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Working As an Electrical Electronics Engineers

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Drafting, Laying Out, and Specifying Technical Devices, Parts, and Equipment
  • Documenting/Recording Information
  • Mostly Sitting

  • $74,000

    Average Salary

What Does An Electrical Electronics Engineers Do

Electrical engineers design, develop, test, and supervise the manufacturing of electrical equipment, such as electric motors, radar and navigation systems, communications systems, or power generation equipment. Electrical engineers also design the electrical systems of automobiles and aircraft.

Electronics engineers design and develop electronic equipment, such as broadcast and communications systems, from portable music players to global positioning systems (GPSs). Many also work in areas closely related to computer hardware.

Duties

Electrical engineers typically do the following:

  • Design new ways to use electrical power to develop or improve products
  • Perform detailed calculations to develop manufacturing, construction, and installation standards and specifications
  • Direct the manufacture, installation, and testing of electrical equipment to ensure that products meet specifications and codes
  • Investigate complaints from customers or the public, evaluate problems, and recommend solutions
  • Work with project managers on production efforts to ensure that projects are completed satisfactorily, on time, and within budget

Electronics engineers typically do the following:

  • Design electronic components, software, products, or systems for commercial, industrial, medical, military, or scientific applications
  • Analyze customer needs and determine the requirements, capacity, and cost for developing an electrical system plan
  • Develop maintenance and testing procedures for electronic components and equipment
  • Evaluate systems and recommend design modifications or equipment repair
  • Inspect electronic equipment, instruments, and systems to make sure that they meet safety standards and applicable regulations
  • Plan and develop applications and modifications for electronic properties used in parts and systems in order to improve technical performance

Electronics engineers who work for the federal government research, develop, and evaluate electronic devices used in a variety of areas, such as aviation, computing, transportation, and manufacturing. They work on federal electronic devices and systems, including satellites, flight systems, radar and sonar systems, and communications systems.

The work of electrical engineers and electronics engineers is often similar. Both use engineering and design software and equipment to do engineering tasks. Both types of engineers also must work with other engineers to discuss existing products and possibilities for engineering projects.

Engineers whose work is related exclusively to computer hardware are considered computer hardware engineers.

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How To Become An Electrical Electronics Engineers

Electrical and electronics engineers must have a bachelor’s degree. Employers also value practical experience, so participation in cooperative engineering programs, in which students earn academic credit for structured work experience. Having a Professional Engineer (PE) license may improve an engineer’s chances of finding employment.

Education

High school students interested in studying electrical or electronics engineering benefit from taking courses in physics and mathematics, including algebra, trigonometry, and calculus. Courses in drafting are also helpful, because electrical and electronics engineers often are required to prepare technical drawings.

In order to enter the occupation, prospective electrical and electronics engineers need a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, electronics engineering, or electrical engineering technology. Programs include classroom, laboratory, and field studies. Courses include digital systems design, differential equations, and electrical circuit theory. Programs in electrical engineering, electronics engineering, or electrical engineering technology should be accredited by ABET.

Some colleges and universities offer cooperative programs in which students gain practical experience while completing their education. Cooperative programs combine classroom study with practical work. Internships provide similar experience and are growing in number.

At some universities, students can enroll in a 5-year program that leads to both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree. A graduate degree allows an engineer to work as an instructor at some universities, or in research and development.

Important Qualities

Concentration. Electrical and electronics engineers design and develop complex electrical systems and electronic components and products. They must be able to keep track of multiple design elements and technical characteristics when performing these tasks.

Initiative. Electrical and electronics engineers must be able to apply their knowledge to new tasks in every project they undertake. In addition, they must engage in continuing education to keep up with changes in technology.

Interpersonal skills. Electrical and electronics engineers must be able to work with others during the manufacturing process to ensure that their plans are implemented correctly. This collaboration includes monitoring technicians and devising remedies to problems as they arise.

Math skills. Electrical and electronics engineers must be able to use the principles of calculus and other advanced math in order to analyze, design, and troubleshoot equipment.

Speaking skills. Electrical and electronics engineers work closely with other engineers and technicians. They must be able to explain their designs and reasoning clearly and to relay instructions during product development and production. They also may need to explain complex issues to customers who have little or no technical expertise.

