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What Does an Electrical Designer Do?

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  • Written By: B. Turner
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 01 November 2016
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An electrical designer creates wiring diagrams and power distribution diagrams used to supply electricity to homes, businesses and various electronics products. He determines the best equipment to supply electricity in these applications, then determines the best wires and cables to distribute this power where it is needed. To perform these duties the electrical designer relies on knowledge and experience in electrical principles, along with information from industry codes and safety standards. Depending on his position and responsibilities, he may have training in engineering, electricity, or drafting. Many electrical design professionals spend a great deal of time using computer-aided drafting (CAD) programs to generate these designs.

Electrical designer duties in the construction field generally focus on equipment layout, wiring diagrams, and how these systems are connected. These designers determine how much electrical power is needed within a building, then calculate the best way to bring this power to the structure to maximize performance and safety. They meet with homeowners or architects to understand the different types of electrical systems that will be required, then develop CAD drawings that outline lighting and power systems, along with cable, telecommunications and security. The plans generated by the electrical designer are used by contractors to install and maintain the building's electrical systems.

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These design professionals also work in manufacturing and industrial settings, where they create the equipment and accessories used in the electrical industry. They may design transformers, generators, and other equipment, as well as cables, wires, and other items used to transport electrical signals. Electrical designers in this industry also develop things like light fixtures, switches, and outlets used in homes and buildings.

An electrical designer can even help develop products used outside the electrical industry. For example, he creates switchboards and circuits that are used in machinery and equipment. These professionals also design control systems for products ranging from computers to electronics equipment.

Finally, electrical designers may work with municipal and private power distribution companies. These include utility companies that supply power to homes and businesses, as well as cable, phone, and Internet firms. When working for municipal agencies, an electrical designer helps to design and maintain the public power grid. He determines the best way to route underground or overhead wires to minimize outages and reduce the risk of accidents. These professionals can also find employment at power production plants, which include coal-burning electric companies, solar energy firms, and even those involved in nuclear power production.

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