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What is a impressive salary for an Electrical Engineer

  • Engineering
  • Thread starter lilikoi
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  • #1
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Main Question or Discussion Point

what would you consider an impressive and or respectable salary (range) for an Electrical Engineer with 12 years of experience?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
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Respectable would be ~130k/yr. Impressive would be 10 million/yr.
 
  • #3
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Respectable for me would be $110k - 115k but I live in a really cheap area of the country (nice new construction at mid $90 a square foot, etc) and I may be biased because I have 7 years experience and that is about the course I am on.
 
  • #5
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There is much more to the equation than just salary. There are benefits, living conditions, travel, job security, and so on.

The places that offer lower salaries often have much better job security, and decent benefits. Frequent travel may seen exciting when you're younger, but as a family grows, it can really get in the way.

So when discussing 12 years of experience --a lot can happen in 12 years. Your priorities change. Your needs change. If you are an independent contractor, I'd aim to change $200/hr. based upon the notion that you won't be working all the time and you'll need the reserve to tide you over during the dry spells where work may be scarce.

Likewise, you could easily find yourself making less than that if you happen to be working in a company that values longevity and job security. It all depends on what you want. I've been working for the same employer for over 25 years, and I don't make the kind of money that others have quoted. Nevertheless, I have something that many engineers would love: a rock-steady job and interesting work, with occasional travel if I really want it.

It is all about a balance...
 
  • #6
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Get into upper management ----> 300k
 
  • #7
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So is it not common to see engineers make 150 k or more ? What do you think the average is with more exp?
 
  • #8
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So is it not common to see engineers make 150 k or more ? What do you think the average is with more exp?
A reasonably competent senior engineer (someone with at least 15 years of experience) shouldn't have too much trouble bringing home a salary around $100k.

HOWEVER, above that point, your job security is likely to be less. Sure, one could do contract work and bring home $200k --but I can just about guarantee that the work won't be steady, that it will be difficult, possibly dangerous, there may be security clearances to obtain and live with, and there will be lots of travel. Most people, when they reach that point in their careers, do not seek a lifestyle like that.

My family matters to me. I do travel for professional associations and the like, but generally I keep the number of overnight trips to around three or four per year.
 
  • #9
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A reasonably competent senior engineer (someone with at least 15 years of experience) shouldn't have too much trouble bringing home a salary around $100k.

HOWEVER, above that point, your job security is likely to be less. Sure, one could do contract work and bring home $200k --but I can just about guarantee that the work won't be steady, that it will be difficult, possibly dangerous, there may be security clearances to obtain and live with, and there will be lots of travel. Most people, when they reach that point in their careers, do not seek a lifestyle like that.

My family matters to me. I do travel for professional associations and the like, but generally I keep the number of overnight trips to around three or four per year.
Jake is right. Engineering is known for having a low dynamic range when it comes to salary. Engineers start pretty high, but then don't really go up all that much. A senior engineer making 100k or a bit more is quite possible. Much more than that isn't going to happen unless he or she goes into management, with all the heartache that entails.
 

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