List of the Top Electrical Engineering Degrees
Electrical engineers help create the electrical devices and equipment we rely on every day. They devise new ways to use energy and ensure that electrical products meet manufacturing specifications. An online electrical engineering program gives students a solid theoretical engineering foundation and practical experience in this discipline.
A bachelor's in electrical engineering prepares learners for various engineering jobs. Graduates can assume roles in electronics, computer, aerospace, or quality assurance engineering. They enter a job market with an above-average income. An electrical or electronics engineer with a bachelor's degree and no experience earns a median annual salary of $103,390, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
This guide provides more information about coursework, career options, certifications, and scholarship opportunities.
Electrical Engineering Outlook
Q. How much schooling do you need to be an electrical engineer?
Students complete a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering in four years on average. This degree prepares learners for entry-level positions and graduate school.
Q. What kind of jobs can you get with an electrical engineering degree?
Electrical engineers can apply their high-tech skills in fields as diverse as biomedicine, aerospace, software development, and manufacturing. Some may choose to focus on careers in research and development.
Q. Do electrical engineers get paid well?
Electrical and electronics engineers with a bachelor's degree and no experience make a $103,390 median annual wage.
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Why Get a Degree in Electrical Engineering
Electrical engineers help meet robust consumer demand for more sophisticated electronic devices. Businesses also need these engineers for their various high-tech projects. The BLS projects that employers in the scientific, professional, and technical fields will spur most of the job growth for electrical engineers in future years.
Employers value new hires with experience. The best bachelor's in electrical engineering programs provide learners with hands-on experience in state-of-the-art labs. Aspiring engineers also build expertise during internships and cooperative work programs. An online learning format allows learners to flexibly and affordably receive the necessary training for entry-level jobs. Well-paying positions and good job prospects could make the degree a worthy investment.
How Much Does an Electrical Engineering Degree Cost?
Schools nationwide offer bachelor's in electrical engineering programs online. Students complete between 120-128 credits in a four-year BA, BS, or BSE program. The cost depends on factors such as institution type and program duration. Schools charge as little as $228-$399 per credit for an online bachelor's in electrical engineering, or a tuition total of $29,184-$49,476.
Some schools charge flat-rate tuition for all students completing the degree exclusively online, regardless of residency. Other institutions charge more online tuition for distance learners who live out of state. Hybrid programs provide the best of both worlds with online and in-person learning. However, students often pay more for hybrid degrees.
Students can earn college credit for military and other relevant training. They can save even more money by transferring credits from two-year colleges. Most degree-seekers must use some form of financial aid to help pay for tuition. The first step requires filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to explore eligibility for scholarship, grant, and loan opportunities.
Break down your current financial situation, and receive a college tuition estimate you can afford to pay.
How Much Do Electrical Engineering Majors Make?
Education, experience, and employer influence earnings. Electrical engineers with a bachelor's degree and no experience make a $100,830 median annual salary. Electronics engineers earn a $107,540 median annual salary. Electrical and electronics engineers with the least experience earn between $64,870-$69,210 or less. These professionals make more than the $41,950 median annual wage for all workers. More experienced electrical and electronics engineers can earn even more, with annual salaries between $159,520- $167,410.
The research and development sector pays the most with a $116,050 median annual wage. The semiconductor and electronic component manufacturing sector pays the second-best wage at $107,680. Electrical engineers can earn a specialization, which also impacts pay.
Bioengineers and biomedical engineers with just a bachelor's and no experience make a $92,620 median annual wage. Aerospace engineers with the same training make $118,610 annually. Industrial engineers earn a $88,950 median annual salary, but they enjoy a 10% job growth rate, higher than many of their peers.
Courses in Electrical Engineering
Students complete an electrical engineering bachelor's degree in about four years. Many colleges offer asynchronous learning for flexible attendance. Enrollees will need to complete assignments and exams on schedule. The best electrical engineering programs hold accreditation from the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).
The curriculum includes general education such as calculus, math, physics, and chemistry. Students also explore engineering fundamentals. As they progress through the curriculum, enrollees learn to apply all of this knowledge in areas such as circuits, electronics, controls, and electromagnetics.
Students design circuits and systems during electronics and engineering labs. Many students choose a speciality such as bioengineering, control systems, or computer architecture and microprocessor design. Internships and co-ops provide hands-on experience in the workplace. The following provides a course sampling representative of an electrical engineering curriculum.
ElectronicsThis introduction explores basic electronic components such as diodes, transistors, and op amps. Students learn about design principles and common applications including diodes in AC and DC circuits and transistors in digital circuits.
