Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by beyondhairy, Jun 29, 2008.

  1. hi :)

    im going into EE, and i hear a lot of different numbers revolving around starting pay, and they all revolve around $60 a year right out of college.

    was this true in your case? and what does it generally depend on? how quickly does that go up? if starting is 60k, then whats pay after 5 or 10 years?

    so, EE people, tell me what your starting pay was, and where you worked and why you got paid how much you did if it was more or less then 60k
  2. Hollow Man

    Hollow Man Supporting Member

    Apr 28, 2003
    Springfield, VA
    I graduated with a BSEE in '04, as did many of my friends. Most of them got jobs starting around $50k (as did I). There are jobs that will start you higher, but it's definitely not a given that you will fall right into a $60k/year job. Engineering is a very stable field though, and my pay has gone up significantly in the four years I've been a professional.

    If you're looking to get rich quick, look elsewhere. If you want a good job that can pay well, it's worth considering.
  3. ah awesome, im not looking for "get rich quick" im looking for the "make sure i dont end up like my dad and get my family evicted from 3 different apartments all before i turned 12" job. lol

    and so far, iv gone through courses in 3 different majors, data communication, marketing, and psychology, by EE appeals to me MUCH more then the other 3, but im hoping my studies in data communication will help me in my EE studies

    and if its not too inappropriate of me to ask, the higher pay you mentioned that you are getting. is it at the same job? how big is the company? and whats your pay now?
  4. eedre


    Feb 26, 2007
    St. Louis,MO
    The average starting EE salary is around $50k cross-country.

    This is true for most of the engineering disciplines - EE degrees are considered a multi-purpose position, so jobs for you will be available in lots of places.
  5. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    I am not trained as an engineer, but I manage several engineers. The figures given in the "basic" option of are fairly accurate as a starting point.

    However, there are some things to consider. First, salaries vary by geographic region, and the size of the city. A bigger city might have higher salaries but also higher cost of living and commuting. For instance, salaries tend to be lower here in Madison, but we also have ten-minute commutes and good public schools.
  6. If you have the options of getting a masters degree, do it.

    Average starting salary at my school jumps from 60K to 92K.

    Considering many schools have a five year masters program, its VERY worth it.
  7. wazzel


    Dec 27, 2007
    Cypress, TX

    I'm not saying you are wrong, but I don't thinkl that applies over the entire country. Most of the entry level engineers (ME, CE) I know of only get a few K more for having a masters. Unless you are going after a super specality area of work or want to get into research a BS would probably be more profitable over the cource of your career. A masters pay is probably equal to a BS + 1 or 2 years expreience with out the additional college debt and two more years of earnings.

    Don't let the profs and the placement office tell you a master is required. It is not in most cases. A new grad with a BS and a new grad with a MS will be doing the same work most of the time and in most industries

    BTW I am a mechanical engineer and my brother is an electrical engineer.
  8. Finsterino


    Mar 8, 2007
    I think the new grads are spoiled, if you are getting 50-60k per year. Us old farts call that salary compression.

    I didn't get a check like that for at least the first ten/fifteen years. But then I started at 12k$ in 1977.
  9. I wish I could tell you. My company doesn't seem to hire any recent grads. All the new work goes to India where all the engineers are roughly the quality of a recent U.S. graduate.
  10. Horny Toad

    Horny Toad Guest

    Mar 4, 2005
    I'm not an engineer, but I work for the IEEE. Let me know if I can help out in any way.
  11. JayM


    Apr 4, 2007
    Virginia, USA
    I've been working as an EE in industry for 18 years and my experience as been more in line with wazzel's estimate as far as the benefit of an MS on fresh outs. The MS vs BS with no additional experience translates to about a 10-15% bump. So a fresh out MS EE would start at about 110% or so of the starting salary of a fresh out BS EE. The 50% + increase for a fresh out MS cited by DayoftheGreek has not been my experience in 18 years of working as and hiring engineers.

    The MS or other higher degree will help to push out your top end somewhat, so that you don't get salary compression as soon. At some point, your responsibilities don't really increase very much from year to year (if you stay in a strictly technical track), so that the big percentage raises of the early years get scaled back. A 10% raise for a $50k fresh out is $5k, and a 10% raise for a $150k senior level engineering would be $15k, so companies generally compress the raise scales as you get into the higher levels. Of course, the $150k guy probably needs the raise less than the $50k guy, or so the rationalization goes.

    Horny Toad could probably elaborate on this, as IEEE does an extensive salary survey every year (I think it's every year, maybe every few years) and keeps pretty detailed stats on this.

    For what it's worth, in 18 years outside of academia my salary has more than tripled. I also have advanced degrees and live in a high cost of living area, which also affect salary growth.