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Career and Education Opportunities for Computer Engineers in Huntsville, Alabama

Huntsville, Alabama provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, 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 per hour or $89,580 annually on average in Alabama. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $46 per hour or $97,400 per year on average. Computer engineers earn more than people working in the category of Engineering generally in Alabama and more than people in the Engineering category nationally. Jobs in this field include: computer designer, electronics engineer, and supplier quality engineer .

The Huntsville area is home to eleven schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Huntsville where you can get a degree as a computer engineer. Given that the most common education level 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.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Computer Engineer

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 Huntsville include:

  • Aerospace Technician. Operate, install, and maintain integrated computer/communications systems consoles, simulators, and other data acquisition, test, and measurement instruments and equipment to launch, track, and evaluate air and space vehicles. May record and interpret test data.
  • Chemical Engineer. Design chemical plant equipment and devise processes for manufacturing chemicals and products, such as gasoline, synthetic rubber, and pulp, by applying principles and technology of chemistry, physics, and engineering.
  • 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.
  • Industrial Engineer. Design, develop, and evaluate integrated systems for managing industrial production processes including human work factors, quality control, inventory control, logistics and material flow, cost analysis, and production coordination.
  • Manufacturing Engineer. Apply knowledge of materials and engineering theory and methods to design, integrate, and improve manufacturing systems or related processes. May work with commercial or industrial designers to refine product designs to increase producibility and decrease costs.
  • 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.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Computer Engineer Training

University of Alabama in Huntsville - Huntsville, AL

University of Alabama in Huntsville, 301 Sparkman Dr, Huntsville, AL 35899. University of Alabama in Huntsville is a medium sized university located in Huntsville, Alabama. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 7,431 students and an admission rate of 89%. University of Alabama in Huntsville has bachelor's degree, postbaccalaureate certificate, master's degree, and doctor's degree programs in Computer Engineering which graduated one, zero, fifteen, and two students respectively in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

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.

LICENSES

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

LOCATION INFORMATION: Huntsville, Alabama

Huntsville, Alabama
Huntsville, Alabama photo by Anivron

Huntsville is located in Madison County, Alabama. It has a population of over 176,645, which has grown by 11.6% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Huntsville, 82, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Huntsville are valued at $44,900 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, 1,004 new homes were constructed in Huntsville, down from 1,558 the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Huntsville are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, public administration, and construction. The average commute to work is about 18 minutes. More than 36.1% of Huntsville residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 12.7%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Huntsville is 7.6%, which is less than Alabama's average of 10.7%.

The percentage of Huntsville residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 55.2%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Whitesburg Church of God, Whitesburg Church and Maple Grove Church are among the churches located in Huntsville. The most common religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Huntsville is home to the Valley Hill Golf and Country Club and the Lowe Industrial Park as well as John H Steigerwood Field and Milton Frank Stadium. Shopping malls in the area include Madison Plaza Shopping Center, Madison Square Mall Shopping Center and Memorial Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Huntsville can choose from King's Inn, Candlewood Suites and Economy Inn for temporary stays in the area.