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Main Difference Between Electrical and Electronic Engineering?

What is Main Difference Between Electrical and Electronic Engineering?

Definitions of Electrical and Electronic Engineering

They are similar words making confusion, but they are far differ from each other. let explain it and related terms to it in more details below.

Electrical Engineering

Electrical Engineering is the field of Engineering that generally deals with the study and application of electricity, electronics, and electromagnetism.

Electronic Engineering

Electronic Engineering is an engineering discipline where non-linear and active electrical and electronics components and devices such as electron tubes, and semiconductor devices, especially transistors, diodes and integrated circuits, etc. are utilized to design electronic circuits, devices and systems.

Main Difference Between Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Below is the main difference between electrical and electronic engineering which prevents such a confusion between electrical and electronics engineering as they are slimier words related to each other but they are not like same.Main Difference Between Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Electrical Engineering = Study and Utilization/Application of Flow of Electrons.

Electronics EngineeringStudy and utilization/Application of Flow of Charge ( Electron & Holes).

As we know that we study only the flow of electrons in a conductor and insulator, but in case of semiconductor, we study both of flow of electrons (negatively charges) and hols (positively charge).

Moreover, electrical components and devices uses alternating current (AC) / Voltages and tend to be larger in size and require 230V (In UK) and 110V (In US) single phase ac voltages where as in industries and power stations, it may be up to 11kV and for transmission, it may be higher than 400kV.

Whereas, electronic components need very small direct current (DC) / voltages such as 3-12V and they may be very small in size. For example, a single micro processor chip may contain hundreds / thousands of tiny electronic components.

Another big difference between electrical and electronic engineering is that an electric circuit / network may only power an electric machine where as electronic circuit play a role as decision making component and device as they follow the input instruction and do a specific and task defined by the designed circuit.

Also note that “electronics engineering is one of the Field/branch of electrical engineering”
in other words, electronics engineering is an elder son of electrical engineering :-D

Different between Electric and Electrical


is anything specified and related to electricity (in front of machine or which runs on electric power)

Examples: Electric charge, electric shock, electric heater/kettle, electric current etc.


used in general and more in unspecified thing related to electricity. Keep in mind that “electrical” or “electric” make no big deference when used for “electric machines” or “electrical machines” as the two words are essentially identical in meaning.

Examples: Electrical machines, electrical appliances, (Specified but not runs on electricity like, Electrical engineer)

Different between Electronic and Electronics

There is no big difference i.e. there is an additional “S” in both words. By the way:

Electronics = noun, referring to a group of electrical / electronic circuits and networks that are electronic related in nature.

Example: I have to buy a mobile charger in the electronics store.

Electronic = adjective. It is used to refer to a specific things contains on circuits/networks and active electrical semiconductor components (diodes, transistors, ICs etc) in it.

Example: I have to find an electronic meter to check the DC voltage of the circuit.

Difference Between an Electrical and Electronic Device

Electrical Device:

is a passive device which don’t need electric power supply for their operation like resistors, inductors, capacitors, wires and cables, and they don’t provide power amplification i.e. the output never exceed the input power.

Electronic Device:

is an active device which required external source for their operation like Diode, Transistors, SCR, ICs etc and they may (or may not) provide power amplification.

Good to Know:

Electrical Technology

Electrical Technology: it is a field of engineering technology related to electrical and electronics engineering which deals in generation, transmission & distribution of electrical power and its utilization.

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  1. Jermonster says:

    There are so many differences between electronics and electrical. Nevertheless, I agree that electronics is a branch of Electrical Engineering.

    1. Electrical Technology says:

      Here we discussed " main difference" Thanks

  2. Kashif Abdullah says:

    no. I dnt agree tht electronics is the branch of electrical eng. The main diffrence between them is, in electronics we study current through semiconductors. And in electrical we study current through conductors. Both are independent but highly related with each other. Becaz the aim of both branches is utilize current for usefull purpose.

    1. Electrical Technology says:

      Dear Kashif Abdullah @ Here we discussed " main difference" Thanks

    2. Anonymous says:

      yeah am also agree with u both fields are separate frm each other,,,from my view that where electric is non present its impossible to invent electronic equipment.<br />

  3. In a number of instances, people tend to use the terms electronic and electric interchangeably. While both terms are commonly employed when discussing electronics, there is a subtle difference between the correct usage of each word. Here is what you should know about the proper way to make use of both electronic and electric when speaking or writing.<br />

    1. Electrical Technology says:

      Dear Rikie @ True…And agree…

      1. sibananda sahu says:

        tes ur correct

  4. NAGA YADAV says:

    sir can i run normal fan will DC supply…….

    1. Electrical Technology says:

      No… You should operate all the electrical appliances for which the are designed…

  5. Anonymous says:

    Thank for clearing the most common and big doubt!!!

  6. Anonymous says:

    difference b/w electrical engineering and electronics engineering is semi conductor material,in electronic semiconductor material used where as in electrical engineering semiconductor materials are not used.

