According the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, the
median income for electrical engineers is $82,160.
10% earned $52,990. The highest 10% earned $125,810. For electronics
engineering, the median income is $86,370. The lowest 10% earned
$55,330. The highest 10% earned $129,920.
According to a
July 2009 survey by the National Association of Colleges and
Employers, the average starting salary for electrical and
electronics engineers who have earned a Bachelor's degree is $60,125.
IEEE's most current salary and fringe benefits survey shows sharp differences in pay for
different job duties, but most of these variations are linked to
experience. For example, engineers whose responsibilities include general
or technical management make the most, followed by people in marketing /
sales, and consultants. Those in entry-level jobs that focus on
engineering support or operations and maintenance make the least. The most
common job function of engineers is design and development engineering,
and salary scales for that function are right in the middle ranges of the
profession, along with specialists in quality control and systems software
engineering. Educators generally make less, but some make up the
difference by taking on consulting jobs during the summer.
and Employer Size
IEEE's studies of engineering pay and the Engineering Workforce
Commission's annual employer-based surveys of compensation show that
salaries for young engineers are usually best in the largest U.S.
employers -- those with more than 500 employees of all types. Like any
general finding, there are many exceptions. The largest of all employers
of engineers is the federal government, but while federal scales have
improved, they are still not as good as those in private industry. There
also is a great deal of variance in pay within all of these broad classes,
and the better-paying smaller employers will easily beat out the
poorer-paying big ones.
and Type of Employer
employment and industry sector that you are in can be a major determinant
of your pay. Once out of school, distinctions between engineering
disciplines can become blurred, and the type and line of business of your
employer can become more important than your specialty.
Engineering compensation is not limited to your base salary. IEEE tracks
four other broad components of income as well as a large number of added
benefits. For appropriately employed engineers working full time,
commissions and bonuses can add value to base pay. Those kinds of rewards
can fluctuate widely from one year to the next.
additions to base pay are reported by some members of IEEE from second
jobs or overtime. For older engineers, retirement plans and profit sharing
become significant, especially when engineers retire from one job but
continue to work full time somewhere else (retired military officers, who
are often qualified engineers, are a good example).
Most engineers enjoy excellent benefit packages, covering all of their
health and retirement needs and frequently providing full health coverage
Stock options may be a factor and their use is reported to be rising. What the options are worth is
a matter of speculation.
Note: Some resources in this section are provided by
IEEE and the US Department
of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.