically includes math, physics, circuit theory, electronics, and computer programming. Many electrical engineers also pursue advanced degrees to specialize in a particular area of electrical engineering.


Skills of an Electrical Engineer

Electrical engineers require various skills to excel in their roles, including:

  • Technical skills: Electrical engineers must have a strong understanding of electrical theory, as well as knowledge of electronic components, materials, and systems. They should also be familiar with CAD software and other technical tools.
  • Analytical skills: Electrical engineers must be able to analyze and troubleshoot complex electrical systems and equipment, identifying potential issues and proposing effective solutions.
  • Communication skills: Electrical engineers need to be able to communicate effectively with team members, clients, general contractors, and other professional construction engineers like mechanical engineers, civil engineers, and structural engineers, explaining technical details and ensuring that everyone is on the same page.
  • Attention to detail: Electrical engineers must pay close attention to detail when designing and testing electrical systems, as even small errors or oversights can have significant consequences.


Electrical engineer job description

Electrical engineers can specialize in various areas, including power systems, control systems, electronics, and telecommunications. Some of the job profiles for electrical engineers include:

  • Electrical Site Engineer: responsible for designing and overseeing the installation of electrical systems on construction sites
  • Control Systems Engineer: responsible for designing and implementing control systems for electrical systems
  • Electronics Engineer: responsible for designing and developing electronic devices and components
  • Power Systems Engineer: responsible for designing and maintaining power systems, including power generation, transmission, and distribution


Salary of Electrical Engineers

The salary for electrical engineers varies based on experience, specialization, and location. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for electrical engineers in the United States was USD 103,390 in May 2020. However, electrical engineers with advanced degrees or specialized skills may earn significantly higher salaries.



Electrical engineers play a crucial role in the construction industry by designing, installing, and maintaining the electrical system and all the electronic equipment in the building project. They use various tools and technologies to create technical drawings, troubleshoot issues, and ensure compliance with safety standards and electrical codes. 


To become an electrical engineer, a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering is typically required, and advanced degrees can lead to specialized job opportunities and higher salaries. With their skills and expertise, electrical engineers help ensure that buildings and infrastructure are safe, efficient, and reliable.


P.S.: If you are an electrical engineer and looking for new leads to work on ongoing and upcoming construction/infrastructure projects, here is the right platform. Find and track the projects of your choice in more than 200000+ projects in the construction, oil & gas, EV, and infrastructure sectors worldwide with our cutting-edge global project and tender tracker.

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