How to Find Electrical Engineering Internships

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

Use this guide to learn more about electrical engineering internships and discover strategies to help you find one.

[Featured image] A woman wearing safety goggles sits at a desk and works on a computer during one of her electrical engineering internships.

Electrical engineering internships can help build skills and knowledge for careers in the field. Learn what this internship entails and whether it's required for your degree while exploring the steps you can take to find one and the career you can have once you complete one.

Read more: 7 Internship Interview Questions and How to Answer Them

What is an electrical engineering internship?

An internship offers learners a chance to gain hands-on experience and knowledge in their field of interest. It also exposes you to various work environments and provides a valuable opportunity to build your network while experiencing a typical day in the field. Participating in an electrical engineering internship allows you to learn more about what electrical engineers do and gain practical, on-the-job experience.   

Is an electrical engineering internship required for a degree?

Whether an electrical engineering internship is a graduation requirement depends on your school and program. Although only some programs may require it, an electrical engineering internship offers a variety of benefits. These include:

  • Practical electrical engineering experience

  • A chance to use the theories, skills, and knowledge you've gained in school

  • Identification of your job strengths and areas for growth

  • Opportunities for professional networking and mentorship

  • Resume enhancement for better career options 

  • Possibility for a paid position with your sponsoring company

Read more: at Do Electrical Engineers Do?

Helpful skills for electrical engineering internships

A specific set of skills helps to show your preparedness for an internship in electrical engineering. These include technical skills, which can help you perform your particular job in electrical engineering, and workplace skills, which can help you interact with people in this job or others.

Technical skills that may benefit you include:

  • Familiarity with programming languages like C++, Python, and MATLAB

  • Knowledge of advanced mathematics like calculus, linear algebra, and trigonometry

  • General knowledge of physics

Workplace skills that may benefit you include:

  • Analytical thinking skills

  • Good written and verbal communication

  • An ability to stay organized and meet deadlines

Read more: What Are Job Skills and Why Do They Matter?

Steps to get an electrical engineering internship

It can help to have a plan to guide you in finding an electrical engineering internship well-suited to your background and career goals. Consider these strategies as you begin your search:

1. Check with your college or university about internship guidelines.

If your engineering department has specific internship guidelines, check with your academic advisor or internship coordinator, if available. You should receive information about internship options and the steps you need to take next. While some companies offer internships to current students, others desire interns with a bachelor's degree.

2. Research internship opportunities.

Depending on the guidelines of your school or electrical engineering degree program, you may need to find an internship independently. A variety of resources can help, which include:

  • Fellow students or professors

  • Family, friends, or coworkers

  • The career services center at your school

  • Local career fairs

  • Professional social media platforms like LinkedIn

  • Employment websites

3. Prepare your resume. 

Once you find some internship options, it's time to prepare your resume. When creating your resume, start with a short objective statement describing why you want the internship and what value you can bring. Make sure to highlight your education, related work or volunteer experience, and special skills and achievements that make you an attractive electrical engineering internship candidate.

Read more: How to Write an Internship Cover Letter: 9 Tips (+ Examples)

4. Get ready for your interview. 

Consider rehearsing answers to common interview questions to prepare for an internship interview. Examples might include:

  • What motivated you to apply for this specific internship?

  • What interests you about electrical engineering? 

  • Describe your professional goals and where you see yourself in the next few years.

  • Tell me about a situation where you demonstrated excellent leadership (or teamwork).

  • What are some time-management strategies you use to help meet tight deadlines?

  • What types of activities do you enjoy outside of work and school?

Read more: 10 Common Interview Questions and How to Answer Them

What to expect from an electrical engineering internship

As an electrical engineering intern, you can expect to work with one or more senior-level engineers, depending on the company. Typically, an intern performs lower-level duties similar to that of an assistant. 

The type of assistance you provide might include:

  • Creating electrical drawings or diagrams using computer-aided design (CAD) software 

  • Analyzing existing electrical designs for possible modifications

  • Testing electronics or electrical systems for safety and design standards

  • Conducting regular maintenance of electrical testing equipment

What can you do with an electrical engineering degree? 

Earning an electrical engineering degree offers a variety of different career options. 

Explore four exciting choices and the average base salaries you can expect to earn based on March 2024 data.  

1. Electrical engineer

Median annual US salary: $98,580 [1]

Requirements: Bachelor's degree, strong background in mathematics

Electrical engineers design, develop, test, and improve electrical products, components, equipment, and systems. As an electrical engineer, you may work in various industries, including automotive, power generation, aerospace, and the military. You may also pursue more research-based roles, like becoming a patent attorney or a professor. 

Read more: What Do Electrical Engineers Do?

2. Electrical designer

Median annual US salary: $90,746 [2]

Requirements: Associate degree or higher, software design skills

Electrical designers create electrical system designs for commercial, residential, and industrial sites to ensure the systems meet safety and production standards. You might also work with other engineers and architects to develop construction plans and create bids on projects, perform calculations to determine the appropriate sizing of a project’s electrical equipment and create specifications.  

3. Electrical technician

Median annual US salary: $68,894 [3]

Requirements: Associate degree or certification, good problem-solving and math skills

Electrical technicians may work in a support role with an electrical engineer to design, develop, and test electrical equipment. You could also work as a field technician, maintaining and repairing electrical equipment and systems. 

4. Controls engineer 

Median annual US salary: $90,000 [4]

Requirements: Bachelor's degree, solid background in mathematics, problem-solving skills, and attention to detail

Controls engineers design, develop, test, maintain, and improve control systems in products like appliances, automobiles, consumer electronics, industrial equipment, and medical devices. In this job, you might also help install hardware and software that use programmable logic controllers and innovate new solutions to improve procedures relating to various systems. 

Read more: What Is a Controls Engineer (+ How to Become One)

Next steps on Coursera 

Electrical engineering internships can open opportunities for various career options and allow you to explore different types of jobs in the field. You might also leverage online courses to discover multiple facets that interest you. For example, the Introduction to Power Electronics course from the University of Colorado Boulder allows you to work with circuit models and gain a deeper understanding of the operating principles of switched-mode converters, among other topics.

Another option is to pursue a master's degree in electrical engineering after getting your bachelor's degree. Consider the Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Colorado Boulder, available on Coursera. Options of more than 50 accredited courses allow you to narrow your field of study and work on projects that interest you. 

Article sources


Glassdoor. "Electrical Engineer Salaries, engineer-salary-SRCH_KO0,19.htm." Accessed April 8, 2024.

Keep reading

Updated on
Written by:

Editorial Team

Coursera’s editorial team is comprised of highly experienced professional editors, writers, and fact...

This content has been made available for informational purposes only. Learners are advised to conduct additional research to ensure that courses and other credentials pursued meet their personal, professional, and financial goals.