In this article, a theoretical model for type I magnetic contrast calculations in the scanning electron microscope with energy filtering is presented. This model uses an approximate form of the secondary electron (SE) energy distribution by Chung and Everhart [M. S. Chung and T. E. Everhart, J. Appl. Phys. 45, 707 (1974). Closed form analytical expressions for the contrast and quality factors, which take into consideration the work function and field‐distance integral of the material being studied, are obtained. This analytical model is compared with that of a more accurate numerical model. Results showed that the contrast and quality factors for the analytical model differed by not more than 20% from the numerical model, with the actual difference depending on the range of filtered SE energies considered. This model has also been extended to the situation of a two‐detector (i.e., detector A and B) configuration, in which enhanced magnetic contrast and quality factor can be obtained by operating in the ‘‘A–B’’ mode.