Signals and SystemsThe course explores the fundamentals of signals and systems. Students learn about concepts such as time-domain descriptions and frequency-domain descriptions. They explore applications in engineering and physics, including communications, signal processing, and feedback control.
The class introduces students to the fundamentals of electric and magnetic fields. Topics covered include Maxwell's equations, transmission lines, plane waves, reflections, and microwave networks. Students learn about electromagnetics' extensive applications, including in cellphone antennas and other wireless technologies.
Certifications and Licensure for Electrical Engineering
Engineers must pass exams administered by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying to practice professionally in any of the 50 states. The Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) Exam serves as the first step toward professional licensure. Experienced engineers must pass the Principles and Practice of Engineering (PE) Exam to complete licensure. The following list shares more information about these exams and other certifications.
Students and recent graduates must pass the FE exam to practice as a licensed engineer-in-training. The exam comprises questions administered in a computer-based format at Pearson VUE test centers.
The PE exam tests the engineer's competency level in an engineering discipline, such as electrical and computer engineering. Candidates must hold at least four years of postbaccalaureate work experience to qualify. Successful candidates can practice as a licensed professional.
The International Council on Systems Engineering offers several certifications, including ASEP. Engineers just beginning their careers in systems engineering complete the ASEP certification to demonstrate their proficiency level. Candidates must pass a multiple-choice exam.
Scholarships for Electrical Engineering
An engineering degree requires a big financial investment. Students can use financial aid, such as scholarships, to help pay for tuition. Eligibility requirements vary and include financial need, academic excellence, and demography. The following list provides two scholarships and application details.
||Who Can Apply
Richard E. Merwin Student Scholarship
||The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers awards this scholarship to promising students in IEEE student branch chapters. Undergraduates in the final two years of an electrical engineering program or a related major qualify. Candidates must hold a minimum 2.5 GPA and present a recommendation letter from a branch chapter advisor.
Society of Women Engineers Scholarships
||SWE administers a scholarship program for women pursuing degrees in engineering and related disciplines. Applicants must plan to attend an ABET-accredited engineering program on a full-time basis. They must also provide school transcripts and establish financial need.
Online Bachelor's in Electrical Engineering Programs 2021
Old Dominion University has offered distance education for over 30 years; a newer element of this program allows students to earn or complete their bachelor's degree online. Old Dominion offers 5 different entirely online degrees in the field of electrical engineering technology, each of which is meant to prepare students for a specific career path. For example, the communications systems technology major will teach students how to work with wireless systems and advanced circuits, while the computer engineering technology major prepares students for careers in programming. Other choices are embedded systems technology, mechatronics technology and power systems technology. Available minors allow students to specialize even further. Transfer students are welcome, but Old Dominion requires that graduates earn at least 30 credits through its school. The required credits per 4-year program vary, but students should expect to complete up to 128 credits hours before graduating. Upon graduation, students will be prepared to take the Fundamentals of Engineering exam in Virginia as well as several other states; passing the exam is one of the criteria for licensure.
Recommended for students that are currently working full time in an engineering field, Clemson University's Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering is offered online for maximum flexibility. However, students should be aware that this is a degree completion program, and that some of the required courses in this 126-credit program are not offered online by Clemson and must be completed at other institutions and then transferred. Students are expected to hold a B average from previous coursework; however, those who fall short may apply for special dispensation if they demonstrate sufficient academic ability through other channels. Once admitted, students must maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA. The length of time to complete the program varies according to a student's individual time commitment; those attending on a part-time basis, who bring in some transfer credits, may expect to complete the full program in about 6 years. The program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET.
Located near New York City, Stony Brook University awards more than 200 degrees, including an online bachelor's in electrical engineering. This completion degree is offered in an asynchronous format, and is designed to attract working students who need maximum flexibility in their schedules. Structured to be completed in 4 years, students will be able to follow a set course outline while still taking courses at their own pace. Courses include topics such as electromagnetics, engineering design, digital logic design and electronic circuits; after graduation, students should be prepared for careers in various industries that require the design and use of engineering devices and systems. Students who lack certain prerequisite classes - typically lower-division lab courses - may be required to take them on campus before being admitted to the program. Once students are accepted to the program, all labs, tests and discussions are completed entirely online. Admission requirements dictate that students show transcripts proving an overall minimum GPA of 3.0 in certain classes, and no grade below a C.
