Electrical Engineer Salary: Your 2024 Guide

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

What can you earn as an electrical engineer in the US? Learn how electrical engineer salaries differ depending on location, experience, industry, and more.

[Featured Image] An electrical engineer in an orange helmet and safety vest reviews charts and information on the job site.

Electrical engineers are technical professionals. They develop and maintain tools, systems, programs, and computer-aided designs for various industries and personal usages. Electrical engineers are the experts who design smartphones, vehicle electrical systems, fiber optics, satellites, and more. You can learn more about electrical engineering salaries and how to increase yours in the following article.

Read more: What Do Electrical Engineers Do?

How much do electrical engineers make?

The annual median salary for electrical engineers in the US is $88,171 [1]. This figure includes a base salary of $76,000 and a reported additional pay of $12,171 per year. Additional pay may include bonuses, commissions, or profit-sharing. Electrical engineers typically earn more than twice the median salary for all jobs in the US [2]. However, salaries for electrical engineers depend on several factors. Learning about the average salary for specific fields, industries, and levels of expertise can give you a better understanding of what you can make as an electrical engineer.

How education affects electrical engineer salaries

Seventy-six percent of electrical engineers have a bachelor's degree, 12 percent have a master's degree, and 8 percent have an associate degree [3]. Electrical engineers usually study electrical engineering, electrical engineering technology, or computer engineering. Senior-level electrical engineering jobs and other highly paid positions may require more advanced degrees. For example, employers may require a master of science in electrical engineering to work in a university or research and development (R&D) role.

Read more: What Is a Master of Engineering (MEng) Degree?

Engineering professors make an average base salary of $133,676 a year [3].


How years of experience affect electrical engineer salaries

The list below represents the average salaries (including additional pay insights such as bonuses and commissions) reported by Glassdoor in January 2023.

  • Entry-level (0-1 year of experience) electrical engineer - $79,978 per year

  • Junior (1-3 years of experience) electrical engineer - $85,057 per year

  • Mid-level (4-6 years of experience) electrical engineer - $93,622 per year

  • Senior (7-9 years of experience) electrical engineer - $102,052 per year

After a few years of electrical engineering experience, you may be qualified to work as an electrical engineering manager. These professionals are tasked with planning, directing, and coordinating the activities of engineering teams. These additional responsibilities result in an increased salary. On average, electrical engineers in management roles earn an annual salary of $152,350 [4]. 

How industry affects electrical engineer salaries

Some industries pay more for electrical engineering expertise, education, and experience. Here are a few examples of the median annual salary for electrical engineers in various industries:

  • Architecture and engineering: $103,770

  • Electrical power generation: $108,960

  • Navigational, measuring, and controls manufacturing: $112,390

  • Scientific research and development: $126,590

  • Aerospace product and parts manufacturing: $121,820

  • Electrical equipment manufacturing: $89,830

  • Communication equipment manufacturing: $112,490

  • Electric lighting equipment manufacturing: $83,070 [5]

How company size affects electrical engineer salaries

Another critical variable determining electrical engineers' salaries is the company's size. Smaller companies sometimes pay less than larger corporations because larger businesses can access more resources. More resources allow greater pay structure flexibility. Additionally, formalized performance reviews and enhanced responsibility can allow for annual increases.

How location affects electrical engineer salaries

Due to variables like cost of living and demand, some states pay electrical engineers more on average. The top 10 states with the highest pay for electrical engineering roles are as follows:

  1. Washington: $111,676

  2. California: $98,790

  3. Wyoming: $88,388

  4. Massachusetts: $90,413

  5. New Mexico: $94,728

  6. Oregon: $86,802

  7. Alaska: $102,897

  8. Texas: $85,015

  9. Vermont: $88,715

  10. Colorado: $83,384 [6]

How to increase your salary as an electrical engineer

There are several ways to increase your salary as an electrical engineer. If you currently work in an entry-level role, consider pursuing a specialization through online courses or certifications to increase your skill set. Those interested in obtaining a senior-level or engineering management role may earn a higher degree to qualify for more advanced positions.

Electrical engineering courses and certifications

The list below outlines a few options offered by industry leaders and accredited universities to get you started:

For entry-level or beginner electrical engineers:

For mid-level or intermediate electrical engineers:

For senior-level or advanced electrical engineers:

A graduate degree can even further enhance your earning potential as an electrical engineer. Consider the Master of Science in Electrical Engineering program from the University of Colorado Boulder

State licensure for electrical engineers

New electrical engineers are not required to qualify for state licensure as a Professional Engineer or a PE. However, once you have acquired four years of experience, you’ll be eligible to take the Principles and Practices of Engineering exam. If you receive a passing grade, you can apply for state licensure. This will qualify you for higher leadership roles—and a higher salary. If you earned a bachelor’s degree from an Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET)-accredited school, you can take the Fundamentals of Engineering exam. Upon passing, you will hold the title of an Engineer in Training (EIT) or an Engineer Intern (EI). 

Build more electrical engineering skills with Coursera

Specializing in specific skill sets can set you apart from the competition in the job market. An online course can also help you determine what you'd like to specialize in if you're unsure where to focus your efforts. For those new to the field, the Introduction to Electronics course offered by the Georgia Institute of Technology can provide you with the foundational knowledge required for more advanced work.

Article sources


Glassdoor. "How much does an electrical engineer make? https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/electrical-engineer-salary-SRCH_KO0,19.htm." Accessed January 11, 2023.

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