How to Become an Electrical Engineer

Overview & Salaries

Recommended Degree:
The right degree for you to become an electrical engineer depends on the industry and company you apply for. Those looking for an entry positions will likely need an bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering. Those looking for a more junior level position may just need an associates or bachelors degree in electrical engineering technology. If you are looking to get into a competitive or advance position, then a master’s degree along with real world experience can help you stand out in the hiring process.

Begin your career path today by signing up for free information from one of our accredited schools below that offer programs to help get you started as a electrical engineer.

How Much Does an Electrical Engineer Make? 
$89,630 (national median salary, to view salaries in your state click on the “Best Places to Work” tab)

Expected Growth from 2012-2020:
+12,600 additional people employed

(all information above provided by the 2012 BLS Electrical and Electronic Engineering page) 

Discover the Best Places to Become an Electrical Engineer

Electricians hold approximately 77,000 job positions throughout the United States.

  • 62% are employed in the electrical contractors and other wiring installation contractors industry.
  • 10% percent of electricians were self-employed.

The state of California leads the nation in employment for electrical engineers, with 23,030 currently working statewide, and earning an annual mean wage of $112,100. Texas is second in employment, where 13,700 electrical engineers work in a variety of occupations across the state, and earn an average yearly salary of $98,030.

Employment and Salary Information by State for Electrical Engineers

Use our interactive map below to find out which areas of the United States are currently experiencing the greatest amount of growth and job availability for graduates looking for a career in Electrical Engineering. The associated information has been gathered from the Bureau of Labor statistics, representing data collected in 2012.

Employment and Information Data for Electrical Engineering

Why Become an Electrical Engineer?

The need for qualified electricians is predicted to grow 23% from by 2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. As new technologies and alternative powers such as solar and wind continue to emerge as viable options to global energy concerns, electricians and other electric technicians will be needed to harness these energy sources into practical working applications.

That means that there is plenty of room in the future for forward thinking electricians. Also, traditional power grids aren’t disappearing right away and electricians will continue to be called up to supply expertise and services to the private and home markets. Also there is big bucks in the electricity business with the top 10% earning more than $80,890. The median annual wage of electrician professionals is $48,250, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Recommended Courses to Help You Become an Electrical Engineer

  • Introduction to Reading Blueprints
  • Introduction to Conductors
  • Introduction toWiring
  • Introduction to Electrical Circuits
  • Introduction to Lighting
  • Transformers
  • Electrical Controls
  • Troubleshooting
  • Grounding
  • Safety Procedures

Degree Options for Electrical Engineering Careers

The vast majority electricians embark on a four-year apprenticeship that is supplemented with class hours. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, apprentices must complete at least 144 hours of technical training and 2,000 hours of paid, on-the-job training.

Course studies in Electrical Programs are is designed to prepare future electricians for work in both residential and commercial construction, as well as remodeling and renovation.

Certificate Programs are generally about one year. Make sure the school is accredited by industrial technology standards established by the National Electrical Code. Reputable programs offer students internships and apprentice training upon graduation.

Associate’s in Applied Science in Industrial Electrical Technology
An associate’s degree in industrial electrical technology prepares students to work as electrical technicians in commercial building, industrial structures and residential housing. Courses include hands on training with design, development, installation, testing and problem solving of electrical systems and equipment.