Writing skills. Electrical and electronics engineers develop technical publications related to equipment they develop, including maintenance manuals, operation manuals, parts lists, product proposals, and design methods documents.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Licensure is not required for entry-level positions as electrical and electronics engineers. A Professional Engineering (PE) license, which allows for higher levels of leadership and independence, can be acquired later in one’s career. Licensed engineers are called professional engineers (PEs). A PE can oversee the work of other engineers, sign off on projects, and provide services directly to the public. State licensure generally requires

  • A degree from an ABET-accredited engineering program
  • A passing score on the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam
  • Relevant work experience
  • A passing score on the Professional Engineering (PE) exam

The initial Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam can be taken right after graduation from a college or university. Engineers who pass this exam commonly are called engineers in training (EITs) or engineer interns (EIs). After getting work experience, EITs can take the second exam, called the Principles and Practice of Engineering exam.

Several states require engineers to take continuing education courses to keep their license. Most states recognize licensure from other states if the licensing state’s requirements meet or exceed their own licensure requirements.

Advancement

Electrical and electronic engineers may advance to supervisory positions in which they lead a team of engineers and technicians. Some may move to management positions, working as engineering or program managers. Preparation for managerial positions usually requires working under the guidance of a more experienced engineer. For more information, see the profile on architectural and engineering managers.

For sales work, an engineering background enables engineers to discuss a product's technical aspects and assist in product planning and use. For more information, see the profile on sales engineers.

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Average Length of Employment
Top Careers Before Electrical Electronics Engineers
Engineer 5.3%
Trainee 3.4%
Top Careers After Electrical Electronics Engineers
Engineer 4.3%
Technician 2.7%
Manager 2.7%

Do you work as an Electrical Electronics Engineers?

Average Yearly Salary
$74,000
Show Salaries
$59,000
Min 10%
$74,000
Median 50%
$74,000
Median 50%
$74,000
Median 50%
$74,000
Median 50%
$74,000
Median 50%
$74,000
Median 50%
$74,000
Median 50%
$93,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
General Electric
Highest Paying City
San Ramon, CA
Highest Paying State
California
Avg Experience Level
4.2 years
How much does an Electrical Electronics Engineers make at top companies?
The national average salary for an Electrical Electronics Engineers in the United States is $74,367 per year or $36 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $59,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $93,000.

Real Electrical Electronics Engineers Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Electrical/Electronics Engineer Brunel Energy, Inc. Houston, TX Oct 01, 2014 $234,000
Senior Electrical/Electronic Engineer Property & Casualty Management Systems, Inc. Dallas, TX Aug 19, 2016 $150,000
Engineer, Electrical/Electronics Mercedes-Benz U.S. International, Inc. Vance, AL Dec 09, 2016 $98,077
Electrical/Electronics Applications Engineer Lg Chem Power, Inc. Troy, MI Nov 28, 2016 $97,500
Engineer, Electrical/Electronics Mercedes-Benz U.S. International, Inc. Vance, AL Jul 08, 2015 $92,000
Electrical/Electronics Validation Engineer Lg Chem Power Inc. Troy, MI Oct 03, 2016 $91,728
Engineer-Actuators & Sensors/Electrical-Electronic Magna Powertrain of America Inc. Troy, MI Sep 13, 2013 $90,000
Power Electronics Electrical Engineer Ut-Battelle, LLC (Oak Ridge National Laboratory) Oak Ridge, TN Sep 18, 2013 $89,029
Power Electronics Electrical Engineer Delphi Corporation Kokomo, IN Aug 18, 2012 $88,566
Power Electronics Electrical Engineer Delphi Corporation Auburn Hills, MI Aug 18, 2015 $87,651
Electrical and Electronics Engineer Minn-DAK Farmers Cooperative Wahpeton, ND Jun 09, 2014 $87,000
Engineer, Electrical/Electronics Mecedes-Benz Us International, Inc. Vance, AL Sep 12, 2013 $87,000 -
$94,000
Power Electronics Electrical Engineer Ut-Battelle, LLC (Oak Ridge National Laboratory) Oak Ridge, TN Sep 20, 2010 $82,632
Electrical/Electronics Engineer Emcor Mesa Energy Systems, Inc. Lemon Grove, CA Sep 13, 2010 $82,270
Electrical/Electronics Engineer Emcor Mesa Energy Systems, Inc. Lemon Grove, CA Jun 07, 2010 $82,270
Electrical/Electronic Engineer Emcor Mesa Energy Systems, Inc. Lemon Grove, CA Jun 01, 2010 $82,270
Electrical/Electronics Engineer Medtronic, Inc. Los Angeles, CA Aug 01, 2014 $79,934 -
$81,182
Electrical & Electronic Eng'g Technicians F.L.Smidth Inc. Bethlehem, PA May 22, 2012 $76,000
Electronics/Electrical Engineer Sonceboz Corportion Ann Arbor, MI Jan 07, 2016 $75,000
Power Electronics Electrical Engineer Wireless Advanced Vehicle Electrification, Inc. North Logan, UT Sep 16, 2013 $68,000
Power Electronics Electrical Engineer Wireless Advanced Vehicle Electrification, Inc. Salt Lake City, UT Mar 10, 2014 $68,000
Electrical/Electronics Applications Engineer Lg Chem Power, Inc. Troy, MI Aug 20, 2016 $67,500
Electrical and Electronic Engineers Technicians Grafix, L.P. Bolingbrook, IL Jul 21, 2010 $66,784 -
$79,306
Electrical and Electronics Engineer Global Economic Advantage Inc. Houston, TX Sep 25, 2014 $65,936 -
$66,000
Power Electronics Electrical Engineer Delphi Corporation Kokomo, IN Oct 01, 2011 $65,208
Electrical and Electronic ENG. Tech. General Electric Company (Transportation) Erie, PA Feb 26, 2010 $65,000

