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Career and Education Opportunities for Computer Engineers in Birmingham, Alabama

For those living in the Birmingham, Alabama area, there are many career and education opportunities for computer engineers. There are currently 1,140 working computer engineers in Alabama; this should grow by 20% to 1,370 working computer engineers in the state by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for computer engineers are expected to grow by about 3.8%. Computer engineers generally research, design, and test computer or computer-related equipment for commercial, industrial, or scientific use.

The income of a computer engineer is about $43 hourly or $89,580 yearly on average in Alabama. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $46 hourly or $97,400 per year on average. Compared with people working in the overall category of Engineering, people working as computer engineers in Alabama earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Engineering nationally. Jobs in this field include: information technology consultant , design engineer, and project engineer.

There is one school within twenty-five miles of Birmingham where you can study to be a computer engineer, among fifteen schools of higher education total in the Birmingham area. The most common level of education for computer engineers is a Bachelor's degree. You can expect to spend about four years training to become a computer engineer if you already have a high school diploma.


Computer Engineer video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, computer engineers research, design, and test computer or computer-related equipment for commercial, industrial, or scientific use. They also may supervise the manufacturing and installation of computer or computer-related equipment and components.

Computer engineers update knowledge and skills to keep up with rapid advancements in computer technology. They also direct technicians, engineering designers or other technical support personnel as needed. Equally important, computer engineers have to store and manipulate data for analysis of system capabilities and requirements. They are often called upon to talk with engineering staff and consult specifications to review interface between hardware and software and the operational and performance requirements of overall systems. They are expected to monitor functioning of equipment and make needed modifications to insure system operates in conformance with specifications. Finally, computer engineers analyze data to establish and plan layouts using computers.

Every day, computer engineers are expected to be able to listen to and understand others in meetings. They need to think through problems and come up with general rules. It is also important that they articulate ideas and problems.

It is important for computer engineers to analyze user needs and recommend appropriate hardware. They are often called upon to furnish training and support to system designers and users. They also evaluate factors such as reporting formats required and need for security restrictions to establish hardware configuration. They are sometimes expected to test and verify hardware and support peripherals to insure that they meet specifications and requirements, by recording and analyzing test data. Somewhat less frequently, computer engineers are also expected to layout and develop computer hardware and support peripherals, including central processing units (CPUs), support logic, microprocessors, custom integrated circuits, and printers and disk drives.

They also have to be able to recommend purchase of apparatus to control dust and humidity in area of system installation And finally, they sometimes have to test and verify hardware and support peripherals to insure that they meet specifications and requirements, by recording and analyzing test data.

Like many other jobs, computer engineers must be persistant in the face of problems and impediments and be thorough and dependable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Birmingham include:

  • Biomedical Engineer. Apply knowledge of engineering, biology, and biomechanical principles to the design, development, and evaluation of biological and health systems and products, such as artificial organs, prostheses, instrumentation, medical information systems, and health management and care delivery systems.
  • Civil Engineer. Perform engineering duties in planning, designing, and overseeing construction and maintenance of building structures, and facilities, such as roads, railroads, airports, bridges, harbors, channels, dams, irrigation projects, pipelines, power plants, water and sewage systems, and waste disposal units. Includes architectural, structural, and geo-technical engineers.
  • Electrical Engineer. Design, develop, or supervise the manufacturing and installation of electrical equipment, components, or systems for commercial, industrial, or scientific use.
  • Electronics Engineer. Research, design, and test electronic components and systems for commercial, industrial, or scientific use utilizing knowledge of electronic theory and materials properties. Design electronic circuits and components for use in fields such as telecommunications, aerospace guidance and propulsion control, acoustics, or instruments and controls.
  • Fire Prevention Research Engineer. Research causes of fires, determine fire protection methods, and design or recommend materials or equipment such as structural components or fire-detection equipment to assist organizations in safeguarding life and property against fire, explosion, and related hazards.
  • Health, Safety, and Environment Manager. Plan, implement, and coordinate safety programs, requiring application of engineering principles and technology, to prevent or correct unsafe environmental working conditions.
  • Materials Engineer. Evaluate materials and develop machinery and processes to manufacture materials for use in products that must meet specialized design and performance specifications. Develop new uses for known materials. Includes those working with composite materials or specializing in one type of material, such as graphite, metal and metal alloys, ceramics and glass, plastics and polymers, and naturally occurring materials.
  • Mechanical Engineer. Perform engineering duties in planning and designing tools, engines, and other mechanically functioning equipment. Oversee installation, operation, and repair of such equipment as centralized heat, gas, and steam systems.
  • Product Safety Engineer. Develop and conduct tests to evaluate product safety levels and recommend measures to reduce or eliminate hazards.


