Electronics engineers work in the product development field for such consumer items as cellular phones and GPS systems. All of the gadgetry that requires batteries and is now flooding the market has been developed by electronic engineers. Computer products are an exception: engineers who engage exclusively in the design and development of computers are called computer hardware engineers. As telephones and other mobile devices begin to function as computers, the distinction among them will become blurred.
Electronics engineers generally earn a bachelor's degree in order to obtain an entry level position in the field. Electronics is one industry where the speed of new product development can be overwhelming. Electronic engineers working in consumer products and medical or communications control system, for example, will need to be vigilant about staying current with new developments in the marketplace.
There were 138,000 electronics engineers employed in 2006, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Most worked in the consumer products field; others contributed to the development of manufacturing control systems and worked in defense industries.
Electronic engineering job opportunities are expected to grow at a slow pace over the next several years. Both the development and manufacture of electronic devices for the U.S. market have migrated to foreign shores. Service businesses that specialize in consulting on development jobs with an electronics component will be the best opportunity for new graduates in the field.
Lowest 10% $55,380
Median Salary $86,370
Highest 10% $129,920
Source: U.S. Department of Labor