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Top Skills for An Electrical Electronics Engineers

  1. PLC
  2. Analog
  3. Electrical Systems
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Supported the maintenance and improvement of computer and PLC controlled automated test equipment used in the certification of magnetic memory discs.
  • Designed Analog/Digital Micro-Controller based instruments.
  • Provided necessary technical support for electrical systems.
  • Developed test procedures for validation and created specs for foam material.
  • Used Proteus 6.x software for PCB schematic design, production, assembling (up to 4 layers).

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Top 10 Best States for Electrical Electronics Engineers

  1. Massachusetts
  2. New Mexico
  3. Alabama
  4. Virginia
  5. California
  6. Maryland
  7. New Hampshire
  8. Texas
  9. Connecticut
  10. Washington
  • (368 jobs)
  • (64 jobs)
  • (141 jobs)
  • (392 jobs)
  • (1,112 jobs)
  • (249 jobs)
  • (78 jobs)
  • (577 jobs)
  • (129 jobs)
  • (256 jobs)

Electrical Electronics Engineers Demographics

Gender

Male

74.3%

Unknown

15.2%

Female

10.5%
Ethnicity

White

50.4%

Asian

14.9%

Hispanic or Latino

13.6%

Black or African American

11.3%

Unknown

9.8%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

25.0%

French

20.8%

Vietnamese

8.3%

Arabic

8.3%

Swahili

4.2%

German

4.2%

Romanian

4.2%

Greek

4.2%

Dari

4.2%

Bemba

4.2%

Hmong

4.2%

Italian

4.2%

Hausa

4.2%
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Electrical Electronics Engineers Education

Schools

Weber State University

8.9%

Illinois Institute of Technology

7.1%

Northeastern University

7.1%

University of Florida

5.4%

University of Alabama

5.4%

Polytechnic Institute of New York University

5.4%

University of New Hampshire

5.4%

Pennsylvania State University

5.4%

University of Massachusetts - Lowell

5.4%

Cape Fear Community College

5.4%

George Washington University

5.4%

More Tech Institute

5.4%

Louisiana State University and A&M College

3.6%

University of the District of Columbia

3.6%

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

3.6%

San Jose State University

3.6%

University of Pennsylvania

3.6%

Temple University

3.6%

Texas Tech University

3.6%

Georgia Institute of Technology -

3.6%
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Majors

Electrical Engineering

63.7%

Computer Engineering

5.5%

Electrical Engineering Technology

3.8%

Business

3.8%

Computer Science

3.8%

Education

2.7%

Engineering

2.4%

Mechanical Engineering

1.7%

Management

1.4%

Educational Technology

1.4%

Electrical/Electronics Maintenance And Repair Technology

1.4%

Information Technology

1.0%

Finance

1.0%

Biomedical Engineering

1.0%

Environmental Design

1.0%

Electromechanical Instrumentation And Maintenance Technologies/Technicians

1.0%

Computer Networking

1.0%

Physics

1.0%

Science, Technology, And Society

0.7%

Computer Information Systems

0.7%
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Degrees

Bachelors

42.9%

Masters

25.9%

Other

19.4%

Associate

5.3%

Certificate

2.9%

Doctorate

2.4%

Diploma

1.2%
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Updated May 19, 2020