Electrical Engineering Salary Guide: How Much Can You Earn?

Electrical engineers design and oversee the development of electrical equipment. They create new technologies and improve existing devices, adhering to customer and end-user needs, building codes and safety standards.

Technological advancements have helped create a growing demand for electrical engineers. Much of the growth has occurred in the areas of professional, scientific and technical services. Electrical engineers also work in power generation, manufacturing, and research and development.

According to Bureau of Labor Statisticsthe median annual electrical engineering salary was $100,830 in May 2020.

Here, we explore the salary potential and career landscape of electrical engineering.

Electrical Engineer Jobs

Wondering what electrical engineers do? Electrical engineering subfields include:

  • Electronic engineers working with electronics
  • Communication engineers working with communication systems and equipment
  • Digital and analog engineers working with signal processing in digital and analog systems
  • Electrical engineers working with the generation and use of electricity
  • Signal processing engineers working with information from signals
  • Control systems engineers working with controls for dynamic systems
  • Instrumentation engineers working with control and measurement instruments
  • Radio frequency engineers working with radio waves and devices

Read on for details on popular electrical engineering jobs.

Electrical Engineer

Minimum degree required: Bachelors
Years of experience required: Nothing
Alternative job titles: Electrical engineer, circuit engineer, electrical design engineer
Important skills:

  • Interpersonal relations and communication
  • IT and electronics
  • Organization and focus
  • Math skills
  • Critical thinking and problem solving

These professionals design and develop electrical equipment for commercial, scientific and industrial purposes. They adhere to customer needs and follow industry specifications, codes and safety protocols. The median annual electrical engineering salary was $100,830 in May 2020.

Systems Engineer

Minimum degree required: Bachelors
Years of experience required: Nothing
Alternative job titles: Application engineer, infrastructure engineer, electrical systems engineer
Important skills:

  • Planning, organization and integration
  • Interpersonal relations and communication
  • Leadership
  • Math, problem solving and critical thinking skills

These interdisciplinary engineers design, develop and manage multi-stage and multi-component systems. Systems engineers often work with computer, industrial, and complex electrical systems. The average systems engineering base salary is $81,406, by salary scale.

electronics engineer

Minimum degree required: Bachelors
Years of experience required: Nothing
Alternative job titles: Electronic design engineer, evaluation engineer, product engineer
Important skills:

  • Interpersonal relations and communication
  • Problem solving and critical thinking
  • Systems analysis
  • Computer and development software
  • Math and reasoning skills

Electronic engineers create electronic components, equipment, and devices for industrial, commercial, and scientific systems and purposes. They prepare manufacturing specifications, maintenance procedures and product specification documents.

The median annual salary for an electronics engineer was $107,540 in May 2020.

Communications engineer

Minimum degree required: Bachelors
Years of experience required: Nothing
Alternative job titles: Network engineer, signal processing engineer, sound engineer
Important skills:

  • Problem solving and critical thinking
  • Interpersonal relations and communication
  • Mathematics and reasoning
  • Network and system analysis

These engineers specialize in communications systems, including cloud computing, wireless systems, and data and video communications. They design and create the equipment and infrastructure that transmits and receives communications.

The average base salary for communications engineers is $79,183, by salary scale.

Director of Engineering

Minimum degree required: Bachelors
Years of experience required: 5+
Alternative job titles: Chief Engineer, Head of Engineering, Director of Engineering
Important skills:

  • Planning, organization and implementation
  • Leadership, communication and interpersonal relations
  • Problem solving and critical thinking
  • Knowledge of budgeting and operations
  • Math and reasoning skills

Engineering management covers the planning and coordination of engineering teams and projects. These professionals oversee engineering research, design, execution, and review. The median annual salary for engineering management was $149,530 in May 2020.

Electrical Engineer Salaries

Many factors can affect an electrical engineering salary, including the in-person or online engineering program you take, your level of experience, and your location.

According to PayScaleelectrical engineers earn an average of $68,000 in entry-level jobs, $74,000 at entry-level, $86,000 at mid-career, $101,000 at end-career, and $115,000 when experienced.

The BLS found that the lowest 10% of electrical engineering salaries were below $64,870, while the highest 10% were above $159,520.

Petroleum engineers, hardware engineers, and aerospace engineers earn the most among engineering branches.

You can advance your career and increase your earning potential by pursuing one of the best technology certifications, an interdisciplinary education (like a degree in software engineering), or a master’s degree in electrical engineering.

Highest Paying States for Electrical Engineers

The following table examines the highest paying states for electrical engineers. A higher cost of living may offset the higher salaries in these states.

Location

Average annual salary (2020)

District of Colombia

$126,840

California

$124,390

New Jersey

$120,140

Vermont

$118,460

Washington

$117,790

Conclusion

The field of electrical engineering offers flexibility. You can choose from career branches and specializations, each offering different duties and salaries.

Continue your research on electrical engineering jobs by exploring the many industries where electrical engineers find employment.

Unless otherwise stated, salary data and projected growth are from the Bureau of Labor Statisticsto March 8, 2022.