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Career and Education Opportunities for Energy Systems Engineers in Birmingham, Alabama

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for energy systems engineers in the Birmingham, Alabama area. Currently, 3,950 people work as energy systems engineers in Alabama. This is expected to grow by 15% to 4,550 people by 2016. This is better than the national trend for energy systems engineers, which sees this job pool growing by about 6.7% over the next eight years. Energy systems engineers generally design, develop, and evaluate energy-related projects and programs to reduce energy costs or improve energy efficiency during the designing, building, or remodeling stages of construction.

Energy systems engineers earn approximately $47 per hour or $98,730 per year on average in Alabama. Nationally they average about $42 per hour or $88,570 per year. Earnings for energy systems engineers are better than earnings in the general category of Green Engineering in Alabama and better than general Green Engineering category earnings nationally. Jobs in this field include: refrigeration engineer, industrial energy engineer, and green building energy engineer.

There is one school within twenty-five miles of Birmingham where you can study to be an energy systems engineer, among fifteen schools of higher education total in the Birmingham area. The most common level of education for energy systems engineers is a Bachelor's degree. It will take about four years to learn to be an energy systems engineer if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Energy Systems Engineer

In general, energy systems engineers design, develop, and evaluate energy-related projects and programs to reduce energy costs or improve energy efficiency during the designing, building, or remodeling stages of construction. They also may specialize in electrical systems; heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems; green buildings; lighting; air quality; or energy procurement.

Energy systems engineers identify energy savings opportunities and make recommendations to attain more energy efficient operations. They also train personnel or clients on topics such as energy management. Equally important, energy systems engineers have to furnish consultation to clients or other engineers on topics such as climate control systems, energy modeling, data logging, energy management control systems, lighting or daylighting layout, sustainable layout, and energy auditing. They are often called upon to ready project reports and other program or technical documentation. They are expected to monitor and analyze energy consumption. Finally, energy systems engineers direct the work of contractors or staff in the implementation of energy management projects.

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

It is important for energy systems engineers to conduct energy audits to review energy use or conservation measures. They are often called upon to perform energy modeling or retro-commissioning. They also conduct research or collect data on renewable or alternative energy systems or technologies such as solar thermal and photovoltaic energy. They are sometimes expected to oversee the development or development of energy conservation projects to insure acceptability of budgets and time lines, conformance to federal and state laws, or adherence to approved specifications. Somewhat less frequently, energy systems engineers are also expected to conduct research or collect data on renewable or alternative energy systems or technologies such as solar thermal and photovoltaic energy.

Energy systems engineers sometimes are asked to inspect or monitor energy systems including heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), or daylighting systems to establish energy use or potential energy savings. and confer with construction or renovation clients and other engineers on topics such as Leadership in Energy and Environmental layout (LEED) or Green Buildings. And finally, they sometimes have to promote awareness or use of alternative and renewable energy sources.

Like many other jobs, energy systems engineers must be able to absorb the factors involved and a problem and provide a well thought out solution and have exceptional integrity.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Birmingham include:

  • Environmental Planner. Design, plan, or perform engineering duties in the prevention, control, and remediation of environmental health hazards utilizing various engineering disciplines. Work may include waste treatment, site remediation, or pollution control technology.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Energy Systems 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 Mechanical Engineering which graduated twenty-two and seven students respectively in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Certified Forensic Claims Consultant : AACE International's Certified Forensic Claims Consultant (CFCC) certification program is designed to establish credentials to recognize your professional expertise.

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.

Certified Energy Manager: Since its inception in 1981, the Certified Energy Manager (CEM®) credential has become widely accepted and used as a measure of professional accomplishment within the energy management field.

For more information, see the Association of Energy Engineers website.

Certified Energy Auditor: The Certified Energy Auditor (CEA) certification identifies professionals as having the required knowledge and experience needed to succeed in the growing field of energy auditing.

For more information, see the Association of Energy Engineers website.

Protective Coatings Specialist: This certification is geared toward individuals who are experienced, knowledgeable and capable of performing work at an advanced level in both the theory and practice of corrosion prevention and control, and who are capable of performing work at an advanced level in the protective coatings field.

For more information, see the NACE International website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Birmingham, Alabama

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.