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Career and Education Opportunities for Energy Systems Engineers in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

If you want to be an energy systems engineer, the Cedar Rapids, Iowa area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. Currently, 810 people work as energy systems engineers in Iowa. This is expected to grow 5% to 850 people by 2016. This is not quite as good as 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.

The average wage in the general category of Green Engineering jobs is $33 per hour or $69,280 per year in Iowa, and an average of $39 per hour or $81,541 per year nationwide. Jobs in this field include: hvac engineer , industrial energy engineer, and hydroelectric plant power generation engineer.

The Cedar Rapids area is home to thirteen schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Cedar Rapids where you can get a degree 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

University of Iowa - Iowa City, IA

University of Iowa, 101 Jessup Hall, Iowa City, IA 52242-1316. University of Iowa is a large university located in Iowa City, Iowa. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 29,475 students and an admission rate of 82%. University of Iowa has bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree programs in Mechanical Engineering which graduated sixty-eight, eleven, and five 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: Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Cedar Rapids, Iowa photo by Davumaya

Cedar Rapids is located in Linn County, Iowa. It has a population of over 128,056, which has grown by 6.0% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Cedar Rapids, 78, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Cedar Rapids are valued at $103,900 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, two hundred ninety-nine new homes were built in Cedar Rapids, up from two hundred ninety-eight the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Cedar Rapids are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 17 minutes. More than 28.4% of Cedar Rapids residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.4%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Cedar Rapids is 6.0%, which is less than Iowa's average of 6.1%.

The percentage of Cedar Rapids residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.0%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Seventh Day Church of God, Sevanth-Day Adventist Church and Hope Lutheran Church are some of the churches located in Cedar Rapids. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Cedar Rapids is home to the Brucemore and the Admissions Office as well as Tomahawk Park and Noelridge Park. Shopping centers in the area include Mays Shopping Center, Lindale Plaza Shopping Center and Town and Country Shopping Center. Visitors to Cedar Rapids can choose from Howard Johnson, Marriott Cedar Rapids and Clarion Hotel & Convention Center for temporary stays in the area.