Electrical engineers design and develop electrical systems. While a bachelor's degree is the minimum education needed to eneter this field, a master's degree in electrical engineering can help you advance your career or increase your salary potential. Electrical engineers must also be licensed.
Master's degree programs in electrical engineering provide advanced education beyond the bachelor's degree with courses in the theoretical foundations of electricity, electromagnetism, physics and other areas. A thesis project is typically part of the requirement for graduation. Electrical engineers with a master's degree in the field can qualify for more specialized or research positions.
|Education Requirements||Bachelor's degree|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)*||1%|
|Median Salary (2015)*||$93,010|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
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Some of the most common areas in which electrical engineers work include architectural and engineering services, electrical power generation, transmission and distribution, semiconductor and electronic component manufacturing, and the design of instruments used for navigation, medicine and measurements of various kinds. Electrical engineers are also employed by the U.S. Postal Service and the federal government.
Electrical engineers work in the design and development of electrical systems. They create systems for automobiles, robotics, aircraft, or power generation for an entire city. Engineers are required to be licensed, which can be achieved by completing a bachelor's or master's degree in electrical engineering and taking an examination. Passage of an initial examination enables the graduate to become an engineer in training or engineering intern. After working as an engineer, the candidate may sit for the Principles and Practice of Engineering exam and become licensed.
Although there continues to be a high demand for electrical devices and systems in all industries, outsourcing of labor to other countries is expected to limit the growth of jobs in electrical engineering. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected only a 1% job growth over the decade 2014-2024 for electrical engineers. Those who provide consultation and expertise to manufacturers are expected to have good employment prospects.
The BLS reported in May of 2015 that the median annual salary of electrical engineers was $93,010. During that time, the highest paying industries for electrical engineers were oil and gas extraction and wireless telecommunications carriers.
Electrical engineers are most commonly employed in the fields of architectural and engineering services and the electric power generation, transmission and distribution industries. Very little job growth is expected for electrical engineers from 2014-2024, per the BLS