Electrical and Electronics Engineering Careers

Read on to learn about typical courses, resources, and careers in this field.

Staff Writer

2022-11-1015 min read

Electrical and electronics engineering students enjoy lucrative career paths and work in multiple industries, including manufacturing facilities, IT, government, and private agencies.

These professional engineering degrees give students hands-on experience and the necessary skill sets to design and operate various electrical systems.

You can explore everything about electrical and electronics engineering careers, degree options, salaries, job prospects, and other valuable information.

Ready to kickstart a successful electrical and electronics engineering career today? Keep reading this extensive guide to get up to speed on your journey.

Why Choose Electrical and Electronics Engineering?

Electrical and electronics engineers are at the forefront of technological innovations, meeting society’s communication, energy, and tech needs.

These professionals design or improve numerous electronic devices and systems for multiple industries, including medical and military outfits. For example, electrical engineers work on federal electronic devices and communication systems.

Nearly every organization or sector has a place for electrical and electronics engineers, so there are always job prospects.

An electrical and electronics engineering career is for you if you love STEM subjects and want to explore the potential benefits to society.

How to Start your Electrical and Electronics Engineering Journey

A degree from an accredited college or postsecondary institution qualifies you for most electrical engineering jobs. An associate program prepares you for entry-level jobs, while a bachelor’s degree paves the way for higher-paying positions.

Postgraduate degrees and industry certifications provide extensive training and hands-on experience while increasing your job prospects for managerial roles.

Education Requirements

Associate Degree

This program is a practical and inexpensive way to introduce students to electrical and electronics engineering careers. The classes cover introductory subjects like general and technical physics, AC-DC electronics, engineering drawings, and more.

Most associate degrees are stepping stones to four-year bachelor programs and prepare students for advanced courses and training.

Bachelor’s Degree

A bachelor’s in electrical and electronic engineering provides comprehensive training and explores engineering fundamentals.

Most programs tailor the degree to cater to the student's specific needs and career ambitions. As a result, electronics and electrical engineering electives include diverse topics, including microcomputer and biometrics design.

After graduating, students can obtain professional licensure by taking the Fundamentals of Engineering Exam.

Master’s Degree

Graduate engineering courses allow students to dig deeper into their specialty areas and demonstrate their knowledge through their thesis. This two-year program explores power systems, electro-optics, linear control systems, and other advanced courses.

A master’s degree program prepares professionals for advanced careers and high-paying managerial positions.

Doctorate in Electrical and Electronics Engineering

This terminal degree paves the way for various lucrative career options in multiple sectors. Ph.D. students complete research dissertations and publish their work in academic journals.

An engineering doctorate prepares you for roles in academia, research laboratories, private sectors, and upper management positions.

Employment Prospects

Professionals in this field can work in various industries according to their skill sets and interests. As a result, you can work in multiple areas, including IT, automotive, power, manufacturing, and construction industries.

Gaining specialized skills and earning professional certificates improve your career prospects and qualify you for higher-paying roles.

Electrical and Electronics Engineering Career Forecast

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects over 20,000 job openings for electrical and electronics engineers yearly. The department also recorded a 3% growth for these careers in the last decade.

Even though this field is growing slower than other engineering professions, electrical and electronics engineers play vital roles in multiple industries.

And with technological advancements, these professionals have become increasingly essential in developing communications technologies, sophisticated consumer electronics, semiconductors, and more.

Lucrative Electrical and Electronics Engineering Career Paths

These are some lucrative and rewarding electrical and electronics engineering career paths to explore.

Electrical and Electronics Engineers

These professionals engineers design, develop, and test electrical equipment such as navigation systems, electric motors, power generators, and communications systems.

Some electrical engineers manage the electrical systems of aircraft and automobiles.

Electrical and electronics engineers are creative problem-solvers who work with different industries to handle complex design and production issues.

