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Colour blindness: A hindrance for an EE education and related jobs?

  1. Jun 25, 2014 #1

    I am going to study Electrical Engineering this coming semester and i just wanted to make sure that i don't get any problems due to my minor red-green colour blindness.
    I have no problem distinguishing between resistor codes but i normally flunk tests for colour blindness. I rarely have any problems with it and its mostly evident when i test for it.

    I just wanted to know if I would have any problem at the University or later in life when looking for jobs. Does anyone know if companies test Electrical Engineers for colour blindness due to some safety requirements or the like.

    I know this has already been answered partially in another thread: https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=386898&highlight=colour+blind

    I just wanted to get some extra input as the deadline for admission is soon approaching and i want to make sure that i make the right choice :)
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 25, 2014 #2


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    Don't worry about it. I am an EE in industry and also have red-green color blindness. I usually cannot read resistor codes as I cannot distinguish the colors. When circuits are built in industry, the EE typically designs, and the technician assembles the circuit (a good tech is better than almost any EE at actually assembling a board!). I earned a PhD in EE and have been in industry for 10+ years, and the color blindness has had no impact on my career. Good luck!
  4. Jun 25, 2014 #3


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    Steer clear of discrete circuit assembly and fault finding, along with colour display technology and no one will ever notice. Colour coded resistors are less and less common these days and, if you go for 'systems' rather than 'circuits', you can avoid them.
  5. Jun 25, 2014 #4
    In labs quite often you'll need to set up circuits, not being able to read the colour codes will make this a bit more difficult, but in all honesty most people just use a multimeter to read the value of the resistor.
    Might be handy for you to go get one. (having one is useful as it always seems the our labs need to record 1 more value than we have meters at the bench lol)
  6. Jun 25, 2014 #5
    SMT stuff isn't even color coded. And the majority of manufactured items are SMT.
  7. Jun 25, 2014 #6

    jim hardy

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    I'll join the " dont worry about it " chorus.

    Surface mount devices (if marked at all) have a tiny number on top.
    Mil resistor values are printed with digits.
    Many mil capacitors bear a number that requires you to use a lookup table to find value

    At my age i need a stereo microscope just to see today's parts, let alone identify them.
  8. Jun 25, 2014 #7


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    You are fine.

    V=IR in any color.
  9. Jun 25, 2014 #8
    Thanks guys, looking forward to first semester!
  10. Jun 25, 2014 #9


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    I'm an IC designer. One of the senior designers in my group is colorblind. The only affect it has on his work is once it a while he'll ask which curve is which during a powerpoint presentation he is attending. Doesn't slow him down a bit. Don't worry about it.
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