University of Alabama at Birmingham - Birmingham, AL

University of Alabama at Birmingham, Administration Bldg Suite 1070, Birmingham, AL 35294-0110. University of Alabama at Birmingham is a large university located in Birmingham, Alabama. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 16,149 students and an admission rate of 85%. University of Alabama at Birmingham has a doctor's degree program in Computer Engineering which graduated five students in 2008.


Geometric Dimensioning & Tolerancing Professional - Technologist: ASME GDTP Certification provides the means to recognize proficiency in the understanding and application of the geometric dimensioning and tolerancing (GD&T) principles expressed in the ASME Y14.

For more information, see the American Society of Mechanical Engineers International website.

Wireless Communications: Technicians seeking the ETA Certified Electronics Technician specialty are required to have a basic education in fundamental electronics.

For more information, see the ETA International website.

Certified Fiber Optics Installer - Outside Plant: The Fiber Optic Installer-Outside Plant certification is designed after the FOI certification, with special emphasis on outside plant applications and standards.

For more information, see the ETA International website.

Stay Sharp Program - Mastering Packet Analysis: Network administrators, information security analysts, intrusion detection and prevention analysts and network auditors that need an in-depth understanding of how to assess network protocols and use powerful network analysis tools.

For more information, see the Global Information Assurance Certification website.

Certified Web Professional - Internetworking Specialist: A CWP Internetworking Specialist defines network architecture, identifies infrastructure components, monitors and analyzes network performance.

For more information, see the International Webmasters Association website.

Junior Telecommunications Engineer: Telecommunications certification is applicable to professionals involved in the science and practice of communications by electromagnetic means.

For more information, see the National Association of Radio and Telecommunications Engineers, Inc. website.


Engineer, Professional

Licensing agency: AL State Board of Licensure for Professional Engineers & Land Surveyors
Address: P O Box 304451, Montgomery, AL 36130-4451

Phone: (334) 242-5568
Website: AL State Board of Licensure for Professional Engineers & Land Surveyors


Birmingham, Alabama
Birmingham, Alabama photo by Eric_in_SF

Birmingham is located in Jefferson County, Alabama. It has a population of over 228,798, which has shrunk by 5.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Birmingham, 81, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Birmingham cost $187,300 on average, which is well above the state average. In 2008, one hundred thirty-two new homes were built in Birmingham, down from two hundred thirty-two the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Birmingham are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 24 minutes. More than 18.5% of Birmingham residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.6%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Birmingham is 12.5%, which is greater than Alabama's average of 10.7%.

The percentage of Birmingham residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 60.1%, is more than both the national and state average. Williams Chapel Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, Westminister Presbyterian Church and West End Methodist Church are all churches located in Birmingham. The most common religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Birmingham is home to the Mineral Park Municipal Golf Course and the Cooper Green Golf Course as well as Avondale Mills Park and Smithfield Historic District. Shopping malls in the area include Acipco Shopping Center, Altadena Square Shopping Center and Parkway East Huffman Shopping Center. Visitors to Birmingham can choose from Marriott Hotel Birmingham, Rime Garden Extended Stay Suites and Studioplus for temporary stays in the area.