Average Salary

Electrical and electronics engineers earn over $100,000 in median annual salaries, with the top 10% making over $162,000.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Design electronic components and electrical systems
  • Inspect and develop electronic equipment and instruments to ensure they meet safety standards, specifications, and codes
  • Investigate electrical complaints from the public
  • Design communications systems like global positioning system (GPS)

Industries Employing Electrical and Electronics Engineers

Top-paying industries for electrical and electronics engineers include:

  • Data Processing, Hosting, and Related Services
  • Electric Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution
  • Computer and Peripheral Equipment Manufacturing
  • Navigational, Measuring, Electromedical, and Control Instruments Manufacturing


Electricians install and manage electrical power, lighting, control systems, and more in homes and companies. Experienced professionals work with building architects and engineers to design electrical and electronic systems for new constructions.

While most electricians only require high school diplomas to get jobs, a college degree can qualify you for higher-paying industry positions.

Average Salary

Electricians earn over $60,000 in median wages, with the top percentile earning more than $99,000.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Install and maintain electrical and lighting systems
  • Inspect and identify faulty electrical components
  • Replace or repair transformers, circuit breakers, wiring, and more.

Industries Employing Electricians

Highest-paying sectors for electricians include:

  • Natural Gas Distribution
  • Professional and Commercial Equipment and Supplies Merchant Wholesalers
  • Building Equipment Contractors.

Electrical and Electronics Installers and Repairers

These professionals diagnose and solve electrical problems with software and technology. As a result, they must understand electrical and electronic equipment.

Electrical and electronics installers and repairs use diagnostic equipment to test and troubleshoot electric motors, transmitters, security systems, and more.

Average Salary

Electrical and electronics installers and repairers earn over $61,000 in median wages, with the top percentile earning over $100,000.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Test and inspect the equipment
  • Handle maintenance and testing procedures
  • Repair and clean electrical motors and components
  • Disassemble and reassemble the equipment for repairs and maintenance

Industries Employing Electrical and Electronics Installers and Repairers

  • Electronic Devices and Precision Equipment Repair and Maintenance
  • Personal and Household Goods Repair and Maintenance
  • Rail Transportation
  • Navigational, Measuring, Electromedical, and Control Instruments Manufacturing

Electro-mechanical and Mechatronics Technologists and Technicians

These professionals operate, test, and manage electro-mechanical equipment or robotics. As a result, technicians are detail-oriented, effective communicators, and problem solvers.

Most hiring managers prefer employing electro-mechanical and mechatronics technicians from ABET-accredited programs and colleges.

Average Salary

Electro-mechanical and mechatronics technologists earn over $60,000 in median annual wages, with the top percentile earning more than $98,000.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Perform inspections for surface defects
  • Install electronic hardware with soldering equipment and hand tools
  • Calibrate and repair pneumatic assemblies and hydraulics
  • Operate or test robotic equipment

Industries Employing Electro-mechanical and Mechatronics Technologists and Technicians

These are some of the highest employers of electro-mechanical and mechatronics technicians.

  • Engineering and Machinery Manufacturing Services
  • Electric Power Generation, Transmission, and Distribution
  • Scientific Research and Development Services

Controls Engineers

Controls engineers oversee and implement engineering processes. In addition, they play critical roles in developing systems for manufacturing operations such as power grids and space flights.

A bachelor’s degree in engineering and in-depth experience in several programming languages and systems qualify you for this career.

Average Salary

Controls Engineers earn over $79,000 in median annual salaries. Professionals with significant experience earn more than $100,000.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Developing and executing engineering processes
  • Designing, testing, and troubleshooting systems
  • Plan preventive maintenance of power distribution systems
  • Define performance metrics and manage vendor relations

Industries Employing Controls Engineers

Highest-paying sectors for controls engineers include:

  • Automobile, Aviation, and Aerospace Sectors
  • Information Technology Support Services
  • Transportation Equipment Manufacturing
  • Architectural and Engineering Services

Electrical and Instrument Engineer

Electrical and instrument engineers design and develop electronic products and systems for multiple industries. These professionals handle various responsibilities while manufacturing electrical equipment for companies and organizations.

Average Salary

Electrical and instrument engineers earn between $66,000 to $146,000 in annual median wages.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Identify and improve areas of inefficiency
  • Develop testing procedures and modify electronic properties
  • Evaluate systems and plan modifications when necessary
  • Monitor manufacturing processes

Industries Employing Electrical and Instrument Engineers

Sectors with the highest concentration of electrical and instrument engineers include:

  • Electric Lighting Equipment Manufacturing
  • Scientific Research and Development Services
  • Electric Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution
  • Federal Government Research Facilities

Avionics Engineer

Avionics engineers diagnose and repair an aircraft’s mechanical and electrical problems. As a result, these professionals work in the aerospace industry and ensure aircraft systems function correctly.

