Purpose: To assess the prognostic value of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) molecular characteristics of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). Patients and Methods: HNSCC tumors from patients prospectively enrolled in either an Early Detection Research Network (EDRN) study and treated with surgery without an EGFR-targeted agent (N = 154) or enrolled in a chemoradiation trial involving the EGFR-targeted antibody cetuximab (N = 39) were evaluated for EGFR gene amplification by FISH and EGFR protein by immunohistochemical staining. Fresh-frozen tumors (EDRN) were also evaluated for EGFR protein and site-specific phosphorylation at Y992 and Y1068 using reverse-phase protein array (n = 67). Tumor (n = 50) EGFR and EGFRvIII mRNA levels were quantified using real-time PCR. Results: EGFR expression by immunohistochemistry (IHC) was significantly higher in the EDRN tumors with EGFR gene amplification (P < 0.001), and a similar trend was noted in the cetuximab-treated cohort. In the EDRN and cetuximab-treated cohorts elevated EGFR by IHC was associated with reduced survival (P =0.019 and P = 0.06, respectively). Elevated expression of total EGFR and EGFR PY1068 were independently significantly associated with reduced progression-free survival in the EDRN cohort [HR = 2.75; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.26-6.00 and HR = 3.29; 95% CI = 1.34-8.14, respectively]. Conclusions: In two independent HNSCC cohorts treated with or without cetuximab, tumor EGFR levels were indicative of survival. Tumor EGFR PY1068 levels provided prognostic information independent of total EGFR.