In nearly most countries, a Bachelor's degree in engineering is the first step towards professional certification and the degree program itself is certified by a professional organization. After finishing a certified engineering degree program, the engineer should satisfy some requirements such as, work experience requirements before being certified. Once certified, the engineer gets the title of professional engineer in the US, Canada, and South Africa; chartered engineer, in Pakistan, India, Ireland, the United Kingdom, and Zimbabwe; chartered professional engineer, in New Zealand and Australia, or European engineer, in much of the European Union.
The advantages of certification change depending upon different countries. For instance, in the United States and Canada, only certified engineers may practice engineering work in public and private companies. This requirement is stipulated by state and provincial legislation. In other countries, no such legislation exists. Practically all certifying bodies have a code of ethics that they expect all engineers to abide by, or risk expulsion. Such organizations play a critical role in maintaining ethical standards for the profession. Even in jurisdictions where certification has little or no legal bearing on work, engineers are subject to contract law.
There are several professional organizations worthy of mention for electrical engineers – e.g., the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET). The IEEE, which claims to publish around 30% of the world's electrical engineering literature, has over 360,000 participants worldwide, and holds over 3,000 conferences every year. The IET has 21 journals, and a worldwide membership of around 150,000, and claims to be the largest professional engineering society in Europe. Obsolescence of technical skills is a serious concern for electrical engineers. Membership and participation in technical societies, regular reviews of periodicals in the field and a habit of continued learning are therefore essential to maintaining proficiency. MIET (Member of the Institution of Engineering and Technology) is recognized in Europe as Electrical and computer (technology) engineer.
In the US, Canada, and Australia, electrical engineers make up around 0.25% of the labor force. Outside of North America and Europe, engineering graduates per-capita, and hence probably electrical engineering graduates also, are most numerous in Taiwan, Japan, and South Korea.
According to Department of Labor 2009 data, the starting salary in the US for a BS for an electrical engineer is $60,125. Factors affecting salary include experience, skills, internship, geographic location, project and design experience, and size of company. The mid-career electrical engineers’ salary is in the range of $83,800 - $130,000. Educational level affects salary. The mean starting salary for a graduate with a master's degree is $71,455; and for a graduate with a PhD is $88,893. In Saudi Arabia, the average starting salary for a BS electrical engineer is around SR140, 000.