Most hiring managers prefer candidates with bachelor’s degrees in related engineering fields, computer programming skills, and technical experience.

Average Salary

Avionics engineers earn average salaries of around $65,000, with the highest 10% making over $98,000.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Troubleshoot electronics, navigation, and aircraft entertainment systems
  • Installing and maintaining aircraft and communication components
  • Diagnose mechanical and electrical problems
  • Manage flight systems
  • Replace defective parts and keep maintenance records

Industries Employing Avionics Engineers

Top-paying industries for Avionics engineers include:

  • Utility System Construction
  • Aerospace Product and Parts Manufacturing
  • Navigational, Measuring, Electromedical, and Control Instruments Manufacturing

Electrical Engineering Manager

These project managers oversee electrical engineering teams and manage projects in different industries. In addition, professionals in this field serve as department heads or team leaders for groups of engineers in a company.

An advanced engineering degree and significant work experience in related fields qualify you for this role.

Average Salary

According to salary estimates from PayScale and Indeed, engineering or program managers earn over $120,000 yearly.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Recruit, onboard, and manage employees
  • Plan electrical engineering projects and manage contractor relationships
  • Supervise installations and resolve design issues
  • Monitor projects involving electronic devices

Industries Employing Electrical Engineering Managers

  • Electric Power Generation Equipment, Transmission, and Distribution
  • Data Processing, Hosting, and Related Services
  • Electric Lighting Equipment Manufacturing
  • Communications Systems Equipment Manufacturing

HVAC Technicians

HVAC technicians handle heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems that control the building's air quality and temperature. These professionals can specialize in different sections like radiant and heating systems, testing and balancing, or solar panels.

Most HVAC technicians receive postsecondary training or associate's degrees from community colleges, while some join apprenticeship programs.

Average Salary

HVAC technicians earn around $48,000 in median wages, with the highest percentile making more than $78,000.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Install and maintain HVAC systems
  • Repair or replace defective parts
  • Install electrical components

Industries Employing HVAC Technicians

High-paying sectors for HVAC technicians include:

  • Electric Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution
  • Scheduled Air Transportation
  • Aerospace Product and Parts Manufacturing
  • Building Equipment Contractors

Electrical Test Engineer

These professionals design and create processes to test the quality of products before manufacture. They work in various fields and test different tools and equipment, from X-ray machines to commercial vehicles.

Electrical test engineers usually work hand-in-hand with software and hardware engineers to achieve near-flawless products.

Average Salary

Test engineers earn over $76,000 in median annual salaries.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Review initial schematics and electrical system plan
  • Run tests on electrical systems and equipment, including broadcast and communications systems
  • Approve new electronic products for manufacturers
  • Maintain detailed records of projects and production efforts

Industries Employing Electrical Test Engineers

  • Automobile Dealers
  • Computer and Peripheral Equipment Manufacturing
  • Software Publishers and Other Electronic Component
  • Other Manufacturing Services
  • Architectural and Engineering Services

Microelectronics Engineer

Microelectronics engineers design and develop microchips, microprocessors, and integrated circuits for different applications and computer hardware.

You can qualify for this role with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering or related disciplines. However, higher-paying roles require postgraduate degrees.

Average Salary

Microelectronics engineers earn over $82,000 annually in median wages.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Design microchips that suit various applications
  • Plan and organize manufacturing processes
  • Discuss existing products with other professionals
  • Ensure products meet industry and safety standards
  • Manage other engineering tasks

Industries Employing Microelectronics Engineers

Top-paying sectors for microelectronics engineers include:

  • Semiconductor and Other Electronic Component Manufacturing
  • Scientific Research and Development Services
  • Aerospace Product and Parts Manufacturing

Power Engineer

These professionals ensure that their organization's electrical operations run smoothly and effectively.

Power engineers develop solutions for more efficient electricity delivery to different units. You need a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering and related disciplines to qualify for this role.

