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Electrical Engineering Major

Electrical engineering is a major that typically falls into the Engineering category.

There are 48 programs available throughout the country that offer an associate’s degree in EE, 375 that offer a bachelor’s degree, and 259 that offer a master’s degree. There are also at least 165 schools in the nation where you can get your doctorate degree in the field.

Who Is Getting an EE Degree?

In 2017, roughly 17,400 electrical engineering majors graduated with a bachelor’s degree. This makes it #29 in popularity of all the majors we track. This major attracts more men than women. About 85.7% of the graduates in this field are male.

Racial Distribution

At the countrywide level, the racial distribution of EE majors is as follows:

  • Asian: 15.1%
  • Black or African American: 5.4%
  • Hispanic or Latino: 11.5%
  • White: 47.4%
  • Non-Resident Alien: 14%
  • Other Races: 6.7%
Electrical Engineering Majors Ethnic Diversity Statistics

Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in EE. About 14% of those graduating in 2017 were international students. The most popular countries sending EE majors to the U.S. are India, China and Saudi Arabia.

What Will You Learn as an Electrical Engineering Major?

An O*NET survey asked people with careers related to EE to rate how important certain subject areas were to their job. The following are some of the results of that survey. Importance was rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.

Knowledge Areas for EE Majors

This major prepares you for careers in which these knowledge areas are important:

Important Knowledge Areas for Electrical Engineering Majors

Skills for EE Majors

EE majors are found most commonly in careers in which the following skills are important:

Important Skills for Electrical Engineering Majors

Abilities for EE Majors

Some of the most crucial abilities to master while a EE student include the following:

Important Abilities for EE Majors

What Can You Do With an EE Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with EE:

Careers Related to Electrical Engineering
Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary

Radio Frequency Identification Device Specialists

3.7%

$102,700

Electrical Engineers

8.6%

$96,640

Aerospace Engineers

6%

$115,220

Biochemical Engineers

6.4%

$96,980

Mechatronics Engineers

6.4%

$96,980

Electronics Engineers, Except Computer

3.7%

$102,700

Architectural and Engineering Managers

5.5%

$140,760

Photonics Engineers

6.4%

$96,980

Validation Engineers

6.4%

$96,980

Engineering Professors

14.7%

$101,720

Electrical Engineering Major Salary

Average salaries range from $102,000 to $117,000 for careers related to EE. This range includes all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.

To put that into context, the typical high school graduate makes between $29,000 and $57,000 a year. The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $44,000 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,000 and $120,000.

Average Salary for an EE Major  ( 102000 to 117000 )
$0
$200k
Average Salary for High School Graduate  ( 29000 to 57000 )
$0
$200k
Average Salary with Bachelor's Degree  ( 44000 to 99000 )
$0
$200k
Average Salary with Advanced Degree  ( 55000 to 120000 )
$0
$200k

The area of the country you choose to work in will also affect your career and salary prospects. Getting a graduate degree may open up more options with higher salary potential.

Amount of Education Required for Electrical Engineering Major Jobs

Some careers associated with EE may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.

How much education do you really need to compete in today’s job market? People currently working in careers related to EE have obtained the following education levels.

Education Levels for Careers Associated With Electrical Engineering
Level of Education Percentage of Workers

Less Than a High School Diploma

0%

High School Diploma or Equivalent

0.9%

Post-Secondary Certificate

2.4%

Some College Courses

0.7%

Associate's Degree or Equivalent

4.6%

Bachelor's Degree

62.7%

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate

1.9%

Master's Degree

17.4%

Post-Master's Certificate

1%

First Professional Degree

0.4%

Doctoral Degree

6.8%

Post-Doctoral Training

1%

Online Electrical Engineering Programs

There are 375 colleges that offer a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, with 13 of them offering at least some courses online.

Online learners must listen or watch video lectures, participate in group chats or forums, submit papers and assignments electronically, take tests, and meet deadlines.

Getting your degree online is not easy and includes watching and listening to hours of lectures, participating in group charts, submitting papers by the appropriate deadline and taking tests. Some online programs will also feature internships or in-person clinical hours.

Is an Electrical Engineering Major Worth It?

The median salary for an EE grad is $108,000 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 177% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $1,380,600 after 20 years!

electrical engineering salary compared to typical high school and college graduates over a 20 year period

References

Bureau of Labor Statistics
National Center for Education Statistics
O*NET Online
Image Credit: NASA via License

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