Electrical engineering is a field of engineering that generally deals with the study and application of electricity, electronics, and electromagnetism. This field first became an identifiable occupation in the latter half of the 19th century after commercialization of the electric telegraph, the telephone, and electric power distribution and use. Subsequently, broadcasting and recording media made electronics part of daily life. The invention of the transistor and, subsequently, the integrated circuit brought down the cost of electronics to the point where they can be used in almost any household object. The personal computer and information technology are the most complex electronics yet to be used in everyday life.
Electrical engineering has now subdivided into a wide range of subfields including electronics, digital computers, power engineering, telecommunications, control systems, RF engineering, signal processing, instrumentation, and microelectronics. The subject of electronic engineering is often treated as its own subfield but it intersects with all the other subfields, including the power electronics of power engineering.
Electrical engineers typically hold a degree in electrical engineering or electronic engineering. Practicing engineers may have professional certification and be members of a professional body. Such bodies include the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) and the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET).
Electrical engineers work in a very wide range of industries and the skills required are likewise variable. These range from basic circuit theory to the management skills required of project manager. The tools and equipment that an individual engineer may need are similarly variable, ranging from a simple voltmeter to a top end analyzer to sophisticated design and manufacturing software.