Electrical Engineer

Electricity powers the daily lives of people and is the foundation of all social and economic activity. All aspects of production and consumption across all value chains rely on electrical power, for production, manufacture, transport, storage, amongst other support services. Electrical engineering involves the design, building and maintenance of electrical systems for the generation and use of electrical energy.

Electrical engineers design, develop and supervise the manufacture, installation, operation and maintenance of equipment, machines and systems for the generation, distribution, utilisation and control of electrical power. They test equipment, solve operating problems and estimate the time and cost of electrical engineering projects. Electricity generation in South Africa is heavily dependent on coal, with significant environmental impacts. There is a concerted drive to steer South Africa towards increasing renewable electricity generation.

Often working as part of a team of specialised engineers, electrical engineers can work in between offices, power plants and substations. They could also work in production and manufacturing plants.


Electrical engineers must have extensive mathematical ability and a comprehensive knowledge of the processes of electricity generation. They will also benefit from:

  • Very strong analytical and logical reasoning competence
  • An extensive knowledge of electricity use contexts
  • Creative problem-solving skills
  • Competence in the use of popular engineering and design software


Advise on and design electrical equipment, power stations and systems

Supervise, control and monitor the operation of electrical systems

Establish control standards and procedures to monitor performance and safety of varied electrical systems

Determine manufacturing methods, maintenance and repair of electrical systems


B.Eng. in Electrical Engineering at SU, UJ and UP

B.Sc.Eng. in Electrical Engineering at UCT, UKZN and Wits

Diploma, Advanced Diploma, M.Tech in Electrical Engineering at CPUT, CUT, DUT, MUT, TUT, UNISA, VUT and WSU


National, provincial and local government.

Construction, production and manufacturing companies.

Renewable and private energy organisations.

Research institutions.

Related career paths