Interest in China’s green energy sector has grown considerably in recent years due to a number of government incentive programs and growing public focus on alternative fuels. Both overseas and Chinese companies, which include solar panel developers, solar inverter companies or wind turbine manufacturers, have rushed to fill this market gap and in the process have generated significant demand for electrical engineers in China.
What does an electrical engineer do?
Electrical engineers localise electrical products for the market and provide technical trouble-shooting support for clients. Another key responsibility is to act as a liaison between the local company or distributor and a head office that may be based overseas. This can involve relaying client needs and market trends to guide future production and research conducted at the head office.
Becoming an electrical engineer requires strong communication skills as many of positions are client facing. In China, understanding of the local culture is also necessary as much of the work will be in remote areas where you will need to interact with local landlords and businesses who will be maintaining your solar panels or wine turbines, for example. The ability to work independently will also be highly valued because of the smaller team sizes and autonomy for most engineering positions in this sector.
In China the shortage of young, qualified engineers has created an older managerial structure. As a result, ambitious young engineers can expect a high chance of promotion in the coming 10 years.
What skills and experience are required?
The number of qualified electrical engineers in China remains extremely limited because of the strict qualifications required. Typically an engineer will possess an undergraduate university or technical college degree ideally in electrical engineering. Earning a Japanese electrical construction licence will also be highly beneficial as this will allow you to work on a construction site.
In order to redesign circuit boards to client specifications, a solid understanding of CAD software will also be necessary. Another requirement will be adjusting your products for voltage differences. Demonstrated experience in high voltage used in products like inverters will be very attractive for potential employers as many electrical engineers in China possess low voltage experience.
What are the career and salary prospects?
The outlook for electrical engineers is generally positive. Experienced professionals can usually receive RMB150-200k, but because of the shortage of workers many employers are recruiting older engineers or raising salaries to attract skilled talent. Electrical engineers can progress into project manager roles, which involve more responsibilities with budgeting, project financing and liaising on the technical side with the head office.
For more information in career advice, please contact:
Vivi Zhi, Associate Director
+86 (0) 512 6873 5888
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