Electrical Engineers: Salary Overview
Electrical engineers help manufacture electrical equipment.
They may be involved in all manufacturing stages- from the design to the testing phase.
Electrical engineers may design and develop electric motors, communication systems, radar and navigation systems, as well as power generation equipment.
They also design the electrical systems of automobiles and aircraft.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for electrical engineers was $98,530 per year as of May 2019, which means that half of all workers in this profession earned less than this amount while half earned more.
Salaries vary widely depending on many factors, including experience level, the industry of employment, the type of products they manufacture, and the demand for those products- just to name a few.
The lowest 10 percent of electrical engineers earned less than $63,020 while the top 10 percent made more than $155,880 per year.
Electrical Engineer Salary by Industry
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, electrical engineers held around $193,100 jobs in the United States in 2019, most of them being employed in the field of engineering services, in the industry of electric power generation, transmission, and distribution, by navigational, measuring, electromedical, and control instruments manufacturers, or in the research field.
Electrical engineers employed in the field of architectural, engineering, and related services reportedly earned $102,980 per year on average while those who worked for electric power generation, transmission, and distribution reportedly made $101,490 per year on average.
The mean annual wage was $109,090 for electrical engineers employed by navigational, measuring, electromedical, and control instruments manufacturers and $115,910 for those who worked for aerospace products and parts manufacturers.
Electrical engineers who worked in research reportedly earned $115,210 per year on average as of May 2019.
According to BLS, the highest-paying industry for this profession is the field of oil and gas extraction- where electrical engineers were reportedly remunerated with $130,960 per year on average.
There are many other factors that determine an electrical engineer’s salary, besides the industry of employment- one such factor being the region and the state where they work.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the highest-paying state for this profession was the District of Columbia where the average annual wage was $122,330.
Other top-paying states are New Jersey, New Mexico, California, and Washington- states where the average annual wages reported by electrical engineers were above $115,000.
Electrical engineers in Arkansas, Ohio, South Carolina, Nevada, South Dakota, and Wisconsin, on the other hand, reportedly earned less than $90,000 per year on average.
Salary by Education and Skills
There are many other factors that play an important part in determining an electrical engineer’s salary, including his/her education level and skills.
Electrical engineers need at least a bachelor’s degree but those who have some experience by completing an internship in college may have better chances of finding employment in the field.
Earning a master’s degree in electrical engineering or a related field can improve your earning prospects and can help you advance in your career after earning a few years of experience in the field.
A license in Professional Engineering can give you more independence and a higher salary.
This credential can be earned after a few years of experience in the field.
Electrical engineers who hold this license are qualified for supervisory positions and they may sign off on projects and provide services directly to the public.
Experienced engineers who also have management or sales skills may become engineering managers or sales engineers.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for architectural and engineering managers is $144,830 but salaries for this position vary between less than $92,510 and more than $208,000.
Salaries for sales engineers typically range between less than $60,000 and more than $170,000 per year but their earnings are typically composed of a fixed salary plus commission on sales so those who have good communication skills can make a pretty decent living.
* Based on information from the May 2021 salary report from the BLS. The figures represent accumulated data for all states of employment for Electrical Engineers. BLS data represents averages and medians for workers at all levels of education and experience. This data doesn't represent starting salaries.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.