Average Salary

Power engineers earn over $86,000 in median annual wages, with the top percentile making over $120,000.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Ensure the generation and delivery of electricity
  • Conduct analysis to discover possible causes of power failure
  • Perform routine switchyard maintenance
  • Deliver safety guidelines and train other team members

Industries Employing Power Engineers

Power engineers work in multiple sectors, including:

  • Electric power generation, transmission, and distribution
  • Manufacturing plants
  • Medical facilities
  • Navigational, measuring, electromedical, and control instruments manufacturing

Signal Processing Engineer

Signal processing engineers analyze and alter digital signals to make them more reliable and accurate for various industries. As a result, you can qualify for this role with an electrical or computer engineering degree and mathematical and programming skills.

A master’s degree in this discipline gives you a competitive edge in the job market.

Average Salary

These engineers earn over $120,000 in median wages, with the lowest percentile earning around $62,000.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Developing, managing, and updating digital signals
  • Design algorithms to process signals efficiently
  • Offer technical support and troubleshooting assistance
  • Identify and rectify signal processing issues
  • Work with other engineers to design sonar systems

Industries Employing Signal Processing Engineers

  • Telecommunications and IT sectors
  • Aerospace Product and Parts Manufacturing
  • Medical facilities
  • Navigational, measuring, electromedical, and control instruments manufacturing

Circuit Design Engineer

These professionals develop electronic circuitry for electronic devices like smartphones, televisions, and computers. The minimal requirement for this role is a bachelor’s degree.

However, many employers prefer candidates with a master’s degree, a state-regulated license, and relevant experience for this role.

Average Salary

Circuit design engineers earn over $78,000 in median wages, with the top 10% making more than $120,000 yearly.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Develop and troubleshoot circuits after installation
  • Supervise and develop manufacturing process in factories
  • Conduct safety and cost assessments
  • Lead cross-functional teams
  • Evaluate electronic devices

Industries Employing Circuit Design Engineers

  • Computer hardware development
  • Aerospace and defense
  • IT support service
  • Enterprise software and network solutions

Electrical Design Engineer

These electrical engineers design and develop electrical systems or components while focusing on safety, cost, quality, and sustainability.

Electrical design engineers can create new products or improve existing designs and ensure they meet industry standards and requirements.

Average Salary

Electrical design engineers earn over $78,000 in median annual wages.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Use computer-aided design software to create new products and systems
  • Ensure designs meet company and industry guidelines
  • Test designs and document processes
  • Troubleshoot prototypes
  • Navigate engineering and design software

Industries Employing Electrical Design Engineers

  • Aerospace and defense
  • Architectural services
  • Energy, research, and engineering industries
  • IT and computer hardware development

Electrical Drafters

Electrical/electronic drafters convert architectural and engineering designs into technical drawings. They help design everything from skyscrapers to microchips and electrical wiring systems.

These professionals must possess mechanical abilities, visual aptitude, interpersonal skills, and more to perform their duties effectively.

Average Salary

Electrical drafters earn median annual salaries of around $60,000, with the top 10% making over $92,000.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Collaborate with production and electrical workers to resolve design issues
  • Provide cost estimates and documentation manuals
  • Design plans with computer-aided design (CAD) software
  • Help train other drafters
  • Prepare technical drawings

Industries Employing Electrical Drafters

Top-paying sectors for electrical drafters include:

  • Scientific Research and Development Services
  • Electric Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution
  • Architectural, Engineering, and Related Services
  • Computer and Peripheral Equipment Manufacturing

How to Boost your Electrical and Electronics Engineering Career

You can advance your electrical and electronics career by enrolling in continuing education programs, accessing free online courses, and earning certifications/licensure.

Industry certifications from the Association of Energy Engineers and ETA International can help boost your resume and career prospects.

Pros and Cons of Electrical and Electronics Engineering Careers

Here are some electrical and electronics engineering benefit and chellenges.


  • High earning potentials and employee benefits
  • Consistent work schedule (except during emergencies)
  • Excellent career prospects
  • High job satisfaction and prestige


  • Continued education requirements to maintain credentials and licenses
  • High-stress environments
  • Environmental safety hazards
  • Competitive market

Skills You’ll Develop While Studying Electrical and Electronics Engineering

Studying electrical and electronic engineering requires you to develop specific skill sets to enjoy a successful career in the future. Some of these essential skills include;

Critical Thinking and Analysis

Critical thinking and analysis are invaluable tools that complement an engineer's technical expertise. You can cultivate this skill by exploring vector mechanics and applying algebraic models to daily practices.

