What Are Some High Paying Career Options in the Electronics Field?
The electronics field includes many possible careers, but the highest paying ones require post-secondary education. Read on to learn what all of these careers are about and what the salary is like.
High Paying Careers in Electronics
In this article, we will discuss three of the highest-paying careers in electronics. They are electronics repairers, electrical and electronics drafters, and electronics engineers.
Important Facts About These Careers
|Median Salary (2018)||$60,070||$57,890||$102,700|
|Job Outlook (2016-2026)||7% growth||1% growth||7% growth|
|Key Skills||Creativity, time-management, and math skills||Color vision, technical, and communication skills||Concentration, initiative, math, and interpersonal skills|
|Work Environment||In the office, occasionally going out to job sites||Often in a factory or repair shop, sometimes lifting heavy equipment||Usually in the office, occasionally visiting job sites|
|Required Education||A certificate or associate's degree in drafting||Specialized courses at a technical school, sometimes certification is necessary||Bachelor's degree, sometimes a Professional Engineer license is necessary|
Source: United States Bureau of Labor Statistics
Electrical and Electronics Drafters
As an electronics drafter, you are responsible for developing the plans for circuit boards, wiring and installations. Your work is used by others to create, install or fix specific electronic devices. This includes making physical copies and computer-stored copies of your work. You need to compare and recheck configurations before releasing a final product.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the median salary in May 2018 was $60,070 for electrical and electronics drafters (www.bls.gov). If you were in the lowest ten percent, you earned $36,660 or less annually. However, if you were in the top ten percent, your annual income was $99,240 or more.
Although most electrical and electronics drafters worked in the architectural, engineering and related services industry and earned an average wage of $60,910, you will want to work in computer and peripheral equipment manufacturing if you're interested in the top paying industry for electrical and electronic drafters. In this field, your mean yearly income was $93,740 in May 2018. If you're employed in Washington, then you're working in the top paying state for this vocation. The annual mean wage in that state was $88,120 in May 2018. PayScale.com also reported in November 2018 that entry-level electrical and electronics drafters earned a median wage of $40,452.
As an electronics repairer, you troubleshoot or maintain electronic equipment. This kind of work involves outfitting factory or lab systems with updated automated control mechanisms. You can operate on trains, golf carts, sonar and surveillance systems, among other items. Normally, you specialize in a specific type of electronics, and that will guide your career.
Your salary is dependent upon the type of electrics and electronics devices you work on. The median annual income for an electric motor, power tool and related repairer was $42,840 in May 2018, per the BLS. If you're an electronic repairer who worked with motor vehicles, your yearly median salary was $35,590. If you worked in transportation equipment, your annual median wage was $60,340. While you earned a median wage of $58,110 if you worked on industrial and commercial equipment, the median wage was $80,200 if you worked on powerhouses, substations and relays.
In addition, PayScale.com reported that entry-level electronics technicians earned between $29,000 and $62,000 a year. The entry-level median salary was $41,220, as of April 2019. Industrial electronics technicians earned $43,448.
In electronics engineering, your work is mostly done in the early stages of development. The job duties for this career include researching and testing all kinds of equipment for fields such as acoustics, GPS systems, broadcast systems or portable music devices. You also have many options to choose from when it comes to career specializations, including signal processing, control systems or communications.
According to the BLS, electronics engineers (excluding computer engineers) earned a median wage of $102,700 in May 2018. Salaries were $64,840 or less for the bottom 10% and $162,200 or more for the top 10%. The District of Columbia offered electronics engineers the best average pay of $130,630. In May 2019, PayScale.com listed a median wage of $62,595 for entry-level electronics engineers, with most earning between $40,000 and $83,000. The median wage was $106,765 for late-career professionals, as of April 2019.