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Physics Physics Teacher to Electrical Engineer

  1. Feb 13, 2013 #1
    I'm currently a high school physics teacher with BS in Physics and Astronomy, and will have a master of arts in teaching (physics) by this summer. I was just curious what it might take to start a career in electrical engineering at this point. Would I have to do an entire EE degree? Or could I just study and take the EE exam? Thanks.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 13, 2013 #2


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    What "THE EE exam"? Is there even such a thing?

  4. Feb 13, 2013 #3
    Well, this 2009 American source I came across (since posting) lists 4 requirements to be a professional engineer:

    1. BS in engineering from accredited college
    2. Completion of the FE exam (fundamentals of engineering, 8 hour national exam, administered by National Council for Engineers and Surveyors (NCEES). Half of which is entirely in your specialty area, for example electrical)
    3. 2-4 years experience after completing the FE
    4. Completion of the PE exam (principles and practice of engineering, another huge national test)

    So I am wondering if I really need to do an entire degree or if some of the classes from my physics degree will cross over. Or if I can take the first exam without a degree. Or, I suppose, if any of this is even accurate.
  5. Feb 13, 2013 #4
    You can take a Master's course in EE after BS in physics if the electrical department supports interdisciplinary study.

    None that I'm aware of.
  6. Feb 13, 2013 #5
    Whether taking the PE has any value depends on your State - in most States you need a BS in an engineering discipline from an acredited program.

    More importantly, though, is whether you have any skills that an employer could use. There's no test that will demonstrate you have those skills, and college coursework may not help, either.

    You need to look at your current skill set and identify industriest hat need it.
  7. Feb 13, 2013 #6
    As pointed out a MSEE would serve you better than a BSEE. You may want to look through some basic circuit analysis, signal processing, controls stuff to make sure you feel comfortable with it though.

    At my previous employer they would consider hiring a physics degree if the person had passed the FE test (showed they had basic EE knowledge). So that might be something you could look into. As was stated previous most states I am aware of require PEs to have engineering work experience.
  8. Feb 15, 2013 #7
    Glancing at some university course packages, it seems a focus on circuits and electronics is usually an option. I really just want to develop the ability to think of problem solutions using circuits I can build. But I'm not so interested in programming and the computer side of it. I like to think of the components themselves and how they interact physically.
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