What Is Job Security Like for an Electrical Engineer?


The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the third largest specialty in the engineering field is Electric/Electronics. The first is mechanical engineering, but it’s not really a specialty since practically everyone can do it. It’s projected that over the next decade or so the demand for electrical engineers will increase by 11% or more.

The bottom line: if you want job security, engineering is the way to go. Overall, engineering is similar to other industries whereby your job position is only as stable as the firm you work for and your work ethics in general – there will always be work for those who are passionate about what they do, and who are the cream of the crop. Your skill set will play a major role here as well, and if you are in the research sector, the amount of employment available may fluctuate from time to time, as research has a direct relationship with the availability of funding and/or clients. The design field is somewhat similar as well.

But what is the job security like for electrical engineers? How does it stack up to other disciplines such as civil engineering? With the economy experiencing a downturn at the moment, civil engineering is experiencing a slight drop in demand, while electrical has remained as stable as ever. The reason for this? Electrical engineering is a very broad discipline and it branches off into many sub-areas such as biomedical, electronics, computers, communication and information technology and so forth.

Areas of Specialization

Electrical engineering differs from electronic engineering in that the electric engineer is responsible for engineering power generation (power plants and transmission infrastructure). The electronic engineer makes your Xbox gaming console and car stereo. While these two professions aren’t very similar, they do have a bright future in common.

There are eight sub-fields of electrical engineering. They are:

•    Power
•    Control
•    Electronics
•    Microelectronics
•    Telecommunication
•    Instrumentation
•    Computers
•    Signal

You can focus on just one to have a very healthy career or you can double up on specialties. This is a case where the result is far greater than the sum of its parts.

Before you do any of that, though, you must obtain your bachelor’s degree. You must then obtain our certification with the Institute of Electric and Electronic Engineers. It’s easy to find them on the web. You will then need to figure out what sort of continuing education you want to participate in. You will be studying and learning for the rest of your life. The very nature of your job is to push the limits of what we already know. Your peers will be doing the same. Continuing education allows you to keep up to date. Your best bet is to go to an online college. You can get your masters or participate strictly in continuing education. A good move for many is management.

The BLS reports that you will make $55,000 per year or more as an electrical engineer. If you make it to the top 10% of the highest paid you will be able to make $150,000 per year – maybe more. To top it off you will have some of the best perks and benefits packages imaginable. Not bad for a few years of college and continuing education!