Dr. Joan Bushwell's Chimpanzee Refuge

Electronic Engineering Times has released their annual salary survey. Among 1600 respondents, median income including benefits for electrical and electronic engineers in North American now sits at $108,800. That’s about 4% higher than last year. Two thirds declared themselves satisfied with both their career and employer. In sub-areas, the big winners are in engineering management and marketing at $133.9k and $123.9k. Component/chip design came in at $115.k, R&D at $111.1k, and Internet services at $110k. Further down, software design came in at $106.9k and system design at $100.9k.

According to respondents, the hot areas for the future include nanotechnology, system-on-chip, and embedded processors, with about 40 to 60% claiming they find them “promising”. The lower end of the scale includes embedded memories, Bluetooth, XML open scripting language, and formal verification, with about 10 to 15% finding them promising.

In spite of what appears to be a very financially successful and personally rewarding career, it seems that fewer and fewer US high school grads are choosing this path. At our college, the numbers of students in the science, engineering, and technology paths are down from prior decades and I hear the same from colleagues at other colleges. This is true in spite of the increasing use of technology in our day-to-day lives.


  1. #1 Amy P.
    November 5, 2007

    The long term effects of this decline will be interesting in the U.S. defense manufacturing sector. Almost all of the engineering positions require either U.S. citizenship or permanent resident status (Green Card) for unclassified projects.

  2. #2 Mickster
    November 9, 2007

    It’ no wonder. A lot of these ee jobs related to chip design and execution of a chip itself are easlily off shored. At my company, the only new enginering hires we’re conducting will be overseas (China or Romania) ranging from layout, DFT, packaging, test, test methodology, product, and synthesis engineering. The management still is centered in the USA, however. But I’d say at least 50% of the new projects booked will be executed by engineers overseas.

    That $100K+ design engineer in the US is paid about the equivalent of $27K in Romania or China, I believe.


  3. #3 JimFiore
    November 9, 2007

    According to the survey, engineers in Europe and Japan average about 60% of what American engineers make (low to mid $60k).

New comments have been disabled.