Electrical engineers have the greatest variety of devices to work with of any field of engineers. They work with nano-components, so small that you need a microscope to see them, and with mega-components that are so large they need to be housed in buildings the size of a football field.
And the applications for these devices are just as wide. Electrical engineers design and build computers, cell phones, and networking equipment to interconnect a host of devices. They have designed instruments to help medical doctors diagnose and cure diseases. Others work on devices that increase the efficiency of energy used in manufacturing plants. In fact, almost anything that uses electricity, whether it is from the smallest battery, a wall plug, or an ultra-high voltage transmission line, relies to some extent on the work of an electrical engineer.
Computer engineering is interdisciplinary, bridging electrical engineering and computer science to bring hardware and software together. Computer software engineers first analyze the needs of users and companies, then design, construct, test and maintain the necessary software or systems through knowledge of electronics, programming and coding.
- Median yearly wage of an electrical engineer: $82,160;
- Median yearly wage for a computer hardware engineer: $97,400;
- Average yearly wage for a computer systems software engineer: $94,520
Statistics: May 2008, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics