Electrical board that electrical engineers work with

The Pros and Cons of Electrical Engineering

Primarily, electrical engineers work to design and test electrical equipment and systems such as electronic control systems, communication systems, and power generators. They also manage various design projects and perform cost estimates. Electrical engineers can earn a significant salary straight out of college, but may discover it’s a very competitive field and a lengthy licensing process as well. Here’s a list of both the pros and cons of a career in electrical engineering.


  • High Salaries
    According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, engineering graduates with obtain some of the highest salaries in the country. Those graduates starting out in the electrical engineering field earned more than $60,000 per year on average. As a whole, electrical engineers earned an average yearly salary of almost $90,000 in May 2010.
  • Wide Range of Career Opportunities
    Electrical engineers can choose to work in a variety of industries including telecommunications, computer, aerospace, and manufacturing industries. They can progress their career even further by specializing in specifc areas.
  • Job Flexibility
    You can easily change to a different field within electrical engineering. There is great fluidity within the different fields.


  • Limited Employment Growth
    Job growth in the electrical engineering field from 2008 – 2018 is anticipated to be a mere 2%. The lack of explosive job growth is primarily a result of overseas engineering competition.
  • Ongoing Education Required
    As a result of evolving technology, electrical engineers have to consistently update their education. In order to advance, electrical engineers must gain licensure within specific fields, such as signal processing, solid state electronics, or control systems. In fact, because some engineering fields are so similar, skills can easily transfer to other specialties.
  • Risky Occupation
    Due to the nature of the job, electrical engineers risk personal injury. Such dangers include the possibility of electrical shock.

Though electrical engineering offers desirable advantages, it also comes with personal risk and mild job security concerns. However, the advantages of a career in electrical engineering can certainly overcome the disadvantages for someone interested in the field.

Last Updated: June 20, 2017