Analog Electronics Work

Where Are Technical Areas in the US?

I was recently talking to my girlfriend about if we ever moved and needed to find jobs, where the most likely place would be to find work as an electrical engineer. It was interesting talking out cities that may or may not sync up with places she could find a job. Now, I don’t have much interest in leaving my current job, and while I hope to work on my own some day, I’m still quite dependent on employers for my livelihood.  So I did the fast/easy thing and went to and checked available positions under “electrical engineer”. Simple enough. So where are the technical jobs these days? (obviously this data is meant to change over time)

A map I made over at

    1. San Diego, CA (1059)
    2. Houston, TX (970)
    3. San Jose, CA (723)
    4. New York, NY (670)
    5. Santa Clara, CA (571)
    6. Phoenix, AZ (564)
    7. Washington, DC (543)
    8. Austin, TX (539)
    9. Sunnyvale, CA (529)
    10. Chicago, IL (472)
    11. Dallas, TX (471)
    12. Fort Meade, MD (424)
    13. Atlanta, GA (384)
    14. Los Angeles, CA (377)

The number in the parentheses are the number of positions listed online. It’s fair to assume some significant number of those are repeats ( is a scraper, not some manual entry site), but we can assume that all the cities listed have a proportionate number of repeat listings. It’s also interesting– but not surprising–to note that certain areas are dense enough with jobs and location (i.e. silicon valley) that three of those cities (3, 5, 9) only show up as one tag.

Now, this isn’t to say these are the best jobs or the easiest to fill nor does it even point out how varied the positions can be! For example, an embedded developer and an analog system engineer might all be under the title “electrical engineer“. If you have experience working on electronics on an oil rig you’re much more likely to get a job in Houston than Fort Meade, regardless of how many jobs are available in either location. But these numbers do  point out where there is a considerable enough chunk of industry to have this many job listings.

So I ask you to respond in the shiny new comments section: are these really the only areas employers are hiring these days? Is there a significant long tail that I’m not seeing on Indeed? (i.e. 30 more cities with 250 listings each?) Are there any obviously booming spots that are left off the map? What about outside the good ol’ U S of A? I know there are a couple of readers, writers and witty commenters from outside my home country. Looking forward to your responses!

By Chris Gammell

Chris Gammell is an engineer who talks more than most other engineers. He also writes, makes videos and a couple podcasts. While analog electronics happen to be his primary interests, he also dablles in FPGAs and system level design.

10 replies on “Where Are Technical Areas in the US?”

What they don’t tell you is that there is extremely stiff competition for such jobs because people don’t want to relocate, like the benefits of big city living, etc. After living in CA for four years and only being able to find temp work, I doubt I would ever move back.

So, my opinion is that there is a long tail and that there are other opportunities if you can come to terms with things like climate or smaller town or taking up more in your job description than you’re used to. I know a couple places in Fargo that are going nuts because they can’t find people to relocate up here, and these are engineering jobs. (I have also noticed that since the economy plummeted, they have managed to attract a few more people.)

I believe you searched for electrical engineer (no quote marks) instead of "electrical engineer"? The difference is about 10:1 in number of jobs lists. Without the quotes, I see sales jobs, technician positions, mechanical engineering jobs, all sort of near misses. With the quotes, there are still quite a few false positives in the search, but at least there are fewer misses to work through.

San Jose, CA, for example I see 2867 jobs when searched without without quotes, 167 jobs for "electrical engineer". I don't know what you searched on to get 723.

With quotes, in the Pacific Northwest, I see:
Portland, OR (79)
Seattle, WA (112)

FWIW, I get better results, actual electronics engineering jobs, searching for electronics engineer (no quotes). Searching "electronics engineer", I get almost no hits, and it misses a lot of appropriate jobs the less restrictive search catches.

I would also guess that there is a long tail. A couple additional searches for "electrical engineer" in specific cities on shows 562 results for Raleigh, NC; 244 for Salt Lake City, UT; 242 for Huntsville, AL; and 237 for Orlando, FL. I think there are a good number of jobs out there for electrical engineers, sometimes in unexpected places.

I agree with Cherish on all points. There are definitely people here in Madison having a hard time finding engineers. Some jobs in a smaller town are under the radar and get filled through informal networks. You may have to wear more hats because a very specific type of job may not exist in a smaller area.

My family can't leave Madison if we wanted to because my wife's legal practice is established here. If you're in a business like law, in which most customers are local, the benefits to staying put outweigh all other considerations.

If a local network even _might_ be important to you, I would recommend finding a location where you would be interested in staying long-term.

Tsk tsk Chris for linking to a youtube video that violates FIFA copyrights (the video's been taken down).

Outside of the USA, Shanghai and Bangalore are hiring in boat loads. I've recently been contacted by headhunters hiring in Houston, San Diego (Qualcomm), and Portland/Seattle. I know that Analog Devices is up in Portland where the famous Barrie Gilbert of the Gilbert cell works. Locally in Ottawa, the high tech and political capital of Canada, TSMC was on a hiring binge recently. They're having trouble finding analog circuit designers.

Colorado doesn't show up on your map even though there's quite a bit of high tech acitivity that goes on there. They may not be hiring, but there's a healthy industry there going from Colorado Springs up to Denver up to Longmont and up to Ft. Collins.

Cherish has it right. People don't want to leave the big cities. Ottawa is a nice size at around 1 million. I'm not interested in moving to any place that's significantly smaller. If I were interested in moving to the US, Fargo wouldn't even enter the picture unless I was on the brink of declaring bankruptcy. After all, why go from a freezing cold city to a freezing colder town in the middle of nowhere?
My recent post Office Politics 101: Misreading Prevailing Climate

Toronto, Ottawa and South San Fran seem to have the most embedded jobs.

Houston TX has extremely few embedded jobs. Austin TX has far more.

The most reliable method is to ask for example a Microchip FAE.

Once I moved from Toronto to Texas it was bad. I would like to get back to Toronto again. I hate Texas! Toronto is one of the most livable cities in the world.

When I was job hunting starting in 2007 going into this year (2010), I came upon many openings in “Silicon Forest”, in the Portland OR area. It wasn’t in the top three or four, maybe, but is it really not in the to ten? Though I wasn’t tracking analog vs digital, I admit.

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