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Electrical Engineering vs. Power Engineering (Guide)

Engineering majors are undoubtedly among the most stressful and hardest degree programs to pursue. At the same time, they remain among the most lucrative careers. 

All you need to become a successful engineer is to have a positive mindset starting when you enroll for your preferred major.

If you’re having trouble choosing between electrical engineering and power engineering, this post is for you. Keep reading to find out which career path to take!


Electrical EngineeringPower Engineering
Average Pay$90,275$82,141
Ease of finding a jobEasyEasy
Types of jobs you can qualify forControl EngineerProject EngineerSystems EngineerElectronics EngineerElectrical DesignerElectrical TechnicianSubstation TechnicianPower Generation EngineerProject EngineerSystems EngineerPower Electronics SpecialistElectrical Data ScientistPower Plant Maintenance ExpertBoiler Technician
The difficulty of the majorHardModerate
Key things to noteCan work in a wide range of fields and industries
High earning potential
Offers numerous global opportunities
Not as challenging as Electrical engineering

What is Electrical Engineering?

Electrical engineering is a field of engineering that focuses on studying electricity, electronics, and electromagnetism.

It consists of other sub-disciplines such as power generation, circuitry, transmission systems, control systems, motors, telecommunications, and remote sensing.

Electrical engineers remain an important part of the global workforce since they work around the clock to ensure electronics and electrical devices are working properly. They also research new electrical systems that can help improve the quality of life.

What is Power Engineering?

Power engineering is a subsidiary of electrical engineering that focuses on generating, transmitting, and distributing electric power to residential and commercial buildings.

It also deals with the design, development, testing, installation, maintenance, and repair of power generation equipment and machinery.

Power engineers play a crucial role in ensuring that power systems function optimally. They work with boilers, air-conditioners, refrigeration units, generators, transformers, and compressors to ensure the machines are in good working condition.

Why Choose Electrical Engineering?

They are so many reasons to pursue electrical engineering as your career, but the most prominent ones include:

  • High starting salaries and benefits
  • Opportunity for career advancement
  • Can work in different industries
  • Scope for innovations
  • Multidisciplinary advantage

Why Choose Power Engineering

A career in power engineering can be a fulfilling one. The global demand for power engineering is soaring if the current stats and projections are anything to go by. Here are a few reasons why you should choose power engineering:

  • Soaring global demand
  • Numerous career prospects
  • High earning potential
  • Relatively easy major than other engineering programs
  • Opportunity to impact the world positively with sustainable power generation

What is the difference between power engineering and electrical engineering?

There’s not much difference between power engineering and electrical engineering. In any case, power engineering is a sub-discipline of electrical engineering. Power engineers usually study electrical engineering before settling for power engineering as an elective course.

The only difference is that power engineering focuses on the generation, transmission, and distribution of electric power, while electrical engineering involves the design, development, and maintenance of electrical devices and electronics

To be a power engineer, you must learn the basic principles of electrical engineering. Power engineering students study electrical engineering subjects such as electronics, control systems, instrumentation, power generation systems, and electrical systems.

Can an electrical engineer be a power engineer?

An electrical engineer can be a power engineer as power engineering is a subsidiary of electrical engineering. It entails the generation, transmission, and distribution of electric power.

It also deals with the design, development, maintenance, and operation of power systems, which an electrical engineer can do without difficulty.

If you didn’t know, power engineering is an elective course in electrical engineering. Power engineers usually start their career journey by studying electrical engineering before specializing in power systems and generation. With this in mind, it’s very easy for an electrical engineer to be a power engineer.

Is a power engineer a real engineer?

A power engineer is a real engineer. They possess the technical skills and expertise like other engineers. Besides, power engineers design, develop, test, maintain, and operate power systems, machines, and structures like other engineering professionals.

Power engineers usually work in various industrials and commercial facilities.

They’re responsible for operating and maintaining a variety of equipment and machinery such as boiler systems, generators, transformers, compressors, transmission lines, refrigeration units, and air conditioning units, among other mechanical systems.

Is power engineering a good field?

Power engineering is a relatively good field to pursue as a profession. It has many career prospects, and it opens up technical learning and career advancement opportunities.

You also get the chance to positively impact the community you work in by educating them on the proper use of power to conserve the current energy sources.

Starting salaries are high even for entry-level engineers. Moreover, you can work anywhere in the world. Power engineering is one of the few professions with numerous global opportunities, especially in developing countries.

Also read: Do Engineering Students Need A Dedicated Graphics Card?

Are power engineers in demand?

Power engineers are in great demand. The global need for power engineers is soaring every day, given that electric power is a vital part of daily life.

Power engineers play a crucial role in generating and transmitting power to residential and commercial buildings. They ensure power systems are in excellent working condition.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the United States has approximately 18,500 power engineers in the entire country as of May 2020. This stat is a clear indication that the region is facing a shortage.

The good news is that the labor department projects the employment of power engineers will grow by 7 percent between 2020 and 2030.

Final verdict

Choosing between electrical engineering and power engineers can be a massive challenge due to their striking similarities. Moreover, power engineering is a subsidiary of electrical engineering, so there’s no separating the two degrees. 

Since there’s a huge shortage of power engineers globally, we recommend you opt for this degree program. Your chances of getting a job as a power engineer are higher anywhere in the world. Electrical engineering is highly competitive, and the courses are more difficult than in power engineering.