Software Skills

Many engineering careers require software skills to create and optimize electrical equipment and systems. As a result, honing this skill increases your job prospects.

Engineering Design Skills

Most schools teach fundamental engineering design concepts and show students how to apply them to prototypes.

Research and Development Skills

A large percentage of an electrical/electronic engineer’s job involves research and development. Honing this skill helps you determine an experiment's feasibility and how to implement strategies effectively.

Technical Communication

Effective communications facilitate development processes. As a result, students in this field must cultivate this skill to translate complex theories and methodologies to non-technical audiences.

How to Prepare for an Electrical and Electronics Engineering Career

1. Get a Postsecondary Education

Most organizations prefer hiring electrical and electronics engineers with college degrees. So, start your career by enrolling in an associate or bachelor’s degree program at an accredited institution.

Engineering graduates can work in different industries and sectors requiring their services.

2. Take a Fundamental Engineering (FE) Exam

Most engineers require licenses to work in the utility field. But first, you need a degree from an ABET-accredited program to qualify for this exam.

3. Gain Experience with an Entry-Level Job

Most employers prefer hiring a more experienced engineer with certifications and accomplishments. So, apply for entry-level positions and work up the corporate ladder.

4. Apply for a Professional Engineer (PE) License

You can qualify for the professional engineer exam with about four years of relevant work experience. Once you earn this certification, you can apply for higher-paying jobs and managerial positions.

Licensed engineers are called professional engineers and enjoy higher levels of leadership and independence.

5. Join a Professional Organization

Many engineering organizations offer mentoring opportunities, career resources, job placements, and more. Networking with the right parties can improve your prospects.

Electrical and Electronics Engineering Resources to Help Your Career

Organizations like the Association for Computing Machinery, the Institute of Engineering and Technology, and SPIE provide networking opportunities and support young EEE professionals. These societies also advance research and development initiatives.

You can also find helpful resources from online publications like IEEE Access, Electrical Engineering, EE Times, Journal of Electrical Engineering, and more.

Other valuable resources include free courses from schools like Cornell, MIT, Stanford University, and Utah State.

How to Switch to an Electrical and Electronics Engineering Career

Switching to this career path from related engineering disciplines isn't difficult. You'd need to brush up on critical subjects and take prerequisite undergraduate courses.

You can also apply for a master’s in electrical and electronics engineering to improve your knowledge base and career prospects.

However, if you're switching from an unrelated engineering career, you can start with an associate’s degree or bachelor’s program.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Electrical and Electronics Engineering?

This profession studies real-world applications of electricity, power, electronics, and electromagnetism.

Professionals in this field develop electrical and electronic components and products for different industries.

What certification do I need for an Electrical and Electronics Engineering career?

These certifications help you showcase your skills, prove credibility, and stand out from the competition.

Can I get an Electrical and Electronics Engineering degree online?

Yes, you can.

Several accredited institutions and colleges offer online undergraduate and postgraduate engineering degrees.

What fields can Electrical and Electronics Engineering professionals work in?

Electrical and electronics engineers can work in multiple sectors, such as IT and hardware manufacturing, biomedical and biotechnology, wireless communications, energy resources, aeronautics, etc.

Electronics engineers design different electrical equipment including GPS and flight systems, and work in areas closely related to tech.

Is there a high demand for Electrical and Electronics Engineering majors?

According to BLS statistics, the employment growth for electrical and electronics engineers is lower than the national average. However, the field still records significant electrical electronic engineer jobs yearly and is projected to increase in the coming years.

Final Thoughts

Electrical and electronics engineering careers are crucial in most industries and play vital roles in improving society and humankind. It’s a practical discipline with lucrative career opportunities and room for advancement.

An electrical and electronics engineering degree from an accredited college paves the path to a rewarding career path.

So, are you ready to join the league of prestigious electrical and electronic engineers? This resource has everything you need to embark on this journey.

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