Electrical engineering is a professional engineering discipline that generally deals with the study and application of electricity, electronics, and electromagnetism. This field first became an identifiable occupation in the later 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 later the integrated circuit, brought down the cost of electronics to the point they can be used in almost any household object.
Electrical engineering has now subdivided into a wide range of subfields including electronics, digital computers, computer engineering, power engineering, telecommunications, control systems, radio-frequency engineering, signal processing, instrumentation, and microelectronics. Many of these subdisciplines overlap with other engineering branches, spanning a huge number of specializations such as hardware engineering, power electronics, electromagnetics & waves, microwave engineering, nanotechnology, electrochemistry, renewable energies, mechatronics, electrical materials science, and much more. See glossary of electrical and electronics 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 Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) (formerly the IEE).