Electrical and Electronics Engineer Salary

Electrical and Electronics Engineers are highly skilled and trained professionals who can design, develop, test and construct many types of products and projects, from delicate instruments to wiring skyscrapers. They may supervise manufacturing processes or design the electrical systems of new buildings, vehicles, radar or navigation systems, and broadcasting or communication systems. Engineers may also work in areas related to computer systems and using computers is essential to modern day engineering jobs.

The types of equipment that require the services of electrical and electronics engineers include transmission devices, power generators, electric motors, robotic systems, machinery gauges and controls, automation equipment, lighting and wiring. The engineers may work with existing equipment or design new equipment to provide the necessary functions required by designs. In testing, they solve operating problems, do maintenance of equipment, and are able to do cost estimates for the time and budgets required for engineering projects.

Engineers must be highly educated and trained to assure the integrity of their work and the safety of projects. Lives are at stake in many cases, such as in aviation and with motor vehicles. A defect in electronics could easily be responsible for a fatality. Engineers in any field must understand physics and mathematics and have a good background in computers and communications.

Salary Overview

The salary range for electrical engineers and for electronics engineers are roughly equal, averaging about $65,000 in the year 2000. The entire range runs from around $42,000 to $95,000. The higher paying jobs in electrical engineering include the following:*

  • Computer and office equipment engineers – $69,700l
  • Measuring and controlling devices – $67.570
  • Search and navigation equipment – $67,330
  • Electronic components and accessories – $65,830
  • Engineering and architectural services – $65,040

Electronics engineers fared equally well in the following industries:*

  • Federal Government – $70,890
  • Search and Navigation equipment – $68.930
  • Electronic components and accessories – $63,890
  • Electrical goods – $62,860
  • Telephone communication – $57,710

Advanced education corresponds with advances in pay. The National Association of Colleges and Employers 2001 salary survey shows that electronics and electrical engineering graduates holding a bachelor’s degree received salary offers of around $52,000 per year. Those with a master’s degree were being offered around $64,000, and Ph.D. graduates salary offers averaged just below $80,000 per year.*

*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/

Job Description and Outlook

This career area is steady with a growth potential that is as good as average. With the modern use of and expansion of electronics in every area of life, more engineers will be needed, not only to accommodate this growth but also to replace those who are older and retiring from work. Many engineers work as consultants and on contract, or as salaried employees. There were about 288,000 jobs in engineering at the turn of this century, and electronics related engineers comprised the largest portion of those engineering jobs.*

*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/

Engineers can work in the private sector or for the government. They work with business consulting firms, the government, and equipment manufacturers. Many work in the computer and electronics industry, or with firms that make scientific and professional instruments. There is always a need for this type of engineer in industrial production, aviation, and in the military.

Growth in this career area is projected to be good, based on the fact that there is ongoing expansion in the communications industry, defense-related electronics, and in the ever-popular arena of consumer electronics. Heavy investment by manufacturers is devoted to research and development projects in order to stay on top of a highly competitive field with heavy demand for products.*

*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/

Training and Education Requirements

Jobs in Electronics and Electrical Engineering require sophisticated, detailed training in electronics and electricity. Graduates must be able to conceptualize entire projects and determine how the electronic systems fit into the whole project. They must be able to read blueprints and work with computer software programs in engineering.

A college degree or graduation from a dedicated trade school is a must for electronic and electrical engineering students. Advanced degrees open up this career and result in greatly increased pay as well. A basic engineering degree can also be the foundation for graduate studies in law, medicine, politics and communications, leading to a career in those areas.

Specialty engineering jobs are available in many areas, including design, testing, statistical analysis, quality control, safety, software, sales and research. Chief engineers are required in many industries, including broadcasting. All must have proper credentials and knowledge to perform these jobs; college or trade school is the foundation for entry into and progress within this career.


There are important programs of certification for electronics and electrical engineers. These include the Engineer-In-Training (EIT) certification, Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) certification and the Professional Engineer (PE) certification programs. Some online schools offer electronics program certification that will provide enough training for a student to obtain an entry-level job, but higher education is always recommended.

Professional Associations

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. (IEEE) is the world’s largest engineering organization. It is active in dispersing information, reaching out to students, and improving the effect of technology upon the general public.

Other professional associations of interest to electronics and electrical engineers include:

  • American Solar Engineers
  • American Institute of Physics
  • International Federation of Robotics
  • Association of Laboratory Automation
  • Center for Electric Power Engineering

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