It’s no secret that electrical engineers are in demand, and the salary with a masters degree reflects that. With an average salary of $94,369 per year, there are plenty of reasons to consider pursuing a masters degree in electrical engineering. The following information is based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and PayScale.com, which collects data from real employees’ salaries and benefits.
Electrical Engineering Salary With Masters Degree: How Much Do Electrical Engineers Make?
Electrical engineers earned an average annual salary of $94,369 as of May 2016. The median salary was $87,000 per year. This means half of electrical engineers made more than $87,000 per year while half earned less than this amount.
Electrical Engineering Salary With Masters Degree: What Are The Best Cities For Electrical Engineers?
As with many professions, location matters when it comes to salary for electrical engineers. In order for you to maximize your earnings potential as an electrical engineer, it’s important to choose a city that has plenty of opportunities for growth and advancement within your field–and where salaries are higher than average–such as these cities: New York City; Washington D.C.; San Francisco; Los Angeles; Chicago; Boston; Seattle;
Electrical Engineering Salary With Masters
Essential Tools of Engineering
Some of the topics covered in an MSEE program are fundamental to the field of engineering as a whole. A master’s program in electrical engineering will provide students with a foundational knowledge of computational tools, programming language, and computer-based modeling. It will also cover key concepts and theories that apply to engineering, such as information theory.
Master’s in Electrical Engineering Salary
Salary can be a major factor for students trying to decide whether a master’s in electrical engineering is worth it. Because of their advanced expertise, electrical engineers with an MSEE often earn generous salaries. According to the compensation source PayScale, the median annual master’s in electrical engineering salary is around $99,000 as of 2021. The BLS, meanwhile, reports the median annual wage for electrical engineers was slightly higher, at around $100,830 as of 2020. The BLS also reports that jobs for electrical engineers will grow 7% between 2020 and 2030, which is about as fast as the labor force as a whole. Several factors can influence the precise annual salary of an electrical engineer.
Electrical engineers need to hold at least a bachelor’s degree. As in many other industries though, earning an advanced degree can unlock higher earning potential. According to PayScale, the median annual salary associated with a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering is around $93,000 as of 2021, while the median salary for those with a master’s is around $6,000 more.
Experience can also impact how much an electrical engineer earns. For example, individuals who have earned a Professional Engineering license have already gained several years of professional experience. This experience — in addition to holding a license — can help them land a job with a higher salary. Additionally, those who have previous supervisory experience are more likely to be considered for leadership positions, which generally command higher salaries. Over the course of their careers, electrical engineers’ salaries can climb considerably as they accumulate experience. According to the latest figures from PayScale, the median annual salary for an electrical engineer with less than a year of experience is nearly $68,000, while those with five to nine years of experience earn almost $86,000. Late-career electrical engineers (20+ years of experience) earned $113,000.
Salaries for electrical engineers may also vary widely based on the field or industry in which they work. The BLS projects greater demand for electrical engineers in certain industries over the next several years, such as research and development and manufacturing, which will lead to more competitive salaries in those fields. According to the BLS, the following were the top-earning industries for electrical engineers as of 2020.
Research and development in the physical, engineering, and life sciences: $116,050
Semiconductor and other electronic component manufacturing: $107,680
Navigational, measuring, electromedical, and control instruments manufacturing: $104,480
Electric power generation, transmission, and distribution: $102,510
Engineering services: $98,440
Location is another factor that can influence an electrical engineer’s salary. Certain areas have a much higher concentration of engineers, creating a more competitive job market and contributing to higher earnings. Based on salary figures from May 2020, electrical engineers in the following states earned the most, according to the BLS.
District of Columbia: $126,840
New Jersey: $120,140
California and Texas ($107,270) employed the greatest number of engineers, leading to higher-than-average salaries in those states.
Electrical Engineering Careers
Earning an MSEE can open the door to various electrical engineering careers. A master’s may be especially worth it for those who want to pursue a leadership role or specialize in a particular area of electrical engineering. An MSEE can help prepare electrical engineers for the following roles.
Senior Electrical Engineer
Senior electrical engineers are responsible for the design, development, implementation, and testing of new devices and machinery, like electric cars and appliances, as well as customizing existing equipment. Their work may involve preparing drawings and system specifications for a range of projects in various industries, including manufacturing and building maintenance. Senior electrical engineers also supervise the work of junior engineers and may lead and contribute to project meetings. Senior electrical engineers should possess strong design skills and be proficient in a variety of software applications specific to their field. As supervisors, they should also have strong leadership and team-building skills. Additionally, they should be excellent communicators, as some engineers may work directly with vendors or clients. According to PayScale, the salary for a senior electrical engineer varies significantly, ranging between $84,000 and $141,000, with a median salary of around $105,700 as of 2021. Location, skill level, and education can all influence the salary for this position.
A control engineer is a specialized role in the electrical engineering field. These individuals work with new and evolving technologies on various projects, from space exploration to power grids. Their responsibilities typically include managing the design, installation, and testing of different types of electrical equipment and systems, troubleshooting issues, and developing operator instruction manuals. Control engineers often need to work in team settings, so interpersonal skills are essential. They should also be highly detail-oriented and possess strong writing skills, as well as a comprehensive understanding of control logic and processes. The salary range for a control engineer is between $60,000 and $107,000, with a median salary of about $78,000 as of 2021, according to PayScale.
As their title implies, test engineers are responsible for testing the quality of products prior to manufacturing. They may work with a variety of different equipment and products, such as computer hardware and software, medical equipment like X-ray machines, or commercial transportation vehicles, including airplanes. They review the initial schematics and electrical wiring for a piece of equipment and are engaged in the debugging process. Although they may work in team settings, collaborating with hardware and software engineers to design a product, test engineers often have the final say in determining the quality of a product or process. A bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering or a similar field is the minimum requirement for this position, though a master’s is ideal for certain roles. Test engineers should be familiar with various programming languages, such as Java or C++, and possess a high level of creativity and problem-solving skills. As with other electrical engineering careers, the salary for test engineers can vary quite significantly, ranging between $58,000 and $105,000, with a median salary of around $74,200 as of 2021, according to PayScale.
A communications engineer’s job description is similar to that of other electrical engineers, with a focus on the design, development, and implementation of communications equipment and systems for voice, video, and data services. They may also supervise other engineers and technicians in the installation and maintenance of communications equipment. Communications engineers should possess a diverse skill set that includes advanced mathematical abilities and proficiency with telecommunications equipment and systems, as those who have a familiarity with various forms of communications technology can have a leg up in the job market. They should also possess certain soft skills, like interpersonal and communication skills, as they often work or come into contact with other technicians or customers and need to communicate complex issues in plain language. Salaries for communications engineers vary widely, with a range between $45,000 and $119,000. The median salary as of 2021 is about $78,000, according to PayScale.
Project engineers oversee engineering projects within their organization, supervising staff and ensuring projects are completed on time, within budget, and meet all necessary specifications. They contribute to the development of project designs and may make recommendations for materials, equipment, or processes. They also ensure compliance with applicable codes and best practices and troubleshoot issues as they arise. An advanced degree and previous experience in a supervisory role are often preferred or required for project engineers. They should have good communication and team-building skills, as well as an understanding of project management and budgeting. The salary range for project engineers is between $54,000 and $99,000, with a median salary of around $70,200 as of 2021, according to PayScale.