Electrical engineers help power our country. They design, develop, and manufacture the components of systems for transportation, power generation, communications, and more. Their expertise is needed across many industries to tackle everything from initial engineering research to the construction and delivery of new technologies. Information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows where electrical engineers are needed across the country, how they are compensated, and the major projects they work on in each state.
Average annual salary: $115,960
Size of workforce: 23,840
California offers a host of work opportunities for engineers, especially in San Jose, Sunnyvale, and Santa Clara, where the average annual salary is approximately $20,000 higher than the state average. These geographic areas comprise the Silicon Valley, home to thousands of technology companies that hire engineers. Computer networking company Cisco is one of the largest employers in the area.
Average annual salary: $107,820
Size of workforce: 7,690
In Boston’s Fort Point neighborhood, General Electric is building a 12-story, 390,000 square-foot headquarters facility, where the company said it will focus on making smarter and more connected machines. This development by GE will increase the number of local jobs for electrical engineers. Throughout Massachusetts, engineering jobs are available at many green energy companies, such as A123 Systems in Watertown, American Superconductor Corp. in Devens, Ameresco in Framingham, and Aeuronautica Windpower in Plymouth.
Average annual salary: $104,690
Size of workforce: 5,980
Washington’s Tri-Cities (Kennewick, Richland, and Pasco) offer engineering jobs in several industries, such as renewable energy and manufacturing. Some of the largest companies in this area are Bechtel National, Energy Northwest and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Washington is also home to 161 solar companies.
Average annual salary: $103,560
Size of workforce: 14,110
Several industries in the densely populated cities of Houston, Sugar Land, Baytown, and Midland need engineers. Oil and gas companies such as Phillips 66, Marathon Oil, and Kinder Morgan employ thousands of engineers in the energy sector. Lockheed Martin, Boeing, and SpaceX are just a few of the aerospace giants located in Texas that employ electrical engineers.
Average annual salary: $98,430
Size of workforce: 11,010
New York has plenty of current and future engineering projects that need skilled electrical engineers. The East Side Access project is one of the most expansive public transit infrastructure projects in the country, with plans to dig a tunnel under the East River to connect the Long Island Railroad to Grand Central Station. The project is scheduled to be completed in 2019. In the meantime, it will provide many jobs, especially for engineers.
Average annual salary: $95,770
Size of workforce: 5,030
An Army arsenal and a NASA flight center are major drivers of the demand for engineers in the city of Huntsville. Engineers make up 6 percent of the employed population, with aerospace engineers in particular demand. Another large employer of electrical engineers in the state is Decatur’s United Launch Alliance, which manufactures spacecraft launch equipment.
Average annual salary: $88,390
Size of workforce: 4,260
In southern Georgia, cities such as Warner Robins have increasing opportunities for electrical engineers, especially with a US Air Force Base located there. The base employees more 25,000 people, 4 percent of which are engineers.
Average annual salary: $87,640
Size of workforce: 9,410
Michigan and the Detroit suburbs in particular have long been known as the home of the auto industry. Companies such as General Motors, Chrysler, Nissan, and Hitachi Automotive Systems Americas employ the majority of engineers who work in the area. Although the average salary for engineers is lower than other states, the cost of living is lower as well.
Average annual salary: $86,160
Size of workforce: 6,120
In the cities of Palm Bay, Melbourne, and Titusville, engineers account for 3 percent of the workforce. Engineers in these cities earn a higher average salary ($91,340) than engineers in the rest of the state. The major reason for this earnings rate can be attributed to the two major companies that are headquartered in the area: the Harris Corporation, which is a global telecommunications firm, and the Intersil Corporation, which manufactures semiconductors. Both corporations have a high demand for engineering talent.
Average annual salary: $79,220
Size of workforce: 5,170
A burgeoning aerospace industry in Ohio is led by Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton and the GE Aviation Electrical Power Integrated Systems Center at the University of Dayton. Both employers offer a wide range of opportunities for engineers.
Electrical engineers who are starting or planning their careers should know where job opportunities are plentiful. Across the U.S., many states have companies in need of engineering talent, industries that are engineering focused, and projects that are enticing to engineers. From entry-level to managerial, these projects need educated and well-trained candidates. As technology continues to advance, the need for skilled electrical engineers will continue to grow.
At the Russ College of Engineering and Technology, graduates of the online master of science in electrical engineering program are equipped with the skills to research, design, develop, and test new technologies and industry applications — and to position themselves as leaders.