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Career and Education Opportunities for Electrical Engineers in Durham, North Carolina

For those living in the Durham, North Carolina area, there are many career and education opportunities for electrical engineers. Currently, 2,670 people work as electrical engineers in North Carolina. This is expected to grow 10% to 2,940 people by 2016. This is better than the national trend for electrical engineers, which sees this job pool growing by about 1.7% over the next eight years. Electrical engineers generally design, develop, or supervise the manufacturing and installation of electrical equipment, components, or systems for commercial, industrial, or scientific use.

Electrical engineers earn approximately $37 per hour or $77,860 annually on average in North Carolina. Nationally they average about $39 per hour or $82,160 yearly. Electrical engineers earn more than people working in the category of Engineering generally in North Carolina and less than people in the Engineering category nationally. Jobs in this field include: hardware design engineer, electrical project engineer, and distribution engineer.

The Durham area is home to twenty-six schools of higher education, including two within twenty-five miles of Durham where you can get a degree as an electrical engineer. Given that the most common education level for electrical engineers is a Bachelor's degree, it will take about four years to learn to be an electrical engineer if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Electrical Engineer

Electrical Engineer video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, electrical engineers design, develop, or supervise the manufacturing and installation of electrical equipment, components, or systems for commercial, industrial, or scientific use.

Electrical engineers talk with others to consider existing or potential engineering projects and products. They also ready and study technical drawings, specifications of electrical systems, and topographical maps to insure that installation and operations conform to standards and customer requirements. Equally important, electrical engineers have to ready requirements for purchase of materials and equipment. They are often called upon to operate computer-assisted engineering and layout software and apparatus to perform engineering tasks. They are expected to oversee project production efforts to assure projects are completed satisfactorily, on time and within budget. Finally, electrical engineers direct and schedule manufacturing, construction and testing efforts to insure adherence to specifications and customer requirements.

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

It is important for electrical engineers to compile data and write reports regarding existing and potential engineering studies and projects. They are often called upon to layout and improve electrical instruments and systems for commercial and domestic purposes. They also design budgets and construction costs. They are sometimes expected to investigate customer or public complaints, decide on nature and extent of problem, and recommend remedial measures. Somewhat less frequently, electrical engineers are also expected to help in developing capital project programs for new equipment and major repairs.

They also have to be able to investigate and test vendors' and competitors' products and inspect completed installations and observe operations to insure conformance to layout and equipment specifications and adherence to operational and safety standards. And finally, they sometimes have to supervise and train project team members as needed.

Like many other jobs, electrical engineers must be thorough and dependable and be able to absorb the factors involved and a problem and provide a well thought out solution.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Durham include:

  • Aerodynamics Engineer. Perform a variety of engineering work in designing, constructing, and testing aircraft, missiles, and spacecraft. May conduct basic and applied research to evaluate adaptability of materials and equipment to aircraft design and manufacture. May recommend improvements in testing equipment and techniques.
  • Agricultural Engineer. Apply knowledge of engineering technology and biological science to agricultural problems concerned with power and machinery, electrification, structures, soil and water conservation, and processing of agricultural products.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 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.
  • 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.
  • Nuclear Engineer. Conduct research on nuclear engineering problems or apply principles and theory of nuclear science to problems concerned with release, control, and utilization of nuclear energy and nuclear waste disposal.
  • Product Safety Engineer. Develop and conduct tests to evaluate product safety levels and recommend measures to reduce or eliminate hazards.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Electrical Engineer Training

North Carolina State University at Raleigh - Raleigh, NC

North Carolina State University at Raleigh, 2101 Hillsborough Street, Raleigh, NC 27695-7001. North Carolina State University at Raleigh is a large university located in Raleigh, North Carolina. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 32,871 students and an admission rate of 60%. North Carolina State University at Raleigh has bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree programs in Electrical, Electronics and Communications Engineering which graduated forty-one, seventy, and twenty-one students respectively in 2008.

Duke University - Durham, NC

Duke University, 103 Allen Bldg, Durham, NC 27708. Duke University is a large university located in Durham, North Carolina. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 13,871 students and an admission rate of 23%. Duke University has bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree programs in Electrical, Electronics and Communications Engineering which graduated twenty, thirty-five, and sixteen students respectively in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

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.

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 Lighting Efficiency Professional: AEE's Certified Lighting Efficiency Professional (CLEP) program is designed to provide recognition for professionals who have distinguished themselves as leaders in the field of lighting efficiency.

For more information, see the Association of Energy Engineers 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.

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.

Certified Lighting Management Consultant: The lighting industry prides itself on distinguishing those persons who have accomplished this professional and personal achievement.

For more information, see the International Association of Lighting Management Companies 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.

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.

PV Installer Certification: The target candidate for NABCEP certification is the person responsible for the system installation (e.

For more information, see the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners website.

System Operator Certification: The System Operator Certification Program awards certification credentials to those individuals who demonstrate that they have attained sufficient knowledge relating to NERC reliability standards and the basic principles of bulk power system operations by passing one of four specialty examinations.

For more information, see the North American Electric Reliability Corporation website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Durham, North Carolina

Durham, North Carolina
Durham, North Carolina photo by Specious

Durham is situated in Durham County, North Carolina. It has a population of over 223,284, which has grown by 19.4% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Durham, 86, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Durham are valued at $187,200 on average, which is well above the state average. In 2008, 1,082 new homes were built in Durham, down from 1,574 the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Durham are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, educational services, and health care. The average commute to work is about 21 minutes. More than 41.8% of Durham residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 18.3%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Durham is 7.3%, which is less than North Carolina's average of 10.6%.

The percentage of Durham residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 39.3%, is less than both the national and state average. Laymans Church, Holy Infant Church and Homestead Heights Church are among the churches located in Durham. The most prominent religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Durham is home to the Hope Valley Country Club and the Union Building as well as Durham County Stadium and Northgate Park. Shopping centers in the area include South Square Mall, Lakewood Shopping Center and Kings Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Durham can choose from Brownestone Inn, Durham-Days Inn ) and Hilton Durham for temporary stays in the area.