  7. Anonymous says:

    as said above, electrical is the branch of electronics. i agree. but as its not my field, i dont know more in detail. that would be highly appriciated if i can get proper defination of electronics, electrics, electrical, and electricity. thnx.

  8. Rachit Kachroo Scientist says:

    In a simple way to understand the main difference between electrics and electronics. Take the example of the electrical appliances at your home like Oven, Fan, AC etc these work on principle of electrics and the digital devices like Laptop, Tablets, Mobile phones work on principle of electronics.

  9. Anonymous says:

    electrical device are those device in which there no any betry connection like fan,oven, etc.electronic device are such device in which all the part of the electronics is conected like transistor,resistance,diode,capacitorare the component of electronics.

  10. Well… the basic difference between electrical and electronics is that the former guys always want medium free space with zero conductivity (where information can flow without any disturbances) bt d latter guys concentrate to create a superconductor with infinite conductivity (ideal case)

    1. but in case of semiconductor ,it is work as nonconductor in zero degre……

  11. Electrical engineering deals with a very HIGH VOLTAGES and Electronics engineering deals with a VERY LOW VOLTAGES of about 5-10V.

    1. Electronical engineering deals with a high voltages with a low constant frequency but electronic engineering deals with a low voltages with high frequency

  12. Very nice explanation and example. especially electronics engineering is a son of Electrical engineering.

  13. sibananda sahu says:

    you are correct sir

  14. Sir .what happen when current passes through the AC circuit?

  15. taimur khan says:

    electrical engineering is basically to study about high voltage equipment and electronics engineering is about low voltage equipment

  16. flow of electrons are called charge.
    but in normal atmosphere means matter contains molicules (electrons,dust particals………etc) in the atmosphere electrons flows from here to there
    { now my doubt is what is called the flow of electrons in matter}

  17. JonnyDeath says:

    Absolutely no difference since probably the late 80’s.
    Furthermore electrical engineering has always been THE degree that encompassed everything.
    The term electronic once was called computer engineering starting with small scale and portable devices such as tape decks, car stereos, walkmans and so on. At this point the small circuits processed information and were still regarded as analog computers.
    This eventually became electronic engineering as computers advanced specifically in the 80’s. It also varied in different regions such as India and Japan which is why the terms all became both ambiguous but ultimately in some examples, synonymous.

    By the late 80’s maybe early 90’s most colleges no longer separated the two and the terms became synonymous and computer engineering simply put a focus on the design of computer systems ranging from embedded to commercial to industrial.
    This is still the case.

    Today if you enroll in college, much like myself, you will find the clarification with virtually any school and that you are learning the same thing whether it is titled electrical or electronic.
    My current college, a reputable university to be exact, actually has it titled electrical/electronic engineering technology but the term used throughout the synopsis is electronic.

    If you want a degree that is altogether misleading look at the I.T. degrees AKA information technology. Very trimmed down with virtually no legitimate understanding of electronics or electrical devices outside of block diagrams and they deal with knowing what pieces of hardware can be combined, what software languages they can be used with and how to piece together systems in a modular fashion or simply never step beyond writing software as it relates to various types of networks.
    These are the people that end to improperly explain a lot of subjects to people they have no legitimate education in but most specifically, E. engineering.

    1. Electronic engineering at a good school encompasses all that. I had to learn how to build electrical networks to power my electronic designs, designed by me to the component level. That is the difference in the schooling levels, technicians are trained mainly to the block diagrams, technologists are trained to component level. I’m not sure how electrical engineers are taught though as I have yet to meet one that even knows what a resistor does

  18. anil mishra says:

    sir ,, if we work on above 5 volt then we called electrical engineering but if supply voltage is more than 5 volt then we called electronic engineering ,, it is the basic difference

  19. Om prakash kr says:

    The branch of science in which study for electronic engineer vacuum tube and semiconductor is called electronic engineer.
    And electrical engineer in study for conducting a flow of current is called electrical engineer

  20. Chandrasekar says:

    Electrical Engineering is the major field of study that encompasses Electronics Engineering.

    Electrical Engineering could be thought of to not only include Electronics but power generation and distribution, motors, electromechanical devices, computer engineering, certain computer programming disciplines, communication, optics, MEMs, magnetics, transformers, bioelectronics, radio and lighting.

    Electronics is often thought of as encompassing analog and digital and RF design and opto-electric and components, as well as computer engineering and computer architecture. By association and application of electronics critical to the technologies, it is also well involved in some way with the most of the items on the Electrical Engineering list above.

  21. Manish Ghadge says:

    if i want to design a brush less motor who can do it , a electrical engineer or a electronic engineer.

  22. ajay kumar says:

    Hindi me electronics projects

  23. Deepak Bhatia says:

    The main difference between electronic and electrical engineering is that in electrical engineering we study about electric devices which converts electrical energy into other forms of energy like heat, light and sound. And in electronic se study about electronic devices which control the flow of electrons in order to perform task.

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