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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

Both are similar words that can cause a bit of confusion for  newbies, but they differ significantly from each other. Let’s explain them in detail, along with the related terms, as below:

Electrical Engineering

Electrical Engineering is the field of engineering that deals with the study and application of electricity, power distribution, control, electronics, and electromagnetism.

Electronic Engineering

Electronic Engineering is an engineering discipline that involves the use of non-linear elements and active components such as electron tubes, semiconductor devices, especially transistors, diodes, and integrated circuits, among others, 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 confusion between them. Although the terms are similar and related, they are distinct disciplines.

  • Electrical Engineering = Study and Utilization/Application of Flow of Electrons.
  • Electronics EngineeringStudy and utilization/Application of Flow of Charge ( Electron & Holes).

Main Difference Between Electrical and Electronic Engineering

As we know, we study only the flow of electrons in a conductor and insulator. However, in the case of semiconductors, we study both the flow of electrons (negatively charged) and holes (positively charged).

Furthermore, electrical components and devices use alternating current (AC) or voltages and tend to be larger in size, requiring 230V (in the UK – IEC) and 120V/240V (in the US – NEC) single-phase AC voltages. In industries and power stations, voltages may go up to 11kV, and for transmission, they can exceed 400kV.

In contrast, electronic components require very small direct current (DC) voltages, such as 3-12V, and they can be very small in size. For example, a single microprocessor chip may contain hundreds or thousands of tiny electronic components.

Another significant difference between electrical and electronic engineering is that an electric circuit/network may only power an electric machine, whereas an electronic circuit plays a role as a decision-making component and device. Electronic circuits follow input instructions and perform specific tasks defined by the designed circuit.

It’s important to note that ‘electronics engineering is one of the fields/branches of electrical engineering.’ In other words, electronics engineering is the elder son of electrical engineering. :-D

Difference Between Electric and Electrical

Electric: 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.

Electrical: 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)

Difference between Electronic and Electronics

There is no big difference between electronic vs. electronics engineering 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. It is widely accepted and More commonly used in UK, EU, AU and other English speaking countries.

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. More commonly used in North America including USA and Canada.

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 and distribution of electrical power and its utilization.

Related Posts:

Electrical Technology

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

  2. 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. 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 />

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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)

  9. 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

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

  11. 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}

  12. NONE.
    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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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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