Some background on me: I am a married father of three boys, ages 3-9. I hold a BS in Electrical Engineering that took me 7 years to obtain. (Just graduated last May)
I started out in 2001 with an AAS degree, then slowly (SLOOOOWLY) worked on my BSEE.
I have since then started grad school to get an MSEE and have successfully obtained an EIT license (Engineer in training, pre-cursor to PE).
Up until very recently, I had thought that I would continue my education towards a PhD in EE after the Masters is finished.
Now I am not so sure. I am 32 now, and I'll be 33, maybe 34 when I get the Masters. At that time, I may be able to obtain my PE.
A PhD would likely take another 5 years. I would be almost 40 years old.
My goal is to work in research, be it government funded research (National Labs) or in private industry. Teaching is not my goal.
My problem is that my current job (really, much of my employment history) is not in Electrical Engineering.
I got a job in technical writing right out of college in 2001 and stuck with it. Now, a lot of this employment history was related to instrumentation, systems engineering, maintenance & reliability, and so forth.
Still, I am not confident that I could call any of it "Engineering". And now I make $72k/yr and support my family on that. I would like to ease into a real engineering job with my BSEE or possibly my MSEE in the future.
Without doing some post-doc research, would a PhD be of any real value to me? Post-doc research seems to pay very little. I can't really afford to take a job paying much less than what I make now.
I would love the accomplishment and personal satisfaction from obtaining the degree, but I wonder if it would help me out professionally.