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Career and Education Opportunities for Energy Systems Engineers in Elgin, Illinois

There are many career and education opportunities for energy systems engineers in the Elgin, Illinois area. There are currently 8,960 jobs for energy systems engineers in Illinois and this is projected to grow 6% to about 9,470 jobs by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for energy systems engineers are expected to grow by about 6.7%. 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 $40 hourly or $83,500 yearly on average in Illinois. Nationally they average about $42 per hour or $88,570 yearly. Earnings for energy systems engineers are better than earnings in the general category of Green Engineering in Illinois and better than general Green Engineering category earnings nationally. Energy systems engineers work in a variety of jobs, including: distributed generation project manager, energy conservation engineer, and hvac sensor and digital control designer .

There are sixty-one schools of higher education in the Elgin area, including one within twenty-five miles of Elgin where you can get a degree to start your career as an energy systems engineer. Energy systems engineers usually hold a Bachelor's degree, so you can expect to spend about four years training to become 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.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Energy Systems Engineer Training

Northern Illinois University - Dekalb, IL

Northern Illinois University, 1425 W. Lincoln Hwy., Dekalb, IL 60115-2825. Northern Illinois University is a large university located in Dekalb, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 24,397 students and an admission rate of 58%. Northern Illinois University has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Mechanical Engineering which graduated sixty-seven and nineteen 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: Elgin, Illinois

Elgin, Illinois
Elgin, Illinois photo by James Jordan

Elgin is located in Kane County, Illinois. It has a population of over 106,330, which has grown by 12.5% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Elgin, 104, is above the national average. New single-family homes in Elgin cost $156,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, three hundred thirty-two new homes were constructed in Elgin, down from seven hundred fifty-six the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Elgin are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, metal and metal products, and administrative and support and waste management services. The average travel time to work is about 26 minutes. More than 20.5% of Elgin residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.0%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Elgin is 12.4%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Elgin residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 56.0%, is more than both the national and state average. Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Seventh Day Adventist Church and Saint Thomas More Roman Catholic Church are some of the churches located in Elgin. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Lutheran Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Elgin is home to the Fox Bluff Corporate Center and the Elgin Fire Station Number 2 as well as Wing Park and College Park. Shopping malls in the area include Wing Park Manor Shopping Center, Tyler Creek Plaza Shopping Center and Town and Country Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Elgin can choose from Elgin-Days Inn, Colonial Lodge Motel and Crowne Plaza for temporary stays in the area.