The electrical engineer salary is a lucrative one. In fact, the mean annual wage for electrical engineers was $107,890 in 2021. That’s no small potatoes! But what do these engineers do all day? And in which states do they make the most? Keep reading to find out!
The Average Electrical Engineer Salary – the Latest Data
The average electrical engineer salary was $107,890 ($53.21 per hour) in 2021, according to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This is a significant increase from the previous year, when the average salary was $105,990. The highest-paid electrical engineers make more than $162,930, while the lowest-paid make less than $62,360.
The median earnings in the job are $100,420 per year and $48.28 per hour, which is similar to the average.
The vast majority work in the private sector, although there are also some jobs in the public sector. Most electrical engineers work in the following industries:
- architectural and engineering services,
- electric power generation, transmission and distribution,
- navigational, measuring, electromedical, and control instruments manufacturing.
What does all that mean for you? If you’re an electrical engineer or thinking of becoming one, your job prospects are good!
Electrical Engineer Salaries over the Years
When it comes to electrical engineer salaries, there is good news and bad news. The bad news is that, after adjustment for inflation, the salaries have remained relatively flat over the last few decades. The good news is that they’re still among the highest of all engineering disciplines. In fact, electrical engineers currently make a median salary of more than $100,000 per year.
And while electrical engineer salaries may not be increasing as quickly as some other engineering disciplines, the job market for them is still very strong. So, if you’re considering a career in electrical engineering, you can rest assured that you’ll be able to find good-paying work.
The Average Electrical Engineer Salary by State
Electrical engineer salaries vary depending on factors such as experience, education, and location. For example, engineers working in urban areas tend to earn more than those in rural areas. In addition, those working in states with high concentrations of tech companies tend to make more than those in other states.
California is the state with the highest number of electrical engineers employed (over 28,000), and it’s also the highest-paying state for the job, with an annual mean wage of $126,640. The other top paying states are:
- District of Columbia – $123,280;
- Washington – $118,890;
- Massachusetts – $118,100;
- Maryland – $117,950.
How does that compare to actual employment levels? Apart from California, there’s no rule. The highest employment in these jobs was reported in California, Texas, Michigan, New York, and Pennsylvania.
To look at it differently, the five states with the highest concentration of these jobs are New Hampshire, Washington, Michigan, Hawaii, and Maryland. In those states, there are more than 2-3 electrical engineers employed per 1,000 jobs.
What Else Influences Salaries for Electrical Engineers?
There are a few things that can influence the electrical engineer salary, beyond location. Experience is one factor – generally, the more experience an engineer has, the higher their salary will be. According to Salary.com estimates, the median salary is $74,083 for entry level jobs, $88,290 for intermediates, and $107,223 for seniors.
The industry can also impact salary. For example, electrical engineers who work in the aerospace industry may earn more than those who work in the automotive industry.
What Do Electrical Engineers Do?
An electrical engineer is someone who designs, develops, tests, and supervises the manufacture of electrical equipment. They work with electrical systems such as generators, motors, and wiring in buildings. Alternatively, they may work on projects such as power plants, electric grids, and electrical machines.
The responsibilities in the job include:
- designing electrical products,
- testing electrical products,
- developing new electrical technologies,
- supervising the production of electrical equipment,
- maintaining and improving existing electrical equipment,
- troubleshooting electrical problems,
- working with other engineers and technicians.
These tasks can be demanding, and on top of that, electrical engineers will often work long hours, nights and weekends. They may need to travel to different job locations frequently, so keep that in mind if you’re thinking of becoming one.
How to Become an Electrical Engineer?
To become one, you’ll need to complete a four-year college degree in electrical engineering. In addition, many companies require their employees to have a Professional Engineering (PE) license. While not required, completing an internship can give jobseekers a competitive edge when seeking employment. Most states also require electrical engineers to complete continuing education credits every few years to maintain their PE license.
Electrical Engineers Make a Lot, but May Have Demanding Jobs
Engineers are among the highest-paid professionals in the United States. The electrical engineer salary is no exception. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, these professionals earn a median wage of $100,420 per year.
The highest-paid work in California, where they make an annual salary of $126,640 on average. However, their jobs can be demanding, with long hours and travel required for some positions.