The 10 Best Electrical Engineering Textbooks
This wiki has been updated 13 times since it was first published in February of 2019. Whether you're brand new to this field or you're looking to expand your current knowledge base, the electrical engineering textbooks on our list are sure to give you a boost. We've included editions for new students and practical texts for hobbyists as well as those that approach the topic assuming you have at least a basic understanding and can prepare you for exams. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
December 07, 2020:
Like our previous editor noted, this category is a complex one no matter how you slice it, so we did our best to select texts that don't get bogged down in jargon and prioritize clear language and useful examples. We felt the list was a little too stacked toward beginners, and so cleared out a few older, simplistic options like Electrical Engineering 101 and The Beginner's Guide To Electrical Engineering. These are still a solid choice if you're a layperson or just starting out, but Basic Electricity, Electrical Engineering for Non-Electrical Engineers, and even the newly-added Practical Electrical Engineering should serve introductory students just fine.
Also joining the ranks today is Fundamentals of Electric Circuits, which we brought on at the expense of Introductory Circuit Analysis Global Edition. Each of these texts is highly-lauded and extremely well done, with the former having a slight edge and lots of great pedagogy. The main reason Fundamentals took the place of Introductory Circuit Analysis, however, is because it is much more recent and we felt it would be repetitive to keep both around. Fundamentals is also useful for beginner courses for students in a range of other majors.
In addition to options for DIYers and hands-on students like How To Diagnose And Fix Everything Electronic and Practical Electronics For Inventors, we wanted a reference guide to help readers with the volume of formulas, symbols, abbreviations, and equations they need to remember. That guide is the Engineers' Practical Databook and would work alongside many engineering textbooks for those still in school as well as out in the field. It's light and easy to carry, too.
March 20, 2019:
The textbooks in this category are dedicated to a pretty complex study, the math and graphics of which can be dizzying to anyone very new to it. It was important, then, that we place a serious emphasis on the voice in which each entry is written, so that readers might have a chance to guide themselves through a given work without being overwhelmed. Introductory Circuit Analysis, despite its rather dry name, actually has one of the clearest voices around, and its focus on diving headlong into the math and helping you understand it might make it one of the most valuable such books on the market. Still, we wouldn't want a list that only catered to people who'd never designed their own circuits or deconstructed and reconstructed complex electrical devices, so we included some great options for more advanced readers like the FE exam study guide and the offering from the expansive Know It All series.
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) With over 419,000 members in over 160 countries, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers looks to inspire a global community to innovate a better world through technology. Known for its highly cited publications, conferences, technology standards, and professional and educational activities, IEEE connects engineers around the globe and offers career assistance, networking opportunities, awards programs, and more. ieee.org
Carl's Electronics Students and hobbyists looking to cut their teeth on a hands-on project should peruse the offerings at Carl's Electronics, which includes electronic and robotics kits, test equipment, books, and plans. You'll find something for every experience level and each item is tested and guaranteed. electronickits.com
SparkFun A supportive community for engineers of various ages, SparkFun helps people at all skill levels turn ideas into reality. They offer open source components, resources, and tutorials designed to broaden access to innovative technology and make the road to a finished project shorter. There's an informative blog, videos, and an online shop as well. sparkfun.com