A Catholic school based in Adrian, Michigan, Siena Heights has an online program aimed at students who wish to further both their education and their careers through a degree completion program. The curriculum at Siena Heights adheres to an "inverted major" format. This means students will not engage in coursework that is specific to their field, but instead will take a complement of classes that are designed to give them a fuller liberal arts background as well as management skills. Students interested in earning a bachelor's degree in electronics technology must meet certain admissions requirements to demonstrate their competency in electronics technology. One route is to present an associate in applied science from a regionally accredited school; another is to show 35 completed credit hours and otherwise prove their technical abilities for electrical engineering, through work experience or military experience, for example. Upon entrance, the program is designed to take as little as 2 years to complete.
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Established specifically to train the workforce immediately after World War II, the Charlotte campus of the University of North Carolina has continued to educate students in the technical fields while also developing into a strong research institution. Students that choose to pursue a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering at the university should be prepared for multiple potential careers, including designing avionic control systems, creating applications for HVAC systems and working with networked computer systems or consumer electronics. Classes are offered entirely online except for on-campus labs conducted over the summer. The program is targeted to students who already have an applied sciences associate degree and currently hold jobs, but anyone who meets admission requirements is eligible to apply. All upper-division courses are offered both part time and full time to best accommodate working students. UNC Charlotte has also established relationships with local businesses to help connect local graduates to job possibilities.
With one of the largest statewide online schools, Indiana State University welcomes seasoned students into its online electrical engineering program. For this degree completion program, ISU requires students to have either an associate of science in electronics technology from Ivy Tech Community College or Vincennes University (both located in Indiana), or to have completed a similar associate degree from an accredited school. Once students are accepted, they take complete an additional 80 credits of coursework covering electronics technology; mechanical engineering technology; various areas in math, computer science, physical science and technology management; as well as electives in robotics and manufacturing. Students will also take professional classes to develop workplace management skills, and upon graduation should be prepared to take positions in areas such as instrumentation and control, electronics manufacturing, power operations, and sales and services. The program has earned accreditation from the Association of Technology, Management, and Applied Engineering (ATMAE).
North Carolina A&T State University
Giving students a wide range of skills in electronics technology is the goal of this online bachelor's degree in electronics technology from North Carolina A&T State University. The 120-credit program is structured to take the traditional 4 years, but is specifically aimed at working students who would have difficulty making the commute to campus. Transfer students are also encouraged. Requiring that students maintain at least a "C" grade in all major-specific courses, the program emphasizes mainframe education, with students learning about things such as circuits, networks, power systems and digital computing. Hands-on experience is emphasized as much as theoretical principles, and the program is designed to propel graduates directly into the workplace, with careers such as home and business security specialists; transportation safety specialists; automatization or computer electronics technicians; and electronics or network installers. Graduates of the program go on to work for a variety of major corporations as well as in the public sector.
University of Massachusetts-Lowell
University of Massachusetts-Lowell's online Bachelor of Science in Electronic Engineering Technology program is designed for students interested in any field that involves the design, testing and manufacturing of electrical hardware and software (e.g., telecommunications, semiconductors and consumer electronics). Some graduates may go on to advanced degrees in electrical engineering. In addition to teaching electronic principles, the program strives to develop the critical thinking and problem solving skills of students. The program requires completion of 127 semester hours of coursework. Some courses are available online, but most courses need to be attended on campus. Upper-division major courses include Electromagnetic Theory, Foundations of Microwave Design, Digital Signal Processing and Digital Electronics. A variety of required project laboratory courses are designed to give hands-on industrial experience to students by giving them the opportunity to design, plan, implement and report on a project in collaboration with advisers. Students who have worked in the industry may be able to use a specific project in a high-technology company as part of their course projects.
Morgan State University's Bachelor of Science in Electrical & Computer Engineering program prides itself on its innovative pedagogy, which incorporates lab work design throughout the curriculum. To graduate, students must complete 120 credit hours of coursework. By providing a suggested sequence that lays out the entire 4 years of coursework, the program helps students keep on track and fluidly integrate general education studies within the program. Major-specific coursework includes classes such as Electronic Materials and Devices, Electromagnetic Theory and Applications, Principles of Design and Electronic Circuits. All students must complete a 2-part capstone course sequence, the Senior Design Project, in which they work with their adviser to propose, implement and report on a design project. The program partners with alumni and others in the private sector and government agencies to ensure the continued relevance of the coursework. Alumni also interact regularly with the program by providing mentoring opportunities to students. The Electrical Engineering program has been recognized as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education.