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Career and Education Opportunities for Electronics Engineers in Birmingham, Alabama

Electronics engineer career and educational opportunities abound in Birmingham, Alabama. There are currently 1,630 working electronics engineers in Alabama; this should grow 11% to 1,810 working electronics engineers in the state by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for electronics engineers are expected to grow by about 0.3%. Electronics engineers generally research, design, and test electronic components and systems for commercial, industrial, or scientific use utilizing knowledge of electronic theory and materials properties.

Electronics engineers earn approximately $42 hourly or $88,930 annually on average in Alabama. Nationally they average about $41 per hour or $86,370 annually. Incomes for electronics engineers are better than in the overall category of Engineering in Alabama, and better than the overall Engineering category nationally. Electronics engineers work in a variety of jobs, including: outside plant cable engineer, traffic circuit engineer, and circuit design engineer.

The Birmingham area is home to fifteen schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Birmingham where you can get a degree as an electronics engineer. Electronics engineers usually hold a Bachelor's degree, so you can expect to spend about four years studying to be an electronics engineer if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Electronics Engineer

In general, electronics engineers research, design, and test electronic components and systems for commercial, industrial, or scientific use utilizing knowledge of electronic theory and materials properties. They also design electronic circuits and components for use in fields such as telecommunications, aerospace guidance and propulsion control, acoustics, or instruments and controls.

Electronics engineers talk with engineers, customers, vendors or others to consider existing and potential engineering projects or products. They also evaluate operational systems, prototypes and proposals and recommend repair or layout modifications, on the basis of factors such as environment and system capabilities. Equally important, electronics engineers have to direct and schedule efforts concerned with manufacture and modification of electronic equipment and systems. They are often called upon to design and perform operational, maintenance, and testing processes for electronic products and systems. Finally, electronics engineers furnish technical support and instruction to staff or customers regarding equipment standards, assisting with specific, difficult in-service engineering.

Every day, electronics engineers are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. They need to listen to and understand others in meetings. It is also important that they read and understand documents and reports.

It is important for electronics engineers to decide on material and equipment needs and order supplies. They are often called upon to operate computer-assisted engineering and layout software and apparatus to perform engineering tasks. They also inspect electronic equipment and systems to insure conformance to given requirements and applicable codes and regulations. They are sometimes expected to ready engineering sketches and requirements for construction and installation of equipment and systems. Somewhat less frequently, electronics engineers are also expected to ready documentation containing data such as confidential descriptions and specifications of proprietary hardware and software, product development and introduction schedules, product costs, and data related to product performance weaknesses.

and formulate and design applications and modifications for electronic properties used in components and systems, to further optimize technical performance. And finally, they sometimes have to design and perform operational, maintenance, and testing processes for electronic products and systems.

Like many other jobs, electronics engineers must be thorough and dependable and be reliable.

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.
  • Computer Engineer. Research, design, and test computer or computer-related equipment for commercial, industrial, or scientific use. May supervise the manufacturing and installation of computer or computer-related equipment and components.
  • Electrical Engineer. Design, develop, or supervise the manufacturing and installation of electrical equipment, components, or systems for commercial, industrial, or scientific use.
  • 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.
  • Industrial Engineering Technician. Apply engineering theory and principles to problems of industrial layout or manufacturing production, usually under the direction of engineering staff. May study and record time, motion, and speed involved in performance of production, maintenance, and other worker operations for such purposes as establishing standard production rates or improving efficiency.
  • 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.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Electronics Engineer Training

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 bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Electrical, Electronics and Communications Engineering which graduated twenty-five and forty students respectively in 2008.


Planning and Scheduling Professional: The PSP certification is to recognize specialists who meet a demanding set of planning and scheduling criteria by a rigorous examination, experience, education and ethical qualificaion.

For more information, see the AACE International (Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering through total cost management) website.

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.

CompTIA Radio Frequency Identification (RFID+) Certification: CompTIA Radio Frequency Identification (RFID+) certification validates the knowledge and skills of professionals who work with RFID technology.

For more information, see the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) website.

RADAR Electronics Technician: Radar electronics technicians are expected to obtain knowledge of radar basics and concepts which are then applicable to all the.

For more information, see the ETA International website.

Associate Certified Electronics Technician: Knowledge areas include: Electrical Theory, Electronic Components, Soldering-Desoldering & Tools, Block Diagrams - Schematics - Wiring Diagrams, Cabling, Power Supplies, test Equipment & Measurements, Safety Precautions, Mathematics & Formulas, Radio Communication Technology, Electronic Circuits: Series & Parallel, Amplifiers, Interfacing of Electronics Products, Digital Concepts & Circuitry, Computer Electronics, Computer Applications, Audio & Video Systems, Optical Electronics, Telecommunications Basics, Technician Work Procedures.

For more information, see the ETA International website.

IPC-A-600 Acceptability of Printed Circuit Boards: The IPC-A-600 Training and Certification Program helps all segments of the electronics interconnection industry improve their understanding of printed board quality issues; greatly enhances communication between PCB manufacturers, their suppliers and their customers; and provides a valuable portable credential to industry professionals as well as recognition for their companies.

For more information, see the IPC (Institute of Interconnecting and Packaging Electronic Circuits) website.

Electron Microscopy Technologist: The Microscopy Society of America (MSA), the world's largest professional association of microscopists, provides the only certification of technologists in biological transmission electron microscopy available in the Americas.

For more information, see the Microscopy Society of America 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.